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.
This is a beautiful piece. I’m sure your heart is aching to say goodbye. Such wonderful memories you will always have. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Thank you Sally!
You’ve been very busy. I’m sorry about your brother in law. I loved reading about all the trees and places you and your brothers played as a child. I often wonder what will happen with all my gardens someday. Bittersweet post. <3 Hugs.
Thanks, Jamie. It has been a crazy summer, but looking forward to a wonderful fall and holiday season!
Thanks Jaime! I appreciate it. At least we know when we are planting trees and plants that will be here long after we are gone, giving others joy!
Thank you for sharing Lisa. You brought back so memories that I will never forget about your home and family. I remember when our families would get together. We play outside around all of the trees you have in the yard. We had lots of fun. I remember the great friendship our parents have had. My dad enjoyed your dad’s friendship and their visits. I know my mom is going to miss your mom too at her new home.
I know Carol. It was very hard for mom to move away, but Keith and Beth are taking such good care of her and she is enjoying it there. She sees two of her great grandchildren almost every day. It is working out so well.
Lisa, this was such a special trip down memory lane for me. You are an excellent writer—I felt like I was there. Your mom & dad were/ are ten years older than Larry and I. We were newly married when we really became friends. We shared so many good times with them especially the wonderful home Bible Study that included very special lifetime friends, many of whom have passed since then. We all hosted the studies including your mom in dad in that house that holds so many for so many people. I’m so sorry; I’ve missed my “growing up house” for many years. It’s hard. I enjoying sharing that walk with you. Love, Carol
Thanks, Carol. It was very hard, but as I said, much easier because she is still here. I know mom and dad both enjoyed your visits and of course you friendship. Love you! Lisa
So sorry to hear about your brother In-law.
Your bittersweet post hit the spot..so many emotions this summer.
Congrats on your daughters wedding. A wonderful emotion:)
My daughter also got married this year:)
Thanks Angela. It has been an emotional summer. The wedding was absolutely amazing! It is going to be a great fall!
What an incredibly busy summer you’ve had — even one of those projects: moving your mother, planning a wedding, writing a book — would have been plenty. Don’t worry about the blogging; I think readers are more understanding of breaks now and it’s not such a big deal. Interested to see your new book. Best, -Beth
Thanks so much for your kind comments, Beth!
I experienced something similar. It helped me to think of the next generations of kids that would get to love the yard, trees and home that I have such happy memories of.
Thanks Susan! That is a good way to look at it.