The above title sounds like a romance novel that my friend, Dorothy, might write. It would be about these 3 college co-eds at Georgia State, named Magnolia, Peaches and Sharon. These 3 room-mates would fall in love with 3 brothers whose father, a New Jersey mobster, is named Joey Gardenia.
However, the title is more like a mystery that I might write. I would sub-title it; “or, what happens when you leave home for 35 days.”
First of all, I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to leave your home for years and go fight in some strange foreign land. I know the armed services are a volunteer outfit, so while you’re gone, your home town area has probably gone through 2 sets of seasons, little kids have grown a foot, cars are running on electric, and the music has even gotten stranger.
No, I’m just writing about what happens when you voluntarily leave for 5 weeks. You wouldn’t want to miss your mom’s 97th birthday would you? You wouldn’t want to miss your grandson’s graduation, would you? So, buy two round trip tickets across the country for the same month, or, stay and visit. I’ve been doing that 5 week stay for a few years now, and for the exact same reasons. Next year (Go Adam!), I will do it again.
The first thing I noticed, as I arrived home, was the Magnolia tree in the front yard is in bloom. This is a huge Magnolia tree closing in on 100 years old.
Actually, that was the second thing I noticed. The first thing I saw was my wife was even more beautiful than ever; then I saw the Magnolia.
Next to the Magnolia tree were the blooming gardenias. They always bloom at graduation time, annually.
At the side of the house, sitting behind my dirty, dusty car, was the peach tree with new peaches, just a month away from ripening.
In the backyard, a once-little tree called the Rose of Sharon, has become a large tree. It was in magnificent bloom.
It’s so nice to be surprised with new spring beauty. If I would have stayed home, I would have gradually noticed the daily changes, but now I’m given the immediate explosion of early June…very cool.
It only took another day to realize that some things changed suddenly for the worse. One day after arriving home, I took my filthy car to “my” car wash, conveniently located a few blocks away. It had closed up. Since I had to drive a few miles to another car wash, I stopped at my favorite “drive-thru” for my Chai. Oh, No! A new girl! I had to go through the whole pansy routine at least 3 times. “Vanilla Chai…3 scoops not 2, non-fat milk, no whipped cream, extra hot….preferably 165 degrees on your steamer…..thank you” I will have to break her in for at least a week.
I knew I shouldn’t have left.