Monday, August 25, 2008

Growing Grandma

Since I do not know the botanical name for this hibiscus, I have nicknamed it Grandma. You might think this a rather odd name for a flower, but I think it is rather fitting considering its history.

My Grandma Collins, who passed away some time ago, was born, raised, married and then raised her own in the North Georgia Mountains. Her house was nestled right below a small mountain and overlooked a breath taking view. As a child, I have warm memories of being chased by mad mama pigs, picking corn and riding on my Granddad's tractor. One of my favorite things to get to do on my visits was getting to lick the rolling paper of my Granddad's cigarettes made with Prince Albert tobacco and then watch him seal it closed and twist the ends just so.

My dad recently brought me over what looked like a stick in a pot. He assured me it was not a stick, but a hibiscus. In fact, it was not jut any hibiscus. It was my Grandma's hibiscus dug up from Blairsville and moved down to his house. He went on to tell me the story of how the hibiscus came to be.

While my Granddad was away at war, my Grandma went to work in Atlanta to help support the family. While she was there, she fell in love with this lovely red hibiscus and dug up a clump to take home with her in the mountains. There it had grown contently for years. Content to stay put no longer, my Grandma hibiscus now has homes all over Georgia as I share parts of her with others. She even won 1st place when I showed her blossom at the fair last year. I think my Grandma would have liked that.

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