My grandma loved gardening, and her flowerbeds were always overflowing with a random mix of flowers and plants. One time, when I was about 7 years old, I was hanging out in her front yard and noticed that the flowerbed that stretched the width of her house was filled with weeds. Wanting to surprise her with a little gardening favor, I went right to work!
I remember sitting on the cool grass in front of Grandma's flowerbed, wrapping my little hands around as many stems as I could at one time. I remember how the weeds pulled effortlessly from the soft dirt as I worked my way down the flowerbed. I was about two-thirds of the way across when my grandma came out and totally spoiled the surprise!
Imagine my surprise when the look on Grandma's face was not one of happy delight. Instead she was shocked and seemed very disappointed in my efforts to help her weed her garden. Turns out that what I thought were weeds were actually four o'clock flowers, still sleeping at that time of day.
Of course, my grandma didn't stay mad for long - when she realized that my intentions were good she hugged me and told me what I had done was ok. But I had to promise that I would never surprise her in her garden again, and I would always ask first before pulling something I thought was a weed.
That was oh-so-many years ago, and to this day I'm still leery about pulling things out of the dirt unless I'm absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt sure that it's a weed!
Looking back, I'm not sure I would have been as gracious. Thank goodness my grandma had a soft spot for me, and she embraced my good intentions in spite of the loss of her four o'clocks.