Thursday, March 31, 2011

wild thoughts and memories

Buttercups make me think back to my childhood.  Every young child in northwest New Jersey knows that you could tell if someone liked butter by holding a buttercup under their chin. If you put the flower of the buttercup up to your chin and it reflected yellow onto your skin it was a fact!  I think you were also supposed to become rich!  We’d find buttercups and put them under one another’s chins and say “yup, you like butter!”  I wonder who the first one to tell me that was.  A friend?  My mom?  My grandmother?  I  hope I get the opportunity to be the first one to tell my grandkids!

Buttercups are one of my favorite flowers because they are so bright and cheerful… they grow wild.  I love flowers that don’t need to be replanted year after year… but are beautiful AND hardy and strong.  Resilient.  They bloom where they are planted.  They fade in later seasons but come back in the spring time.
There is something beautiful about perennial plants because they endure or persist from the same root part year to year.  They come back to bloom again even when you think they are gone forever.  Annuals have to be replanted because they die when the harsher weather arrives… although they do produce seeds that have potential to grow again.
I want to plant more perennial plants.  They make me feel hopeful!
My husband is in the habit of calling me buttercup too, so that’s another reason I like them.   If I call him on the phone I might hear… “What’s up Buttercup?”   If he needs a ride… “Come pick me up Buttercup!”  If I ask him if he wants a refill on coffee or wine… “Fill me up Buttercup!”

Another favorite flower of my youth is the Lilly of the Valley.  It brings back many nice childhood memories.  My grandmother had them planted all around her house in Little Falls, New Jersey.  They were so fragrant and spread like little weeds.  One year she dug some up from her own yard and we replanted them an hour's drive away to our home in the country.  They also spread and would come up every year after that.   I like to think they are still there giving joy to the new owners.  They look like little bells and smell delicious!  I would pick bouquets of them and put them all around the house! Mmmm…..


  1. I love what you said about the perennials - they come back to life when you think that they are gone forever. That made me smile and feel hopeful too.

    Todd works at the pharmacy for HEB, and some lady calls him "Buttercup" whenever she goes in there. Apparently she has a crush on my husband or something. That's become his new nickname around work - makes me laugh a little. (o:

    I love that it's Edd's pet name for you.

  2. Kathi, thanks for writing this, the Lillies of the Valley reminded me so much of being little and taking a "picnic" lunch outside in the summer in our yard. My mother planted lillies on the bank in our backyard that bordered the neighbors up the hill and that was my favorite picnic spot in the summer. You made me smile.

  3. I forgot all about lilly of the valley... those are wonderful! Remember how they were all over Germany? :)