Once a year, every year, for 18 years, my Dad would announce we were going to the sunflowers.

The whole family would get dressed in their finest going-to-the-sunflowers-clothes and we'd head to the car, off to the hills for Sun Flower Sunday Drive. About five miles out of town, beyond the paved roads but not so far you had to bring a lunch, were hills. Those hills were covered for miles with a glorious blanket of sunflowers each and every year.I've pictures of myself squinting into the sun, squatting on the ground, diapers poking out beneath my little sundress; sunflowers clutched and drooping in my hand, a bewildered look on my baby face. There's other pictures of this raccoon-eyed semi-sneering partially-gender-confused Elvis-Beatle-parody teenager, sneering at the camera the sunflower bouquet held languidly upside down almost forgotten sweeping the ground,,, and the last pictures are of this very delicate blow-away girl/woman sitting on a rock, sunflowers cradled in her lap looking way beyond the camera, maybe way beyond this story.

There are pictures of my now dead family, my Brothers, my Mom, my Dad, the various dogs we had over the years, all with sunflowers... draped over the dogs ears or poking out of my Mom's purse or placed at my Dad's feet or being thrown in the air or at each other by my Brothers.

All memories, all fine, all good...Sun Flower Picture Day never lasted too long, an hour or three. It didn't happen on a certain day; just any old day the sun was shining. It didn't cost hardly anything, just a few dollars for gas and film.

Every time we put on our best clothes for walking through sunflower fields and getting pictures taken. Those may be the best clothes anybody owns.

We looked great.

I've got pictures!

We didn't have to go too far. It happened every year.

Everybody should have a Sun Flower Day!