Slice of Life 26 – Plants and Food and a Lifelong Love #sol24

26 March 2024 TwoWritingTeachers.org

Forty-seven years ago my husband took me on a date to Quail Gardens. Today, for the first time, we returned. Now it’s called the San Diego Botanic Garden. So often today we were reminded of something from our first time here. Just a few of the dozens of photos I took:

Dragon Tree
A staghorn fern. Wouldn’t this be fun to have mounted on your wall?
Peaches and Cream Angel Trumpet – Isn’t that the cutest name?
Just some of the flowers we saw.

The bird-of-paradise (lower left hand flower) was one of the first plants we saw. I told my husband just this morning I had read a Bird-of-Paradise poem, and he asked me to tell him about it. So I looked it up and read it to him! (Written by our own slicer Joanne Emery.) Speaking of birds, today was the first time I confirmed my email on Merlin and used the app to listen to the birds in the garden. Thanks to Fran and Kim, my bird lover friends and fellow slicers. There were a lot of song sparrows, but the most interesting time was when I record this Red-Shouldered Hawk and Yellow-rumped Warbler who seemed to be carrying on a conversation.

Elephant Foot Tree (What?)
We got new hats–mine with a quail and Keith’s with a roadrunner. Notice this is after I lost one of my earrings. I didn’t realize it until a couple hours later.

After this we ate (a sandwich) and ate (a chocolate oatmeal bar) and ate (ice cream) and ate (a made-to-order donut).

It had Heath bar pieces and caramel on top of a warm cake donut.

Then we went to the beach to walk a couple more miles.

The water was 58 degrees. Here are some surfers getting ready to go in.

Inspired by Barb’s recent pantoum, I gave it a try today.

To Keith

Years later and even more I belong to you
One of our first dates was to Quail Garden
It took seven years for you to break through
For you to convince my heart not to harden

One of our first dates was to Quail Garden
You say I had on white shorts and a red tee
For you to convince my heart not to harden
You had to be patient, and you were with me

You say I had on white shorts and a red tee
Don’t know how you remembered what I wore
You had to be patient, and you were with me
Though it took me time, it is you I adore

Don’t know how you remembered what I wore
There’s magic in the moments you give
Though it took me time, it is you I adore
Red roses and quail on a day to relive

There’s magic in the moments you give
It took seven years for you to break through
Red roses and quail on a day to relive
Years later and even more I belong to you

10 thoughts on “Slice of Life 26 – Plants and Food and a Lifelong Love #sol24

  1. Denice, your poem is a tenderly-created, loving poem to your husband. He must be filled with joy. Your photos are full of spring’s touch. I saw the bird-of-paradise photo and poem just before your slice popped up. Have a wonderful week and I will see you at PF/Slice of Life.

  2. Denise,
    Your pantoum is a little steamy! In all seriousness, it is a lovely celebration of a lifetime of love. You both look so happy, and reading about your visit to the botanical garden, shared treats, walk on the beach, new hats, every line you e penned and shared today puts a smile on my face. Sweet dreams, lovebirds!

  3. Denise, there is magic in your pantoum – – the magic of love, which, really….is a magical gift. The chemistry must be spot on. The truth is the test of time, and here you are, back in a place you visited before, sporting your quail hat to remember Quail Garden. I think it’s funny that he chose a roadrunner hat – – he didn’t run, he stayed! That is just a precious, precious way to spend a day with the one you love. And the food…..oh, that donut. Heath is my favorite candy bar. All other Dairy Queen Blizzards can kindly step aside – – Heath is the way to go, and on a donut??? Yes, sometimes food is just a way to celebrate the day. Cheers!

  4. What a testimony to a life full of love! The poem was lovely and the pictures were special. I loved being along with you on the celebratory day!

  5. OH MY GOODNESS, this is a love story on multiple levels. I felt the happiness grow as you described the memories and images and your love. Congratulations on making it back to your roots (pun intended)

  6. Gorgeous gift of a poem for your dear husband! I love this line, especially – “Though it took me time, it is you I adore” – I’m not even sure exactly why; it just makes me smile, how love triumphs. Glad you had such a special day together – the beach walk looks like a bit of heaven.

  7. Wow, Denise, your pantoum is fantastic. I bow down to your amazing skill. I love the photos of your trip and how you tie in your first dating experience into your post and your poem. Sure looks like a beautiful place and could I please have a bite of that donut. I mean, wow!

  8. WOW!! Your story of returing to your first date got to me. Then you posted photos! Then you wrote it into an amazing poem.
    SO much love.
    An inspiring gift shared – thank you!

  9. Wow! I love the photos and following your adventures in my hometown. I know right where you ate those donuts and I’ve taken students to Quail Gardens (I think some of us still refer to it with that name) many times. It really is a hidden gem in our community. Your poem is touching–the format seems to work perfectly and emphasizes both the barrier broken through and the depth of connection.

  10. This is beautiful, Denise. I love the pantoum when it carries itself forward with poised repetition and shows growth (in this case of an enduring relationship and love). Precious, really. I, too, was fascinated with the Bird-of-Paradise poem and actually looked up information about their dramatic presentation. Also, my son brought his staghorn fern from Louisiana, one of the few plants that made the trip, and it is proudly situated beside his front door here in Oregon. (I hope his son gets the same kind of love and attention.😉) Happy Anniversary-of that momentous date!

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