Lovely kudzu in bloom, the Soul of the South.
“It is demonstrable,” said he, “that things cannot be otherwise than they are; for as things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. “ — Candide
During this past week of Thanksgiving vacation, His Grumpiness has rediscovered one of his favorite books, the classic Candide. Written by Voltaire, a distant cousin, this tale clearly explains that since this world and everything in it has a purpose that cannot be otherwise, we therefore live in the best of all possible worlds.
With this in mind, Grumpy would like to enumerate some of the things for which he is grateful on this holiday, even if they would happened regardless of his existence.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL for the existence of kudzu in the South, for without it the abandoned cars, refrigerators, propane tanks, rusty school buses, and caved-in shacks that litter our countryside would be clearly visible year-round.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL that P. Allen Smith lives in Arkansas.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL that people like exotic plants, for without them our gardens would be dreadfully dull.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL for his lush, spacious lawn, because it makes so many people in California so mad.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL that Brian’s girlfriend is both pretty and smart, proof that he has followed his father’s example.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL that in his quest to use only renewable fuel his wife discouraged him from burning manure in the furnace.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL that he bought a lovely vacation home in North Korea for a song.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL that his home state of Alabama is nothing like the stereotype you see in the media, you snooty New Yorkers, you.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL that his copy editor, Libby Minor, checks his copy for typos, accuracy (a total waste of time), and anthrax.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL that photographers Van Chaplin and Ralph Anderson continue to record amazing images of gardens after Grumpy tells them exactly what to photograph.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL for the humorless people who can’t take a joke, because their inflammatory responses are so darn funny.
GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL to have worked at Southern Living for more than 25 years, despite the annual protest marches.
Most of all, GRUMPY IS GRATEFUL for you, his faithful readers, who continue to display a level of sophistication, taste, and intellectual curiosity unparalleled in the rapidly changing world of horticultural journalism.
“Excellently observed, ” answered Candide, “but let us cultivate our garden.”