HELEN LANG: Giving is a two-way street

One month from today we will be mopping up after another Christmas.

One month from today we will be mopping up after another Christmas.

The newspapers right now are full of brilliant (and expensive) gift ideas, alongside stories of street people, poverty and the usual horrible stories of murder, be-headings, robbery and rape. Gimme a break!

Wonderful acts of decency usually go un-reported as not being newsworthy but at this time of year, sometimes we are treated to good news.

Isn’t it lovely? It’s still a beautiful world. It’s just some of the inhabitants who spoil it and there are only a few of them. Most people are pretty nice, so let’s do the best we can to make it a happy time for as many folks as possible.

This is actually a two-way street.

When you do something to make someone else happy, it gives you the most wonderful feeling … sort of a warm feeling in the pit of your stomach, like swallowing a mouthful of delicious  hot sweet cocoa when you’ve just come in from the cold.

Do I sound like a goody-two-shoes or a Pollyanna? I hope not.

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Those two amaryllis are leaning toward one another. I have the feeling that they are discussing world affairs when I’m in bed asleep.

At their feet are two African violets, one of them in bloom. It’s a small winter garden, but the best I can do at the moment.

No sign yet, of course, of the bulbs so lovingly planted ages ago. Like most gardeners, I’m impatiently awaiting the first signs of life, the first signs of spring. Greed,that’s what it is, just plain greed! They need time to make roots, for Heaven’s sake.

I think I’ll have to buy several winter pansies just so there is something blooming in the place!

I see the beds in the dividers are full of pansy blossoms and it is a treat to see their sunny faces in all this gloom!

If I skied maybe I’d be fonder of winter. This way it just seems a waste of flowering and growing time.

California, here I come!

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.