Flowers spark memory

Published 3:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2017

Driving through the Pike County countryside, the sight of daffodils nodding greetings makes my heart both sing and shudder.

Sing, from the memory of the small bouquet of the yellow flowers loosely arranged in a Mason jar on my grandmother’s kitchen table.

Shudder, from the memory of daffodils arranged in Mason jars on the table at the Cub Scouts’ February Blue and Gold Banquet.   

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Charlotte and I were Den Mothers for Cub Scout Den 34.  When we retired, we each got a sliver tray.  We deserved Purple Hearts.

These little boys were only Cub Scouts. They knew nothing of the Scout Law, therefore, nothing about being helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient and cheerful.

So, daffodils remind me of the fisticuffs that broke out in the back of a pickup truck on the way back from Camp Alaflo. One of the Cubs bolted from the truck and took off running across the pasture, sending cows running helter-skelter. Had the fleet little feller not come face-to-face with a snorting bull, he would have been in Mississippi by nightfall.

Daffodils bring memories of the yellow jackets that swarmed up my culottes while attempting to rescue a Cub from their nest.

Daffodils remind me that Cubs dressed-up in girls’ clothing and wearing earbobs, lipstick and red, red rouge can still ball up their fists and fight.

I shudder when I think of trying to rescue a Cub who couldn’t swim while trying to stay afloat in black water wearing a panty girdle. 

I shudder at the memory of the Pack’s formal social and dance.   

The idea of dates was not met with any measure of enthusiasm by the parents. The Cubs were too young  for such a thing.  And, the little girls’ parents were adamant. Ridiculous! Scandalous!

We, the fearless leaders, prayed in earnest that none of the girls would get in the family way before they were forty or we would be to blame.

Shudder at the memory of Cub Scout Sports Day.

We loaded the Cubs in my Ford Station Wagon that was a long as a Greyhound bus and took off for Dothan. First we played putt-putt golf, then we went roller skating. For the closing activity we went to the bowling alley.

It has been a long sporting day but the Cubs were not ready to hibernate. In fact, they were rowdy. Before we could ever get out of the parking lot at the bowling alley, fights broke out in the back of the station wagon. Charlotte screamed like a banshee, got on her knees in the front seat and with her glasses on the end of her nose and her eyes glaring, she gave the Cubs a verbal lashing. Why, she used words I had never heard.

When she finished, you could have heard a pin drop in that old Ford station wagon. Not a muscle moved.

When she was done, she pushed her glasses back up on her nose and quietly said, “Now, I don’t think the Boy Scouts of America would approve of the language I’ve used tonight ….” 

Daffodils. They make my heart shudder – and sing.

Jaine Treadwell is features editor of The Messenger. Contact her at