Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm a retired teacher turned writer. Ferradiddledumday (my Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story) and Stuck (my middle grade paranormal novel) are available from Cedar Creek Publishing.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Show vs. Substance


Click picture to see larger view.

One of the signs of spring around here is the blooming peach tree. The tree was supposed to be an ornamental peach—all show and no substance.

However, the peach tree apparently doesn’t know it was supposed to be merely ornamental. Not only does it give a fine display of blossoms every March, but it also produces edible peaches in mid-summer. Last year the Japanese beetles ate the peaches; the year before we ate them.

The tree, standing guard between driveway and mailbox, offers a sign of hospitality to all who enter. It’s both show and substance.

If you look through the branches, you can see the latest arrangement of the “redneck chairs” across the road from my driveway. Besides sporting blaze orange streamers, one chair now contains an empty jar. A beer bottle lies beside the chair on the right. Mr. Redneck walks past most evenings and rearranges the chairs slightly. Is the chair arrangement a sign of inhospitality to all who pass by? Or is it perhaps a subtle advertisement for the design abilities of H-Bros. Construction?

Whatever its purpose, the chair arrangement isn't much for show, but it does show a distinct lack of substance.

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