I HAD THE WEEKENDS OFF and was surrounded by the most beautiful beaches on earth so I spent my weekend crabbing and resting around the gulf. When I realized there was about a month until school started back I made plans for a cheap flight to Jamaica. I could see that I could easily be replaced by another set of hands. The owner let me store my beetle at one of the rental houses and I took off for an adventure on the money I had saved from that job. I know this was another one of my crazy harebrained ideas but I had written Trek bicycle company a letter asking them to sponsor me on a trip. I was going to ride my bright yellow trek mountain bike around the Jamaican island and take lots of photos including the bike in the photos and they could use the photos for advertising. They actually wrote me back to say “thanks, but no thanks“ instead of just throwing my request in the garbage can. I thought that was nice of them to even reply. I’ll look back on that and laugh but at the time it seemed like the best idea ever. I spent my month down there taking mini buses all over the country. My last week was spent getting closer to the Sun Splash music festival that occurs every year in August. The festival that year was a tribute to Bob Marley, one of my all-time favorites. The week leading up to the festival was the best part as the musicians and the fans begin to show up by the busload. I set up my tent and took it all in.
THE NIGHTS BEFORE the festival, impromptu jams were happening everywhere. I wound up in a drum circle with Bunny Wailer, one of the original Wailers. I couldn’t believe I was sitting right across from one of my music heroes. When that week of craziness ended, it was time to go home and I needed some rest. When I got back to Flowerwood I heard that the guy that drove Garden Works 18 wheeler was on his way to pick up a load of shrubs. I helped them load the truck leaving just enough room on the truck for my Volkswagen. We pulled her up on the loading dock and drove her onto the back of the truck. I told the driver a few Jamaican stories then crawled into the sleeper of the truck and slept all the way home. When we got to Garden Works I drove the beetle onto our loading dock, unloaded the truck full of bushes and headed back to Starkville to finish my degree in horticulture. We still buy from Flowerwood and it seems their quality and range has gotten even better. That will be a summer to remember, a little work and a little play. Actually it was a lot of work and a lot of play. I think about that summer every time I pick up just one three gallon azalea in each hand just to spite my boss from that job. I AM HOPING THAT you have found your groove in this new world we are experiencing. It’s getting easier for me dealing with this Covid mess. I’ve gotten used to having my mask with me and bumping elbows instead of handshakes. We need to hang tight for a while longer. Make your yard your refuge where you make your own rules and find a way to relax there as the weather allows for that more and more.