Roy Exum: My Garden In March

Monday, March 1, 2021 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

It was about midnight last night, just at the point we flip a page on the calendar, when the month of March arrived in the middle of a thunderstorm. You bet, just as it has for ages, this month arrives like a lion and eases out 31 days from now as a lamb. I could hardly mind the thunder; I am so glad to see the arrival of spring and the promise my flowers will awake from their winter’s sleep. I’ll take last night’s stormy debut as a gift, believe me.

On the equinox calendar the first day of spring will arrive on March 20th, three days after we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. With all due respect to the saint who drives snakes from the country, I have forever believed St. Patrick’s Day is more a celebration of Spring. On the 27th this month the wonderful Jewish tradition of Passover begins after sunset and on the 28th we Christians will sing praises on Palm Sunday. (Easter will be celebrated on April 4th.)

My monthly walk in the garden on this first day of every month is hardly noticeable but … wait … underneath the bird feeders are recognizable green sprouts, this from seeds that have fallen as our feathered have wintered, and thus my delight of what is to come this month is heightened.

Even with one week of February in the 20s followed by the next weeks in the 60s, I am still able to come up with a collection of orchids and onions as I customarily do on the first of the month. Let’s deliver some of them:

AN ORCHID to the fact Daylight Saving Time is just two weeks away and we will spring forward on March 14. That’s correct, there is no “S” at the end of “Saving” in this instance. (The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the system of uniform daylight-saving time throughout the US.)

AN ONION to those who do not agree we ought to have DST 12 months a year. I love the Indian chief who purportedly said, “Only the government believes that if you cut a foot off the top of a blanket, and then sew it to the bottom of the blanket, you gotta’ longer blanket.” Release the American people from this “spring forward, fall back” nonsense.

AN ORCHID to a kid in Savannah who has been dealt a real crummy hand but got tired of so many other people looking so glum. He’s now the frontrunner in my “Man of the Year” search and he’s only six years old. Watch this! CLICK HERE.

AN ONION to every registered voter in the city of Chattanooga who does not go to the polls tomorrow and help select the city’s next Mayor and City Council members. There are some great candidates, too.

AN ORCHID for this Monday, because it still gives time to go to the Siskin Hospital’s website and buy a ticket to the 18th Annual Possibilities Luncheon that will be held in virtual mode tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. Katherine Wolf, who survived a massive stroke, will deliver her inspirational story and you can use your registration number to watch anytime until March 15. The website is and if you simply want to make a donation, good for you. All the proceeds from the luncheon are used each year to cover the costs of those in our community who are unable to pay for the amazing hospital’s many services.

AN ONION to some of my best friends who are opting out of taking a “free” COVID-19 vaccination, citing the latest figures show about a 30 percent decline in coronavirus cases in the last week in Hamilton County. Heavens above, don’t fall for the easy way out; this disease has killed 459 people in Hamilton County in less than a year and there is an uptick in Tennessee. As of Sunday, the state has had 9,879 new cases in the last seven days, a 24 percent increase over the week before. Think of it like this: without the vaccine you can pass the disease along to the father of two pre-teenaged boys who need their dad with baseball season coming along. Avoid stinkin’ thinkin’!

AN ORCHID to Josh Groban, easily one of the greatest singers of our time, who just released a fabulous new song on Friday. He performs the song “I’ll Stand By You” with one of my favorite female vocalists, Germany’s Helene Fischer. One thing I should point out; as you watch the video, Josh is in a recording lab in the United States while Helene is singing in a German studio. Both could see the other’s face via live video streaming during the song, and due to the latest in breaking-edge technology, few of their millions of fans will realize they were actually half a world away from one another when they sang this song together. Listen to this! CLICK HERE.

AN ONION to the Facebook support group, “Karens” for women who actually believe they are “cursed with that now-demonized first name.” Are you kidding me? I have never met a girl named Karen who I wasn’t wild about. Please!

AN ORCHID for attitude. We all know that Texas has been through a horrible weather anomaly but read what Ron Rusak just wrote in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Yes, the state was caught flat-footed by the unusually cold weather and it is clear our power plants must be winterized. But as liberals loll in “the warm bath of schadenfreude,” let’s remember one awful week “doesn’t negate decades of prudent governance” that have brought both people and businesses flocking to Texas from heavily regulated states like California. “Cheap and abundant” energy and low taxes have fueled growth that “improves lives in ways no government program ever can.”

AN ONION for the German word “schadenfreude,” which describes the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of, or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another. To pronounce it, get a half-spoon of peanut butter in your mouth and before you swallow it, say “SHAND-n-froi-duh.” You’ll come closer than you would have without the peanut butter.

AN ORCHID to the memory of the beloved Mark Twain (1835-1910) who famously wrote: “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”

AN ONION for the organizers of this summer’s Tokyo Olympics who have strictly banned hugging, high fives, and all “other unnecessary forms of physical contact” but announced there would be 150,000 condoms available for athletes in the Olympics Village. Go figure.

AN ORCHID to the leveled-headed Becky Barnes of our Hamilton County Health Department, who has had a gargantuan role in getting the vaccine into as many arms as possible in what has clearly been a “learn as you go” prayer exercise. In Memphis attempts by the health department have been so sullied the state has now taken over the health department duties … a clear indication the most dangerous city in Tennessee is also our most dysfunctional. When you see Tennessee rank at the bottom in the state’s response to vaccines, please know Becky, with the help of County Mayor Jim Coppinger, is an American VIP.

AN ONION to Marcus Goodman, a 31-year-old in Spokane who posted bond for carjacking. Twenty minutes after his release, he hijacked another car, was immediately caught, and was back behind bars within 60 minutes of his release.

and finally …

AN ORCHID to Joe Biden and his administration thus far. Sure, he’s going to bobble some issues like gun control … and for him to seek praise for the speed of the coronavirus vaccine is horribly “bad form;” please, 10.5 million vaccines had been delivered by the day he was sworn into office. But no matter, when political parties get past who deserves credit and who deserves blame, that is when the American people will be brought together by what “we did.”

February 28, 2021





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