Category Archives: Grandchildren

FREE RANGE OR HOVER MOTHER

Recently I had the great joy

Of helping to care for my grandchildren.

In my case that’s twin 22 month-olds

Harper and Henry.

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Or as I sometimes call them H2W.

They are as you would expect

Perpetual motion

Times 2.

So their parents wisely

Planned a few activities in advance.

On Tuesday morning

We headed to the Denver Botanical Garden

For a class on Sunflowers

Designed for 18 – 24 month-olds.

The room was all set up for the class.

An oval rug for sunflower story-time.

Toddler sized table and chairs for the 2 dozen or so participants

Which included 3 sets of twins.

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And a row of adult sized chairs along the perimeter.

Henry and Harper found a chair and settled in

For whatever was to come

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Kristina and I found a chair in the adult section.

When the sunflower art session started

We realized we were the only adults

Not hovering above their child.

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Now, I’ve heard the phrase “hover-mother”

But I’d never seen it in action.

Folks, it’s real.

Where Henry and Harper created abstract masterpieces.

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Other’s somehow formed perfect rows

Of perfect sunflowers.

It made me think of my garden

Am I a “hover-mother” gardener?

I love to putter around my flowers.

Deadheading – staking things,

Moving plants to what I think is a better location.

When I got home I realized that I’m likely

More free-range.

What with that crazy hollyhock having returned

To the front of the garden.

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Not to mention Larkspur run a muck.

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Later in my visit

The weather warmed up enough

For us to play outside.

Elliott provided plenty of water.

For Harper and Henry to play in.

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They were generous.

A little on the plants

A little on their grandfather’s shoes.

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And eventually a little on each other.

Parenting styles seem to be like gardening styles.

Some of us need to be all hands on all the time

While others step back and let nature be

What nature can be.

I’m thankful we seem to be

A free-range family.

Gail

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4 Comments

Filed under Children in the Garden, Gardening, Grandchildren, Gratitude, hollyhocks, Larkspur, Sunflowers, Uncategorized

FPC Good News Easter Egg Hunt v.4

This spring has been out of sync.

It started early

February early!

Late on the sunny afternoon of February 21st

When I finished pruning my roses

Earlier than ever in my gardening history

I was thinking to myself.

I’m off to a great start.

I’ll actually get ahead of the weeds this year.

About that time I stepped on something in my path

And heard a pop as I went down.

My first broken bone – ankle

Was accompanied with the first use of my Medicare card!

Last week a month of this

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Finally ended.

On Thursday the next two generations arrived

For Easter weekend.

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For obvious reasons

Ie 20 month old twins

Elliott, Kristina, Harper and Henry

Don’t come this way often

So I’m grateful they enjoy

An early spring visit

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It’s especially fun that they get to join in

For the adventure of The Good News Easter Egg Hunt V.4.

I’ve not been able to do a single thing in my garden.

I thought I would after a few weeks,

But I was wrong.

Thankfully, my friends Carrie and Torry

Accompanied by Cassidy and Sloan

Came a few weeks ago

And cut back all the dead.

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It tidied up the place nicely

Giving the green a better chance to spring out of the ground.

A little rain helped even more.

But it also fed the weeds.

And I do mean weeds – Henbit, Dandelions and PoAnna

Like I’ve never seen.

Fortunately, along with that Medicare card

Comes perspective.

None of the hundred plus people who came on Saturday

Mentioned the weeds.

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Harper certainly didn’t notice as she made endless trips

Up and down the path

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And in and out the garden house doors.

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Henry didn’t care one bit about the state of the garden

As long as he had dirt to play in

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And a birdbath to explore.

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Thankfully twins seem to come with parents

Who are not overprotective

And let them be kids.

And speaking of kids

More than ever came this year.

Including the church’s new Girl Scout Troop

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Members

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So what have I learned through it all?

What I all ready knew.

No one sees the weeds but me.

They are part of life

They are life.

And what a life it is.

On Sunday

We sat in the “squirmy section” of church

Rows of kids with parents

And grandparents.

Midway through the worship service

The grandfather in front of John

Picked up Harper’s pacifier

And handed it back to John

With the knowing grin

Of the common bond of grandfather’s love.

Easter – Spring – Rebirth

God’s amazing love is all around.

Especially in the weeds.

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Happy Easter,

Gail

1 Comment

Filed under Easter Egg Hunt, Grandchildren, Uncategorized, Weeds

GENERATIONS

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Four years ago

When we were planning the first Good News Easter Egg Hunt

We didn’t have a lot of children in our congregation.

So we encouraged everyone to invite

Their grandchildren

And great-grandchildren

And neighbor’s children

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And friend’s children.

And they did.

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Two families from Wichita have come home every year.

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So I was elated

When Elliott and Kristina

Began making plans to bring Henry & Harper

Here for their first Easter.

Traveling with twin 8 month old babies

Is brave to say the least.

But they have been amazingly relaxed parents.

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Last Saturday afternoon

We gathered in the garden.

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Many of these children have been coming every year.

They are very comfortable in my garden

And respectful.

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They know they are welcome to wonder through it all

As long as they stay on the path.

They can even leave their name in chalk.

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Fewer and fewer each year are concerned about

Ladybugs crawling up their arms.

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This year one child even made my

“Why do we release ladybugs in the garden” speech spontaneously for me.

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Sloan realized that we were a bit deprived

In the signage department

And convinced her mom to fix that problem.

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As more children have come to our church

Our numbers have grown.

It’s common to have three generations of families come.

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Sometimes even four.

Which is why I was thrilled when

My uncle George dropped by

To meet Harper & Henry.

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George is the last of my father’s 12 siblings.

It was a poignant moment to see them together.

The past meeting the future.

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Gardens have always been a gathering place

A place of reflection

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A place to pass along knowledge

And wisdom.

Generations of life happen in a garden.

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I’m so pleased that some of those memories

Are being made each Easter

In my garden.

Gail

Thank you for this personal indulgence.  I promise to get to serious gardening next week!

6 Comments

Filed under Easter Egg Hunt, Grandchildren, Grandchldren Generations, Lady Bugs, spring

PREPARING FOR THE INEVITABLE

This is the time of the year

When we know what’s coming

Whether we want it or not.

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Sometime in the next few weeks

It will freeze

Mother Nature will play with us a bit first.

A few “light frosts”

Will take out those heat loving friends.

Basil is usually the first to go.

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Followed by annuals of all kinds.

Then finally will come the dreaded

“KILLING FROST”.

There are many years where I am ready for a freeze.

But most years it’s a sad day for me.

So I’ve learned over the years

To do a little October preparation

For the inevitable November freeze.

I’m not a great indoor gardener.

I don’t have tons of plants that I care for in the winter.

But I do try to have a good supply of herbs

Basil and rosemary to be specific.

Awhile back I planted my winter basil pots.

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They have been sunning in my south office window

Last spring when I way overbought Rosemary Arp

Because it’s supposed to be hardy here.

I put a few in two small pots

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Which will soon join the basil upstairs.

Today I decided to save a few of the plants

In my big patio pots

So I potted up the variegated Swedish Ivy

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And the Plumbago.

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Then I put the potted plants back in their giant pots

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When the freezing west wind blows

All I have to do is pick up the pots

And take them to the garden house.

I’ve done this for years with the Foxtail Ferns.

They spend their entire summer in their winter pots

Buried in the patio pots.

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It saves me time on a cold November afternoon.

And it saves my back a bit.

Now if I can just find the time to turn all that basil

Into pesto

I’ll be ready for the cold days to come.

This year I have something new to fill those days.

Did I mention I have two new grandchildren???

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Gail

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Basil, Fall, Foxtail Fern, Garden House, Grandchildren, Plumbago, Variegate Swedish Ivy

H2W

I love making flower arrangements

Little bitty ones

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And great big blousey ones.

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For the past few growing seasons

I’ve been the “unofficial” flower supplier

For my church each Sunday.

It’s a joy to do

For an appreciative congregation and minister.

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So earlier this week when John asked

If this week’s arrangements would be pink & blue

The wheels began to turn.

What better way to celebrate the birth of our grandchildren.

After all…they come from a long line

Of gardeners, ranchers and farmers.

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Their parents are lovers of nature,

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Hiking, running, fly fishing and gardening.

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Honoring their births with flowers makes sense.

So Harper Katherine and Henry Ellington

Welcome to the world.

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It’s hard not to think about their new young lives

And what they will grow to be.

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Their gene pool is wide and deep.

Filled with great similarities among both sides of the family

And vast differences.

Watching their futures unfold

Seeing them pick and choose from their heritage

And mixing in who they will to grow to be

Will be one of the great joys of my life.

I’m very new to this grandmother thing

But I’m guessing having hopes and dreams for your grandchildren

Is pretty common.

I hope they are lovers of nature.

That they will learn to observe

To marvel

To wonder

And to wander.

To see God and know God

In all the beauty he has created.

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Gail

(Alias Gigi)

 

17 Comments

Filed under Flower Arrangements, Grandchildren