I have definitely been absent from my blog, but I am back. This has been a long summer and one of many changes. My husband lost his brother to a heart attack, our daughter got married, which was amazing, and I had to move my mom out of her house of 55 years. Oh, and I wrote another book during all of that and it will be out next May if all goes as planned.
Yesterday, I drove away from my childhood home for the last time. My mom’s health made it necessary for her to move from her home of 55 years and she now lives with my brother and his family. So with that settled, we sold her house and for the last two weekends, I’ve been helping my three brothers clean it out and go through more than 60 years of memories. I am not going to lie; it has been hard. Yet, at the same time, it has been comforting knowing mom is still with us. If we had waited until she was gone, it would have been so much more difficult to go through these things. My family are pack rats as a rule. We are sentimental and we keep every card we’ve ever received, every little figurine we’ve ever been given, and that’s just the tip of the ice berg. We like stuff! Mom didn’t really have a lot and it makes me realize I need to get rid of some (alot) stuff in my own home. Because really when it comes down to the end, all that stuff is just stuff, isn’t it?
Leaving plant friends
Not only was it hard to say goodbye to the house, but I found it hard to leave the land and the trees that we planted as kids, watched grow, and hope that they continue to grow. The people that bought the house may very well cut them down. I doubt I will ever go back because I don’t want to know.
The concolor fir below, was so small when we planted it and now it is huge and gorgeous.
Mom’s Favorite Tree
This weeping willow was my mom’s favorite tree and a bone of contention between her and my dad. She like it long and weeping, but he didn’t like it brushing against his truck so he cut it short over the driveway.
We planted the tulip tree because Mom’s favorite color was orange and we knew she would love the flowers.
The sugar maple below is dying now, but it was our favorite tree to climb when we were young.
These two red oaks were also our climbing trees. The one on the left was a seedling from the tree on the right and it has grown huge over the last 40 years and caught up with its parent tree.
This grove of sumac trees was fun to explore when we were kids.
As you can tell, my brothers and I spent most of our time outside in nature. I write about houseplants and my closest in age brother Keith, has a degree in forestry. We love plants and they are important to us. He planted most of the trees in this yard and it was hard for him to drive away, as well. When we were young, our parents’ land was surrounded by woods and meadows, most owned by my grandfather. A farmer bought the land and cleared the woods except one lone burr oak, but after many years of farming disturbing its root system, it declined and has been cut down. This burr oak next to the house was started by my brother from an acorn from that tree and is becoming a large, beautiful specimen.
For most of the 55 years this old hand pump held my parents’ mailbox. In recent years the mailbox was moved to the porch because my mom couldn’t safely walk to it in the winter. I took this home for my mailbox.
Mom loved to feed the birds and wind chimes. The birds are wondering what happened to their dinner. I saw the hummingbird come to the where the feeder used to be. It was sad. Maybe the new owners will feed them.
So the sun sets on a chapter of my family’s life and it was a sad day, but mom is still with us and the memories will always be.
My mom, Christine Baldwin Eldred passed away August 26, 2020. She lived a full life here at this home built in 1964 for their growing family. I miss her.
The Amish family that bought the home love it, and have remodeled and built more out buildings, but the trees are still there.
Have a good week, plant friends and thank you for reading.