Some of you know I’ve been coaxing a frangipani to bloom and having some success thanks to the miraculous weather. However, to my great surprise when I looked around my yard a couple of days ago I discovered a huge sunflower that I had completely overlooked. How,can you miss a thing like this? My theory is ….”low expectations”. I never liked sunflowers much and this is the first year I have ever grown them. After a spring clean up, I noticed a few cinder blocks in a neglected corner of the yard. They were too heavy for me to carry off so I filled them with earth and popped in a couple of sunflower seeds. Even these were bargain basement seeds I had picked up in a junk shop. I didn’t expect them to grow, I didn’t particularly want them to grow. They were in a shady corner of the yard. I concentrated on other things. However, one seed decided to surprise me, to survive, to excel. While I was fretting over my Hawaiian beauty, this gangly thing shone…and shines in my garden. Draw the lesson….i won’t bore you….
I got up early and discovered I had no milk for coffee. It was too early to go to the little corner shop so I decided to cook an old favorite – green beans and new potatoes with onion and tomato sauce. I had quite a bit of time so I took a while simmering the onion slices until they were golden and adding garlic and shallots too. The green beans were perfect, fresh from the Italian market and $1.49 for the package I couldn’t go wrong. “The good housewife cooks before she is hungry” was my idea as I prepared the summery dish. It was very overcast as I waited until I thought the shop might be open. Somehow I have little appetite in the morning these days but I was dying for a cafe au lait.
At last it was time to go get my milk. How dingy the shop is. You can tell that the profit margin is slim in the little store run by a Chinese family. The display cases are rusty and the space very cramped. On my way back I passed an old man setting stones into the edging of his front garden. A mother and a little girl waled hand in hand in front of me and an ernest cyclist pedalled past. Fine rain began to fall and then – an absolute downpour. Oh, the prudent mother had a little umbrella for her daughter and the two of them walked on sedately. I have a bad knee and was wearing a pair of flip flops so running was out of the question but my pace quickened but not before I was completely drenched. The sky simply opened up within a matter of a few seconds. Now the miracle is that this downpour allowed the sky to clear up and now it is nice and sunny. I am waiting for another special event too…look, my frangipani will bloom soon. Last year it refused and I was very frustrated but this year the white and fragrant flowers that grace the ears of Hawiian girls will finally come to my garden.
Perhaps when I am all alone one night I will pick one, put it behind my resolutely pink ear and hear the faint sounds of a ukulel and pounding surf. Stay tuned for the next miracle.