Every magazine has those subscription cards bound into them. I find them annoying, and I usually tear them out as soon as I can. Fine Gardening used to be different, though. Their bound-in subscription cards used to have a perforation close to the binding, so that they could be cleanly torn out. Not only that, but they always had a pretty picture between that perforation and the one for the cards themselves. The end result was that, if you tore carefully across both perforations, you would wind up with a nice looking bookmark that you could use to mark your place in the magazine and whatever you read after that. But no longer. It’s a small thing, I know. All right, in the scheme of things, it’s teensy, miniscule even. But I always got a little fillip of pleasure at being able to scavenge a halfway decent bookmark out of an annoying every day situation, and now I experience a bit of disappointment every time I see the aggravating card won’t come out cleanly. What can I say? Simple minds have simple pleasures. Or had them.
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
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