By Mary King Rodge
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Extra resources for Where the creosote blooms: a memoir
When I did it that way, the peas tasted just like nuts. I remember summer mornings, playing in the backyard and watching Mama work in her flower garden, especially after she gave up on the exotic plants she had known in California and decided to go native. She gathered all sorts of dried seeds and even roots from the desert, planted them with loving care in the sandy, rocky soil, and gloried in their endurance. "So tough and so lovely," she would say. "Just look at this purple verbena, and the blue of that wild aster.
We camped the first night at Indio, and the next morning we skirted south around the Salton Sea. At noon, the temperature well over a hundred degrees, we arrived in Brawley where Papa went into a tiny building marked "Chamber of Commerce" and got the bad news about the road across the desert to Yuma. Just east of Brawley, they told him, the pavement ended and the road was a single width of railroad ties, but we could make it all right if we observed the courtesy of the road. Papa liked that phrase and kept repeating it as he pointed to the little diagram the men had given him showing how oncoming cars could pass each other, each car keeping center wheels on the ties and letting outside wheels go in Page 14 the sand.
She gathered all sorts of dried seeds and even roots from the desert, planted them with loving care in the sandy, rocky soil, and gloried in their endurance. "So tough and so lovely," she would say. "Just look at this purple verbena, and the blue of that wild aster. " And I remember Mama bending over the creosote bushes by the back fence after a quick shower, sniffing audibly in appreciation of the fresh, clean aroma, as she admired the tiny golden blooms or woolly little seeds. Nothing grows under creosote, and more than one neighbor had urged Mama to get rid of the bushes.
Where the creosote blooms: a memoir by Mary King Rodge