Monday, March 26, 2007

Sunday afternoon in the spring sunshine

What a glorious spring day was Sunday! The sun was bright enough for sunglasses and wonderfully warm on my back, the breeze a bit chilly when the sun went behind the occasional cloud and the yard was alive with bright green new growth!

I even heard a hummingbird buzzing around the yard!

Sunday marked the first day I was able to spend outdoors, puttering with my plants. Six years ago, before I returned to work fulltime, I would have said ‘my gardens', but my gardens have been so sadly neglected, I think I’ll just say plants.

This is to be The Year of My Return to Gardening. This is the first spring in 15 years, my Dear Hubby or I (or both of us) haven’t had at least one softball team to coach. With both daughters in college and done with fast pitch softball, we have hung up our mitts and padded bleacher seats. Now my evenings and weekends can be spent in the yard, not traveling to and from softball tourneys. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, I did, tremendously. It is good to look forward.

About 4 winters ago, the Red Bud Forest Pansy tree that lived in the planter between the garage and the living room picture window died. It’s structure was so pretty I decided to use it as a trellis for something.

I thought about Jack Be Little pumpkins but was afraid they would be too heavy for the fine limbed tree. I decided on a beautiful blue clematis. Unfortunately, as the years passed and the limbs became brittle, more and more branches either broke off completely or just pointed downward under the weight of the vines. This winter during one of our wind storms, the entire tree snapped off at the soil line. I had meant to cut back the clematis before it started growing again and transplant it elsewhere but…you know the saying about good intentions. I just couldn’t bring myself to cut it back, as it already has about a dozen blossom buds.

So, yesterday I spent hours and hours cutting away the tendrils and untangling about 8 main vines. Some of them had to be at least 10-12 feet long! I installed a 2’x8’ square trellis into the planter and wove the vines in and out, round and back. It was fragile work and it took all afternoon. By the time I added a few runrunculous between the oriental lilies in the planter and swept up the walk, it was almost dark and getting cold! (The drawback to a clear day is the cold and (still) frosty nights! Had to scrape the ice off of the windshield this morning.)
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day! I ended it just sore enough to know I had done alot of stretching and bending. I felt justified in using up all the hot water for a looonnnggg shower before climbing into my bed with a hot pack and sleeping soundly.

Monday, March 5, 2007

First My Sister, Forever My Friend

Happy Birthday, 'Reen!!

I wasn't able to deliver your birthday cake to you in person last weekend, but I will enjoy it for you today! :-) I always think of you when I see daffodils, so I knew this cake was for you when I was learning how to make them from frosting. I hope your day is a great one! Happy Birthday, Reen. I love you!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Sixteen Years Ago...

Sunday, March 4th, 11:45pm
Sixteen years ago tonight I was laboring to bring our son into the world. I labored off and on for a week. Even so, he wasn't my hardest birth, nor my easiest, but he certainly took the most effort to get things a-going! I should have realized then that he would move at his own speed and do things in his own sweet time! When he finally decide to get with the program, he came so quickly the nurse had to catch him, doctor didn't even make in the door!

Happy 16th Birthday, Son, My Son!!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Modern Day Magic of Photographs

Have you ever thought about the magic of photographs? The magic, the power to capture a moment in time. Often, I enjoy the pictures taken during my life, to re-live those moments, is a very special thing. The power of a small piece of paper or an image to evoke such vivid memories. The power to start a cascade of memories: how that dress felt against my legs while twirling, how pretty I felt in the dress Mama made for my first day of school. The intoxicating giddiness of being in love on my wedding day. The sweet scent of the soft spot on top my babies head.
That is an amazing power.

Even more magical are pictures taken prior to the start of my life. How amazing it is to see my mother when she was a young beauty queen. To see pictures of my parents' life when they were first married.

The power of photographs is that they are wonderful prompts! Starting places to begin stories, to recall feelings we haven't experienced in a while.


I love the photos of my grandparents, how I wish they were still here to use these visual prompts to tell me more about themselves. Why was this formal portrait taken? What event was it to commemorate? Where did that brooch come from? Better yet, tell me how you felt when it was taken, what else was going on in your life?

These are the thoughts that occurred to me today as I was watching my screen saver. I recently changed my screensaver to show a slideshow of the pictures I have in my 'puter. After all, that was the justification for treating myself to a laptop. I am (sporadically) saving all my photos to the Creative Memories Memory Manager software that lets me organize my photos, date, rate and attach my memories to each of them. Eventually, I can even assign them to virtual albums. Great software! I have all the photo CDs I've bought over the years, both for film camera and my digital photos loaded, but still have a zillion shoe boxes full of old photos and negatives to scan!

Most recently, my sister, A and I spent about 8 hours on New Year's Eve using both of our scanners to scan my mother's old family photos. It was a labor of love, time just flew by with lots of reminiscing.

The point I wanted to make was how much joy I had from seeing these old photos mixed ramdonly with current ones.
Yes, joy.

That would be the joy I experienced today.