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Last night we went to some privately owned gardens. We invited our son and daughter-in-law because she loves gardens and things that grow. Her latest interest includes succulents. At one bend in the paths was an area that had been planted in a wide variety. We were bending and admiring when a lady on a Segway came upon us.

I rose up and commented something along the line that she should just let go and full speed ahead. Her reply was that when there were no people around she does.

Then I observed her official uniform simultaneously with the mischievous twinkle in her eye and the playful turtle tattoo on her arm. I wasn’t sure if I should explain I didn’t really intend that she race about recklessly, or ask if I could give it a try.

But my daughter-in-law had caught her attention. It seems this lady was the very one to plant that plot of succulents. Within a minute they were fast friends, united by their fascination with “flapjacks” and other varieties. When we left the area our daughter showed us a clipping the lady had surreptitiously given her with the caution to “not let anyone see it when we passed back through the gate.”

I like friendships that contain an element of fun. Sure discussing politics, religion and the economy with someone that may not agree with you, but will give you something to think about, is enjoyable. And it’s always nice to have someone commiserate with you when life trips you and you sprawl flat on the concrete. But just having fun—playfulness, laughter, teasing, and an occasional wicked smirk—are as essential as all the rest.

Life is too heavy to take ourselves too seriously.

So we wandered through the gardens, enjoying the diversity from the whimsical Secret Garden to the sacred Sculpture Garden.

We gazed in wonder at the massive man-made waterfalls and watched with admiration as children rolled down hills.

We smelled mint and roses and ran up and down steps.

Most of the people walked, but due to some major blisters on our son’s feet we had opted for an alternative method and rented a golf cart. We rode about following people down paths and parked often while we went off to check out a cluster of roses or

willows along a creek. It was a very enjoyable way to get around—almost as much fun as a Segway would have been. I just wish we had a large horn. Not because I’m not patient, but there were a few people that could have used a good startle.  

And some windmills to tilt at could have been interesting.