Archive for June 15th, 2011

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Snapdragons Remind Me of My Father

June 15, 2011

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By Bernadine Chapman-Cruz

Right from the start, anyone could see that I was the apple of my father’s eye.  A big man, he was somewhat awkward handling a tiny squirming bundle, but his heart lacked the clumsiness of his hands because it was filled with love.

I don’t know where he learned his parenting skills being the last of 12 children whose father died when my father was barely two years old, but without benefit of a paternal role model, he did a wonderful job in filling a father’s shoes.  He loved me with all his heart because I was his baby daughter.

Over the years my father gave me some good advice. He told me “never lick a knife, because you might cut your my tongue, and be careful with pocket knives because you might cut your finger.” I guess my father knew the consequences of these acts from experience because he always carried a pocket knife that he used to sharpen pencils, cut string and slice fruit.

When I was two, we moved to a brand new home in the suburbs. My father took pride in his property, watering the lawn and caring for the yard, always with his precious daughter by his side.  My father’s favorite flower, the snapdragon, filled our flowerbed. He showed me how to pinch open the colorful blooms, exposing the yellow pistils.  “Don’t you be like these flowers,” he said.  “They don’t brush their teeth and they are all yellow.” Then we laughed like a father and daughter should.  Every time I see snapdragons, they remind me of my father.

  • Snapdragons are easy to grow
  • Come in a variety of colors: white, yellow, purple, crimson, bronze and pink
  • Excellent in flowerbeds
  • Attractive as edging and borders
  • Cut snapdragons make nice arrangements either single stems or when combined with other flowers
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