Blessed Are They Who Can Laugh at Themselves

I have to laugh at myself. Whenever I write that I think I’m getting the hang of this gardening thing, something happens to make me realize I am a far cry from being a master gardener.

Even one tulip can make a person think they know what they are doing, but the truth is, only the tulip really knows what it is doing. The rest of us are just along for the ride. I am, anyway.

Dealing with grass is a whole other story! (The lawn kind of grass.) I was proud of myself yesterday for finally getting the lawnmower to work and the grass cut, but this morning . . . eek.

The place looks like a kid just gave himself his first haircut, with some patches cut way to short (before I figured the grass was too thick to cut short) and other patches way too long (the edges I haven’t yet gotten around to trimming).

If that weren’t bad enough, I seem to have missed a few spots in the middle, maybe where the wheels matted the grass, and since it was so thick, it couldn’t spring up right away to be cut on the next lap.

Interestingly, I had to pause in writing this blog to go to work, and there I happened to come across a quote: “Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves because they will never cease to be amused.” Isn’t that the truth!

Luckily, not only do I have something to be amused about, and not only will the grass grow again so I can do it right, but I have tulips in my yard.

So, it’s possible, amusement aside, I really might get the hang of this gardening thing. Eventually.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.


The weather couldn’t decide what it wanted to do yesterday. First it rained, then it snowed, then it slushed. I had not experienced a slushfall before, but apparently, it was too cold for rain, too warm for snow to form flakes, and so what fell were globules of slush.

This wouldn’t have been a problem except for the poor drainage in this town. Apparently, some functionary at one time decided it was a good idea to get rid of the culverts and hump the streets instead. This tends to keep the streets dry, because moisture drains to curbs and street gutters, but since the gutters don’t drain as they should, water tend to puddle, making it impossible to cross the street on foot in wet weather.

Normally, I solve the problem of flooded gutters by walking in the street, but at the cross streets, there are bumper-scraping dips on either side of the road, which drain slowly, so on days like yesterday, not only do the gutters overflow, so do those deep dips. The flooding was so severe, I had to walk way out of my way to find places to cross the rivers of slush to get to work. By afternoon, there was so much slush, I wouldn’t have been able to find a way to avoid sloshing through the flooded areas, and I dreaded walking home in the inevitable sodden boots and socks.

The place where I work is two blocks from my house. I have walked those two blocks in deep snow, frigid winds, icy rains, moonless nights, horrendous heat. No matter what the weather, I have turned down offers of a ride because I wanted that small adventure.

Well, the slush defeated me, so last night, I gladly accepted a ride. It was the only way to get around and through the flooded areas.

Fearing that the slush would freeze overnight, I went out in the dark and shoveled the walk. I also shoveled my ramp from the front door to the sidewalk as best as I could without scraping off the paint and non-skid strips. My best wasn’t all that good because today I have an icy slide all the way down to the sidewalk, which sort of defeats the purpose of a handicap ramp. Luckily, the sun is out, so it won’t be long until the ice melts.

I have no idea what impact this weather will have on my tulips. They’d already started poking through the ground, but perhaps the temperatures didn’t drop below freezing long enough to have an effect. But there’s nothing I can do about it. The poor things are on their own.

As for me, I can only hope the melting will help drain the slushy street gutters and dips so I can manage to get to work with relatively dry feet. If not, well, I’ll bring dry shoes and socks so I won’t have to spend the day in sodden footwear.

These are last year’s tulips. With any luck, they will bloom again this year.


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.

A Single Blossom

I am not one who thrives on controversy. I just want to go along to get along, which is why I steer clear of hot issues such as politics or religion. Unfortunately, every once in a while I say something in a blog that hits people wrong, and I end up getting censured for something that was nothing more than an offhand remark.

Because the current situation continues to bewilder me — the repercussions, the ramifications, the lies and erroneous projections that were used to cause irreparable harm to so many people — I’ve been voicing my concerns. I haven’t meant to offend anyone with my comments and questions and half-facetious remarks. I’ve just been trying to sort through all the conflicting information we’re presented with, to mention the concerns I have, and to write of the things I have been thinking about. I’ve come to no conclusions, have no strong opinions. I’m simply . . . wondering.

The comments left here on this blog have been thoughtful and show an understanding of my dilemma, but those left elsewhere have been hurtful, so I’m eschewing the whole matter today and going with a topic that no one can chastise me for.


So far, only a single tulip has bloomed in my yard, but what a beauty!

Although a whole field of tulips can be dramatic, It doesn’t take huge numbers to make an impact. A single blossom can be just as beautiful and important and meaningful.

Which is good, considering all I have at the moment is this one flower.


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.