Fingerprint Friday – Hydrangeas

Fingerprint Friday was started by Beki, at The Rusted Chain. It was inspired by the song by Steven Curtis Chapman that contains the line…”when I look at you, I can see the fingerprints of God.” To participate and/or visit all of the blogs that participate, go to the Fingerprint Friday Post on Beki’s blog and follow the instructions. 

Today’s fingerprints are beautiful, fluffy, moppy topped hydrangeas. I love them. 

These lovely fingerprints of God always remind me of my grandmother, Effie Ellington Lee Dobbs. 
She’s the one after whom I named my Etsy shop.
She had a marvelous green thumb. She could grow anything from practically nothing.
She would buy plants at Woolworth’s (the five and dime.)
You know the kind:  the pitiful, scraggly ones with two leaves and a faded bloom on a tall, skinny stalk.
She would then transform them into the most beautiful and lush masterpieces of God’s creation.

I asked her once why she chose the ugly ones. She admonished me, in that clipped tone she would sometimes use with me, “None of them is ugly.”
I didn’t agree at the time…they looked ugly to me.
Apparently, my look conveyed my disagreement. “Some,” she continued, “have been neglected and need a loving touch so that they can show their beauty. That is all that is wrong with them. These wonderful creations of God, are much like children: they need to be watered, fed, nurtured and pruned, so that they may grow to their fullest potential.”  
In the 1970’s researchers at some university somewhere, determined that one should talk to one’s plants.
I asked Ellie if she talked to her plants.
 “Yes, I suppose I do in a way. I don’t talk out loud, but I do speak to them in my head.” 
“What kinds of things do you say?”  I wondered.
“Oh, I don’t know. Things like, ‘here let me just prune back this little bit of your stem and then you will branch out and grow fuller.’ or ‘how about a drink of water, girls.’ Things like that. But mostly, I just hum a tune. I think they like that best.”
Much later, I would find that researchers had determined that plants enjoy classical music.
“Probably not as much as my grandmother’s humming,” I thought to myself.

Ellie’s lessons in horticulture have stayed with me through the years. 
Some of them, perhaps, have been carried out in an inappropriate way. For example, when my dad and I went to pick out the Christmas tree each year, I always wanted the scraggly one. The one that no one in their right mind else would choose. He had to explain that the difference between the cut Christmas trees and Ellie’s pitiful plants was one of living:  The trees were cut and no longer living, the plants were living. There was nothing I could do to make the pitiful tree look better. “It will look beautiful when we decorate it,”  I begged.  I won the battle–one year only. The family never let me live it down or win the battle again. Actually, I didn’t really try all that hard after my big win, for fear that I might actually win again. My “pitiful” tree made Charlie Brown’s look good. Even, I saw that.
However, I do use Ellie’s lessons appropriately in other ways. My husband always shakes his head  at me when I head to the clearance table in the garden center. “Hmmm.” I utter under my breath, “Who would like an extreme makeover at my house?  Let’s see now, you just need a pinch taken off here…a bit of fertilizer would fatten you right up…well, well, aren’t you a beauty, hiding there….”  
Yes, I always think of my grandmother when I see hydrangeas…
I always think of my grandmother when I see flowers…
I always think of my grandmother…
Thank you, Ellie dear. 

10 thoughts on “Fingerprint Friday – Hydrangeas

  1. Lovely photos of your beautiful flowers. You must have learned a lot from your grandmother. I love the quote about none of them being ugly, just needing a loving touch. Just like all of us. Thanks for this thoughtful post.


  2. Oh, dear Vicki…you are such an amazing writer/storyteller…This was phenomenal…and the photos of the hydrangeas were absolutely EXQUISITE!!!! I couldn't stop smiling as I read this post…so filled with beauty and wisdom…just like you. Love you, my dear friend! Thank you for the beautiful fingerprints you leave on my life everyday!!! Love, Janine XOXO


  3. What a lovely story to match the lovely flowers! I so agree with your grandmother. I always go to the “Reduced” plant racks. I love to care for the sickly looking ones that no one wants. I pray a lot as I plant. It is when I feel closest to God.
    Love Di ♥


  4. So sweet. You are blessed. I could say Hydrangeas are my favorites. Those big balls of wonder, but it would be hard for me to actually have a favorite flower. haha Definitely at the top of the list though. Beautiful photos!


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