A Rose in December


Early morning, December 5, 1998 , by Carol Abbott


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        Missouri weather is an interesting phenomenon. We have blistering heat and, almost always, a lot of humidity during the Summer, except, of course, when we have the occasional Summer where temperatures never reach 95 degrees all season long, and in the Autumn everyone says: "well, it just never did seem like we had a Summer this year, and now it's already Fall".

          One year the weather will be very rainy---but maybe the next, we will experience a drought and be asked kindly by the city fathers to only water our lawns on even-dated days.

          We are in the middle of "tornado alley" here in Kansas City. We have had some 'doosies' in this vicinity over the course of my lifetime but, Thanks Be, not too many. However, the first Wednesday (or is it another day?) of each month, they test the sirens on the warning system just about 11 o'clock a.m. (or is it 12?). I'm so used to this happening that it's pretty automatic and my usual response is to look at my watch and if it's "just on the hour" and, if the weather doesn't seem threatening, to just go about my business and wait for the sirens to wind down.

          But, I digress. Suffice to say that here in Missouri we take the weather however it gets dished out to us. Sometimes we get a banquet.

          This fall of 1998, has been truly wonderful. The trees, while not really as spectacular as last year's, put on a fine and colorful display that began before the kids headed back to school and peaked just before Halloween.   But unlike most years, I was still admiring little pockets of flame colored foliage here and there just a week ago as I brought the 19 and 3/4 pound turkey and all the trimmings to our Thanksgiving table.

           Thanksgiving day was a wonder, with temperatures in the 70's, bright sunshine and the chance for all the grandkids to "take it outside" for the afternoon and give the adults a little peace.

          This week the weather was so good, and warm, that the merchants were complaining that seasonal sales are down. No one can believe that Christmas is a scant three weeks away.

          On December 4th, I was clearing the porch of the chrysanthemums and pumpkins from Thanksgiving, in preparation for Christmas decorating. I had these lovely pots of mums from early fall and I bought silk mum bushes from Wal-Mart to replace the blooms for 'Turkey Day'. But the artificial ones are still in the bag in the basement because the real ones were 'more than up to the task, thank you'.

          I took the pots around back with some idea of toeing them into the ground, if I have time before the ground freezes and there, like an early Christmas Gift, was the most perfect single white rose nodding toward me. I do mean Perfection....Her stem long and straight, the blossom only about half open. It looked so gorgeous there that I wanted to leave it, bathed in bright sunlight, but I also wanted to cut it and bring it into the house, so I could savor it's December majesty.

          As I am writing this, she sits across the room in Mom Abbott's crystal bud vase. She presides, like a Queen, over the chaos of boxes and plastic storage containers scattered around the living room as we decorate our tree and the rest of the house for Christmas. Beside her, as Ladies in Waiting, is a shorter vase holding the last (?) of the pink roses and buds, which I cut also. That pesky weatherman is saying that by next week the daytime highs will only reach the upper 30's.

          A rose out of season.... I feel like I am being given a very special Present to carry me on into this Christmas Season. God does Bless us Everyday, if we just watch for His signs.



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