This story is about Grammy Miami and her granddaughters, her cat "Tin City Kitty," her garden, her pear tree "Wish," a visitor from Africa called "Lucu" and this story is for Grammy's beautiful granddaughters Evie and Millie, with love.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
☼ Grammy Miami ☼
a new gardener from NJ who does not live in Miami but has visited. Grammy is enthralled (and distracted) by everything and everyone but most especially her two granddaughters. When she learns that her oldest, 4-year old granddaughter is not only growing beautiful sunflowers, but is something of a garden savant, Grammy decides to finally try to start another garden. She hasn’t tried since she was a young girl living in the city (when hoodlums broke her heart by tearing apart her tomatoes limb from limb!) After that, she swore never to grow another garden. Now, with the help of her Top Plant Investigator (her granddaughter Evie “Ouiji” Glenhawk), she’s ready to try again.
☼ Tin City Kitty ☼
Grammy’s faithful and snarky companion. “TC” as he is best known is named for a book written by one of Grammy’s oldest friends Mike Colanut about a city actually named Tin City. TC talks to Grammy and she mostly understands him. He is also able to understand plants, most animals and (on occasion) to see inter-dimensional space travelers.
☼ Lucu ☼
Inter-dimensional space- (not time-) traveling young female African elephant who pops into Grammy’s garden one day to enlist her help in saving her family and her entire species from terrible danger.
☼ Evie “Ouiji” Glenhawk ☼
Grammy’s oldest granddaughter, Evie is spooky good at plants and has an uncanny knack of looking at a plant and knowing not only what he or she needs but what it might really want at that exact moment. She is Grammy’s top Plant Investigator.
☼ Millie “the Chilly” Glenhawk ☼
Evie’s younger sister, Millie is so Zen even Zen is impressed. Millie has the same gift TC does taken to the next level — she can see inter-dimensional space travelers too, and can read emotions in the air. Both Millie and her older sister Evie live with their parents in the UK so they only get to talk to Grammy on the Face Phone.
☼ Kelly Jean (“Jelly Bean, Prettiest Girl I’ve Ever Seen”) ☼
Kelly is a Supermom, a therapist and is skilled at both UK English and US English. She is Grammy’s oldest daughter. Though Kelly is often puzzled by her mother’s idiosyncrasies, she is still rather fond of her.
☼ Joe “Really” Raley ☼
Grammy’s youngest son, Joe’s other nickname began as a joke after a rather bizarre conversation with two friends. Upon hearing his name, one declared, “No one names their son Joe any more.” The other: “What’s your real name?” Joe’s reasponse: “Joe. Really.” Joe has a knack for mechanical contraptions, deadpan humor, can figure out puzzles faster than lightning and is a wizard in the kitchen. He’s also Grammy’s partner in the garden as well as the garden’s main photographer and fixer.
☼ Wish ☼
Grammy’s pear tree, who named herself after tasting one of Grammy’s happy tears two years ago when she was given to Grammy in fulfillment of a birthday wish. Wish is the one who gets the word through the tree-root-underground-network that Grammy is someone that loves plants, loves animals, loves people and loves helping.
The 100 vegetables, herbs and flowers that, with the help of all of the above Cast of Characters, one-by-one join Grammy Miami’s garden, one day and one plant at a time.
Day 1: ☼ Terrance the Tomato ☼
The first garden plant introduced. Terrance is named for Terrance Sullivan, a family ancestor who was short, short-tempered, loved his family, loved to fight, loved to laugh and loved his wife Rose Marie. Terrance’s father Daniel was from Dublin but moved to the Shenandoah Valley in the early 1900’s where Terrance was born. When Terrance grew up, he went to work in a coal mine. He ended up running away with the Landlord’s rich daughter, and that is another story. Terrance is strong and proud, a “Beef Master” tomato which means he is short (well, short for a beefsteak tomato, the shortest of his seed-pouch brothers); he’s also a bit short-tempered and loves to fight.
Day 2: ☼ Philip St. John Basil Rathbone MC the Basil ☼
Named for the South-African born English actor who was best known as Basil Rathbone. Basil was most famous for his starring roles in 14 Hollywood films about Shelock Holmes that were made during the WWII years (1939-1946). Basil Rathbone served in the Great War (WWI) in the London Scottish Regiment. It was during that time he was awarded the title “MC” (Military Cross). “The Military Cross is granted in recognition of “an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land to all members, of any rank in Our Armed Forces.” The reason our plant Basil was given this name is because he volunteered to be planted near Terrance the Tomato and to draw enemy fire (the white fly is the most notorious enemy of both) from Terrance’s tender developing tomatoes. Basil is also known as “Basil the Brave.”
Day 3: ☼ Pancho Ramos-Stierlet the Pepper ☼
is named in honor of Pancho Ramos-Stierle from Casa de Paz in Oakland, CA. Grammy doesn’t know Pancho personally, but she is inspired by his generosity and heart-song every time she watches her mentor Nipun Mehta’s TED Talk: Designing for Generosity.
Author’s Aside: This film about Casa de Paz is also amazing.
Day 4: ☼ The Lettuce Quadruplets ☼
Day 5: ☼ Carl Lewis the Cucumber ☼
Named for one of the fastest men and most accomplished athletes of all time, Carl Lewis from Alabama!
Day 6: ☼ Esther Peterson the Parsley ☼
Named for one of the most brilliant and accomplished women of the 20th Century, Esther Eggertsen Peterson.
Days 7-11: ☼ The Legion of Petunias – SURPRISE! ☼
Grammy Miami fell asleep in her garden for a few days and woke to find a beautiful bunch of Petunias yelling (silently of course — plants don’t actually yell) “SURPRISE!” TC woke her excitedly to explain…
ABOUT THIS STORY
“Grammy Miami and the Case of the Disappearing Friendly Young Female African Elephant Named Lucu” is a story for my second #the100dayproject on Instagram.
This is a story for my granddaughters who will find themselves featured in its pages. Every day for the next 100 days there will be a new photo, plant and chapter.
I’m doing this for my newest #the100dayproject on Instagram (#tizzlovesrowdy). My page is here: tizzlovesrowdy My goals for this project are:
- to create daily updates for a chapter story for my granddaughters, age 4 and 1;
- to create art;
- to get better at gardening, one plant at a time;
- to recover in the very best way from a recent major surgery (sunshine, creativity);
- to consistently create for a project from my heart, powered by love;
- to connect with other creative folks doing #the100dayproject