My grandmother James had a rose bush, the lightest of pink and quite small. If you looked out the kitchen window just right, craning your neck a bit, you could see the little thing. To be precise, it was planted in the back corner of the lawn by the pasture behind a huge lilac bush. I’m surprised it lived at all, but as my dad always said, “roses are either going to die or nothing is going to kill them.” By the time I was old enough to notice it, the shrub must have been over thirty years old.
At our home on Maple Street, outside my kitchen window, is a rose bush, the lightest of pink and rather huge. I watch each spring as the first leaves appear, then the buds start, finally the tips of the pink petals appear. It’s a bit of game between me and that rose bush – overnight, the little show of pink erupts to a full display of antique rose perfection before abruptly keeling over, dropping the petals to the ground, and that’s it for another year. I have to be quick if I want a bouquet. The roses belong to my neighbor, and if memory serves, they were planted by his wife when they first owned the house, well over thirty years ago. I don’t think he cares much for the roses but leaves them there since she planted them, in her memory.