Well, we're back in business, boys and girls, just like the old days.

Last week I went meandering in the garden store down the street for a little change of pace. A slow afternoon in the greenhouse, so an employee came over to spend time with me. Is it too late to plant this? Will that come back in the spring?

Whenever I plant a little rosemary, I told the woman, it's a goner. She disagreed, proclaiming anybody can grow that herb. I bought a little rosemary, just to be an optimist, along with a mint plant and two brussel sprout plants. Maybe I could exorcise my childhood brussel sprout trauma by growing some of my own!

"Of course," I told the garden store woman, "the white butterfly will find these brussel sprout plants before you can say, 'Butch and Sundance." She gave me a look that said she was too darn perky to poison her mental outlook by prolonging her exposure to me, and went off to water ornamental peppers.

Am I a pessimist? Or am I a realist? I'd like to think I'm just in awe of the abilities of Mother Nature's creations to find their favorite food source. Don't mark me down as a party pooper on my cosmic permanent record!

So it was no surprise when the white cabbage butterfly arrived on the patio this afternoon to do an Isadora Duncan version of egg-laying on the little brussel sprout plants. I hadn't seen her for months, but she was back in business, boys and girls.

I'm thankful to Paul Newman for his gift of precious cinematic moments that color my take on life. It helps to imagine old Butch entering a heavenly Union Pacific boxcar to chat with Woodcock, aka George Furth, who is still in the employ of Mr. E. H. Harriman.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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