I had the most wonderful surprise this past week. A large very light weight box arrived on my front doorstep. I came inside and didn’t have my reading glasses on to see whom it was from. I zipped it open and inside was a bright red teddy bear. There was also a note from Rick Haney, the husband of my dear departed fellow Master Gardener friend, Carla Haney. It seems that he had taken Carla’s old staff shirt and had it made into this teddy bear for me. Isn’t that the sweetest thing you ever heard?
Carla was one of my good friends while working as a secretary at Shirland School. She was the librarian and the Advisor of the Quiz Bowl team. I called them the Nerd Bowl team. There were some very special students on those nerd bowl teams.
Carla became a Master Gardener while I worked at the school. She insisted that I had to become a MG also. I vowed that when I retired, I would do it.
Over the years we shared so much. She and I would trade music and I discovered quite a few new loves. We talked about gardens and gardening. Her house plants that she kept in the library thrived. One was named George. George is a Monstera deliciosa and is huge. One leaf covers two hand widths.
Not George, but Cheryl, my Monstera deliciosa.
When Carla retired I somehow inherited George. I had a new security office built with a foyer for visitors. George was moved to the foyer and I became his caretaker.
When I retired several years later, I was told to take George with me. Unfortunately, I already had a Monstera deliciosa and could not house two. I promised to find George a home before the next school year began.
I was at my veterinarian’s office the next week and realized that they have an enormous waiting room (about 3 stories tall) and lots of windows. They already had a couple of house plants. Maybe they could take George.
Sure enough the wonderful vets at Brodhead Veterinary Clinic drove down to Shirland with their horse trailer and brought George back to live with them. I get to see him whenever I visit.
So I have two flashback memories of Carla -- with my little Carlabear and whenever I take Jessie dog to the vet and visit George. Just lovely reminders of a very special friend.
Photo at the top is of me, Carla Haney (in back) and the infamous, Toni Bortoli, nurse extravaganza.