Greetings, faithful followers! I know the last two weeks have been trying, as Grumpy has been vacationing in Europe and unable to satisfy your bi-weekly Grumpy fix. But Grumpy has returned — refreshed, renewed, all charges dropped — with a vital insight into why so many people in the world love plants.
Flowers make us happy. Not just Southerners. Not just Americans. Everybody. People from Italy, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Croatia, Spain, Argentina, South Africa, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, and Ohio. (Just kidding, Ohioans — I love you guys, just not the Buckeyes. Nothing personal.) We like to be surrounded with flowers as much as possible and flood our eyes and noses with their incredible colors and delicious smells. We love blossoms even when we do not need them to make us fruits, or nuts, or seeds to physically sustain us. Their beauty suffices.
Down on the Corner
During our recent romp through Europe, consulting with various heads of state (Angela Merkl was a blast!), Judy and I stayed briefly at this little inn in Rome near the Vatican. Judy was jet-lagged from our flight from Atlanta, but I noticed a little flower shop on the corner that never seemed to close.
Open all day. Lights on all night. “I swear, I think the owner must live in the back,” I thought. I was right.
I went up to investigate and take a picture. The owner had laid out pots of very pretty flowers — cyclamens, azaleas, mums, and other things. Inside the door, I spied some beautiful sunflowers. When he saw me, he quickly came out. Though he spoke little English and I spoke even less Italian (I just keep saying, “Grazie” a lot — I feel you can’t get in too much trouble with that), he confirmed that he lived there and was open 24 hours. I told him I couldn’t buy anything, because I was getting on a cruise ship shortly, but I appreciated the opportunity just to look at the lovely spot he had carved into the world.
He was happy. I was happy. Flowers do that to you.