NO WORDS

Most weeks

As I sit down to write

The words just flow.

This week

I seem to have no words.

At least not about gardening.

This week I want to tell you my story.

It’s an old story

Over 30 years ago.

But it’s an important one to me

And my life.

And it’s timely

With the devastating news

Of last week’s suicides.

I am among the millions of people

Who have suffered from clinical depression.

Most of my friends will be surprised by that.

I’ve never kept it a secret

But neither have I advertised it.

And frankly it was so long ago

Some of you may have simply forgotten.

I have not.

It was a very tough time.

I had had a miscarriage

The year before Elliott was born

So suffice it to say that I was a prime candidate

For depression.

Mine would likely be categorized

As postpartum depression

It’s depression

All the same.

I fought it for a long time.

By the time Elliott turned two

It became obvious

That I had to deal with it.

I distinctly remember where I was

When I told John I had to get help.

He was supportive from the beginning.

It wasn’t easy for either of us,

But he was there.

Fortunately for me a local therapist

Had recently spoken to the Stephen’s Ministry class

I was taking at church

And I liked her.

I knew where I could go for help.

I spent 6 months in one on one therapy

Took the anti-depressants the doctors prescribed.

And was involved with a therapy group for another 6 months.

Bit by bit

I got better.

She saved my life.

I have long felt

That therapy is the best gift

I’ve ever given myself.

Over the ensuing decades

I’ve gone back to therapy

For a tune up

As life has thrown me a few curve balls.

Why am I telling you this?

Most of the people who read this are friends.

But it’s going out there into cyber space

And that means people who don’t know me

Now know something very personal.

But that’s the point.

Those of us who have been there.

Have to tell our stories

Openly and honestly.

We are the very people

Who can make a huge difference in people’s lives.

We know the pain

And we know how help changed,

Really saved our lives.

If you can

Tell your story.

It may help someone

To get help.

And listen to people.

Really listen to them.

Encourage them.

Ask them if they need help.

Then help them find it

If they need it.

Without help

Think of all of the life

I and so many more

Would have missed.

Gail

 

 

 

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ROOTS & WINGS

In my core I am a flat lander.

A fourth generation flat lander.

As a kid I was taught by example

To be in awe of sunsets.

My father loved them.

A get everyone up from the dinner table

To admire them

Kind of loved sunsets.

He traveled the world

Met fascinating people

But was never happier

Than when standing in his own front yard

Taking in the full 180 degree sunset

In the evening sky.

We do have some pretty spectacular sunsets.

And thunderstorms.

My friend Mike Klemme has captured many of them.

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Copyright Mike Klemme

 

I know this place.

With it’s long growing season.

I know that sometime in late January

I can start looking for buds on the Hellebores

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And by Valentine’s I’ll see the first nose of a daffodil.

If not an out and out bloom.

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I know that each fall when I spread the summer’s compost

Around my garden

I can expect a spring crop of worms

The size of small snakes.

Happily digging their way through

The rich soil they helped to create.

But for the past few years

I’ve been cheating on my garden.

I’ve taken up gardening

In another place.

A place that couldn’t be more different

From home.

Where here there is a generous 9 – 10 month growing season.

There the last freeze date isn’t until June 15th

And the first freeze date can happen anytime after Labor Day.

Really….three months.

How do people live like that.

For me it’s because of my grandchildren.

So I’m learning to garden again.

In a new place.

Now don’t get me wrong.

Home is still home.

But I now have the opportunity

To grow things

That absolutely hate it here on the plains.

I’m trying my hand at

Lupines

And Delphinium.

Oriental Poppies

And even Foxglove

Which I have no luck with

No matter where I try.

I’m learning how to out wit

These guys.

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Though they seemed to have eaten

Most of said Poppy buds.

Most challenging of all is the soil.

They don’t call them the Rocky Mountains

For their light airy loam.

Even staking up a delphinium bloom

(to make it more accessible to the deer)

Is an excavation project.

But the mountain air

Does make for glorious color

In all that grows there.

So, I’m literally putting down part time roots

In a new place.

In order to give the next generation

Wings.

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Gail

 

 

 

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Filed under Daffodils, Delphinium, Digitalis, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Grandchildren, Grandchldren Generations, Hellebores, Lupine, Poppy, Uncategorized

FRIDAY FUN

It all began by accident, really.

My new neighbor Alison

Wanted to learn to knit.

Then the next week Carrie decided to join us.

We picked late Friday afternoons

To get together.

And eventually John started showing up

Offering wine.

Then Carrie and Alison decided

We needed to expand on this idea

And before you knew it

Every women in our church

Was invited for some Friday Fun.

The rules

Such as they are

Are simple.

The hostess is in control

Of food

Of drink

Of activity

Or the lack there of.

Last Friday was my turn.

And what with it being mid-May

It only seemed natural

To gather in my garden house

And do a little flower arranging.

Then Christianne

“Knower” of all things royal

Realized it was the week before the royal wedding.

And the plan grew.

A little flower arranging.

A little lesson on royal wedding traditions

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And a lot of silliness.

Something I don’t often let happen.

Not that I’m dower…

I’m not

But I just don’t get silly often enough.

So with a few plastic tiaras

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And a royal name tag game

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We were off.

Cramming seventeen women

And their flower vases

Into my garden house.

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We are an eclectic group

Ranging in age from 30’s to

Well multiples of 30!

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Carrie made peach and strawberry bellinis

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Christianne made a lemon blueberry cake

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As close as we could get to the upcoming

Lemon and elderberry royal masterpiece.

After a few brief instructions.

Everyone dove into the flowers

I had cut and conditioned.

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It’s not been a prolific flower spring

What with our mid-April freeze

So I foraged a bit.

Using Columbine along with some Arugula gone to seed.

A bit of blooming sage

And of course Euonymous

Because it lines two sides of my fence

And I can never cut enough of it

To keep it out of my path.

Also because I’ve known it to last

Something like 3 weeks before it wilts.

It’s the titanium of flower arranging.

So there you have it.

A recipe for fun.

Friends…flowers…frivolity

With a side of royalty!

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Gail

(alias Lady Edith Peg Rural Route!)

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Filed under Arugula, Bouquets, Columbine, Euonymus, Flower Arrangements, Gardening Friends, Gratitude, Sage, Uncategorized

“RRANGEMENTS”

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I bought these little enameled vases

Years ago

At “Crazy Days”

And only remember using them once.

Until Harper and Henry discovered them

One Easter.

They spent most of that Friday

Snapping off tulips

To make “rrangements”.

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So, of course, I had to send some home with them.

Later that year when I visited.

I noticed these little vases all over their house

They were constantly changing the flowers

Kids love to pick flowers

And they seldom leave enough stem

To actually put in a vase.

So these tiny renditions

Were just the ticket.

Kids also learn by watching.

And they have a splendid example

Of arranging in their mother.

In all the years of their marriage

There are always flower arrangements around

When we visit.

In the guest room

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On the fireplace mantel

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And kitchen window sill

Along with the dining table.

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The kids have picked up on this

Often having flowers in their room.

Luckily, Elliott is good at growing flowers

Supplying dahlias and roses and hydrangeas

All season long.

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It’s the simple things

That we often remember about our childhoods.

The smell of my mother’s pies in the oven.

The warmth of the fire that my father

Built each winter day.

Standing over my grandmother’s floor furnace

Making my night gown into a warm balloon.

The roses at her front door.

I’m thankful for the memories

That Kristina and Elliott are creating

For their family.

And happy that flowers are part of those memories.

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Happy Mother’s Day

Gail

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Children in the Garden, Dahlias, Flower Arrangements, Gardening, Grandchildren, Gratitude, Hydrangea, roses, Uncategorized, Vases

RAIN, BLESSED RAIN

Most of the country has experienced

What seems to be the longest winter

In recent memory.

Our winter has been

In and out.

Bitter cold days

Sprinkled into sunny winter glory.

But it simply has not rained.

Fires 100 miles to our west

Attest to our dry fall and winter.

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Thankfully it starting raining on a recent Friday night

And continued through Saturday.

Bringing hope to my garden

With each drop.

The Japanese Maple trees

Are sighing with relief.

They leafed out on schedule

Only to be frozen a couple of times.

Creating the saddest looking tree

I’ve seen in a long time.

Now, with this moisture

They have begun the process of

Putting on new leaves.

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And things are budding out.

Iris

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Allium

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Peonies

With their attending ants.

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And those stunning Japanese Tree Peonies.

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They don’t last long

A few days of bloom and they are gone.

Yet, they are so worth growing.

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With these buds

Comes hope

And so it is with gardeners.

Whose spirits have frozen

And thawed

And frozen

And thawed

More times than we can count.

But with the rain comes

Hope.

And gardeners thrive on

Hope.

 

Gail

 

 

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Filed under Allium, Bugs, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Iris, Japanese Tree Peony, Peonies, Perennials, spring, Spring Flowering Bulbs, Uncategorized

WIND AND OTHER LUXURIES?

Wind.

Growing up on the plains

It has just been a part of my life.

My father always said that his mother,

A woman who kept house during the dust bowl

Putting wet towels around doors and windows,

Understood that wind was important to staying cool

In the summer.

And she never cursed it.

Rogers and Hammerstein even wrote it into

What would become our state song.

You know

“Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.”

I’ve always tried not to complain about the wind.

But these past few days have really tried my resolve.

The wind has been howling off and on.

One day it’s an unusually hot wind out of the south.

Then it turns on a dime and gives us a mid-April frigid north blast

Leveling my tulips for the third time.

With wind in the forecast for last Friday

I was fearful we might have to cancel a long planned fun morning

Of Debra and her camera in my garden.

But on Thursday she called to say she was coming.

Period.

Luckily my garden is somewhat protected

With old trees and a two story house

Covering it from the south and north.

It was still pretty

Shall we say breezy

When Debra arrived Friday morning.

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For the photographer in Debra

My backyard is something akin

To a village of bouncy houses

For a three year old.

She just doesn’t know what to jump on first.

The parrot tulips in the pots on the patio

Drew her in

And the clicking began.

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But the wind was wanting to play as well.

Some of the pictures were clear

Others blurred

And some take your breath away.

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It did not detour her

Finally declaring she would just wait

“The wind will die down…it always does.?

She moved from parrot tulips

To the more protected Hellebores

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To the tulip lined path

leading to the garden house.

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The light and the wind

Dancing around.

Creating opportunities

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And problems.

All of which were  joyfully accepted.

Her patience paid off.

As you can see by the results

I’m sharing here.

This reminded me of my grandmother.

Accepting what she couldn’t change.

Finding the good in what some would consider bad.

And just simply making the best of what you are given.

Some might call it Pollyannish.

Others perseverance

I call it grace.

Gail

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Filed under Garden House, Garden Photography, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Hellebores, Parrot Tulips, Pettit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Shade Garden, tulips, Uncategorized

The Good News Easter Egg Hunt V.6

When you choose to live in the same place

Year after year

Decade after decade

Roots grow deep.

Trees mature

As the branches grow and spread

And multiply.

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There are choices you make staying put.

I think about this a lot these days

As people come and go from this place

And we stay put.

Nowhere in my life

Is this more apparent

Than on the Saturday before Easter.

This year was our 6th Good News Easter Egg Hunt

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Once again Kay worked her magic.

And this year we had the added help

Of Grace.

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New ideas

New energy

A new branch on our tree.

Paper mache’ eggs were a big hit

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Especially when the kids figured out

They were filled with goodies.

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Bird feeders are now sprinkled all over town

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Helping our feathered friends survive

A colder than usual week that followed.

And, of course, there were lady bugs.

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It’s was a mix of old friends

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And new.

Children who have been here every year.

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And some coming for the first time.

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So that’s the thing about staying put.

Your life gets very full.

Making room for decades of friends

Connections and memories

While saving space for new friends and adventures.

Sort of like a mature perennial garden.

Gail

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A slinky slows you down a bit!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Easter Egg Hunt, Grandchildren, Grandchldren Generations, Uncategorized