Have you ever heard of a woman being called a “shrinking violet?” A shrinking violet is actually a real flower, that shrinks modestly in sunlight. I guess it’s a good metaphor for someone who is modest and introverted. Around our home, there were no shrinking violets, but we definitely had a laugh about the women in the house being more akin to cabbages than orchids. An orchid, while delicate and lovely to look at, requires special handling, is fragile and temperamental. A cabbage, on the other hand, can pretty much survive anything, but when it goes into flower, is a beautiful thing in its own rite. Strong women, we lot. I see it in three generations of women, and am convinced that it’s a combination of good genes and role models. The downside of being a cabbage, though, is that folk start to assume that we can weather anything. Even the strongest root stock needs some nurturing. These fierce women come at life with great clarity on important things that help us survive.