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Recent Entries to this Blog My Family
Posted: 21 Nov 2007
Changing of the Guard
Posted: 21 Mar 2008
Small Potatoes
Posted: 13 Apr 2008
St. Paddy's Day 2012
Posted: 18 Mar 2012
Serendipity: The Spice of Life!
Posted: 27 Apr 2010

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SongofJoy57's Blog

Just the plain doings of everyday living

Changing of the Guard

Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:45 pm

Hope you are having a time of it! We are having a beautiful day here at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as I sit with my first cup of java, and gaze out the window. After building fires and bringing in wood about every night this old gal is ready. My pansies are still steadily bloomin, and have done me proud over the winter months...standin' there like dependable soldiers, guardin' my dooryard.

The camilla bush gave her brief show, and has shamelessly left her bloomers around her ankles(LOL)

And day before yesterday, I looked out at the forsythia bush (which is big as a small sedan) and it was putting on the dog. A few springs ago I remember looking out at the forsythia and right in the middle was a bright red male cardinal. Wished I would have had film in my camera that spring, but it was a vision I shall not forget, as long as I live. . .

Speaking of visions . . .the view of the sunrise shall soon depart . . . as the trees are starting to bud. They shall soon flesh out, and I will no longer be able to see the sunrise from my picture window. That . . . I will miss as Spring approaches. But Spring comes in, and winter departs . . . like the changing of the guard. After the rains we had this week . . . there is new growth coming . . . the hostas are sprouting up, and it wont be long til they will fill out . . .

The daffodils opened week before last, cousin Juli and I took my grandson, Erik, out to an old house to pick a bunch there. . .Hey! It was better than trick-or-treatin' I suppose, for after it was over, he looked up at me, and said, " Come on Mee-Maw, let's go to another house and pick some more!"

Just like Grandma and her iris in bloom. Takin' me out in her yard, and sayin', "Grandmother is plantin' these flowers for you." And Granddaddy Barnes was already out there planting small saplings just for my little brother Mike,(I know, I heard him say it to Mike!) who was toddling along beside Granddaddy, (as fast as those little short legs would allow him...) excited to be spending time with Granddaddy. (In fact, I don't know who was more excited, Granddaddy or Mike! LOL!) Some of those trees are still standing over on North Gaither Avenue, here in Catawba County! Mike reminds me more of my Granddaddy Barnes than anyone I know! I need to go and pay him a visit. I miss my time with Debbie and him. I bet Debbie has already got flowers blooming in her yard. All of my brothers and their wives have beautiful yards every year. I need to make some time.

Time...that's one thing we grandparents have that parents sometimes don't (because they sometimes are too preoccupied just figuring out how to make ends meet, or other issues.) I wonder if Erik will remember standing in that sea of yellow with his grandmother. And when I look at the Cana Lilies later in summer . . . I see Aunt Colleen, and the way those bright red flowers lined her drive, welcoming me in for a cup of coffee, and how we would sit at her dining room table, and talk. It makes me smile now to think how grownup she made me feel! She was 32, and I just thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. (Secretly, I hoped I would look that pretty when I was that old. Heck! I didn't even look that good then . . .gawky, long skinny legged teenager that I was. Dumb & forlorn too ..oblivious to the fact that the years fly, and going through the 30s is our 'prettiest' age ever, right girls?)

Then I think of bein' pregnant with Adam, and how my dear, thoughtful mama sent me orange blossoms in March, all pressed, and wrapped in waxed paper...My! how wonderful the fragrance was. A bit of sunshine in an otherwise cold hard winter. Makes me think of all the folks, way down there in Florida, and I imagine them feelin' the warmth of the same sun I am seein' through my window on this fine spring day . . .except it is closer, and warmer, and I imagine the birds are chirping wildly, as some of them prepare for their trip back to NC.

Speakin' of NC, and Mama's gift of orange blossoms . . . that was a hard winter up here in NC. Our furnace stayed torn up, and as hard as the landlord tried he could not keep it running. The heater core in our Nova was froze up, and we didn't have money for antifreeze, just 25 cent bottles of rubbin' alcohol to put in the radiator every other night. We'd bring our battery in the house, and wrap it in a towel, just to ensure that the car would start for work every day. Then to top it off, I worked beside a loadin' dock hammering dowels in wood with an lady who had hot flashes, and every 10 minutes or so she would go, and yank that door up, and announce, "I'm havin' a hot flash! She was fanning wildly, as I shivered. (Now, I can't say I would blame her LOL!) I never thawed out until Spring that year. That was my hardest winter in Life...1981.

Our time is the greatest gift we can give anyone. Get out there, and make a memory for someone you love today. We make time for the things we want to do, and excuses for the things we don't. (the first cliche!)

Yes, I think of good memories, and how precious they are. Make the most of them folks, cause until we meet on the other side, that is the closest thing we have to heaven.

Well, the sun is rising high in the sky, and I've bent your ear longer than I intended to. Take care, enjoy your day, and remember I love you. Family is precious. I love my family here at Gardenstew.

Love You Dearly! SoJ

Last edited: Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:14 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 1288 times

The Praises of Spring (Two weeks early of course!)

Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:35 pm

Savior crucified after
Pilate washed his hands.
Resurrection of the lamb.
I am filled with joy & gratitude.
New Birth,
Growth, and the promise of life everlasting!
- Carmen
(This is my first attempt at an acrostic poem.)

Hydrangea. Last year we had a very hard frost after spring began, and then later the drought. I had one bloom on my bush, so this year I am going to be vigilant about wrapping it if there are any hard frosts which come. (I am going to St. Petersburg, Florida on March 26th . . . so I hope nothing occurs while I am gone. Do you think it would be okay to wrap the bush in a sheet for a week?)

Iris. My Irises did not bloom either, and I feel that the drought affected them also. I pray that we continue to get rain regularly.

Camillia. She is profuse with blooms . . . and has been blooming since the weekend before we got our snow!

Moneyplant. This is a bienniel, and will actually bloom this year. I love their deep purple flowers. My maternal grandmother used their seed stalks in a vase in the fall and winter. They are so beautiful, and also have several other names including silver dollar plant, honesty, or Judas' penny.

Forsythia/Yellowbells. This is my promise bush . . . I can rely on it to tell me that spring is on her way!

Miss Violet's very first bloom. She is sitting in a window where she can catch the morning sun.

Hyacinth. My eldest son gave me this last Mother's Day. It was pink. Will it eventually turn? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Tiger Lilies. I transplanted a couple of the ones located by my backdoor. They are lovely, but their beauty is fleeting . . . only lasting for a day.

Sedum. This plant is also reliable . . . giving something year round. I love to snip the dried flower stalks, and bring in for the winter.

Columbine. I bought these seeds from a gift shop in the airport years ago when I visited Denver, Colorado for a social work conference.

Phlox. Their heady fragrance is absolutely to die for.

Daffodils. I have seen scads of them in bloom, but I live at the foot of Baker's Mountain (the tallest peak in Catawba County,) so I will have late blooming narcissium. I love to put them in a special crystal vase in a sunny window . . . once they bloom. (Maybe I will be blessed with a special Easter arrangement!)

Here I am in March 2008 . . . a mother & a grandmother remembering my mother & my grandmothers on this morning. I learned to love flowers from these sturdy women who worked diligently, raised large families of children, suffered many hardships and tragedies, and loved men who eventually found their primary adoration in the bottle. Nevermind that husbands were not always kind & loving, children were not always obedient & praiseworthy, life was not always steady & predictable. These strong women could nurture their plantings, and could always wait in eager anticipation of a glorious outcome . . . breathtakingly beautiful, the blooms & blossoms show with all their splendor.

My maternal grandmother, whose ancestors came mainly from the rugged hills of the Black Forest in Germany, and from Switzerland, loved pansies . . . their little velvety splotched faces in royal colors always brightened her porch. I remember that she hollowed a tree stump out in her yard, and even planted a patch of them in the middle of it. . .a rustic flower pot that one does not have to worry that the winds may upset it from its perch. I remember their little pansy heads bobbing in the mountain breeze in joyous approval of their earthen nest. To gently touch them was like touching a piece of velvet . . . more fragile, so it must be done just so-so . . . easy now . . came a loving warning.

She loved the birds also . . . and always got excited at the sight of a cardinal. She passed her excitement down to my mother, and she passed it on to me. My mama shooed away the blue jay, giving the cardinal and snowbirds preference to her cold biscuit crumbs. In years later, when I was an adult, she gave my sister a cardinal figurine, and a blue jay to me. I hung my head in shame, for I have always been the one with a hot temper, although I have prayed forgiveness, and have struggled to tone down in my older years. After my mother's death, I shared this as the only time my mother had really done something hurtful to me. My cousin quickly answered, "Don't you know that the blue jay is very protective over its young?" "Oh . . . I hadn't thought of that, " I answered, as I considered the death of my first son at the age of two, and how many years it took me to step back, and have faith that God would not allow tragedy to happen to the double portion . . . two more sons . . . again. Then I felt a spiritual connection to my sweet angel mama who always knew me best.

My paternal grandmother's ancestors were from Ireland. She loved her old fashioned irises . . . pale lavender in color, and the delicate fragrance, and also roses. She wrote a poem for me one time entitled, "God is in a Rose Garden More Than Anywhere I Know." In it she compared the buds to newborns, and the older blooms releasing their petals as the elderly. It was so beautiful, and I carried it for most of my childhood, until it was destroyed from wear. I wish I still had it . . . I remember her spidery handwriting, and her unique hand in spelling . . . as she gave up school at a young age, to a more noble calling to farmwork, and later marriage & childrearing.

My mother and grandmothers have passed on to heaven. As I work in my yard, I imagine them watching me from above. Whispering among themselves, the welling up of pride in their hearts, that I place utmost value in what each of them passed down through the generations by teaching me not necessarily by words, but by example . . .

The best thing to release stress is the activity of gardening.

To dig and run our bare fingers through the soil. The warmth from the morning sun wisping through the dappled shade, and warming the soil, and the damp cool soil contrasting as we go a little deeper down into the rich soil.

The seed surrenders all that it has, and all that it is to the soil and elements. We gain our strength as we imagine this capsule of life as it soaks up all the ground has to offer. I compare this act of nature to our surrender to God as we go through a crisis . . . He has provided all that He requires for us to bloom, and realize our purpose.

At the end of the day after toiling in the soil . . . moving, bending, walking, carrying, digging . . . it is so rewarding to peel off sweaty dirty clothes, and soak in a tub of water, with a cake of sweet scented soap, and look out the door at all of the hard work we have accomplished . . . the payoff is so lasting and rewarding. We are blessed again and again!

Walking through the garden in the early morning with a cup of coffee, and taking inventory of who has bloomed to reveal their glory overnight is very rewarding. The birds in their morning revelry provide the background music as we step purposefully about the land . . . shouting out the promise of beauty from decay & death . . . something to set the sights upon . . . to ease the journey . . . do you see just beyond the next ridge? Three staunch women await with open arms, and eager anticipation. I step carefully, and set my sights beyond.

Last edited: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:41 am

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