A day after my bride’s “polar plunge” in still frigid Lake Champlain, I’m swimming and drifting in the warm waters of Antigua, enjoying a free ranging conversation with one of my nephews, allowing salt and surf and steel band sounds (drifting intermittently from further up the shore) to exercise the sort of deep relinquishing that comes from knowing a vacation has only just begun.
Before departing Rosslyn I handed off germinating spring starts (broccoli and cucumbers) to Pam along with various vegetable and flower seeds that will be sown before long. Among the latter, thousands of poppy seeds. Always plenty of Red Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas aka Flanders Poppy) seeds as well as Shirley Poppy seeds, a cultivar of Papaver rhoeas that reminds me of my mother-in-law, Shirley Bacot Shamel. As my affection for poppies has long since escaped the restraint of manly propriety, I’ll concede that one of my spring fever symptoms is an infatuation with poppy plants, poppy blooms, poppy seed pods. And, in the case of the Shirley Poppy blooms, there’s always the added excitement since variations allow for intriguing surprises.