Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Friday, January 7, 2011

On Hardware, Software and Little Green Leaves

It's been a rather trying week at the garden center and it all seemed to come to a head on Friday.  I won't bore you with all the details, but we've been struggling with our computer system software and our little John Deere tractor. 

Joanie, Dear.  Good girl.
The supplies we need to unload are heavy -- the average pallet of soil or mulch weighs over a ton.  You need quite a bit of weight in the back to counterbalance the load.  It turns out that even an 800 lb. mower isn't quite enough.  What's required? A truck driver, a sales representative and a willing, if nervous, employee perched on the mower like anxious birds.  What happened next?  Back to the tractor store for a counseling session, a $14 part and a pep talk.  Then on to the garden center to fill the back tires with water for additional ballast.

Boo.  Hiss.
The computerized cash register system we chose is imperfect, as they all are.  No matter what the issue seems to be, the answer (cheerfully provided by helpful phone operators in a land far, far away) is the same.  Upgrade your product for an additional pile of money, and then perhaps it will work as advertised.  This week, I made an executive decision to stop throwing good money after bad where the computers are concerned.  We'll make do without the bells and whistles for a little while longer.  Deep breath.

Happy pansies.
It wasn't until late in the evening, while I was watering a few dry flats of winter flowers, that I was able to see how beautiful the sky really was.  How sweet the leaves of Salvia clevelandii smell.  How grateful the little pansies were for a drink of water. 

I'm glad I was able to take a moment to reconnect with the outside world.  It makes all the difference to end the week like that, among the green things.  Time enough next week for the glitches, gotchas and gimmicks.


  1. there is another way of dealing with this situation. You could have not reconnected and taken your frustration home to your family so it could be shared by all :)

  2. Elizabeth, I'm glad you ended the week on an up note. I hope next week is a better one all around!

  3. Do Garden Centers know that people (like me) would line up to volunteer to water green things at this time of year? That we might even pay for a weekly 1/2 hour session of green therapy? Possible extra revenue source, anyone?

  4. It is nice that your troubles faded a bit for the beauty of the sky and smell of the Salvia. Sometimes it is the little things.

  5. If your trailer is named "Carrie" and your tractor is named "Joanie, Dear" could your truck be named "Ken?"

  6. I think the truck should be named Harrison, as in Han Solo actor ...