There isn't much better in life than a perfectly placed hammock and a beautiful day...
I had flown home to visit my family and give away the infamous puzzle at First Communion. But before things got crazy, I got some good time with my mom. She always comes and crawls in bed really early with me, and wants to chat away. Usually at that time of the day she does most of the chatting and I do most of the "listening"...
As my eyes adjusted to the sunshine pouring through the windows and the little breeze that was blowing through I realized it was spring in Iowa. Usually I see Iowa the last week of the most hot and humid month of the year as we ride our bikes across the state with the other 30,000 crazies on RAGBRAI - July. Or... I arrive to driving snow and 20 below... for Christmas.
I'd forgotten that May in Iowa is quite possibly the most beautiful Spring the world sees.
The weather is perfect, there is no humidity, the flowers are blooming, the smell of freshly cut grass and the sound of mowers can be heard almost daily. Kids are graduating or just getting ready for summer vacation and because winter kept everyone holed up, the energy and excitement of warmer weather is absolutely intoxicating. I moved our conversation from my old room to the blooming backyard hammock.
As we rocked in the hammock she told me about another year finishing up as an elementary special ed teacher. How things have changed so much since she first started teaching more than 45 years ago. Of course the topic with most midwesterners always shifts to the weather and especially planting. Living in California for the past 6 years with hardly a patch of grass to call my own, planting hasn't exactly been on on my radar. Noticing other peoples plants, gardens, yards... hasn't either. But my mother, as you can imagine, since we're related, wanted to tell me all about the yard, the plants she had chosen, why she put them in certain locations, how she fertilized them, how mad she was at all the "damn" rabbits that ate away... at everything! and most importantly how proud I should be of her because she was swimming in Hosta's. They're the green plant that is in abundance in this picture...
I didn't know if I was supposed to be glad that she had managed to keep them alive or glad that they accented her yard... I didn't know exactly what to say since I haven't reached that point in my life where I understand or appreciate gardening.
Well it turns out she had been working with one Hosta plant at the beginning. A Hosta that had been given to her as a gift.
We moved around a lot as a kid and she told me how when they would move to a new house with a new yard she counted on Hosta's to grow pretty easily, look nicely in any yard, and how they were a very economical plant. And she had become known amongst all our old neighbors for loving them... since they saw them at every house we ever bought.
Economical? You can't eat them, you don't really sell any part of them, and they don't even flower.... How were they economical?
Well, she said, it was given to me, as a gift. One plant. And over the years as it's grown and comes back... it's a perennial... I've divided it and re-planted it all over the yard.
Therefore... I have managed to decorate my yard without buying any new plants... in a few years...
Nothingnewforayear... try nothingnewforafewyears!
Maybe I should take up gardening and see what I can do. This is why you should spend more time rocking in hammocks... listening to your mothers...