I've had a lot of stuff going through my head today. It being Memorial Day, we made our annual trek to the Local Little Burg's Memorial Day Parade. This was the place that I mentioned last year in terms of everybody giving us weird looks because of the twins. This year, no one gave us a second glance other than to note that we had two toddlers with us.
The trip was a success in Abby terms because 1) there was a lot of candy thrown and 2) the parade itself wasn't long. It was a success for me because 1) no one got hurt and 2) it didn't rain as it threatened to do most of the morning.
It did give me a lot to think about, though. The parade winds through Local Little Burg's "main street", then to the LLB Cemetery.
Personally, I like cemeteries. Friend Husband and I spent a lot of time walking through them when we were dating. It makes me sad that we will probably be cremated and won't "be" someplace where someone can plant a peony bush and come to "talk" to me. LLB Cemetery is one of those old-fashioned ones where you can plant stuff, etc. My mother is buried in a "memorial park", which means that you can only leave flowers in those dumb little vases and nothing outside of those is allowed. Former Stepfather was very proud of his choice in this because he doesn't like cemeteries where you can plant things. Something about their being "low-class" or something. Whatever. It's not like I'll be making the trek to Austin to put flowers in Mother's stupid little vase anyway. But if I could, I'd plant a rose bush there.
Anyway, we got home and after an extensive nap (wherein I dreamed that I was driving on some newfangled highway that Austin had built and I was lost and freaked out by the traffic flying around me), I went out to plant my annuals. Unfortunately, I found more weeds that needed to be pulled and did more weed pulling than planting. But it got me to thinking about a question that Sarah asked me a couple of weeks ago and that is, "Why did you start gardening?"
I don't actually know why I started gardening. I started when we moved to Columbia and lived in the rent house. I had quite a large veggie and flower garden that I literally hacked out of the back lawn. I enjoyed planting things and seeing things grow. I still don't remember what possessed me to do this, though. It was certainly not something I ever did as a teenager or young adult. I didn't do it at the rental we lived in in Austin (I didn't even have potted plants outside there, although I did have a few inside.)
So I don't know what moved me to start but I do know what moves me to continue despite the pain, expense, irritation, etc. It just gives back so much. You have to spend a lot of time outside in the fresh air when you garden. I probably wouldn't set foot outside without mine. You get a lot of exercise, especially this time of year when you (I) have to weed so much. I haven't even gotten my mulch down yet, I've had to weed so much.
I just love it in the spring when the first bulbs are peeping up and bringing some color to a grey and cold world. I enjoy knowing my plants, season after season. Just today I was delighted to see that my columbine seems to be spreading as well as whatever the white flower is that is blooming now. It's going to be a stellar year for sage and lemon balm and the mint is doing pretty well too. My roses are just blooming their heads off, for the first time ever and the lilies in my memorial garden look like they're taking over the back yard (note to self: divide and move some of those guys out this year). The yellow bush that the new neighbors next door wanted to throw out is sending out baby shoots and it always reminds me of the Curmudgeonly Bud who lived there before the new neighbors. We talked about gardening a lot and I remember when he planted that bush in his garden, the summer before he died. He said that if it didn't do something and look pretty, he was going to pull it out and be done with it. The bush lasted longer than Bud did.
I remember my mother when I see my roses and I remember Debbie when I pull a plant that isn't exactly a weed but sorta lives in the wrong place. (Debbie once said, quoting another friend of hers, that a weed is any plant that is where you don't want it to be.) I remember my beloved sister-in-law when the lilies down by the mailbox bloom, and when I'm transplanting monkey grass, because I got them from her in Wichita. I remember my friend Pat, who now lives in North Carolina, because she gave me so many of the pretty plants that thrive so in my gardens today.
I also remember my mother when I see the lacy coreopsis start to bud and bloom. Mother used to give me money for my birthday and I'd spend it either on fabric or plants (or both!) I bought the coreopsis with the last birthday money she gave me, 9 months before she died. I have a memorial garden where I remember Mother, my late, great mil, and my husband's grandmother. It's planted with roses, lilies, and forget-me-not. I think they would have liked that.
Well, I'm blathering on. I guess it's just a healing thing to be outside in the fresh air and thinking about so many positive things and having so many lovely memories to sift through. And when the irritating memories filter in (as they tend to do), there's always some stubborn weed or tree rootling that needs to be manhandled up out of the ground.
I never thought I'd be one of those old ladies that putters around in her yard and makes bigger and bigger gardens, but I guess that's where I'm headed. I suppose there are worse things to be in this world.