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 very 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?

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.

Concolor fir by the garage

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.

Willow and concolor fir together

willow branches entwined

We planted the tulip tree because Mom’s favorite color was orange and we knew she would love the flowers.

Tulip tree

The sugar maple below is dying now, but it was our favorite tree to climb when we were young.

The sugar maple we used to climb

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.

Red oak trees we used to climb as kids

This grove of sumac trees was fun to explore when we were kids.

There is a huge grove of sumac that we used to play in

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 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. 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.

Burr oak started from an acorn by my brother

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.

I took this old hand pump home to put my mailbox on.

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.

Mom loved to feed the birds

Silhouette

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.

Sunset

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