At 29

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There’s a certain perversity in the gift. This is one butt ugly Cockadoodle Rooster. Cement, no less, and stained the ugliest browns I could dream up.

I’ve been working for three years now on the flower bed out in front of the house. This is the year when it feels like it’s finally getting in the shape I had wanted—an oak leaf hydrangea, gladiola, daisies, yarrow, mums, roses, ornamental grass, foxglove, amaryllis, painted daisies and salvia, with some or all of them overlapping as they come into bloom. Some mornings, with the gentle light of dawn, I have marveled at the beauty of this little spot that is thriving because I tend to it, I weed, and fertilize, and plant, and prune, and, when no one is close by, talk to the plants encouragingly.

Yesterday, I got the present Sherod chose for me for our 29th wedding anniversary. It is so ugly it could make you cry. It is so “not me” as to be transcendent. It is so playful and dear and in my face, how can I not love it? There was only one place it could go, and that was in this beautiful little bed that might otherwise become too precious by half. So there he is. Sorta like the man I love.

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