The Norman Transcript

February 21, 2013

February wind always leaves its mark

By Shirley Ramsey
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The last of February usually means pondering the mysteries of wind, yards and gardens. Seeds from last year’s blooms blow everywhere and many take root.

“What is this thing growing in my garden?” Mary asks her husband. “I didn’t plant this.”

“Pull it up. It might turn into a huge bean stalk.”

Mary asks their neighbor about the intruder.

“I’m jealous!” he tells her. “I tried all last year to get a Wisteria to grow, and you are lucky enough to have one just sprout in your garden.”

Her husband shakes his head. “I don’t think we’re that lucky,” he comments.

Mary decides to wait and see. They are surprised when the intruder becomes a tall, spreading gourd vine.

“Sorry about that,” the neighbor says. “It fooled me. But it’s a nice vine, anyway.”

“It fooled Mary, too,” the husband remarks.

“Never mind,” Mary says. “When it gets tall enough, I’ll climb up and gather the magic seeds.” But the wind and birds claimed them first.

Nothing blurs the eyes more than wind-blown tiny objects. “Better wear your goggles working in the yard today,” James’ wife advises.

“That’s sissy,” he replies. “My neighbors will see me.”

“What difference does that make?” she fires back. “If you mess up your eyes, I’m collecting a fine.”

James now admits to his neighbors, “I’ll never work in the garden again without goggles, especially on a windy day.”

“Why?”

“The wind blew something in my eye and I had to go to a specialist to get it out.”

“Did it cost you much?”

“Most of the cost was for my wife’s new outfit.”

Most serious landscape artists (also most ordinary gardeners) scatter smelly stuff on their yards in February or March. Nighttime visitors can’t see the stuff.

“Oh, no!” Tristan complains. “Help me George! I’ve stepped in something, and it’s blowing all over me!”

“Don’t worry, dear — just a little cow manure. Charley puts it on his yard early. It’ll wash out.”

“Why didn’t you say something? We could’ve walked the long way around.”

“I only noticed it now. I’ve stepped in it, too. It’ll serve him right. We’ll be the disgusting, smelly, next-door neighbors at their party.”

One thing that can happen when the wind blows: Excited children can fly their kites. Dad may take over to show how it’s done.

“Run, Marty,” Dad screams. “You’re losing the kite. It’s falling! Oh, no!”

Dad digs the kite out of thorny bushes and rolls up the string.

“I’m sorry, Dad,” Marty says. “I was trying.”

“I know,” Dad says, “but you must run hard to get it up into the air. I’ll run.”

Up and up the kite goes as Dad runs hard through all those bushes, until the kite’s flying. Only then does Dad fall flat.

“Here, Marty,” he yells. From a sitting position, he holds out the string. “Take this and don’t let it fall.”

“You mean, like you did?” He looks around. He didn’t expect his wife to be watching.

Shirley Ramsey, a retired professor of journalism, lives in Norman.

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