Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Finding luck in the clover patch

Boy, does this article from Modern Farmer make me happy. They say clover, the three-leaf kind that occasionally produces the lucky four-leaf  piece, is making a comeback after being declared a weed more than a half century ago. Turns out clover is way too beneficial to be considered a weed.  I've always favored the tiny clover flowers for their fairy-telling potential and the wonderful smell clover adds to the lawn. Clover doesn't turn brown (I don't think) or get raggedy looking. Instead the small bright green leaves and tiny round white or red flower balls keep a low profile and tries to fit in among the fescues.

Let me tell one little Antsy Nancy Sez story, before you go off to read more about clover.

When I was a youngster nine or 10 years old, I took piano lessons from Mrs. Ryder, at her home. During the warmer months, if a student arrived early for their lesson or they need to wait until the lesson before them was done, Mrs. Ryder would send them out to her backyard. Their mission was to find a four leaf clover.

The Ryders had a beautiful backyard, so green and plush. They lived in town, so thier lawn wasn't as large as the lawns on our farm, but always perfectly kept. I liked arriving early enough to hunt for four-leaf clovers and they were prevalent. While crawling along the ground, I imagined little people, leprechauns, scurrying about in the darkness, on this very spot of green, searching out the perfect four-leaf specimen.

Another student told me it was Mrs. Ryder's trick. They said the lawn was planted with a special clover mix that produced many four-leaf ones. She knew we would find one, eventually.

I never found out and still don't know if such a seed mix existed. Many times in my life, I've thought about her lawn and how I would love to plant a lawn filled with four leaf clovers. Not just for my own amusement, but for everyone to enjoy.

Mrs. Ryder was a very creative and intelligent woman. I think she loved inspiring youngsters  to think creatively. She retired from teaching piano a couple of years after I started taking lessons from her. My brother suggested she retired because of me. I learned so much from her in just a short time.

I took lessons from another teacher for a few more years and felt like I never learned any more about how to play. She was a no nonsense kind of person. I certainly never enjoyed taking lessons as much and the new teacher didn't have great backyard to explore.

A neighbor drove me and her son to our lessons each week and we had to sit and listen to each other play. He was very good and ended up teaching music in school. On our way home from lessons, he would echo my brother's sentiments about my piano playing.

By the way, Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day and may you find a four-leaf clover.

Read about clover here.

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