Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Cornus Florida,  NC State Photo: L. Metzger
Recently I completed an East Coast tour of education possibilities for broadening my horticultural horizons.  Each program boasted a personable faculty, a rich curriculum, state-of-the-art facilities, acres of greenhouses and gardens.  In addition to seeing the cities, I got to experience the emerging spring in each one and I am full of excitement for the next phase. I can think of ten reasons and a thousand scenarios that make each school a perfect fit, so it's not surprising that I don't know where to go yet.

NC State photo: L.Metzger
This must have been what it was like for normal undergrads to visit schools, seeing if they clicked, getting goodie bags with free t-shirts and being invited to lunch.  A far cry from the soul-sucking process of auditioning to become an undergraduate ballet major.

As usually, the most adventurous and entertaining part of this journey has nothing to do with plants and occurred on the drive home from North Carolina.

It all started when I stopped for a coffee at Starbucks and again got sucked in by the fanciful marketing schemes of what I like to call Starbucks Music.  If you know me, you know that frequently I need to learn lessons two or three times before I really get the idea.  My strong will has served me well in professional arenas, but in my personal life, I'd say it's made me a bit of a thick-skulled, slow learner. As I ordered, I saw a CD.  I was sure this CD would not fall into the category of the typically lame, sleepy Starbucks music.  So, I purchased it.

Little did I know, that once I commenced driving, the combination of the caffeine and the music would turn my foot into a piece of lead and cause me to day dream so fully that I would forget myself...I'm looking around, appreciating the budding trees, scanning the horizon for hawks, thinking about the highs and lows of the last three months, smiling-- because this IS a good CD--- 

All of a sudden,  I check my rear view and see a State Trooper behind me (tailgating if you want to get specific.)  I figure he is annoyed because I'm in the left lane, rubber necking so, I move over. ...And then he moves over...and then he turns his lights on. I can't imagine why he is pulling me over... He asks me for my license and registration. He doesn't ask for my proof of insurance, so I figure that I'm in the clear.  But then he asks why I'm driving so fast.  I respond with an expression similar to the one you might have when you realize that "red-light district" does not mean "artsy part of town."

I still figure he'll just give me a warning...But then he says, "I clocked you at 95mph." Apparently that is too fast to even be assigned a fine in North Carolina... You can imagine the rest. I did not get off with just a warning.

And so I'm sticking to my original story:  stopping at Starbucks mid-road trip, un-caffeinated and bored with your music selection never amounts to any good.  It's easy to get sucked in by their menagerie of colorful merchandise.  Stay strong.  Step away from the coffee counter.  After that, keep your eyes peeled for Dodge Chargers.  They aren't just Chevy Malibus anymore.

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry about the speeding ticket. I think you should take a copy of this blog into court and as long as you have a male coffee drinking judge you'll be fine. He'll just say "wow, you're cute and funny." Then he'll have no choice but to let you of Scott free! Although, if you have a female non-coffee drinker, I have no good advice.