Thursday, April 30, 2015
Z is for ZEENYERS
If you didn’t live in Louisiana in the ‘40s, you might not recognize the beautiful flowers called zeenyers. I’m not saying that you didn’t have them, but you probably called them by their given name, zinnias.
But my grandmother called them zeenyers, and I grew up thinking that that was their name. I’d never seen it written, so I thought zeenyers was right. All I really knew is that they were such beautiful flowers, right up there with pansies and sweet peas.
If you were at Memamma’s house, looking at the front porch, you’d find her bed of zeenyers on the left side. Oh, my, but they were lovely! Red, yellow, pink, gold, cream . . . all the colors that made a most beautiful bed. No green ones such as we have today because of strange things that scientists have done to the seeds. No . . . no quirky green zeenyers in Memamma’s flower bed.
Every evening after dinner, just as the sun was going down, she’d call out, “Who’s gonna water my zeenyers?” All of us girl cousins who happened to be there would yell in unison, “Me, me! I’m gonna water ‘em!” And then we’d start out fussing over who would be first because we knew that we’d have to share in the watering.
I don’t have lots of specific memories of visiting my grandparents, but watering the zeenyers is one of them. I still love those flowers, and I still call them zeenyers . . . at least in my mind.