Simple Things

Old fashioned Oxeye daisies can be found just about anywhere. We see patches of their sweetly nodding heads scattered along mile after mile of dusty roadsides, and liberally sprinkled through wild meadows.

There’s an attractive, wholesome aura about them, but they’re considered an invasive species and of major concern in some areas of British Columbia — a relatively short-lived perennial  “that decreases forage for wildlife, decreases local plant biodiversity, and may compromise vegetative ground cover due to its growth form that results in exposed soil.”

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Fortunately there’s an equally delightful-looking alternative available, the Shasta daisy. For a few years I searched the local nurseries in vain for them. I discovered the variety I sought wasn’t the only kind, but I finally located what I wanted, and  blogged about it here.

Their chaste, sunny little faces are such a joy, brightening the often-shady, mostly green places of our yard. There’s something about these ordinary, simple flowers that also lightens my heart. I associate them with my grandmother’s garden, with daisy-chains, and straggly bouquets gathered and clutched in grimy hands. There’s a nostalgia when I recall fields adrift with them in the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ television series that the girls and I watched faithfully.

They make me want to break out in song…

… but, of course, I won’t. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to hear that! (Although the video’s worth watching since there’s a little face near the end that could be considered a clue to something else that is soon coming to brighten our days and lighten our hearts.) 😉

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Simple things are appealing, and I don’t mean just daisies. Most of the characters in my current novels seem to prefer a pared down lifestyle. They don’t live in mansions, do elaborate dinner parties, or take exotic vacations. Are they reflecting my own preferences? Probably so, although I don’t intend to impose such limitations in all future stories. I suspect many readers enjoy the escape provided by more complex settings.

What’s your preference as a reader? or as a writer? Do you lean towards the austere or the more complex when it comes to a story’s setting and the characters’ lifestyles?

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4 thoughts on “Simple Things

  1. As a reader, I like both simple and opulent settings. One of the genres I love, Historical Romance, often has settings in mansions. (I’m thinking of Tamara Alexander’s wonderful books.)

    As a writer, I lean toward simplicity. My characters are ordinary folks rather than royalty or wealthy. They face the challenges of life, depending on God.

    • Carol says:

      Yes, historical fiction of any kind, especially romance, tends to ‘go big’ with a rich tapestry of description. My stories are contemporary, and their everyday settings are familiar to me.

  2. elderfox says:

    I’m a Western fancier in genre myself & I love big “Old” homes wherein families gathered and all the “young’uns” slept in the open attics (at least we did in my Grandparents & Uncle & Aunt homes). I’ll be stealing some of those memories for the Contemporary Romance I’m working on. (And wasn’t there a lot of daffodils along some main highways into Richmond?)

    • Carol says:

      I think of rambling ranch houses when I think of westerns — a ‘Gone With the Wind’ kind of home. If you have wonderful homes to remember from your grandparents’ era I can imagine you have a treasury of memories to go with them.

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