Tag Archives: It’s a Family Tradition

Peonies and Ants

For as long as I can remember, my family has grown pink peonies.  My great grandmother had a substantial stand of them at her old home place and it has been a tradition that a few toes go with family members as we move about so we can propagate the blooms and share something in common no matter where we are.  My grandparents had them planted at their place and my parents have them also.

To me, peonies are about as lovely a flower as they make…secondly only to daffodil I expect.  Both flowers have the most wonderful fragrances of anything in the world too.  I could honest-to-goodness start every day for the rest of my life smelling daffodils and peonies and be a happy man.

Ants on my peony buds

We planted our peonies a few years ago when we bought our home in WV.  We waited and waited and nothing really showed the first year or two.  In fact, I sort of forgot that they were in the ground until last year when familiar shoots started up through the ground.  I do not think a single bloom grew but I knew the leaves and was hopeful.

This year, the flowers came on strong and we have buds waiting to open!  I took a few pictures of the ants that always go with peony blooms which I thought was pretty cool.  I always heard that without the ants, peonies would not bloom.  Apparently that is an old wives’ tale.  Ants just like the sweet nectar the blooms produce.  The blooms will be just fine without the ants though.

Ants on my peony buds

So, ants and aphids are welcome…peonies now grow in my yard as they have in my family for at least 4 generations!

Hide the pickle

We like to play hide the pickle at our house.  It’s an old tradition meant for the whole family to enjoy.  We sometimes play hide the pickle when guests come to visit also.  Gosh, I love to play hide the pickle!

Hide the pickle!

When we lived in Nashville, we had a friend who worked part-time at a place that sold Christmas ornaments.  One night at a get-together, she asked if we wanted to play hide the pickle.  Being young and carefree, we eagerly agreed.  She gave us a box with a glass pickle inside.  I had never heard of the tradition but apparently folks back in the old country would hide a glass pickle ornament somewhere in their Christmas tree (check this out for an explanation).

Our Christmas tree!

I think whoever finds it has to clean the kitchen or do push-ups or something like that.  The kids love that of course!  So, we put our tree up the other night.  Only since we moved back to West-by-God-Virginia have we had a real tree in the house for Christmas.  We headed to the farmers’ market to get a tree grown in WV (which isn’t all of them at the market) the other night and finished decorating it finally.  The finishing touch was for me to hide the pickle deep in the tree which delighted Abigail.  Really, it’s a great tradition and one for which I am thankful!

Happy kid!

Well friends, I don’t know about the people with whom you spend time, but if they ever ask you if you want to play hide the pickle, cautiously nod your head and see what happens!