Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's not the snow, it's the slush


So what's this got to do with gardening? It's the posh footgear.

I trudged through snow and slush this gray afternooon wearing my Hunter Wellington boots--purchased for me from Smith & Hawken (back when they were purveyors of quality garden supplies).

For years I hankered after the Hunter brand of Wellington boots--if they're good enough for the Queen of England, they're good enough for me--so a dear friend stumped up and bought me a pair in navy blue.

Today, as my Hunter Wellies and I slid in the slush, I remembered an incident from my youth.

When I was in college, three guys I knew took a summer road trip across the U.S. Two were sparky Americans, the third was a visitor from Sweden with limited English.

The fellows planned to save on expenses by staying at the homes of family friends, and were prepared to sing for their suppers by being effervescent conversationalists during the evenings ahead.

The Swede needed some vocabulary help. His American buddies drew up a list of four remarks, one of which would be a plausible response to any conversational sally from a friendly adult. The Swede memorized the list and they set off. The indispensable phrases were:


I don't know much about art, but I know what I like.


It's not what you know, it's who you know.


It's not the heat, it's the humidity.


And my favorite:


Especially in the South.


Here's my addition:


It's not the snow, it's the slush.



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17 comments:

EB said...

That's fantastic - I wonder what the UK equivalents might be?

"Not in this weather."

"Excuse me"

"Milk, no sugar, thank you."

Darla said...

Cute post.

Michelle said...

I hope your Hunters are better than my OSH cheapies. They acutally lasted a few years, but I discovered this weekend when I went out during a break in the storm that they are finally done for! The good news is that the drains work.

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Emily! My husband and I are enjoying your UK variants on The List, and wondering what the original road-trippers will think of them! Let me know if any more come to mind.

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Darla! Glad you enjoyed the post--and lucky you that there is never any slush in your Southern garden!

Daffodil Planter said...

Michelle, The Hunters are now about 13 years old and in great shape. The high price translates to longevity; mine are stored in a garage that freezes in winter and bakes in summer. You might want a shorter model for working around the garden though; these are almost knee high and I use them for tramping through snow or blackberry patches.

Town Mouse said...

How about compliments. Not as readily dispensed in most cultures as in this. I would have taught that Swede "what a nice XX" (insert item of clothing, transportation, or other tangible such as -- closing the circle -- flower/garden/tree).

SusanGardenChick said...

This photo makes me realize why you don't have much sympathy for those of us recently water logged in your old Bay Area stomping ground.

I also have Smith and Hawkin boots and they are in great shape - mostly because I always forget to throw them in the car before heading out to a muddy job site.

Lee said...

What a lovely old gold town, I had never heard of Nevada City before, so I checked out the chamber website. I see winter is still hanging on for you too, I noticed the tops of my daffodil leaves poking through the grass this week so spring is just around the corner.

shirl said...

LOL... how about going from the snow slush to the snow drops? I've another posting for you :-D

Jan said...

Daffodil sighting in our front yard...After the snow melted...What a wonderful surprise. Ciao???

Country Mouse said...

I used to get my wellies from Woollies!

Frances said...

Hi Daffodil, this cracked me up! My wellies, from the time of quality S&H stuff also, developed a crack and they refused to replace them even though I kept the receipt, for ten years! I swore off them then and there. It was easy for the downhill slide had already begun when it was sold from the originator. I used to have a goal of visiting every store of theirs. That was before there were so many all over the US and did make it to the flagship in Marin County among others. Now they sell their wares at Target. Sorry for this rant, but oh how I could go on! :-)
Frances

Daffodil Planter said...

Frances, Sorry about the Hunters! Mine were a gift so I never saw a receipt with a guarantee. S&H was a fabulous place in the early days. I too made a pilgrimage to the Mill Valley store to buy my Hawes watering can. The Blogging Nurseryman has posts on the current fate of S&H, along with his insightful writing on all aspects of the nursery business.So what's your current source for Wellies?

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Ms. Daffodil, You visited my blog so I thought I'd return the favor. I think all of us here in the northern hemisphere are ready, REALLY ready for spring.

I've never been to a S&H store but I used to get their catalog and dream...

As for a quick [and very random] quip for the Swede: "Would you like fries with that?"

Here's to Mrs. Tingleys everywhere. I look forward to your photo when she makes her debut. Grace

Daffodil Planter said...

Lee, Yes, Nevada City is a pretty town, sometimes called "The Queen of the Gold Country". We are half way between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, a great place to visit.

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Grace! Down with slush, but at least the fries are a diversion in winter weather.