Lil’ Miss 20 Prospect and I share a favorite flower. The humble, but lovely, sunflower. So we planted some in the garden this summer. She grew them from seeds that we bought during a trip to Menards back in the springtime. Of course, being a kid, she choose the 12 ft. tall variety. Three of the seedlings made it into the garden. Maggie the Wonderdog destroyed two, and this is what remains.
If it keeps growing I’m thinking of climbing it. There’s got to be a golden goose somewhere in those clouds.
I’m not sure how, or when the sunflower became a favorite. I think it was the tail end of summer and beginning of autumn 1992, when I was working down in Lawrence, Kansas. They seemed to be everywhere I turned that summer. I spent my weekends commuting up to the Twin Cities to visit Mrs. 20 P. After 4 hours crossing the cornfields of Iowa seeing nothing but green cornfields, the sight of an occasional field of sunflowers was a welcome relief.
I loved my time in Lawrence. It’s a fun little town for a guy in his early 20’s. There was always live music somewhere in town, whether it was the Kansas State Fiddlin’ and Pickin’ championships on the lawn in south park, or going to see a band at the Bottleneck. I spent my days working at the power plant, and after work I would head out mountain biking out at Clinton State Park. Nights were spent sipping on a cold Schooner at Louise’s West. One of the more laid back, comfortable bars I’ve ever encountered. The kind of place a person could lose a few years of their life if they weren’t careful.
The sun set so early in September, and the nights were so shadowy. Apparently they had something against streetlamps in Lawrence. It added an air of mystery to the place, and an almost southern gothic feel to the tree lined streets.
My time there was short however. After a few weeks I got the call to head out to Laughlin, Nevada for my semi-annual outage inspection at the Southern California Edison Mojave Plant. We were right on the cusp of fall, my favorite time of year, but I would be spending the next month in the seasonless desert, on a god forsaken strip of casinos. I wasn’t very happy.
So I packed up my Jeep and made the long drive out across the Rockies, and down through the desert of Southern Utah. It was the beginning of the end of my time in the west, but I didn’t know it yet. Alas, that’s a story I have already told.
So I’ll leave you with an image of sunflowers, from the excellent photo blog “Window on the Prairie”. Head on over and check them out here. You will not be disappointed.