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    OK, quick narrative of my morning… not much else going on today… I feel good and figured that there was far too much doom and gloom in the world for me to add to it… I like getting up early sometimes...

 

    I woke up early this morning and wandered the house in the dark. I had to take odd steps in the hall to keep the creaking floor from waking Stefanie, but I managed to get to the kitchen and then out the back door without too much fuss.

    Outside it was humid and cool and the overcast muted sunrise made everything seem just that much greener. I slipped on my shoes and stood outside in my sweats and a t-shirt.

    Two months ago I’d have had a cigarette in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other… I quit smoking a few weeks ago and I was too lazy to fix a pot of coffee… I could still feel the familiar sensation and even checked the pockets of my sweats for a lighter and my smokes… smoking is far more of a comfort addition than nicotine any day…

    I tucked my fingers beneath my arms and walked cross armed around the yard as I took in the new shoots and flowers, some new dill was starting to peep out of the same pot in which I’d planted oregano… damn. I’d have to re-arrange that one - hopefully without killing either one.

    I have three rose bushes that are starting to bloom. One, a climbing rose that’s practically gone wild, was covered with purple-red blooms and it’s spectacular - despite the wild looking flowers. The rain last night weighed them down and most of them drooped from the weight.

    The other red climber was near the corner of the house and it only had a couple of full red blossoms above odd, pale green leaves… I wondered if there was something wrong that would cause the leaves to be so pale.

    But the last one was a prize. This one was a pink, Queen Elizabeth climber that hadn’t bloomed in two years or more. I’d bought it originally seven years ago and it sat in it’s original pot on a cookie sheet for a year in the first apartment, its single pale and sickly shoot stretching in an arc across the wall eagerly catching unwary visitors with its thorns… the second year it sat beside the unused fireplace in our second apartment - I was told by my roommates that it was to go in a place that they would be less likely to get caught by it’s sinister spikes. By this time the cookie sheet base was a rusted mess - but remained beneath it until we moved to a third apartment… where the odd, determined survivor rose went into the ground for the first time.

    We’d moved in late spring and I put it in the ground almost immediately. It stood solitary by the open steps by the back fence, its eager thorns constantly catching people- and most times drawing blood - fucker!

    It bloomed for the first time that year, one single perfect pink rose supported on a long, slender stem… I was intensely proud of it and I heaped praise on it as I pruned the rose from it - then drew back a bloody finger from a vicious thorn- fucker! My own price to pay for beauty, I suppose.

    For the next few years it grew and changed - always growing toward the sidewalk, always catching clothes and skin in its barbs. Everyone hated the damn thing - I thought it was perfection.

    When we moved to our new house I transplanted it - almost killing it in the process and it took all of last year to recover, finally shooting up new canes as it adjusted to the new home… but no blooms …

    …Until this year... Already I’d noticed that there were more buds on it than ever… six. I’d watched them as they went from tiny kisses that puckered skyward with new crimson leaves to bulging pods slowly shifting to a greedy shade of emerald. As I rounded our fence to see the buds that it offered this year I saw a flash of pink through the leaves…

    Three of them had shed back their leafy folds to reveal lipstick pink buds on long, perfect stems… I moved around it, taking special care not to get caught in the thorns, and leaned forward to smell the faint fragrance. Sweetness… I beamed… they would be perfect… as I moved away from these; the wind nodded the canes into my shirt. Of course, when I pulled back from it a thorn caught my arm deep and drew blood… fucker…

    …they will probably be in full bloom by the time I get home today -I’ll need to buy some bactine before I start pruning...