Being Far from Ordinary

During the last 2 weeks, nature has provided us with both the magnificent awe of the solar eclipse, and conversely, the devastating horror of wind, water and fire.  The eclipse was extraordinary to view and considering the media hype that preceded it, the event sparked powerful emotions and formed fabulous memories for nearly all who witnessed it.  Ryan and I watched the totality from the third-floor deck here at our office, sipping rum and coke!  Actually, what we saw was 99.5% of a total eclipse, and it’s a testimony to the immense power of a star that even at 93 million miles away, with over 99% of it blocked by the moon, we still dared not look at it directly.  It did get dark for about 2 minutes, save for the tiny sliver of light that peeked around the edge of the lunar surface.  Little Prince is surrounded by pastures on three sides, and I will never forget the scene of seeing 30 horses grazing in the field to the east suddenly and of one mind bolt in a stampede back to their stable in the seconds approaching totality.  As the moon receded from the face of the sun, and a second dawn rapidly overcame the darkness, the horses slowly made their way back out into the pasture and began “second breakfast”, or was it “elevensies”, I get those meals confused.
The glory of the solar eclipse has itself been eclipsed by the devastation of hurricane Harvey and by the fires that burn across the West.  Like Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings, we too are passing through water and flame, and we hope to emerge beyond the destruction they are causing and begin rebuilding.  As I write, both the storm and the fires are still dealing their fury.  While hurricanes and forest fires are not predictable in the precise sense that a solar eclipse is, we are certainly experiencing an increase in these events that is consistent with predictions based on climate change models.  While it’s not accurate to say that Harvey was directly caused by global warming, it is fair to say that climate change has contributed to the severity of the storm.  The same correlation can be asserted about the number of forest fires burning in West.  I hope both these events cause our government to reassess our abrupt departure from the Paris Climate Change Accord.
In the midst of all this, the Farwest Show happened!  For those of you were not able to attend, the theme of our booth this year was baseball, and for the 4th year in a row, we won the best 10’ by 10’ booth award, and also the “Far From Ordinary” award.  Our booth was designed to look like a baseball stadium, complete with bleachers filled with beautiful plants, a home run wall made from Sempervivums that spelled LITTLE PRINCE, and a jumbotron screen showing a presentation about our unique brands of plants we offer at Little Prince.  We were clad in pinstriped baseball uniforms bearing the image of our adorable crowned frog mascot.  Several months ago, I reached out to Oregon’s Governor, Kate Brown through Jeff Stone at the OAN.  Governor Brown was able to join us in our booth for a few minutes Thursday morning to ceremonially throw out the first pitch and play catch with Ryan.  (Check out this video!)  It was a great honor to have her take time from here busy schedule to do this for us.  She was on her way immediately after leaving us to fly to Brookings, OR to view the damage being caused by the Chetco Bar fire, which is still not contained.  Overall, this was another awesome show for us.  We got to meet many of you there and enjoyed meeting many new people.  I think baseball was a fitting theme this year because like every sport, there are “fans” that follow it.  One of the reasons we work so hard at Little Prince to create these fun booths and clever costumes year after year, and to make sure that the plants we sell are the best available in the industry, is because many of you have made the jump from being simply customers of Little Prince to being “Fans” of Little Prince, and for that we are honored and grateful.
While we’ve been away at Farwest, our fabulous crew has continued to create and care for the beautiful plants you’ve come to expect from us.  Our availability is loaded with items that you should be ordering this week to keep your benches stocked with great plants that are perfect for fall plantings.  Something to look forward to in 2018 will be a gallon perennial program from us.  Many of you have been asking, and we will deliver on that next summer.  If there are plants you’d like us to offer in gallons, please do let Ryan or I know!  Also, many of you received collectable “baseball cards” from us at the Farwest show.  We passed out starter packs of 10 cards at the show, along with peanuts and Cracker Jacks, of course!  There are some great prizes available for you if you begin collecting these cards.  There are 39 unique cards in all, and you’ll get a prize for collecting 20 unique cards, and a grand prize if you are the first to collect all 39.  Every time you place an order, our drivers will give you an additional packet of cards.  Just a fun little incentive to keep our fans happy!   And rest assured, we are already working on next year’s booth theme, which will be SPECTACULAR.  I’m just not sure where we are going to find 3 dragons!

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