When I was a child, my mother and father loved to garden. My parents' garden was featured in magazines a few times, it was so beautiful. My father built unusual rock gardens and my mother filled them with flowering cactii and other wonderful plants. On Sunday afternoons we used to go for drives along country roads -- Cherry Creek Road and Beaver Creek Road -- and get cow manure for fertilizer from some of the old farmhouses. One Sunday afternoon it was late as we were driving back, and the sun was just setting as we drove past a cottage with beautiful delphiniums in the front yard. My parents stopped the car to have a better look. These delphiniums were magnificent, at least six to eight feet tall. My mother was
"Can't hurt to ask", my Dad replied.
Here were go again. I slouched further into the back seat of the car.
An ancient, old man and his wife greeted my parents and invited them into the house, so I went with them. There was no electricity, just a faint twilight came in through the windows, and as my eyes adjusted to the light, I could see the house was immaculately tidy. There were little pots of primroses placed throughout the living room and starched, white, lacey doilies on all the furniture. I wondered how long the elderly couple had been together, and if they had lived in the house with their children when they were young. I imagined they had lived there for all those years without electricity. My parents chatted with them for a few minutes, and the woman told my mother to take cuttings of anything she liked in the garden, which she did. The delphiniums soon found a place of honour in the garden on the west side of our house.
A few weeks later, on one of our Sunday afternoon drives, we went past the house again. My mother wanted to stop for a moment and chat with the old couple, to let them know their cuttings had found a good home. No one was there, and the house looked dilapidated and abandoned, and the once well-cultivated garden looked unkempt. My mother called over the fence to the neighbours to enquire about the elderly couple. The neighbours looked puzzled, "What elderly couple?"
"The old man and his wife who live here," said my Mom.
"No one lives there," said the neighbour. "An elderly couple lived there many years ago, but that house has been abandoned for over a decade."
None of us spoke on the way home, and we never mentioned it again. My mother pulled the delphiniums out of the garden and replaced them with something else.
Some things in life just have no explanation, and it's best not to try...