Friday, May 28, 2010


One year ago this week Riley and I were walking the land that our house would be built upon. So many wonderful things have happened since then.

Grass seed has been planted, perennials are going in, and the maple and crab apple trees are in full bloom. I planted a pink crab apple in remembrance of my Aunt Sandy who died of breast cancer, and a white one in remembrance of my Grandma Betty. I always remember the huge tree they had in the front yard of their pink house. Yep, pink.

I am planning a red and pink combo garden for my Great Grandma Ethel. She always had some sort of arrangement of red and pink plastic roses in her bedroom. Yep, plastic. And she always had a bag of circus peanuts to share with me when I visited, but that's for another day. She also grew roses in her yard, and I have yet to figure out how she coaxed them back into blooming each year. Perhaps they had hardier varieties back in the day.

The hosta that my Grandma Doris gave me years ago are showing their green fronds, and will soon join the profusion of peonies planted along the back of my house. I worried they would not come back this year after being relocated so many times in the last ten years, but there they are, just as stubborn and strong as her after 88 years of livin'.

The goal for my yard and garden is to surround myself with memories of family. I don't usually visit the graveyard, not even on Memorial Day. To me their resting places are just a symbol of finality, but their spirits are all around me, pushing me to carry on the things they loved and enjoyed, so that when I smell the fragrant crab apple blossoms or pick a bunch of lilacs I will smile. I see my grandparents in the lines of my father's face, and my aunt in the eyes of my mom. I do not need a calendar to remind me to go visit them, for they are with me every day.

This weekend will be a time of pulling it all together. There is a walkway to be constructed, trees to move, and a huge decision to be made as to if I will plant a garden this year, or wait for next year. I am coming to realize how huge a task this all is for one woman to accomplish, though Riley has been building his muscles manning the wheelbarrow for me, and getting a little extra allowance for his efforts. I want him to learn all the things that have been passed on to me from other generations, and to appreciate what he can do with just dirt, water, and sunshine. And a huge amount of love and patience.  Some day he will plant trees of his own, perhaps one for me, and he will remember the times we spent out on the porch, after the day's work was done, enjoying a "pop" and talking about how wonderful everything will look when it's all grown up.


Kristi Pohl said...

Crying...this was beautiful.

Rachelle said...

Heather~ this post meant so much to me. I love the idea for your yard, to remember those that have gone before us. You have a lot of wisdom, my cousin. And, I fully agree with you on the issue of visiting graveyards. They are not there, but we think of them daily. So happy you are back to posting because you have a natural gift of writing.