This one-year anniversary of column-writing seems like a good time to recount my attempts at taking friends’ advice to stop and smell the roses.
But, with 16,000 varieties, it’s been a thorny task.
I’ve whiffed a rainbow of climbers, floribundas, grandifloras, heritages, hybrid teas, miniatures and shrubs, but the appeal has eluded me. They don’t smell that good, scratch my nose and sometimes require quick getaways.
My quest has ranged from nightcaps of “Brandy” and “Whiskey Mac” in a Tyler, Texas, arboretum, to “Carrot Top” for an Irish red-head, “Color Magic” for a South-Padre bleach-blonde and “Hot Tamale” for a Juarez brunette.
Apology roses have included “Easy Going” for a trapeze artist I called high-strung, “Space Odyssey” for a yoga instructor I called a space cadet, and “First Kiss” for a second-grade classmate that I tattled on for smooching me.
The rose pursuit has continued in Portales yards, but I keep running into those three or four old grouches.
Just when I spot a promising petal, motion detector lights come on and homeowners yell, “Who’s there!”
My cheerful response of, “I’m just smelling your roses,” gets answered by slamming doors, fast dogs and wailing sirens.
Searching for aromatic epiphany has yielded one valuable insight.
On Portales streets beginning with “North,” the dogs are bigger — but the fences are smaller.