2014-2016 Dear Daffi

MARCH 25, 2016

Dear Envious,

Sometimes we forget just how fortunate we are – you dropped a big clue in your letter when you mentioned “a world where so many bad things happen to so many good people.” I know that sometimes very fortunate people can feel hollow. If this is the case with you, think about what you can do to help those less fortunate. Is there a charity organization where you can donate time? Instead of spending more and more money on daffodil bulbs can you donate some of that money to a good cause? Then divide some of your bulbs and share with your neighbors…and they will share with you! And as always, don’t hesitate to seek professional counseling – we’re not necessarily born with all the tools we need to fix some of the things in our lives that we feel are broken. I wish you all the best….

Daffi

Dear Daffi,

For several years I’ve battled “Daffodil Envy.” I know it’s ridiculous and in a world where so many bad things happen to so many good people I feel guilty about it. But for the past several years when I see all the blooms in the yards of my neighbors I vow to add more and better daffodils to my gardens. And I do! For the past three falls I have planted over 600 ADDITIONAL bulbs! But it never seems enough and I don’t know what to do. And now, as the daffodils are blooming I’m suffering again. Please help!

Envious Green Thumb

DECEMBER 31, 2015

Dear Readers,

As another year winds to a close, I wish you health and happiness and all the best in 2016!

Always,

Daffi

NOVEMBER 28, 2015

Dear Daffi,

I just wanted to write to say what a great town this is! I am so proud of all the good folks who embrace our holiday time with family, friends, and community AND who don’t succumb to crazy shopping! To the town merchants who embrace a more stress-free attitude towards the holidays: Thank you!

Grateful Girl

Dear Grateful,

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Daffi

SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

Dear Daffi,

Our neighbor has a lovely garden but recently hasn’t been keeping up with the maintenance and it’s getting a bit overrun. This neighbor is a bit elderly but is also somewhat stubborn about accepting help. I’d like to reach out, but I’m not sure how – I certainly don’t want to anger this person, but I also don’t want the gardens to look sloppy. Ideas?

Garden Neatnik

Dear Neatnik,

It’s lovely that you are conscious of the feelings of your neighbor. Many organizations around town are always looking for projects for the members to earn volunteer hours. You might try a friendly visit and during that chat drop hints that it would be a great help if they would allow someone to help in the garden. Make it a win-win-win! Good luck to you.

Best wishes,

Daffi

JUNE 10, 2015

Dear Daffi,

I’m on the cusp of adulthood and unsure of what to do with my life. My ‘internet friends’ tell me the first step is to get out of my hometown. They say I won’t be happy here because there won’t be any opportunities for me. But I couldn’t possibly leave the Township! I mean, all my ancestors grew up here and were more than happy. Would it be the same for me though? How do I make the most of living at home?

Daffigurl

Dear Daffigurl,

Congratulations on your respect and admiration for our ancestors! Your thoughts show that you have a deep understanding of the commitment Daffodilians have for our Township and those who live here. 

I hope you know that you’re not alone in being unsure of what to do with your life. While some individuals seem to know their life’s path from an early age, many of us do not and so we continue to explore possibilities. It’s natural. You don’t need to make all your decisions immediately.

For now, think about what you enjoy. Do you love the activities around Daffodil Township? Are there other places you’d like to see? Other pursuits you’d like to try? Maybe you would like to travel and see new places. Exploring the world can be a thrilling adventure and open our minds and hearts to new ideas. If you decide you want or need to move away from the Township, please remember: We’ll always be here. You can always come back.

You are correct when you say that many of our ancestors were very happy here in our little Township ~ and folks who live here today love it just as much. Why? Well, why don’t you try a little challenge: Explore our little piece of the world here in Daffodil Township. Are there little nuggets of our history that are new to you? Who are Daffodilians? Do a little sightseeing in the place you grew up! You never know what exciting adventures might unfold when you begin creating opportunities for yourself in your hometown.

Best wishes,

Daffi

MARCH 10, 2015

Dear Daffi,

How do I talk my mom and dad into getting a dog? I’m 12.

Dogless in the Daffodils

Dear Dogless,

Begin by demonstrating responsibility in all you do: schoolwork, household chores, and even volunteer work. If your parents see you behaving responsibly in other areas of your life they might be more inclined to understand that you would be responsible for a pet. Good luck!

Daffi

FEBRUARY 24, 2015

Dear Daffi,

My future mother-in-law keeps asking me which is my favorite daffodil! I’m about at the end of my rope! I can’t answer that! How could I?! Oh – and she’s NOT Daffodilian.

Fraught

Dear Fraught,

First of all, some Daffodilians DO have favorites – although folks try not to play favorites. I once ran into the same problem at a conference I attended. When other attendees learned of the Township they kept asking (and asking…and asking…!). I finally told them: “For some Daffodilians, asking what is their favorite daffodil is like asking which of their children is their favorite. Most of us embrace the beauty and tenacity of all varieties.” My comment led to a long conversation of the comparison of daffodils to humans…and they never asked the question again. 

My suggestion? Explain that each variety has strength and beauty and you simply cannot choose. But be aware…she may be asking for a reason. Does she want to order bulbs for you? A little more information from her might be helpful. Good luck!

Daffi

FEBRUARY 3, 2015

Dear Daffi,

My parents had some old college friends come for a visit and these people have a really obnoxious 13 year old kid. I mean, I’m 13, too, so I know we can all be obnoxious sometimes, but this kid was really mean. He made fun of everything and then when we were walking around town he started accusing us (Daffodilians) of being unAmerican and stuff. At first I didn’t know what he was talking about but then he said that only “Commies” (his word, not mine!) would have streets named “Sputnik and #%*! like that!” I tried to tell him that it was the street names in our neighborhood were inspired by early space exploration, but he wouldn’t listen and just kept being obnoxious. They’re gone now, but it still bothers me and I don’t know what I could’ve said different.

Dismayed on Laika Lane

Dear Dismayed,

Small-minded individuals come in all ages and I’m very sorry you had to deal with the hurtful comments of your guest. As you mentioned, your neighborhood street names were inspired by space exploration – but even more importantly, the unique mid-century architecture in the area is the result of a talented Daffodilian architect. The streets were named after early spacecrafts and honor the men, women, and animals of that exciting era of exploration.

As for how to deal with such small-mindedness? The best advice I can give is to be a role model. Continue being open-minded and inclusive. Continue to explore, to analyze, and to embrace. And always remember that you can’t always change someone’s mind or behavior, but by modeling the open-mindedness and inclusiveness I mentioned you demonstrate a different path.

You make me proud to be a Daffodilian! 

Daffi

JANUARY 6, 2015

Dear Daffi,

My husband I are newlyweds and this is the first year we have seed shopped together for our first-ever joint vegetable garden. We’ve started going through seed catalogs and we can’t agree on what type carrots to plant. He has always planted Nantes half long, and I have always preferred Danvers half long…but I’m feeling a little “wild and crazy” and I really want to try a purple carrot such as Purple Haze! We don’t want to carry our frustrations into our first “together garden.” Please help us decide.

Root Crop Quandry

Dear Quandry,

Try all three! Happy gardening….

Daffi

DECEMBER 2014

Dear Readers,

As the year draws to a close, please remember to reach out to others with respect and love, embrace Mother Nature, and care for your self. Have a beautiful holiday season!

Daffi

NOVEMBER 16, 2014

Dear Daffi,

With bad weather approaching I cringe to think about the mud, dirt, snow, and salt that visitors might drag into my home. Is there a “best way” to ask someone to remove their shoes when the come for a visit?

No-Shoe Nanette

Dear No-Shoe,

Place basket of cozy house shoes by your door and keep your outdoors shoes neatly lined up ~ when guests SEE that, they already have an indication that this is a “shoe-free” zone. Then following up with a quick: “Choose a comfy pair of slippers to wear in our home” sets the idea. Be sure the slippers are washable and you offer multiple sizes from which guests can choose.

You might mention that your concern is also environmental. By keeping shoes at the door, you save on the need for cleaning products that might compromise your indoor air quality. Be aware, however, that some of your guests may need the support that their shoes offer. A gracious host should accommodate such needs. Good luck!

Daffi

NOVEMBER 6, 2014

Dear Daffi,

Earlier this year I decided to make flannel robes for all the members of my family and now November is here and I realize I won’t get them finished in time for Christmas! I have all the flannel and some of them are completed, but I don’t know what to do! I have a reputation in my family for my lovingly crafted homemade gifts and I don’t want to disappoint!

Sad Seamstress

Dear Sad,

The best gift we can all give is the gift of ourselves. Sharing your talents is a lovely gift for your family, but remember, the most important thing is the time spent together and the memories you create.

Box up the flannel with a picture of the robe and a promise of completion…and then COMPLETE the robes after the holidays. The memory of the surprise of several yards of flannel and the promise of a robe will be a story your family will treasure in years to come…and meanwhile, you will have freed yourself of the burden of perfection and you will be able to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.

Daffi

OCTOBER 2, 2014

Dear Daffi,

My husband is a habitual hobby-hopper. In the past ten years he has taken up pottery, glass bead making, ham radio, coffee bean roasting, calligraphy, rollerskating, magic, genealogy, philately, ukelele, woodcarving, and shoe repair…to name a few. He’s created some lovely items and he seems genuinely interested in what he is doing while he’s doing it. And I must say, his enthusiasm is so contagious he’s gotten me interested in some of the activities. The problem is that he keeps wanting to try something new. Granted, he comes home after work and we have interesting conversation over dinner and beyond. And it’s not that we can’t afford the hobbies, we can. In all other ways he is a charming, loving, respectable man. It just seems like he should focus on one hobby to become more of an expert.  Doesn’t that make sense?

Flummoxed

Dear Flummoxed,

I, too, am flummoxed. You have an interesting husband who comes home in the evening ~ a man who is loving and respectable but…STOP THE PRESSES…he is a serial hobbyist. Where is the problem? Different strokes for different folks, Flum. You see a need for cultivating specialized expertise and your husband enjoys a cultivating a broader range of knowledge. Embrace your differences, encourage each other, and enjoy.

Daffi

SEPTEMBER 15, 2014

Dear Daffi,

A lovely man who is near and dear to me has his heart set on winning the Daffodil Dandy Contest this year. I’m concerned that if he doesn’t win again this year he will be devastated. What can I do?

Concerned

Dear Concerned,

Of course it’s always a disappointment when our loved ones don’t achieve their dreams and you are very kind to be so concerned. You might remind this “lovely man” about all his wonderful qualities and encourage him to explore additional ways in which he excels. Remember, our Night of Narcissus Celebration offers many opportunities for everyone to participate and shine! Encourage him to enter his cupcakes in the CDC! Who know? Maybe his cupcake design will win. Or help him practice his bubble blowing or checkers game. While many Daffodilians focus on the crowning of the Daffodil Dandy, there are many, many ways for us all to engage with other members of our community during this joyous celebration of Night of Narcissus! Best of luck!

Daffi

JUNE 24, 2014

Dear Daffi,

My mom is was really hoping to get some Thalia bulbs last fall at the bulb exchange but this spring when her new bulbs bloomed none of them were Thalia. Our neighbor has lots and lots of Thalia that bloom every spring and lately my mom’s been talking about “taking” some and wanting to know if I want to go on a “dig” with her this fall. I know daffodil rustling is wrong, but I want my mom to be happy. What should I do?

Perplexed Son

Dear Perplexed Son,

You’re right, daffodil rustling IS wrong and your mom shouldn’t try to get you to be part of such a scheme. Life doesn’t always hand us what we want and sometimes we need to figure out how to take care of our needs ourselves OR do without. As her son, there are some things you might be able to do, though. Maybe ask your neighbor if you could help with some chores in exchange for some Thalia bulbs when they are ready to be divided. Or see about earning some spending money and purchase some Thalia bulbs for your mom. Your concern is good, but remind your mom that “Rustling Is Wrong” and that even if she never has Thalia of her own, there are lots of those late bloomers all around Daffodil Township that she can enjoy. Good luck to you!

Daffi