Long before DIY became a popular acronym, my mother was a do-it-yourselfer, partly from economic necessity and partly from natural inclination. The weeds, ahem, wildflowers abloom in my flower garden bring a timely reminder of one of her best creations. My wedding was back in the day of pulling the wooden candle holders and tall wicker baskets from the church closet for decoration. Most people got a florist to do the flowers that went inside the baskets – not Mama.
Mama bought a few white lilies, carnations, and other standard flowers from the florist and then enlisted my childhood friend, soon to be my sister-in-law, to head out into the Mississippi fields on a scavenger hunt for Queen Anne’s lace. Her finished arrangement of purchased flowers into those delicate wildflower sprays they found would have held their own in any floral arrangement competition.
Mama was not alone in the DIY of my wedding. Daddy performed the ceremony which left Papaw, the only grandparent I ever knew, to give me away. My sister and Al’s brother served as maid of honor and best man. I, myself a DIY, made my wedding dress from lace that evoked the delicate pattern of the wildflower.
The wedding fifty seven years ago today – on a very hot June 1 Sunday afternoon – when we were very young, was the beginning of a DIY kind of family as Al has built or repaired much of what we’ve needed using wood and tools, and I’ve taken care of needle and thread requirements.
Outside as well as in, we divide the labor. He mows. I weed relentlessly and take care of the flowers. The time of year has come when Queen Anne’s Lace blooms randomly in my flower beds. I’m not saying it was the foundation for our marriage, but all the same, when this weed, er wildflower, pops up in my garden, I bid it - and the memories it evokes - welcome.