Thursday, May 19, 2005

A Princess Speaks of Roses


Today's journal entry has been written by erstwhile Village Craftsmen employee and island princess Sundae Horn.

I'm here behind the counter for the first time since October 1994, when I ran off with a sailor that Philip introduced me to. Eventually the sailor made an honest woman out of me and we settled here on Ocracoke, bought a house and had two young'ns. Now here I am back at the VC again, an older, wiser, and much-less hungover worker bee.

It was beautiful this morning on Ocracoke, sunny and warm, although as I've sat here under the artificial lights, it's gotten overcast and chilly and looks like it might rain. My garden will like it, but my husband, who can only work when it's clement, won't. He needs to go sailing! (Shameless promotion: please check out

If I were outside today, I'd be able to see all the amazing roses in bloom all over the island. The prettiest one is on my own backyard, where it was planted in 1998, in celebration of my daughter Caroline's birth. It's an old, pink climbing rose, rescued from a development site and divided up among several island gardeners. Caroline's rose is more spectacular this year than ever -- thanks to Hurricane Alex. A few weeks ago, the rosebuds all appeared even though the roots were under a foot of saltwater from a nor'easter that blew a steady 80mph. Roses, like Ocracokers, weather hurricanes and nor'easters with style and thrive on an occassional dip in the sea.

The old girl climbing the fence at the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum greets visitors with yellow buds, creamy white flowers and a heavenly scent. Off to the side, waiting to make her entrance, is another hardy rose, all adorned in hot pink buds. They enjoy a salt spray from the sound every time we get a blow.

As I bike and walk around the village, I see beautiful gardens and yards that are testaments to perserverence and a lesson in working with nature. Alex drowned everything that wasn't meant to live on an island, and if an Ocracoker was naive enough to replant with not-salt-tolerant speciens -- well, the last two nor'eaters took care of that foolishness.

If you get a chance to get to Ocracoke, be sure to stop and smell the roses -- and marvel at their beauty.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:59 AM

    Sundae, that was great fun reading your piece...I could smell the roses as you spoke. Where I live the roses won't be blooming for a good many days! Thank you for the sensory encore! By the way, I have traveled the Windfall many a'times, and it is always beautiful and magical.