Sunday, April 3, 2011

The best gift

"Watch out for Nana's flowers!"
Every spring, that's what I used to call after the kids running around in the undergrowth at my parents' cabin, where my mother's treasured white fawn lilies unfurled their petals, trilliums showed their tripartite faces, and Easter-tinted ladyslippers nodded in the wake of little sneakers.
Those kids don't charge around outside much any more. Instead, they slump on chairs inside the tiny cabin, their long legs and enormous shoes taking up most of the floor space, but the flowers, Nana's flowers as I will always think of them, are getting ready to pretty up the outdoors again.
So you can imagine how thrilled  I was when my cousin Bee gave me a little volume she found at her favourite thrift store.
Wild Flowers of America, it's called. Jane Harvey wrote it, Irving Lawson illustrated it, and the Whitman Publishing Company printed it in 1932.
The book is small in every way: 3 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches; includes perhaps 100 flowers; and Jane's America extends only as far west as Minnesota.
It's charming. The illustrations are lovely and now that I think about it, its scope is big enough to beam some spring sunshine on some of my treasures – memories.
Two more of Nana's Flowers, a la Wild Flowers of America


  1. Nothing like spring flowers to trigger a smile, and when they come with a memory besides they're an extra special gift.

  2. Isn't that the truth, Alice?

    Flowers plus memories = the best part of spring, I think!

  3. I'm going to comment here not in my e-mail to you.

    When I found the little book, it took me back to the time your Mom,Dad and I went out to Cowachin
    to see the wildflowers. Your Mom was worried that there wouldn't be a good show. Show it was I think evey plant that blooms there was in flower.

    So then I sat there and thought of all the adventures Auntie Mary took me on. Per usual it brought tears to my eyss.

    I am so glad you enjoy the little book.

    Love Barb