Thursday, July 1, 2010

Big Blue is blooming

And I am back to enjoy it.
Thank you to everyone who sent words of encouragement. These trips are something we all have either done or will do in the future. Some of you knew. My mom survived breast cancer at 80 and colon cancer at 83. Now at 84 she has pancreatic cancer. The child in me, frozen in the old black and white pictures of Mom's photo books, always figured my mom would live forever. Her cycle of ever more invasive tests and doctor visits brings back memories of my bout with cancer. I want to hurry the doctors, but I know the protocols. Somehow maybe I think that if it all gets done faster the outcome will change. I know it won’t and so does my mom. A stoic acceptance has come over her. It’s that tough Northern Minnesota upbringing.
My visits have wonderful moments also. I have never seen my mom so animated as when we go through old photo albums. I brought my lap top and scanner and put them to good use. Every picture has a story and it is great fun listening to mom recall the moment. These are pictures I have never seen and it is fun picking out relatives from 100+ year old photos. It must have been a sin to smile in the really old photos. The memories of the pictures from my Dad's side of the family are too lost to be remembered. The words of John Prine float in my head. “So many years that the memory has worn”. Another pleasant surprise of all this is that all of us siblings (there are 5 of us) are talking to each other on an almost daily basis and we are getting along. It makes me remember when we were young.
I’m back home for almost 2 weeks this time. My sister Theresa is taking mom to DC next week. That should be fun. Theresa is supposed to find out where Mom met Dad all those years ago, a farm girl from Minnesota and a city kid from Montrose and Western. The rest is in the pictures I’m scanning.
Now back to the garden. Big Blue is in bloom and looks even bigger with flowers. It measures 3 feet high and a little over 6 ft across. I am never going to split this guy. The pumpkins have taken over the new bed in the front. The day lilies and daisies are putting up a good fight but I can’t see the zucchinis or a bunch of other stuff including lights. It is on the sidewalk for crying out loud. I really should have read up on pumpkins before we did this, but it looks so cool. I told Pat that we’ll just take all the other plants from this bed and put them in a new bed this fall. The pumpkin plant looks so good in the yard that we have to do this next year. We also have been helping nature along by hand pollinating the flowers, and we got little pumpkins growing!


debsgarden said...

When my parents passed away, my brothers and I met to "divide the pictures". We thought it would be an afternoon's job. Well, we were there all day, and we barely made a dent, because we had to remark upon and reminisce about every photo! It was bittersweet, but a great time for us all.

Blessings to you and your family.

Noelle Johnson said...

Hi Jim,

I am thankful that you are able to spend such meaningful times with your mom. Times like this does bring you closer to your siblings as well - it did for us when my dad was dying. I hope you are all able to enjoy special times with your mom.

Your pumpking plant is is ours - way bigger than I had expected. I am having so much fun with it. I have three pumpkins forming so far :-)

Laura Bloomsbury said...

Dear Jim - You have not lost your way with words even though your story is a sad one to tell.

Your Mother sounds like a real fighter and she must be very proud of the family she raised. Glad she has so much support from her children and you from your siblings.

I think of Big Blue every time I look at the slug-slashed leaves of my Hostas - and even they are budding now.

Good to have a post from you again and your garden must be a great place of consolation right now.


p.s. love all the wildlife pics in the sidebar.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Welcome back, I have been through what you are going through now. It is expected but always so unexpected. Like you said, we expect our moms to always be there.

That hosta is magnificent! I grew pumplins one year and I only got a couple - looks like you have several coming.


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Jim ~ Glad you are able to see Big Blue in bloom. Your little pumpkin patch is really neat too.

I am glad you are having a loving time with your Mom and siblings right now. Bless all of your hearts. She sounds like a real trooper.

Have a nice 4th of July weekend.


Joyce said...

What a great post. I'm such a sucker for family past. Sitting down going thru photos. Do it now while they still remember. I lost some of that with my Mom. She got Alzheimers and that's bad, anywho.
I'm glad you were there to see your BIG BLUE they are just amazing garden stoppers.
And as for your pumpkin, I was laughing reading the post about going everyway and taking everything in it's path. Enjoy the day.....

leavesnbloom said...

I always love looking through old photographs. There are many things I wished I had asked my grandparents before they passed away, many stories now lost. If you get a chance write some of your mums memoirs down of those times - you never know someday they will be interesting to the next generation too when they want to explore their family tree.

We have acquaintances going through the same thing just now as you Jim.

May these days be precious moments for you and your family.

:) Rosie ...... and its great to finally see big blue in flower.

Meredith said...

I'm so glad you're getting your mom's reminiscences recorded and the photos scanned. It sounds like a beautiful way to spend time together, and so meaningful, especially now. Sorry to hear that your mother has to endure such invasive procedures, even now. My thoughts are with you, Jim.

That pumpkin patch is lovely. Maybe that will become the new suburban trend for front borders someday. :)

May Big Blue long live undivided and blooming his heart out!

Marguerite said...

You're very fortunate to be able to sit with your mom and hear her stories about her life. Treasure every moment. Take care, Marguerite

Lona said...

So sorry to hear about your Mom Jim.Those old pictures sure do bring back memories. I wish Mom had written the names on the back of her families pictures because there are a lot I do not know and now she just does not remember much.
Your pumpkin looks so great. Now if you had been trying to grow them they would most likely not do as well. Those seeds liked that spot. LOL!
Big Blue looks so pretty. I do not blame you for not wanting to divide it.
Have a great weekend.

Chloe m said...

Hello Jim,

What would we do without the photos we treasure? I am so glad I have pictures of my grandparents and family to help remember the good times.
Your Hosta are amazing!


sarah manville gann said...

Jim, I am so sorry to hear about your news. Looking forward to seeing the photos...and you and Pat very soon.

Kyna said...

Hi Jim :)

I'm sorry, I didn't realize what was going on in your life. I'm sorry you have to go through all this. You do seem like a very tough person though :)

You like John Prine, do you? My husband loves his music. We went to a John Prine concert in early May of this year. Awesome :D

That is one crazy pumpkin patch you have going on there! lol

Shady Gardener said...

Jim, Thank you for sharing the situation at hand, your concerns and your memories. We can be so grateful for photographs, can we not? Photographs which spur stories which enrich our relationships and create warmer, more touching memories.

And yes, your Big Blue is magnificent, and your squash is crazy-healthy! Enjoy your gardens and your reflections as you tend them.

Blessings to you and your entire family.

Anonymous said...

Jim, Big Blue is looking very handsome! I have several hostas that I need to divide next spring; they have outgrown their allotted spaces and are crowding out other nearby plants.

On the mother front, thanks for the suggestion about the old photos. My mother is in desperate need of intellectual stimulation because her brain tumor has robbed her of the ability to read. Looking at old photos together might be just the ticket. -Jean

Is the Wiz said...

Hang on in there, and take time to be kind to yourself. Remember, we Mums just want to know our kids are ok.
I'm toying with trying some hostas, we got some in at work which I really like, Halcyon, a blue and August Moon which is a lovely yellow. I salute your desire to keep Big Blue in one piece, it's such a fantastic specimen.

Shyrlene said...

Jim - warm wishes to you and your family; sometimes the most trying, difficult times surprise us - with family rallying together and treasure troves of family history coming to light - all good.

It might be a 'broken record', but you are my 'Hosta inspiration'. I think "Big Blue" makes us all smile - and stand back in reverence! I have a "Fire & Ice" Hosta in my front garden that has me enamored - it's starting to flower, and looks SO cool! (for my post tomorrow)

Kimberly said...

Jim, so glad to see you back, and happy to see Big Blue is blooming for you to enjoy. Isn't it great how our plants give to us, especially when we need it most?

Great memories you are making right now...these are really special times. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Unknown said...

Oh, Jim. I missed out on all this because I've been buried in deadlines, and I didn't know you were going through such a rough patch. I'm truly sorry for all your troubles; been there, done that all too recently too, so I know something of what you're going through. Blessings to you from very warm Nova Scotia...

bg_garden said...

WOW.... I Love the hosta share. Isn't this summer just wonderful Jim?!