Monday, July 13, 2015
Flowers…It’s The Little Things (or Maybe They Are BIG Things!)
Did we love Flowers? Azalea from Backyard of our old house.
I love flowers. Bill loved flowers. We had flowers everywhere. We visited any garden or sought out any festival that boasted an abundance of flowers. Flowers have brought me huge doses of comfort. Flowers have also been the catalyst for some of my most painful (not to mention embarrassing) meltdowns!
Many decades ago when Bill was a struggling graduate school student and I was in the early stages of a career that could barely support us, we would dream about the little luxuries we would choose if the day ever came that we had “discretionary” income! We just loved saying that word. It sounded so fancy and we would just laugh! His top choice would always be that he would have his shirts professionally laundered and pressed. My top choice was that I’d always have fresh flowers in my house! I am happy to say that the day came when BOTH of those things happened. Bill kept our yard full of flowers, sent me flowers often and most of the time, we did have fresh flowers in the house.
I wanted to share some of the ways in which friends and flowers are loving me through this most horrible period in my life!
Bill died early on a Wednesday morning. Beginning the following week, someone left a bouquet of fresh flowers on my front porch every Wednesday morning. When I opened the front door, there they would be! Beautiful, gorgeous flowers. Something different every week. At first I had no idea who it was and it took a few weeks to catch her in the act, but I finally did. She tells me that “someday,” it will stop, but to this day, I still receive fresh flowers every Wednesday. I cannot begin to tell you how special this is and what it has meant to me.
Although virtually impossible for me to choose a favorite flower, tulips rank right up there. Bill knew very well how much I loved PURPLE tulips. He died on March 18 and the tulips began blooming very soon afterwards. I took a walk one day near our condo and came upon what is always a bed of beautiful tulips. Only two were blooming that day – two perfect purple ones! I literally fell to the ground in a puddle of tears. It was awful, yet cleansing.
Purple Tulips - March 30, 2015
Getting through the tulip blooming season was difficult and I am grateful to a dear friend who made the annual pilgrimage with me to see the tulips at Biltmore. It you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ve seen many pictures of Bill and I in the gardens at Biltmore with the tulips. You also saw pictures of us in the Biltmore gardens with the mums (mums and iris were HIS favorites) in the fall! Thankfully, Bill was able to make both trips in 2014 and I am grateful for the last pictures I have that he took in the gardens at Biltmore.
Biltmore Gardens - April 26, 2014
Bill's last trip to Biltmore - October 12, 2014
He took this picture of the mums he loved so much!
Unfortunately, my meltdowns in public places over the memories brought on by flowers were not over! Another of my favorites is Gerbera Daisies. Shortly after the tulip incident, I was with my mother in Walmart and we happened upon some beautiful planters of Gerbera Daisies. Deciding they would make me smile, I chose one and made it to the checkout line, but when the clerk looked at me and said, “how beautiful,” I burst into tears. It scared the poor lady to death. I am so grateful that my mom was there to explain. Needless to say, we got out of there quickly, but my Gerbera has thrived!
Early spring at our old house!
See the tulips and gerberas? - April, 2013
There is an amazing grower of Daylilies not far from our home. They primarily sell via the internet, but have a festival each year near the end of June. The same friend (she’s a real trooper) went with me to the Daylily Festival this year and we came away with our “free” daylily. She gave me hers and I planted both in what I’ve decided will be Bill’s Daylilly Garden in my front yard! He had nurtured a gorgeous garden of Daylillys at our old home and I now regret not bringing some of them along. But I can still hear Bill’s sweet voice saying, “no, we will start a new one!” So that’s exactly what I have done.
Oakes Daylily Farm - Corryton, TN
June 26, 2015
And then last, but certainly not least, I made a new memory last Thursday. My new friend (see my last post), Tami, and I learned almost simultaneously via Facebook of huge fields of sunflowers in the Forks of The River Wildlife Management Area near our homes. This is actually an area near my OLD home that I’ve walked hundreds of times and of which you’ve seen many pictures through the years. Since I am not often around during the heat of the summer, I was not aware of the planting and growth of these fields of sunflowers. Just look and judge for yourself! What joy this brought me and what pleasure to share a new memory with yet another friend.
Sunflowers at Forks of the River WMA
Flowers and friends.
One is a little thing.
The other is a HUGE thing.
Putting the two together bring me joy.
July 7, 2015