A New Leaf

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Many life lessons to be learned in the garden

Great memories of helping my grandmother in her garden. Thank you for sharing!

Debbie Palmer 251 days ago

not MY grandma

I love your stories, Stuart. Always well told and heartwarming. I see much from my own childhood in them, but sometimes the lessons we learned came from different points of view and arrived at different conclusions.

At 17, I spent the summer after graduating from high school in southern California, living with relatives in Wisconsin. One day after lunch, I went exploring around Grandma's neighborhood. It clung to the fringes of the countryside, and boasted so many wildflowers growing along the road, it occurred to me that she would really like a surprise bouquet. I plucked a rainbow's worth -- all sizes and shapes -- and arranged them artfully around what I was certain was the most beautiful wildflower in all the world. A perfect blossom of Queen Anne's Lace.

My pride glowed in my smile as I handed them to Grandma. She was smiling, too, but it was kind of a crooked grin. "Oh, look," she said, taking them from me, "you brought me weeds!"

Sue Ranscht 254 days ago

Love Nannie

How proud your Nannie would be to know you learned all her lessons and are now sharing them with those of us who weren't fortunate enough to have our own Nannie. Another eloquent story with an equally eloquent lesson.

Lisa Dewey 295 days ago

acres of iris beds

Reminds me of the first day of summer vacation from jr high. My mother "loaned me out to her friend." She had acres of iris beds. The flowers were beautiful. But after eight hours of weeding, I was ready to run into the river at the foot of the beds. But I did not have a swim suit and had to settle for long, long tub bath.

Jack Dunn 301 days ago


I was reminded of carefree summers sometimes interrupted by mama's garden chores. Thanks for reminding me.

Wendy 302 days ago

A New Leaf

Thank you reminding me that when life is not coming up roses we need to look to the weeds and find the beauty hidden within them. Even when faced with true tragedy we can still choose to find love among our family and friends and to grow strong. Gardening is the perfect metaphor for life. As Voltaire famously wrote in Candide, “Let us cultivate our garden.” Love this story by Stuart.

Wendy Schmitt 306 days ago

What weeds?

Here's to an eloquently told tale of transformation. Keep them coming!

Dawn 308 days ago

It is all about perspective.

So well written. Kudos!

Nitin Verma 308 days ago

Only a weed if you don't want it

The lesson you learned that day, perspective, how you look at something is such a good one and one that too many people never learn nd can change how we see life, turning a burdensomw problem into a potential opportunity. What a beautiful lesson your grandmother taught you. I love reading your stories and loo forward to more. Congratulation for your story appearing in another issue of "The Virginian"

Clara G. Deese 308 days ago


Just beautiful. Thank you.

Loretta de Garcia 308 days ago

What you want

"squint your eyes and look closely"

Coqui 308 days ago


a good life lesson well told!

Anthea 308 days ago

It's only a weed...if

A charming life lesson in all your 'yarns.' Well done, Stuart!

Tails Around the Ranch 308 days ago

Again Please!

I love your stories and I hope to read here again and again!

Melinda 308 days ago

“But it’s only a weed if you don’t want it,”

Stuart, your wonderful stories usually take me back to my own innocent childhood for which I'm always so grateful. As usual, this story did the same; however, it also opened my eyes to looking at some very bothersome relational 'weeds' in my life right now. Thank you so much for the simplistic, yet more desirable, way to approach them....“But it’s only a weed if you don’t want it”. Touché and as always, thank you for making the day a bit sunnier!

gail glass 309 days ago

It's only a weed if you don't want it!

What a wonderful story! Love the connection to gardening, family, and life's lessons!

Nancy H. 309 days ago


Just lovely!!!

Pamela Katz 309 days ago

A New Leaf

Charming. Absolutely charming. Such a brief story took me back to my own childhood, and recreated memories that have long since faded.

Kurt Bersani 309 days ago

Amazingly creative

This is fantastic! The story is so beautiful and simple yet the words provide an incredible amount of imagery. I hope to read more of his stories!!!

Angelica Vasquez 309 days ago


I love your stories, such wonderful memories.!!!

Paulina Radzisauskas 309 days ago

Beautiful memories

Enjoyed reading your story. Your writing is amazing !!

Ana Gonzalez 309 days ago

A New Leaf

A different state, a different particular plant but I recognized myself and my grandmother.

Maren Tirabassi 310 days ago


How lovely. A little plant was saved by someone just looking at how interesting it was. What a beautiful story.

Jen Hemmings 311 days ago


What a wonderful, nostalgic piece. It reminds that beauty & worth can be found in almost anything if we are willing to look. And violets are lovely, regardless ...

Linda S. Smith 311 days ago


This was like a few minutes with my grandma.

Linda Bethea 312 days ago


Aaaahhhhhhhhh--the memories... Thank you for bringing them back today.

Claudia Kent Leonard 312 days ago

Takes me back

Stuart Perkins's wonderful stories always take me back to my childhood, for some reason. They're told with love, which is no doubt why they always remind me of my own grandmother. I'm chuckling now thinking about the time she decided to help my grandfather by "weeding" his tomato patch, and pulled up all his green peppers in the process. Thanks, Stuart, for sharing!

Mike Shelton 312 days ago

Always the matriarch

Stu -your writings never cease to amaze me! These are the best memories

Ken Lankey 313 days ago

Sweetly Told

What a lovely story, sweetly told. Although I only grew up as south as South Jersey, I remember summers of pulling up honeysuckle (non-native, invasive). To this day the smell reminds me of home.

jgroeber 313 days ago

Sweetly Told

What a lovely story. Absolutely timeless. And although the only south I grew up in was South Jersey, I remember pulling honeysuckle (non-native invasive), a plant that fills my heart with sweet memories when I smell it now. Thaks for this.

jgroeber 313 days ago


What a lovely reminiscence--and with lessons in it, to boot.

A.V. Walters 313 days ago


A lovely story.

Onisha 313 days ago


Love your story

Marjorie Hembroff 313 days ago

Power of Perception

Perception sure is a powerful thing. When our brain is thinking of one thing, it can't think of another side until you pause it and change the direction of its thoughts. I hope you will continue writing your meaningful narratives!

Rand 313 days ago

flowers vs weed

To Me, Violets are not weeds by any means and I would fertilize also

Karen Sue 313 days ago

Vah-ginia weeds

I too pulled weeds like this in my parent's yard growing up(though I always coveted violets and dead nettle thinking it looked like tiny purple giraffes). Too bad I didn't have Nannie's point of view at weed pulling time. And Nannie sounds lovely and full of southern wisdom. We need more nannies like her. Great story, Stu! Keep them coming!

Shannon Bush 313 days ago

Vah-ginia weeds

I too pulled weeds like this in my parent's yard growing up(though I always coveted violets and dead nettle thinking it looked like tiny purple giraffes). Too bad I didn't have Nannie's point of view at weed pulling time. And Nannie sounds lovely and full of southern wisdom. We need more nannies like her. Great story, Stu! Keep them coming!

Shannon Bush 313 days ago

It's only a weed if you don't want it

Sounds like your Nannie rediscovered a child's perspective. Thanks for the lovely story

CSmith 313 days ago

Always a pleasure!

Stuart always tells such vivid stories. He has that knack of taking you right along with him too! I was sweating buckets! I also love the way he talks about Nannie with such obvious love and affection.

Juudy Martin 313 days ago


What a wonderful life lesson your grandmother taught. I have found that people are often the same way. Everybody's valuable to somebody!

Gina 313 days ago

A New Leaf

Another wonderful story, Stu. Your talent is not just in writing and communicating stories but also in recognizing and appreciating your Nannie's wisdom and value to your family. Thanks for sharing them.

Pat Ashworth Doutt 313 days ago


Stuart, you have kept the memory of Nannie and all her lessons alive. What a tribute! You inspire your reader to take a moment and think about something so "normal" as weeding in a new way. Excellent!

Francisco Laguna 313 days ago


I have a stubborn patch of violets in the corner of my yard too. Not a bad idea to give up and let them grow. I remember looking forward to picking wild violets when I was a child. Now we pull and spray away the little pleasures in life.

Sheila 313 days ago

New Leaf

Liked your story. Very vividly written. Thanks, Stuart.

paula 313 days ago

Nannie's Classroom

Awesome story Stuart - your writing is excellent.

Paul 314 days ago

New Leaf

Love reminiscing and learning from life's dailies.

Kimberley Williamson 314 days ago


This Perkins guy sure can weave a good tale. Love the way he draws you in with his choice of descriptive words. I was at grandma's house WITH him, and could almost smell the dirt & sweat. He should write novels!

Nita 314 days ago


Funny thing, unless someone as you say decides they like it or rediscover its healthful properties weeds do tend to rest in humble obscurity, destined for the trash heap. I like weeds.

EKurie 314 days ago

Could feel the gritty sweat!

Nice! Like the title, too.

Ceci LaDuca 314 days ago

Beautiful and Instructive!

That's a great story! Sort of Nannie's version of lemons into lemonade! Sometimes problems aren't problems if you just look at them a different way! Thank you!

Thom 314 days ago


This is what life is all about -- perspective. Once again, Stuart hit the nail on its head.

Marthe Curry 314 days ago

A New Leaf

Just what I needed to hear/read today <3

patricia frain 314 days ago

Great story

Your grandmother sounds special.

Irene Corl 314 days ago

Wonderful story!

Congratulations on having it published.

MaryC 314 days ago

Love it

well written

Scott Bumgarner 314 days ago

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