Of knees and pickets and daffadowndillys…

Mar 16, 2013 | 4 comments

Nyel's FenceThere always seems to be a bright spot in Oysterville, even on the grayest days.  Sometimes it’s a patch of blue sky, suddenly revealed when the wind picks up.  Sometimes it’s the colorful hats and scarves of the tourists as they go in and out of the church.  At this time of year, it’s the daffodils.

Like blonde-headed Rockettes, they line the fences along Territory Road, although my analogy falls short when it comes to their size and timing.  They seem to blossom in spurts and clumps, probably depending upon their variety.  Or maybe it’s a question of who planted them and when.

Right now, the daffodils along our northwest fence line are out in all their glory.   I know I am biased, but I think they are the best in the village!  Mostly that is because I remember all too clearly last summer when Nyel was rebuilding that falling-down picket fence and his silent struggle to plant those bulbs last fall.  It was when, unbeknownst to us, his entire quadriceps muscle had ruptured and, though he wasn’t in any pain, his knee kept ‘going out’ and down he would go.

Those ramrod straight pickets and perky daffadowndillys are definitely a testimonial to his patience, perseverance, and planning.  And, it seems like an extra serendipity that the very day the daffodils blossomed forth was the day Nyel’s surgeon said he could start putting weight on his leg again and begin to walk ever-so-carefully.  And, to my way of thinking, that’s the best bright spot of all!


  1. Nancy

    Great news about Nyel’s knee. Most of the “daffies” I’ve planted over the years have naturalized and the ones we planted first year we were in this house are still in their prime (no rain the past few weeks)..new owner of my former house planted hundreds on the banks between house and barn…glorious sight to see and appreciate. Did Bradley have the initial seed -or bulb idea? Again, wonderful news about Nyel!

    • sydney

      Last year and the year before Bradley planted thousands of bulbs in his yard and along the fences in front of his house and the church. However, the tradition of daffodils along the roadsides was begun in the 1930s or the 1940s by the women of the Oysterville Community Club. Bradley can surely be given full credit for reviving the interest! And, of course, many of us have had cheerful clumps here and there inside our gardens. The biggest bonus is that the deer leave them alone (unlike tulips which they love more than roses.)

  2. Kathleen Shaw

    What a loving tribute to a great guy! Glad he’s truly on the mend.

  3. Mary Ellen Culp

    I loved your story about the daffodils, they have come to town here in St George, Utah we will have a second spring when we get back to Vernal in April, thanks for your insight it is magical, Happy Holy Week and Happy Easter Mary Ellen


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