Friday, September 14, 2007

David Smith's Zinnias

We have lived at our home in midtown Kansas City for 19 years, which is a long time compared with the average time people often stay in one house before moving. I have heard the average is 7 years. Our next door neighbors, the Smiths, however, moved into their house during the flood of 1951. Mr. Smith once told me they had to sneak in to see the house when they bought it because the neighborhood was under curfew. They lived there for 56 years.

They have been the best neighbors. It was a sad day when they moved out, though I don't think either Mr. or Mrs. Smith will miss all of the up keep these big old houses require, or walking up a long flight of stairs from the street. (The Smith's did not put in a driveway -- the neighborhood was built when most people rode the trolley.) Anyway, the neighborhood will never be the same.

Their son David, who for years did charitible work in South America, lived at home when he was in America and had a fondness for gardening. He did not always choose low maintenance plants, however, and Mr. Smith had a fondness for mowing them down, or having them mowed down, when David was out of the country.

David has planted zinnias for years and has often offered to give us cuttings so we could plant some in our yard too. They are certainly beautiful. I think we will find a place in our yard for some zinnias to honor the Smiths.

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