We spent the weekend at our old homestead. We were able to see friends we hadn’t seen in some time and visit our dogs who are staying there for now with family.
Being there is always bittersweet. There are so many good memories there, but they are overshadowed by the pain of loss that still seems fresh over a year later. The remains of unfinished or poorly maintained projects smack of failure.
I am not an overly sentimental person. I don’t save a lot of keepsakes. One thing that I do hold onto is family furniture. Many of the items in my house have a story.
Most of these stories were told to me by my Great Aunt Hazel who passed away about a year ago, just shy of her 99th birthday. One such piece with a story is the dry sink. She would have a fit when she saw this in my house. The dry sink, in her day, was not a kitchen or dining room piece. It was kept in what was more like a shed. They cured slabs of bacon on it.
I am also sentimental about plants. I hate to thin seedlings. I will keep a half dead houseplant forever hoping it will get healthy. (Oddly, as much as I love gardening, I am horrible with houseplants.) I also want to bring plants with me.
That last one I blame on my mom. When I was 12 my parents had to sell the family farm. My mother grew up there. Her father and my Great Aunt Hazel grew up there. Mom took starts of her mother’s peonies, iris, and these other flowers we always called small iris. Even now, I can’t remember their proper name, but I do remember their beautiful blue flowers. There were probably others.
We moved several times in the next few years, and my grandmother’s flowers graced flower beds from one end of the county to the next. Eventually, they were planted in the next county.
Sadly, somewhere along the way, when I was an adult, they didn’t make a move. I wish we still had some of grandmother’s flowers. I’d set aside my practical ways for those.
This weekend I brought back some garden memorabilia. I took some clippings and dug some plants. They all have a story.
Most of what I brought back this weekend came from my herb bed. I had a spot I set aside for an herb garden, but I never got to it finishing it. Last summer some friends and friends of a friend came and got the bed ready for me at a time when I was unable to do much. A simple request on Facebook, and my now ready herb garden was filled with love and herbs from the gardens of some of my best friends and from people I barely knew.
This weekend I brought some of that love and herbs with me and found them a new home in the flower beds here.
Blueberry plants given to me and planted with the help of friends now live here. With them came a few strawberries we planted and picked as a family and some thorn less blackberries that I almost didn’t buy because our homestead there was loaded with wild blackberries.
There are more plants I will likely bring later. I’d like some clippings from the elderberry bushes my oldest son helped me plant from the clippings of a wild bush. I may attempt to transplant some of the asparagus that we were just able to fully harvest after waiting (not so) patiently for several years. I will add these to my collection of garden memorabilia. They will live beside the new plants that hold memories here at our little homestead.