R a i n d r o p s

Friday, April 18, 1997

Raindrops, robins, narcissus and myriad other indicators;
all harbingers of a gentle Spring, sweltering Summer and a cool Fall.

i've always liked Spring, closely followed by Fall. Winter and Summer are for others, at this point in my life. Those two extremes, although seasons apart, are too radical. I prefer gentler seasons.

Spring Fling
An Open House is a social event, as well as a business function. Each Spring, we hold one on what we think will be a safe weekend hopefully free from snow, cold and rain but the best laid plans often go awry. The Grand Opening in '91 was perfect; just over 3,000 people, who were curious about such a unique Garden Center & Nursery as ours, visited and left with treasures they couldn't find anywhere else, and some warm fuzzies about the place and people.

Each year, either The York Symphony String Quartet plays Vivaldi et al, or Rob Winter, world-renowned classical and jazz guitarist from Columbia, MD, plays selections from Segovia, Chick Corea et al, a local vineyard serves their finest cabernet and chardonnay offerings, and we have snacks from a local eatery. This year, it was Rob's turn to entrance the crowds with his magical fingers on the 12-string.

The 20 acre facility was readied by Friday we'd spent most of the week in preparation in between unloading new nursery stock from six tractor trailers, getting several landscape jobs completed, making mulch deliveries and meeting with new customers to hone details on their projects. We were also awarded a $100,000 commercial job at a high-end computer graphics company north of York, PA. Late Friday afternoon, another trucker rolled in, having been held up in traffic and accidents around DC; he was scheduled to arrive that morning so we could unload his trailer and he could return to Tennessee. Now, he'll have to stay over at a truck stop until Monday morning when the crews arrive to unload the huge, 4" caliper, 25-30ft trees.

It rained all day for this year's Open House now de rigeur but the hundreds who visited were treated to a great afternoon in spite of the uncooperative weather. I spent most of the day reviewing landscape plans with customers, showing them the nursery stock and perennials I'd designed into their projects, and closing the deals. We're booked into June now.

I both look forward to the Open House and to when it's over: immediately afterward, we can get to our scheduled landscape projects and move on. Our last frost date in USDA Zone 6b is April 20th. By then, the weather has usually cleared up, the dangers of frost and freak snow-ice storms is past, and the plant material screams, plant me, dammit!

On Monday, it all starts in earnest.

Well, I thought it would. I'm really dragging this morning: the 10-12 hours days as I gradually build up to the 18-20 hour days are beginning to take their toll. The crews are tired, too, from last week's pace. But they're young and will recover quickly. Aspirin doesn't help me anymore. Instead, I have a glass of fine, cabernet sauvignon when I get home and drift off into la-la land. It'll take a while to acclimate myself to the new schedule; at 47, I'm a notch slower than I was a few years ago. Everything in due time.

Each Spring, numerous garden clubs, scout troops, schools and civic organizations visit our Garden Center and Nursery; they hold monthly or weekly meetings, we provide tours and demonstrations and they spend a partial day among some of the world's rarest, most unusual and hardest-to-find plant material.

Lots of ooooohs and aaaaahs abound when they see these specimens up close and personal. I enjoy their wonder at some of these little jewels of the plant kingdom.

This year, I've spoken to more people than ever before and previous years were very busy with many tours coming through about alpine plants, miniature conifers and deciduous plants, our Website, the InterNet, gardening, perennials, propagation, marketing and the many other topics of interest on their agendas.

I hope it stays this busy with this kind of activity in the coming years; it's good to see so such interest at all levels.

Web Disorder?
It's the first time I've heard of the InterNet being directly directly linked to Information Fatigue Syndrome, the newly chic disorder such as carpal tunnel once was. But with far darker implications.

Pornography, credit card frauds, cults and now medical disorders. Gosh, it almost sounds like real life.

Bob Dole, Loanshark
The Bobster just can't seem to stay out of it all. Now he's agreed to loan Newt The Crook the $300,000 he needs to satisfy the fine that The House of Representatives levied against Gingrich for ethics violations.

Gingrich gets a reprieve, since he can't afford to pay the sum entirely himself. Seems his wife owns everything and guards the checkbook.

These politicians are as thick as flies on a pile of dogshit. Dole now demonstrates he has no ethics or morals by paying-off some Gingrich IOUs from the '96 General Election Disaster. I'm now sorry I voted for him; not that he had a snowball's chance in hell anyway. What a bad joke.

School Days
I remember being assigned many different projects in grade, jr. high and high school, and having to do some serious research to find the answers, formulate theories and present information, but today's kids really have it easy: the awesome resource of the InterNet.

I get dozens of requests from schoolchildren all over the world for gardening-related information; all seemingly a matter of life and death. They need all 37 questions answered yesterday, because their paper is due in two days. I always oblige with whatever they need. My Dad was there to help me and point the way, so I figure these kids are either not asking for, or if they are, are not receiving the help they need. I enjoy returning the help.

Happy Birthday
By the way, my Dad just turned 73 on Thursday, April 17th. Happy Birthday, Dad!

The Gloves Are Off
Mother Jones, a noted liberal magazine holdover from the 70s, has finally seen the crimes of Slick Willie and is placing blame and responsibility where it belongs: on the criminal Clinton's head.

I'm impressed. I had sent them some notes about their previously unabashed defense of Clinton and liberals, but they've somehow seen the light and are now calling Clinton and the liberals what they are: liars and cheats. Read what the editor says in an interview. Cool, for a liberal left-wing nut 'zine. Since all previous opinions of his about the subject were very anti-Conservative or anti-Republican, I wonder just what changed his mind?
MoJo has an interesting list of lists, plus some very revealing stories about campaign fund raising anomalies.

Welfare Workers?
In a very desperate effort to look like he's doing something other than defending himself and fellow criminals against so many investigations, Slick Willie has declared that the Federal Government will hire 10,000 welfare recipients to fill federal jobs. Huh?

It's simply a shell game he's proposing: just take money from one of our pockets instead of another. It's convoluted thinking, yet typical of the sleazy liberal, socialist mentality. They still believe that they're the best judges of how to spend our money for us. This make work program by liberals is another example of socialism and communism within our federal government. Our that's yours and mine taxes will fund this scam.

Because they're spending all their time in damage control, the Clinton criminals are desperate for any act of progress, so he'll use his so-called executive powers to ram this shit down our throats. Anyone conservative or liberal or moderate who spoke against this scam would be crucified publically by sleazy, special interest groups aplenty. Screw political correctness; call Clinton what he is! The Slickster has once again gained the upper hand on Congress. he's getting credit in the press because it's happening on his corrupted watch.

The money trail from the illegal fund raising activities becomes more convoluted as investigations proceed. When someone get tagged for a felony, they'll drop dimes all over others, and it'll roll into Clinton's face. This mess is already bigger than Watergate, and getting much momentum.

The US Attorney General Janet Reno had denied claims of need of a Special Prosecutor by Congress. Now the shit hits the fan. Some of the powerbrokers are pissed off.

Even The Slickster's former cabinet officers are writing books and memoirs about what a scumbag Clinton is. These are people of his once inner-sanctum and are dropping tidbits about how morally bankrupt Clinton & Co really is.

Classics Archives
When I studied both Latin and Classical Greek languages in high school and college for eight years, an archive of the classical authors would have been nice to refer to. I visit this place often. Latin, Greek and English translations are available for the vocabulary challenged.

I enjoy finding new points of view (POV) in obscure 'zines, and I found a nice read: Smug. Are they haughty or what?

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