The Lovely Amaryllis by Brian Justus

Presentation Thumbnail DHF LogoThe Lovely Amaryllis
by Brian Justus

From: <Ruth Tate>
To: <Frankie’s email>; <Melanie Tate>
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2016 9:47 PM
Subject: Lovely Amaryllis!

Dear Frankie,

Thank you so very much for your card and the beautiful amaryllis! As you know, it is my favorite. If this specimen represents the rest of your stock in Nashua, you are running a first-class operation! We are not sure how it will fare in Boca Raton, but maybe the Florida climate will do it some good! Mr. Pretty seems to like the colorful blooms as we have placed the pot near his perch at the picture window. I will be hosting my Card Club on the 27th and cannot wait to show the ladies.

We wish you and Melanie all the best and look forward to your next visit when you get tired of New Hampshire! Ha ha!

– Love Mama and Papa

Love and Peace,
Ruth Ann Tate

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From: <Ruth Tate>
To: <Frankie’s email>
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2016 11:28 PM
Subject: One more thing

Hi Frankie,

I had to write again. Your father said you would get a kick out of this. We were watching the news and here these three big bugs come running across the durrie rug just as fast as they could. Well your father mashed one with his slipper but the other two got away. Come to find out, they came out of that amaryllis pot, or that is what we think because of the little holes in the dirt.

Your father told a joke and said it figures we get flowers from your nursery but they are full of bugs. Ha ha! He is just kidding. Thank you again for the lovely gift.

– Love Mama and Papa

PS – Mr. Pretty did not like those bugs at all. He made quite a fuss! Maybe he thinks they are for the BIRDS. Hee-hee!

Love and Peace,
Ruth Ann Tate

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From: <Ruth Tate>
To: <Dolores Williams>
Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2016 8:03 AM
Subject: RE: Hosting March Meeting

Hello Dolores,

It was so nice to hear from you and, yes, I am excited to welcome the ladies into our home on the 27th.

Light hors d’oeuvres will be spicy chicken fajita rollups (non-spicy also available), as well as vegetarian options and fresh fruit. Beverages will include California chardonnay and assorted soft drinks.

Love and Peace,
Ruth Ann Tate

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From: <Ruth Tate>
To: <Frankie’s email>
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 6:04 AM
Subject: Bugs!

Frankie,

Just a quick note as it is too early to call. I am so sorry but we had to throw away the lovely amaryllis as we discovered it contained quite a large quantity of those strange bugs. Are you familiar with these little creatures? They are about two inches long and solid black except for yellow stripes. What a fright!

They keep popping up. Your father found two that had climbed upon Mr. Pretty’s perch, and let me tell you, the Mister grew quite upset.

We have found these critters in all corners of the house and they seem quite smart. Yesterday, I took a flyswatter after one in the laundry room. It ran behind the shelving unit but came right back out walking with its front legs up and holding a little splinter of wood. Can you believe that? It shook it at me like it wanted to give me a taste of my own medicine!

Your father didn’t care, of course, and stepped on it. Crazy as this might sound, that bug swung its little stick and smacked his shoe six or seven times just as hard as it could, right up until its little body crunched. I must say all of this is driving me a little crazy, but enough of our troubles. Is everything okay with you and Melanie? I imagine you are quite busy with spring coming, but I worry since we have not heard from you. Please call or write when you can.

Best wishes!

– Love Mama and Papa

Love and Peace,
Ruth Ann Tate

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From: <Ruth Tate>
To: <Frankie’s email>
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2016 9:56 AM
Subject: Mr. Pretty

Dear Frankie,

Our phone is not working but I will call you as soon as we check into the hotel. I am not sure where to start, but I guess I should tell you about Mr. Pretty. We could not find him anywhere this morning so your father decided to check the attic. I waited downstairs but then heard him make a sound like he was surprised or something so I went up after him.

I am sad to say we found Mr. Pretty. Back where we have the boxes and whatnot, there was the biggest bunch of those bugs all in a big circle with the Mister in the middle. They had him picked down to the bones and his feathers gathered into a pile. They all turned like they were surprised to see us, then a dozen or so bigger ones came out and lined up.

Frankie, if this is a lie, may the sky open up! Each of them had a little plastic sword. They’d gotten into my cocktail garnishes, of course, but they held them like they were real weapons.

Your father and I headed for the door, but then saw several more on the ceiling. One landed on your father’s neck and must have bitten him because there was blood. I smacked that devil right away and killed it, then the others backed off enough for us to get downstairs and shut the door.

Well, it was quite a scare as you can imagine, but we are fine. We suspect the bugs have something to do with our phone troubles, but it’s hard to tell right now. We are checking in at the Sheraton and your father will have an exterminator out first thing Monday morning.

Frankie, we feel especially bad since the Mister was a present from you and Melanie. Please do not worry about us. We loved that little bird, of course, and will miss him terribly but he is in a better place.

I will call as soon as we get our bearings.

– Love Mama and Papa

Love and Peace,
Ruth Ann Tate

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From: <Ruth Tate> This message was sent with HIGH importance.
To: <Dolores Williams>
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2016 9:58 AM
Subject: Canceling for Sunday

Dear Dolores – I regret that I must withdraw my invitation to host the ladies on Sunday. An unexpected emergency has arisen, and we are unable to accept visitors. I am so very sorry and hope you will forgive this short notice. I will be in touch to explain our unfortunate situation.

My very best to you,

Love and Peace,
Ruth Ann Tate

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From: <Melanie Tate> This message was sent with HIGH importance.
To: <Ruth Tate>
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2016 11:13 AM
Subject: RE: Lovely Amaryllis!

Ruthie and Gil – We can’t reach you by phone, so please call as soon as you can. We may have accidentally shipped some pesky little critters to you.

Frank is dealing with a problem at the nursery and asked me to give you a call. From what he said, it’s a rogue hybrid of goliathus africanus. It’s a long story, but basically, Frank’s partner (he’s a real jerk if you ask me!) ordered some shady shipments from South Africa, mainly eucomis and amaryllis. But apparently they bypassed the import rules.

Anyway, Frank’s got a bit of a mess here. I keep teasing him that these bugs are smarter than he is. He cut the heat to the greenhouses, which slowed them down a bit, but (according to Frank!) they figured out how to turn the thermostat back up. I said “Sure! Blame it on the bugs!” (Ha! Ha!) But he swears they’re smart little devils. It’s actually a bit of a joke” We’ve heard some tales about them in Cape Town… that they learn how to imitate the behaviors of other animals and whatnot, even humans, if you can believe that! I’ve teased Frank quite a bit on that one, wondering if he might train one to run the cash register. LOL!

Anyway, pay no mind to those silly tales. If you’ve spotted these bugs around, I do recommend getting out of the house and calling a certified exterminator.

Aside from all of this, we hope all is well and look forward to seeing you! Please call when your phone is working.

Best regards,
-Melanie

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From: <Ruth Tate>
To: <Dolores Williams>
Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2016 4:17 AM
Subject: RE: Canceling for Sunday

Dolores never mind forget what i say things ok here love ruth

Love and Peace,
Ruth Ann Tate

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From: <Dolores Williams>
To: <Ruthie Tate>
Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2016 7:01 AM
Subject: RE: Canceling for Sunday

Dear Ruthie,

I hope there has not been any problem. Your initial email appeared to be canceling for Sunday, but your second message asserts that all is well. We will move forward with our plan to enjoy your hospitality on Sunday, however I request that you confirm receipt of this message and that you are fully prepared to accommodate the group.

A total of 22 attendees have responded, but please allow for an additional 6-8 last-minute add-ons. We typically plan for 30. I trust that you will not disappoint the ladies.

Best,
Dolores

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From: <Ruth Tate>
To: <Dolores Williams>
Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2016 7:04 AM
Subject: RE: Canceling for Sunday

All is good seeyou sundy love ruth

Love and Peace,
Ruth Ann Tate

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