Commentary: Too Be Or Not Too Be
Austin C. Kennell
I have penned many articles for the ARS bulletin-journal in my years as a member. But I suspect this will be my swan song so it will concern the greatest single problem I've had during my love affair with the genus Rhododendron.
I've been tempted to reveal this problem many times over the years but always decided it was too personal and uninteresting to interest others. But as my life's span runs out, I feel I owe it to myself to try to expunge this singular monkey from my back.
For reasons unknown to me, Mother Nature had consistently shortchanged me. I have to confess that I have never been attractive to women, but the old gal's treatment of me goes beyond a male/female relationship gone sour!
A year is supposed to consist of spring, summer, fall and winter. That's four seasons, right? Webster and Funk & Wagnalls indicate that a year consists of twelve months starting with January and ending with December and that the year is divided into four seasons. Almanacs have made the same claim. Even this great publication - the ARS Journal - issues a winter, spring, summer and fall publication. Four! Four not three but four!
Therein lies my complaint!
I don't get four seasons!! Mother Nature limits me to Too seasons.
Too cold Too hot Too dry Too wet Too windy Too many wants Too little wherewithal
So you can clearly see I'm held to only Too seasons. The above list is just a start. There's Too lazy, Too busy, Too late, Too early! Plus Too many early frosts, or Too many late ones. Then there's Too many broken branches, Too many blasted buds or Too weedy, Too many borers, Too much mildew, Too much criticism, Too little help and Too much digging and Too much pruning, Too little blooming plus many other Toos.
You can't imagine what Too seasons do to you. You plant at the wrong time, you buy at the wrong time, you spray at the wrong time. Nothing is done when it should be.
Please, Mother Nature, give me a break. Get off my back while there's time for me to enjoy a normal four seasons at least once.