This is a picture of a Mr. Lincoln rose…it stands tall and stately…producing the most intoxicating fragrance imaginable. I think “Old Abe” would be proud to have his name associated with such beauty. This hybrid rose appeared in 1964 and was immediately referred to as an heirloom.
During the Lincolns’ stay in the White House…the garden looked like a southern garden with peach trees, strawberry vines, and roses…which President Lincoln would occasionally pick for Mary to wear in her hair.
Today a list of everything named for the 16th President would be quite lengthy…They include a memorial, a state capital, counties, parks, theaters, museums (our own Lincolnville, SC) and of course…pennies!
* I love this idea of what to do with the copper pennies:
(In fact, I think it would be very fitting if our government would find a way to plant this rose around the Lincoln Memorial…maybe even in copper pots made from recycled pennies!)
Yesterday I met with Rebecca Moore from our church for dessert and coffee/tea. She asked me if I had a set time to write the blog and how did I keep coming up with ideas. I told her in my mind I set time aside (2-3 hours) each day…but the timing varies depending on the day’s activities. It only took a remark, a picture, a quote, or song to stir up a story.
Yesterday I am so glad I held off writing the blog because today’s story was just about to be delivered right in my arm.!
After eating a hugh slice of pie…my eyes kept closing when I returned home so I finally gave in and closed them for a quick catnap. Sometime later there was soft knock at the door…Jo Dufford and her adorable granddaughter Colby walked in bearing a gift.
I was so excited when I received this book… I was ready for a good story and I had no doubt that there were 101 stories ready “to nurture the spirit” of this gardener!
Jo’s computer has been acting up (could sympathize with her) and none of the pictures from the blog were showing up…so she had come to see the garden for herself. After she and Colby left I decided to play a little game…I was going to randomly select a story from the book and that would be today’s story.
I think I did good…I love this uplifting little story….hope you do too!
My husband and I had birthdays six days apart. We always celebrated on a day in between by giving ourselves a joint present. One year we decided to buy a rosebush. So on a cold, blustery January day, we set off eagerly for the nursery to make our selection. After much thought, we chose a gorgeous, velvety, deep burgundy rose named “Mr. Lincoln.” With tall, straight stems, it’s as stately as our 16th president. It was sure to do well in our Northern California climate. And since my husband’s name was Abe, we thought it a good match.
We followed the planting directions and by early July, the “Mr. Lincoln” bush was loaded with lush burgundy blooms. I cut bouquets for most of July and well into August.
Years earlier, my husband and I had started a tradition. We loved to take early morning walks together. On our walks, the first one to spot a penny could keep the coin for the day’s good luck. At the end of the day, the “First Penny” was deposited in a small crystal dish. When there were enough pennies in the dish, we’d go out for an ice cream treat for two.
Years passed, happy years when the rose bloomed and the copper coffer grew.
Then it was over. On July 2, when “Mr. Lincoln” was in full bloom, my own Abe died. There would be no more walks, no more talks, and no more “First Penny” contests. I went to the garden that day, cut a bountiful bouquet of the roses and tearfully closed a chapter of my life.
Or so I thought.
A decade passed and on another July 2nd, I set out on my solitary walk. As I passed our rose garden, I thrilled to the bounty of blossoms on the “Mr. Lincoln” bush. My walk took me to a nearby park, and, as I came up behind the bandstand, there on the path, shining in the morning sunlight, was a bright copper penny! When I got home, I took the long-unused crystal dish our of the cupboard and put my First Penny in it.
Each morning in July after that day, I took a walk and found a First Penny-sometimes shiny bright and sometimes tarnished-but always there. I began to look for it eagerly. I sensed that a countdown was underway, though I didn’t know to what. One penny, two pennies, three pennies-more. At the end of July, thirty copper coins were in the crystal dish.
August first brought me the shining realization that the pennies were counting the days till our wedding anniversary on the 18th. If I found one every day between the anniversary fo Abe’s passing on July 2nd and our wedding anniversary on August 18th, I would have 48 pennies.
Suddenly I had a thought. Could it be? I counted out the years. Yes, it was true. This would be our 48th wedding anniversary!
I’m not a superstitious person, but I got hooked. The small ritual became a consuming passion. Eighteen days until our anniversary! I scarcely slept at night waiting for the dawn and the “First Penny.” I found the penny on the path in the park, in front of the convenience store, in the parking lot at the mall, and in front of the grocery store. Not a day was missed.
August 18th arrived. There were forty-seven pennies in the crystal dish. Would there be that last 48th?
On the afternoon of our anniversary, I drove to the supermarket to pick up some groceries. On the way back to my car, I looked down and there it was: “First Penny”, shimmering brightly in the late morning sun!
But there was more. When I returned to my car, there, on the hood, lay a single, long-stemmed “Mr. Lincoln” rose!
I picked it up reverently and pressed it to my lips, allowing the tears to flow unashamedly. How could this be? How had he done this? As I stared at the lovely flower in amazement, a young man closed the trunk of the neighboring car and walked up to me.
“Oh,” he said. “Sorry! That’s for my wife. It’s our anniversary.”
“That’s quite all right,” I said, smiling at him through my tears. “Thank you. Thank you so very much.” I handed him the rose and he smiled at me.
“You must be thinking of someone special,” he said gently.
“Yes,” I replied, “and he was thinking of me.”
………………………………………………….( Bernice Bywater)
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh