Today’s Treasure

The first California poppy of the season!

One poppy does not make a poppy field, but it’s a start, right? I never particularly liked these small poppies, having grown up with the large red floppy-petaled poppies, but after my visit several years ago to the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve, I developed a fondness for the smaller flower. In massive numbers, they look like a sunset fallen to earth, and oh, it sure was something to see.

I won’t be able to duplicate those fields of color, of course, but since the plants seem to do well here (and no wonder, the two climates — the high prairie of Colorado and the high desert of California — are similar) I should be able to create small patches of a blooming sunset.

But that’s for the future. Today is about enjoying the first poppy of the season as well as the first dwarf snapdragon, another of the seeds in the wildflower mix I planted last December. When they say dwarf, they mean it. These flowers are tiny — no bigger than a bee (hence the rather blurry photo). If they weren’t part of the mixture, I wouldn’t have been interested in planting such small flowers. They don’t really add much color to the yard, but since they are an annual, it doesn’t really matter. I’ll enjoy them this year, assuming, of course, I can see them.

The first bellflowers, another flower from the wildflower mix, have also bloomed. Not as big as a poppy. Not as small as a dwarf snapdragon. But so pretty. Maybe I could do a whole patch of these, too.

This ice plant wasn’t part of the wildflower mix; it was something I bought last year just because I liked the name. (Supposedly, it’s called an ice plant because it shimmers like ice.)

As if being able to see all these flowers poke their pretty faces up to the sun isn’t treat enough, today a friend stopped by to take a tour of my yard. I enjoyed showing the things I have done, the things my contractor did, and the things nature did. Somehow, it all works together to make something special. She’s been watching my garden take hold over the years, so it was fun seeing it through her eyes.

The yard was especially pretty today. I’d mowed this morning, so the lawn was nicely manicured, and the larkspur were at their peak. It won’t be long before the larkspur grows too tall and top heavy, so it would behoove me to get garden stakes if I don’t want a leaning garden. (That happened last year. The winds caused the plants to grow slantwise.)

So, those are the treasures of this day. I can hardly wait to see what treasures tomorrow will bring.


Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.

Lost in Time

“Describe one thing you did today. And tell us why you think we should know about it.”

I don’t know where I got that suggestion from — to describe one thing and explain why people should know about. If I had to guess, I’d say I probably got the idea from a book I read, jotted it down, and promptly forgot it. Today, I was trolling around in my notes to find a blog topic, and there it was.

I suppose I never followed through on this suggestion for a blog topic because I always follow through. Wow, that’s confusing! I mean I never specifically set out to follow through and describe one thing I did in response to this particular suggestion. Despite that, it does seem to be the current theme of this blog: to find one thing out of an otherwise eventless day to remark upon. I’m not sure if anyone but me needs to know about anything that happens in my life, but I do think it’s important for me to make note of at least one event or sight or thought every day, otherwise the days tend to pass unnoticed and unwitnessed. And I don’t want to be one of those people who, at the end of their life, look around and wonder where it all went. I’m sure I’ll do that anyway, because it does seem to be something we all think about as the number of our days shrink.

Still, here I am scrambling around in my mind trying to think of one particular thing I did today that I — or anyone — should know about.

I read, I dug, I watered my plants, I took a photo of my ice plant (although it’s pink, supposedly it’s called an ice plant because it shimmers as if icy), and because this is forecast to be the last searingly hot day of the year, I made a point to enjoy the heat.

The most noteworthy thing about the day, though, was how lost in time I felt. I had to keep checking my phone to see what day it was. (Checking a calendar doesn’t help, because if you don’t know what day it is, you won’t be able to tell what day it is.) Not that the day of the week mattered except to make sure it isn’t a work day, but for some reason, the whole concept of time and days of the week confused me today.

I’m sure the confusion is more of a reaction to three days off with no one to talk to rather than age-related discombobulation. (Surely, I talked to someone during these days, but except for a few brief words with a neighbor, I don’t think I did. Weird.) It will be interesting for me to see my reaction to time when my job comes to an end, especially if I immerse myself in writing another book. Then I really will have to make note of something each day to separate one day from another.

But that’s in the future. Today is . . . today. Monday. And despite the periodic confusion about time, it was a good day. And that’s important to know.

What about you? What did you do today, and why should we know about it?


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.