I jumped the gun, and the pansies of the world are probably freaking out in their collective consciousness. I planted pansies and violas on April 6 in frost-prone Minnesota because I just couldn’t wait. I also have buckets of relatives descending on me in May and wanted my yard to look pretty. Still it was a harsh thing to do.

It was only supposed to get down to 38 last night, a temperature the woman at the nursery assured me the pansies could take. (Of course, I was the only one roaming the aisles at the nursery in April, and I must have looked like a sucker as I approached the cash register.) So when I got up this morning and saw the thermometer at 32, hovering at that magical kiss-of-death mark, I hurried to the window. The pansies did not look happy.

I hope their melancholia will improve during the day as the sun does its thing.

I admit I am seeking some control over nature because right now she is kicking my butt. The Mississippi River has already flooded my daughter’s wedding venue once and will likely do it again in the next week. A month before the wedding, we are scrambling to formulate Plan B. It is both good and bad that my daughter is an organizer. She gets stressed when things do not go as planned, but, on the other hand, she can “list” her way out of almost any catastrophe.

My father tells stories of growing up on an island in the Mississippi between Missouri and Illinois. Every few years the river rose and turned the living room into a swimming pool of dirty water and desperate creatures (snakes!). When the water went down, they tossed out the critters and commenced cleaning. We don’t have it that bad, but then my father never had to figure out what to do with 160 guests and uncooperative pansies.

So I am rooting for the pansies and a dry April and my daughter’s list-making abilities.


To hear how it all turned out, check out my piece on planning an uncommon wedding.