I was a mere 17 years old here in my father's rose garden, celebrating my birthday, even if I do appear to be a serious matron.
Is it the hairstyle or the dress or that I'm scowling into the sun? At least I had a waistline back then and the only one I'm willing to share here now on the www.
That didn't keep me from wanting a birthday cake recently and this lemon bundt cake from Cook's Illustrated was yummy, even if I still miss the strawberry shortcakes that Mama made me every year on my big day.
I still prop my birthday cards up somewhere for the whole month to enjoy as long as possible.
And RH gave me a rosebush for my birthday.
We were surprised that there were no roses planted at this 1935 house when we moved here except for this huge wild one growing in the hedgerow with honeysuckle and blackberries.
Deer nibble on almost everything in our front yard so we haven't been able to decide where to plant roses since the back garden is pretty full now.
I'll always love roses and associate them with my birthday and with my father who always had rose gardens.
RH reminded me recently about the time each spring when my father would have a special rose sale at his two garden centers.
He ordered so many each year from a Texas grower that after they had filled all orders they'd offer Daddy a tractor trailer load of leftover bare root roses free if he'd pay the $250 freight bill.
RH remembers unloading them when they came in on Friday and on Saturday Daddy would have our local WENO country music radio station (now a gospel station) send out their mobile unit and it would broadcast live from the garden center, advertising 10 cent roses.
Cars would line up all up and down the road with customers for our traditional annual sale. Obviously there was no profit on the bare root roses but most people ended up buying so much else that it was well worth it, plus a lot of fun.
Until the very end of his life my father always gardened. He had since he was a small boy helping his mother work in her flower and vegetable gardens while his older siblings helped his father on the farm, and he never let old age or illness stop him.
I know he's beautifying heaven's gardens today and making sure there will be plenty of roses there for my mother who loves them.
My father and I share birthday months and so I always think of roses on both our birthdays and birthday cakes--strawberry shortcake for me and sometimes German chocolate cake for him.
But mostly on his birthday I think of the best father four daughters ever had and the best gardener I ever knew.
Garden on, Daddy!