On growing flowers from seed…

For every seed, a tiny green shoot.

Not every one will make it.

None will, if you don’t thin them.

Provide space and water.

Early flowers sap energy from vulnerable young roots and tender foliage.

Pinch them away before they bloom in full.

Harvest seeds and share them.

When you visit your grandmother, plant some in her garden.

Visit your grandmother more often.

Understand the difference between seeds that need cultivating and seeds that need taming.

Let the self-seeders reseed, if you wish.

Seeds are low risk, high reward.

Plant many and don’t worry too much.

At season’s end, know: I grew this one from seed.

This one was mine from the beginning.

The best way to see the Taj Mahal

You can’t go all the way to India and not visit the Taj Mahal.

That was our thinking when we planned an excursion from Bangalore in Southern India to Agra in the north.

But in ways, it is easier to get from Nashville, Tenn., to the other side of the world. (And that’s saying something.)

Our journey involved planes, trains and automobiles – plus rickshaws and camels. It featured scam artists, 100-degree heat, lost luggage, groping and leering. People (my mother) panicked. Other people (me) cried.

By the end, I had two thoughts. One: I want all my friends who think I’m a princess to see if they can handle what my family experienced. Two: I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Continue reading

My daughter and I: Where we’ve gone together

Lily and me outside a 14th c mosque in old Delhi

We measured Lily the day before we left Nashville for Bangalore.

We measured her against the living room wall at my former in-laws’ house, where we gathered for Fathers Day with my parents, my ex-husband and his parents, his brother and brother’s wife, and her father.

Our family is complicated, and our Lily is five feet tall.

During our trip to India, she bloomed. Continue reading

Blogging in India

Just a short update: I’ve written – but not yet posted – several pieces while my mother, daughter and I have been in India visiting my father.

 He is working here for a year, lending his advice as a project manager and civil engineer to a company expanding a series of training campuses for a large IT firm. (His friend is CEO of the company and assembled a team of American “experts” to influence the project.)

Today we are embarking on 24 hours of travel back to the U.S.

I will post my India writings when I’m home this week, when I can add photos to go with them. (I don’t have a USB line to connect my camera to the PC laptop I’m using in Bangalore, nor do I have a means of retrieving the photos I shot from my iPhone. Technology dilemmas in India’s IT capitol = boo, but my own fault.)

I’ve written about our journey to the Taj Mahal, flirting in India, and bonding with my daughter during the trip. I feel like there may be one more to write – about religion – but I’m still toying with that.

Anyway, give me a couple days and I’ll have them posted. If you could please bring me a nice steak and a glass of scotch, too, I’d appreciate it.