Four O’Clocks


Remembering Dad

The big white house stood on the hill, or so it seemed to a six-year-old. Many memories were made in that house. They weren’t all wonderful, but memorable, none the less.  

One memory that comes to mind every fall is collecting of four o’clock seeds with Dad. 

The tiny flower blooms every afternoon yes, around four o’clock. When the weather turns cold, they go to seed.

Dad and I would walk the length of the house dumping the little black seeds in an envelope. They were tucked in the medicine cabinet until spring.  When the winter freeze was over, and the ground was soft, we would sprinkle them along the house, reseeding the flower garden. 

It was our tradition. 

Keeping the Tradition

The older I get, the more tradition means to me. Maybe because as you age, you need the memories to hold onto.

When you’re young and raising a family, you’re often too busy to think about the past. Memories slip into a compartment in your brain that you label, “save until the summer of my life.” Then something triggers a thought or memory. Voila! The synapse snaps releasing happy hormones in your brain.

You turn around and you’re sixty-eight. Something triggers a thought or memory. Voila! The synapse snaps releasing happy hormones in your brain.

Truthfully, I hadn’t given much thought to these little pink and yellow flowers until we moved to The Talley farm twelve years ago.

Grandma Talley must have been partial to four o’clock’s, as well. Our yard is peppered with the bushes. They have a mind of their own popping up in the most unwanted places.

I feel guilty when Bill mows over them in the fall. I see Dad’s little stubby fingers pinching the flower to pop out the seeds. But the guilt fades fast in the spring when they shoot up out of the ground and fill the yard with color.

Last year, I started saving the seeds. They sit on a shelf in my medicine cabinet. Every time I open the door and see those black pearls, I am a little girl walking alongside my Daddy tending the flower garden. 

I doubt I’ll ever plant them; they grow quite well without my help. But it warms my heart and makes me feel like a child again just to know they are there.

Family Traditions

Family traditions are important. Whether it’s harvesting seeds, decorating your house at Thanksgiving or Christmas, or gathering each week for Sunday dinner, it’s critical to create traditions with your children. Happy ones they will remember for years to come.

Our families are who we count on to encourage, to give wise council, and to love us unconditionally.

Never underestimate the power of family and tradition. Don’t ever take them for granted. Your loved ones won’t be around forever; cherish them while you still have the chance.


My Dad







Author: Karen Evans Talley

I am a copywriter, published children's author and grant writer. I am the owner of Southern Yankee Communications. Our mission is to assist small to medium​ nonprofit agencies to find grant funding for their worthy program or project.

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