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2016-11-02 / Loose Ends

Judge not

Susan Nienow

I do consider humility a virtue. I just wish I wouldn’t get lessons in it quite so often. Just today I confidently carried my flower arrangement in to the meeting room where it was judged. I collected sticks, wispy branches and other dead stuff that I put together along with three small gourds and a container to make an arrangement that I liked.

It spoke to me. I felt like I got it right. That is something, as I am not a natural at this creative venture. Unfortunately, the judges failed to spot any brilliance in the arrangement, and once again I saw that blue ribbon sprout wings and fly off.

This is an individual competition so the number of blue ribbons given is completely dependent on how many arrangements the judges feel deserve it. It is not a situation where I would be competing against others.

I am not competitive. In sports I always felt that if someone else wanted the ball, point or goal that badly, they should have it. I am happy if I feel like I did my best. My other half is competitive and sometimes has to be reminded in situations like tennis that he shouldn’t hit the ball that hard to me.

So the flower arrangement experience was a reminder that this may not be my strongest talent. But I will try again. I especially like working with things that come out of my yard. Maybe the judges missed having live flowers in my interpretation.

I could have taken in several examples of horticulture but didn’t. I didn’t want to make 15 trips back and forth to the car to get everything into the meeting. After having seen the specimens others brought in, I wondered why my lantanas have drooped because of the low temperatures and theirs haven’t.

As I looked around at the many perfect specimens, I realized the wisdom in not bringing in my examples of perfect horticulture. I just blame our colder temperatures out in the boonies and more critters that like to eat my favorite plants. I think I must have run a caterpillar farm this August. They ate samples of most of my plants. We are not supposed to bring in munched horticulture specimens. They don’t do well in the judging.

Days like this remind me I am good at collecting things I like – as opposed to collecting things that might increase in value. There are my vines, sticks, pinecones, rocks and acorns. They are all decent collections though not in the scientific sense. I don’t know one acorn from another except, like cars, they come in different sizes, shapes and even shades of brown.

I store those collections in the garage or under the deck. I also have rabbits – metal, ceramic and glass, baskets of all shapes, small vases and bowls that are handmade and gardening books. Oh, I almost forgot my bead collection. Surely there is a competition somewhere I can do well in.

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