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Posted by on May 16, 2021 in Retirement Humour |




Simply stated, Saturdays situation was serious…

I was still in bed – I hadn’t even had a chance to get up and trip over the decorator pillows we threw on the floor when we went to bed! Jan peeked out through the bedroom California shutters and said those five words: “Let’s go get our flowers!” With that, a sunny Spring Saturday had gone to hell in a heap of hostas!

‘Let’s go get our flowers’ is a Spring ritual. The custom is that EVERYONE descends on their favourite garden centre on the same day!

“Dear, this is as close as I can get to the nursery. I’ll park here on the side of the road. We will have to hike the rest of the way.”

“Gary we are parked on a country road with a gravel shoulder. We are three Counties away from the garden centre!”

We join the crusade of gardeners marching en masse to the nursery. I am wearing my L.L. Bean hiking boots. Women are wearing the always-practical footwear of choice: flip flops!

“Gary, we are parked on a country road with a gravel shoulder. We are three Counties from the garden centre!”

Finally. We reach the garden centre entrance. Well not really. Instead of displays of daffodils, containers of chrysanthemums, and pre-potted pretty pink petunias, we had to make our way through a maze: past the kids face-painting tent, the kids kite-making class, the kids babysitting service, the kids change station, the kids ‘Lost & Found’, the food truck, the water station! THIS ISN’T A GARDEN CENTRE – IT IS A THEME PARK!

“Gary, go get a cart and I will meet you over in the hanging plants.”

Garden centre carts are nothing more than a wire rack set overtop wobbly wheels with no sides with a wagon handle for steering! #$@$#! Whoever invented them never maneuvered one overtop the greenhouse gravel or tried to bump it up over leaky hoses that snake their way through nurseries.

At the garden cart corral, I bumped into other men who were given the same explicit directions,” “Dear go get a cart and then meet me.” It must be a guy thing, but the next thing I knew we had bonded into a group of madmen at a demolition derby! We are pushing our garden carts like those rickety rickshaws you see in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district! We are running rampant through aisles of azaleas! Wheee!!!

There is a bevy of baby boomers in the bougainvillea section! Classy-looking women wearing floppy wide-brim sunhats, accompany their husbands who are ‘costumed’ in the relax-fit jeans their wives gave them for Fathers Day – with arch-support Birkenstock sandals and compression socks. Who ‘in carnation’ dresses us?

I picked up a couple of tomato plants – a gift for the bugs in our garden so they have something to munch on this summer. Jan selected a hanging plant with fragile flowers and trailing ivy that stretches down toward my feet. My job is to carry them at shoulder height to the checkouts, and to the car. Quickly, one resembles the shape of Charlie Browns Christmas tree.

“Gary you aren’t holding the hanging plants high enough! We haven’t even got to the car yet and the flowers are falling off!”

When we reached the garden centre checkout, we realized we were not at the garden centre checkout! First, we had to make our way past the ‘Imelda Marcos Collection of Gardening Clogs’, pastel-colour watering cans, and foam pads to kneel on – ‘with memory foam technology.’ You can enroll to learn how to build a garden pond; or make a tropical garden to attract butterflies.

“Oh, look what they have here Gary – decorator candles for the patio. And over here are decorator pillows in fun colours. Lets pick up some.”

Forget the outdoor decorator candles and pillows. The hanging plants are drooping, my shoulder aches. All I want is a bag of cow poop to spread overtop the tomato plants. And some Advil Extra Strength Muscle & Joint pain relief.