Little Yellow Flowers of Love....

Mi Abuelita y yo....

Published on LatinoLA: October 11, 2007

Little Yellow Flowers of Love....

Kids do and say the darndest things....

My 1st year in school (kindergarten) I used to go to Grandma Fela's house to wait for mom to get home so I could in turn walk home...

Grabbing my papers, the bell rings and I'm out the door of Ms. Hainer's class. Back then there were no permission slips, either you got on the bus or you simply walked home and that's all there was to it. Of course, I was lucky enough that Grandmas house was 1⁄2 a street away.

Looking both ways to see if cars were coming across a busy street, reving up, getting a head start, rocking back and forth and then took off running as fast as I could, jumping on the curb proudly at my final destination. Reaching the other side, taunting the little dog as usual fenced in on the corner house. Making a roaring sound, knowing it couldn't get me because he was held behind a fence.

Walking along in my white little tennis shoes, plaid green shorts, a lime green shirt to match and two red rubber bands holding my pigtails. Couldn't get dirty so I walked on the edge of the curb instead of the dusty lot before getting to grandma's house.

Opening the gray-like gate that proudly displayed "Esteban Cardenas" on it. Lobo grandma's dog always came to greet me. "Lobo, que chulo, good boy, good boy" and he would wag his tail uncontrollably. Was a full sized German Shepherd bigger than me but when I came to the gate he acted like a little baby puppy, wagging his tail and making doggy sounds.

Mi abuelita standing inside the screen door.... summons "Lobo, quitate! - Dejala"... as I scurry inside but not before wiping my feet on the top step carpet.

"Buenas tardes abuelita" kissing her hand. "Buena's tardes hijita, como te fue en la escuela?"

"Bien Gracias, abuelita," then placing my papers neatly by the end table next to the rocking chair. I follow her into the dining room. Stopping at the table, she tells me "vayase a lavar se las manos" not believing I forgot. I walk past the table to the screen door immediately to the left exiting the house. Walk out the door and am greeted by Lobo again and grab his face and rub my nose against his. My grandma looking through the door says "tambien lavese la cara" "Si abuelita" and I scurry along....

Walking toward the outhouse, I am greeted by grandmaÔÇÖs white duck, then stopping slowly by the cages of pets abuelita kept; a huge white rabbit, a raccoon, little multi colored ducks running after the momma, and three little kittens. I always wondered how my huelita did it to make the animals get along, but somehow, they did.

Looking at all the masetas of pretty flowers. I jump on the scattered bricks that lead the way to the gray cement outhouse. Which had a new sink, medicine cabinet, flushable toilet and a shower but.... was outdoors.

Jumping from the last brick into the doorway, I knock and ask... "ay gente" no one responding, I walk in. Head to the sink and open the faucet. Leaving the door open, I'm in huelita's view from the kitchen window. I aggressively use the soap, rinse my hands and wipe them on my shorts but forget she's watching so I wipe them on the towel too.

On the way back seeing abuelita is away from the window, try to chase the duck as he quacks and runs away. Looking back at the window, she's nowhere in sight. So I walk to the right side of the house and can see los gallineros (chicken cages) and huelito Esteban tending to them. Past him, is a huge swing attached to a limb on the humongous tree (which by the way isn't as big as I thought anymore). I see Lobo in the distance and try to hide from him and he sits there and barks anyway looking my way... and I hide again and he scurries off to the other side of the house.

Tiptoeing so he doesn't see me, I walk slowly admiring all my grandma's flowers.

As a little girl, I was deeply fascinated by grandma's flowers. She had soooo many. Looking at them one at a time, touching them, smelling them, admiring them. I don't know why but grandma's always do a fantastic job of keeping tons of plants.

Walking toward the front of the house which was my favorite spot. Abuelita had a maze of coffee canned flowers and old white rusted canister potted trees. Going through the little walkway acting like it was a big forest. I pretend I'm in The Wizard of Oz (my favorite movie) pretending to play Dorothy, I walk along.

Coming to my favorite little yellow flowers (I think they're called Sinensis) you know those pretty yellow flowers that have a tiny balloon like bloom before it turns into a flower. Time and time again, putting them between my hands and smacking them "POP" "POP"... was my favorite past time. Loved the popping sound. Going for the next one, I hear in the background

"QUE ESTAS HACIENDO!" I cringe.... Darn, I've been caught!

I nervously look at my grandma and stand at attention. Not knowing what to say, I shrug my shoulders.... and that's it! Grandma comes out of the front door and asks "porque haces eso" I wipe my eye and say "no se abuelita" and I begin to cry. With her hands on her hips she says "que te hacen las flores!?" I answer "nada abuelita" and she responds "entonces porque las tratas asi!?" And continues "te voy hacer apreciar las flores!" "De aqui en adelante vas a regar todas las matas, les vas a quitar todas las hojas secas, y les vas a escarbar cuando se necesite, entendido!?"

Glad I didn't get a whoopin, I respond "Si abuelita".

Grabbing me from my arm, she walks me to the side of the house where she kept all her gardening tools. She tells me "ahora no va ver galletitas!" Esta bien abuelita, I respond. "Toma esta palita, estos guantes, y esta cubeta de agua y regresate a las flores" she says then takes me back to the flowers.

She gets on her knees and begins to take the twigs out of the already made holes on the ground and takes the old leaves out as well and looks at me and tells me "ahora usted, acerquese a los rosales y eche les agua" I watch her and continue watering the rose beds. Trying desperately not to mess up or dirty my clothes, I proceed to the next flower pots lined up in a row. Trailing right beside me, I can see she's upset and feel so bad I start to tell her I'm sorry but she tells me "No tiene razon, no se porque una nina tan bonita y tan sonriente puede ser tan ingrata con las flores!?"

After scolding me and making me work for about what seemed an eternity, she tells me to put down the water bucket and walks me over to where my grandfather is sitting. Oh no, I think a double whammy, now its my grandpa's turn to scold me.

I sit nervously and try to straighten my shirt and looked down at the floor as my grandma explained what happened. My grandfather busy twirling some chicken wire, puts it down, looks at me and says "pos que nina, eso no lo esperaba de usted! - cree usted que esta bien!?" "No abuelito" I respond. Looking at me sternly he says "ahora le vamos a dar diez dias de trabajo por hacer lo que hizo, entendido!?" "Si abuelito" With a feeling of dread, I respond as I fidget in my seat. "Quien iba pensar que una nina tan inteligente como usted iba ser tal cosa" he says and continues with a "Pero despues de diez dias, yo tengo fe que nunca lo volvera hacer! - de acuerdo!" "Si abuelito"

As my grandma returns from the house, I see she's carrying a pitcher of agua limonada, I go over to help her and set the glasses down on the makeshift tree trunk table. She picks up the pitcher and gives my grandfather a glass and then once again asks me to do what she asked me to do in the first place. Go wash my hands and my face. I scurry quickly to the outhouse and hurry back as fast as I can. Sitting right back where I was told, she hands me a small grape jelly glass with fresh limonada, as my grandpa proceeds to tell me how extremely lucky I am because if it had been him that did such a thing, not only would he not be able to sit for a long time, he wouldn't be able to hold anything in his hands for a long time after that. And the lessons continue....

The next day, I'm back to gardening again and the day after and the day after, and the day after, and again and again. And I'll tell you, after all those days, I had found a new fondness for flowers. Only then did I realize why grandma felt about what I had done....

Passing by her already faded white/yellow trim wood frame home... even today, I can still smell all her beautiful flowers. Gazing as I drive by, I am still fond of those particular yellow flowers... They bring such beautiful valuable memories to mind... I can still see her and I tending to all those pretty flowers.....

Que en el cielo sonrie mi abuelita. I miss her so much! Both my grandparents taught me so much.... All that time spent, all those wise words..... I wouldn't trade any of those scolding lessons for anything in the world!

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