Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Spring for me has always been a time of new beginnings. When I hear the saying "Spring forward" when it is time to change our clocks, I often don't think of it in the traditional way but in a way that separates the two words.
Forward thinking, forward march. To or toward what is ahead or in front.
Send to a new address.

When I moved to this new home almost 3 years ago, I brought over a portion of almost every plant that was in my yard at the time. It was important to me because each flower represented a person, a place, or a thing. Each had its own quality that made it special to me and reminded me of something. The rose (above) was one that I took from my grandmother's home when she passed away. I babied it along for many years and each year it hasn't ceased to amaze me. Not so much the color but the scent. The scent is amazing and when I bend down to sniff it, it is my Grandmother...right there in that moment.

This year my daughters surprised me with a kinetic sculpture for my garden. My birthday is next week and true to form, they picked something that would inspire me each day and remind me of them. I love sitting in my dining room or looking out the window in my bedroom and seeing it spin in the gentle breeze. It is a gift for my new home that really makes me happy.

The iris in my garden started out from rhizomes that my grandmother gave to me years ago. They were easy to bring over to our new house because I didn't have to worry much about them wilting in the hot sun while I was busy moving furniture in the house. They sat patiently in one-gallon pots, devoid of any flowers at the time but still waiting, to be planted. The one above was the first iris that my grandmother had ever given to me and it is always the first to bloom every year.

I love taking a walk out in the garden every morning and seeing what gift will be there waiting for me. Every day there is a new color. And each year I continue to add to the collection that I have. The iris' are only in bloom for a very short amount of time here. Usually by the time May comes around, they have finished their spectacular show. Then it is time for maintenance...trimming, digging, re-planting. It is always a labor of love for me. I'm moving another location. Taking them and passing them on to someone else that can enjoy them as much as I do.

Plants are like that to me: gifts. They are from someone and to someone. And each flower, each scent that I walk past each day, reminds me of the person that gave it to me. The lilac bush (above) was given to me by my friend Candy when I moved here almost 3 years ago. This year the blooms are magnificent and full. And this variety will bloom twice in one year...not just the typical Spring bloom that I am used to having. Ah....April! 
A month that has both my birthday, my husband's birthday, and my first-born twin named after. We always knew that one of our daughters would be named April but at the time didn't know if there were going to be two girls, two boys, or one of each. I was lucky and had two girls. Two girls who are so precious and special. Who are considerate and thoughtful. What better gift in the month of December could a mother ask for than two daughters. Vestiges of the Spring before.

And I would be remiss by not mentioning these two wonderful both gone yet still loved so very much by so many. Theodora (Peggy) was my friend's Vicki's mother. To me she was known as Agnes. (Another story for another time). She was a good friend to me in that she shared her family with me as though they were my own. I spent so much time there growing up because my home life was not the best. But Peggy (Agnes) was always there for me, treating me like her own. If Vickie (her daughter) was punished, so was I. If there was to be silence at the dinner table, I had to obey also. But along with the structure came much laughing and fun. Many weekends were spent water skiing, riding in convertibles,  eating fried chicken and potato salad, lying in the sun, and making Peggy margaritas. Oh...those days are forever burned into my memory and will always be fondly thought of.

Her granddaughter Lindsay (seen above with her) has also passed away. I didn't get to know Lindsay very well because we had moved away. But I would imagine that she was the light of Peggy's eye. Lindsay was born on April 17th years after her sister Heather was born on April 26th. Lindsay now has a star named after her in the sky. I know that Peggy and her are together this April. They have moved toward something else...have gone to a new address. They have Sprung Forward and have paved the way for the rest of us. Life is like that: we live, we die. There is no other alternative. But for me, remembering the sweetness of the April flowers is oh, so important.