Friday, March 11, 2011

Starting A New Job in A New City

By Faye Calhoun from The White House Gardener Mysteries

Oh my gracious, the things the youngin’s come up with these days. The Internet and web logs? Casey, my granddaughter, keeps telling me that I need to get a computer. She showed me how to buy seeds online from faraway places, like California. Ain’t that a kick? But I’m here to talk about shopping.

My granddaughter, Casey Calhoun, asked me to write a little something for you today. She wanted to be here herself. She’s an assistant gardener for the White House. Imagine that! My two daughters and I are bursting with pride for her.

She hopes to make an appearance next month. The White House has to approve all contact its staff has with the media. She tells me that it takes time for that to happen. Several departments have to approve her request and sign off on the topics she plans to talk about. It sounds rather complicated.

Margaret Bradley, our gracious First Lady, had heard about Casey’s organic landscaping business in Charleston, SC and had asked her to come to Washington to develop and implement an organic landscape plan for the White House. At first, Casey had balked at leaving her family.

But I told her, “Child, you need to follow your heart. Don’t worry about us old biddies. We’ve been taking care of ourselves for longer than you’ve been alive.”

Well, it was about time someone recognized her talents. We’d known ever since she came to live with me and my two daughters at Rosebrook that our little princess was something special. She was just a little mite back then. Quiet, too. But her mind, it was always spinning. To keep her occupied, I gave her a Miss Marple mystery to read. Look back, I'm not sure I should have given a murder mystery to such a young, impressionable mind. Nowadays, she always carries a mystery novel around with her. I tell her she's going to rot her mind.

This is her first move to a new city, and I'm worried about her getting settled. She’s mentioned that a young banker has been acting all sweet on her lately. I haven’t asked her too much about it, because my daughters, Abla and Willow, tend to get carried away with their advice.

I'd like to guide her on what she can do to make Washington, D.C. feel like her home. I want her to be happy. But I was born in Charleston, SC and have lived here all my life. I don't know what to tell her.

Have you ever made a big move to a new city? How did you cope with the change?


Dorothy St. James writes the White House Gardener Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Flowerbed of State will be published May 2011. Visit with Dorothy on the web or at Facebook.


  1. Hi Faye,

    You sound like such an interesting person, as does Casey. I can't wait to read of her adventures in D.C.
    I find the best way to tuck into a new city is by being open to new friends and sights.
    Good luck to her!

  2. What a wonderful opportunity for your granddaughter. I'll be interested to read about her adventures. It's great that you care so much. Lucky girl!

  3. New city, new job, new book. Sounds like a great combination.


  4. I'm thinking she should get with Ollie in the kitchen...

  5. What great opportunity for her! Make plans now to visit her in D.C., and bring a list of sights you'd like to see. Showing tourists around will help Casey feel like her new city is home.

    I'm looking forward to reading about her adventures!

  6. I'm looking forward to Casey's adventures, too. Love the title. :)

  7. What a gorgeous cover! I'm looking forward to reading about Casey and life at the White House!

    ~ Krista

  8. ooh, I can't wait to read all about Casey's adventures at the White House. Does she know Ollie who's the chef?

  9. I wanna know if Casey can come to Texas and help me with MY garden! She sounds like a peach. The White House is lucky to have her!

    Moved from the big city in California to small town Texas. Talk about culture shock! We're still trying to adjust. ;)

  10. Thank you for stopping by! I'll pass your advice on to Faye.

    I hope Casey will be able to drop in on the blog next month. Spring is the busiest time of the year for the gardeners at the White House. There's all the planting and pruning and feeding to do along with the upcoming Easter Egg Roll and Spring Garden Tour. Casey has barely had any downtime lately.

    Although Casey and the White House Chef have to work together in planning the kitchen garden, they don't team up to solve any crimes, Dru. Now wouldn't that be interesting? :-)

    And gracious, Misa, you'll have to stand in line. I need Casey to come to work in my yard. I'm hoping to put in my kitchen garden this weekend and I'm still missing a few key ingredients for the beds. Have to get to work!

  11. WIsh I could have gotten here yesterday, but we had a big state dinner and I'm sure Casey understands. Nice to meet you Faye! Looking forward to working with Casey. She's great!