Today's fingerprints are beautiful, fluffy, moppy topped hydrangeas. I love them.
These lovely fingerprints of God always remind me of my grandmother, Effie Ellington Lee Dobbs.
She's the one after whom I named my Etsy shop.
She had a marvelous green thumb. She could grow anything from practically nothing.
She would buy plants at Woolworth's (the five and dime.)
You know the kind: the pitiful, scraggly ones with two leaves and a faded bloom on a tall, skinny stalk.
She would then transform them into the most beautiful and lush masterpieces of God's creation.
I asked her once why she chose the ugly ones. She admonished me, in that clipped tone she would sometimes use with me, "None of them is ugly."
I didn't agree at the time...they looked ugly to me.
Apparently, my look conveyed my disagreement. "Some," she continued, "have been neglected and need a loving touch so that they can show their beauty. That is all that is wrong with them. These wonderful creations of God, are much like children: they need to be watered, fed, nurtured and pruned, so that they may grow to their fullest potential."
In the 1970's researchers at some university somewhere, determined that one should talk to one's plants.
I asked Ellie if she talked to her plants.
"Yes, I suppose I do in a way. I don't talk out loud, but I do speak to them in my head."
"What kinds of things do you say?" I wondered.
"Oh, I don't know. Things like, 'here let me just prune back this little bit of your stem and then you will branch out and grow fuller.' or 'how about a drink of water, girls.' Things like that. But mostly, I just hum a tune. I think they like that best."
Much later, I would find that researchers had determined that plants enjoy classical music.
"Probably not as much as my grandmother's humming," I thought to myself.
Ellie's lessons in horticulture have stayed with me through the years.
Some of them, perhaps, have been carried out in an inappropriate way. For example, when my dad and I went to pick out the Christmas tree each year, I always wanted the scraggly one. The one that no one
However, I do use Ellie's lessons appropriately in other ways. My husband always shakes his head at me when I head to the clearance table in the garden center. "Hmmm." I utter under my breath, "Who would like an extreme makeover at my house? Let's see now, you just need a pinch taken off here...a bit of fertilizer would fatten you right up...well, well, aren't you a beauty, hiding there...."
Yes, I always think of my grandmother when I see hydrangeas...
I always think of my grandmother when I see flowers...
I always think of my grandmother...
Thank you, Ellie dear.