Laura and her mother, Susan
It reminds me of a quote I saw online - “Found on a computer file search: Happiness does not exist. Do you wish to create it?”
I was not born into goodness. I had to create it. (It’s all in my novel, Holy Days.)
I'll tell you what it is like to be born into goodness - you can grow roses!
Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of wonderful home shows hosted by wonderful people who are so good and gracious it's hard to believe they really exist, but trust me when I say no one is that good an actor - you cannot fake what you don’t know.
I’ve been watching Ben and Erin in Home Town. They’re wonderful. Jenny and Dave in Fixer to Fabulous. Equally wonderful. (Jenny and Dave have adopted a child from the Congo, so not everyone in the family was born into goodness, but she’s living there now!)
Mostly, I’ve been watching Garden Answer. Every day I watch the beautiful, blue-eyed, auburn-haired Laura Le Boutillier enthusiastically dig holes. I watch her plant beautiful plants. But, what I really love is hearing her voice. I have to hear the very beginning of every video when she calls out, “Hey, guys! How’re ya doin’?” She talks to me.
She’s my best friend and my husband, though he likes her very much, is tired of hearing about her. In spite of himself though, he gets drawn in. Together, he and I laugh at the antics of Laura’s ginger cat, Russell. Russell suddenly appears behind Laura as she explains about compost, he approaches the porch, he abruptly leaps on to the porch railing, gently balances on the arm of Laura’s chair, settles delicately into her lap, peers over the edge of the computer screen. Lol!
It’s all mesmerizing.
A nurse writes in the comments on YouTube that she gets to work a half hour early every day so she can watch Laura before work.
Laura has over 5 million followers on social media. 1.23 million subscribers on YouTube. I don’t even subscribe, but I’m there every day, sometimes more than that, checking on Facebook if she’s posted another photo of her gorgeous garden. I especially love what Laura calls her Versailles area, a gentile corner of soft sweetness complete with a Grecian statue of the Goddess Hebe. Laura’s husband, Aaron (they work together so well that after 15 years of marriage, they practically finish each other's sentences) is mostly invisible behind the camera, but he does pop up now and then helping to lift the big pots on to the fork lift that Laura just drives away. It’s adorable to see her delicate form driving off atop heavy machinery. And, if all this wasn't enough, she just popped out another baby, a girl, Samantha Grace!
In today’s video, Laura opened boxes. Garden supplies were in the boxes. It was super fun. She loaded up the Gator (a cool electric golf cart/jeep) with huge boxes and drove them over to a shaded area where she had a party opening them on the lawn. Laura’s son, Benjamin has a mini gator. There’s video of Benjamin tooling around in his mini car, careful to avoid tulips and the robo mower, which is almost as cute in a R2D2 kind of way.
My favorite video is the April flower arrangement. Russell is in it a lot and so is her other ginger kitty, Cheddar.
I sent Laura and her mother, Susan (Susan is model gorgeous and a very funny addition to the videos. Laura and Susan laugh a lot.) copies of my poetry book, Telling Time By Apples and Other Poems About Life on the Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme. Funny thing about writers, we keep trying to communicate. People send Laura gifts all the time. I wanted to send Laura something. The address listed online is not her home, but her parents’ garden center. Yes, Laura was born to the garden. She’s not a reader, though. She describes herself as a “doer.” But, I think she’ll appreciate the beauty of the book. It is a work of art. And love.
It’s not lost on me that the pandemic has made simple pleasures like home and garden so appealing. My husband loves Laura’s “can-do” spirit. He also loves Ben and Erin; Jenny and Dave, and those two lively twin sisters, Leslie and Lyndsay on Unsellable Houses for the same reason. “They just go ahead and do it!” I love them too.
Maybe Laura will mention me and my poetry book in one of her videos. It will be a moment like the one in Fahrenheit 451 when the television screen speaks to Julie Christie’s character, “Linda! What do you think Linda?” And she gets all befuddled and shy. That would be pretty exciting. But, Laura, you don’t have to mention anything. Maybe drop me an email.
One other thing Laura has accomplished. My best friend has also fallen in love with Garden Answer. I can’t tell you how great it is to speak with her again about real and beautiful things that we both love. I’ve missed that. Her job and her family has kept her so busy these past 10 years, we’ve lost those precious times we used to spend together.
Thank you, Laura. Thank you for all you do.
I can’t wait till the next video.
©Patricia Goodwin, 2021
Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low. Holy Days is her third novel, about the sexual, psychological seduction of Gloria Wisher and her subsequent transformation. Her latest novel is Low Flying, about two women suffering psychologically abusive marriages who find and nurture each other. Her newest poetry books are Telling Time By Apples, And Other Poems About Life On The Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme, illustrated by the author, and Java Love: Poems of a Coffeehouse.
Within this blog, Patricia writes often about non-fiction subjects that inspire or disturb her, hopefully informing and inspiring people to be happy, healthy and free.