THE SIMPLE LIFE: Forever Loved
By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
Spring. So many of us are counting away the days of winter and longing for the new life that has already started to pop through the rich soil. I have heard folks talking about the crocus that have brought forth their sweet, tiny little flowers as if to say, "I'm here! Spring is right behind me - ready to kick the snow to the curb!"
March is always a happy month for me. My sister Debbie's birthday and my oldest grandson's birthday - Kamden is 16 years old today, for heaven's sake! How did that happen? Why yesterday he was sleeping soundly in the handcrafted wooden cradle made by my father's hands for my first born! Very soon, Kamden will be learning to drive. Gulp.Time waits for no one.
Ava, my youngest granddaughter (and Kamden's sister) will turn 6 next Friday, and all she wants is a cake with lots of icing, a life-size Jo Jo doll, a Hatchimal and a game with some crazy name I can't remember. She's crazy about elves, too, and has been watching YouTube videos about things elves do around the house. Ask me anything about an elf - I've seen it all...and she talks non-stop about them. Ava sleeps with her Snowflake elf, and begged me to order some baby elves. Yes, Amazon has them, my darling girl. Your wish is my command. Now, Ava is jumping with glee that elf babies are on their way!
Whew. March comes quickly. We just finished up a snowy February, and last week celebrated my youngest grandson Ryder's birthday. He just turned 5, and he had a nice little family party - with dinosaurs and cars and trucks everywhere! Ryder can tell you all kinds of interesting facts about dinosaurs, so that now makes me educated about dinosaurs and elves, and from Aubree and Kamden - I still remember many things about Thomas The Train and Doc McStuffins!
My grandmother (Hannah Louise Gates Umstot) would have been 108 years old on Feb. 27 if she had not passed in 1993. She was all that was good in this world. She loved each one of her grandchildren and greats unconditionally. No questions, no judgements - just love, always.
Grandmother was the daughter of a circuit-riding Methodist preacher - who travelled on horseback to pastor his church services each week. A Christian woman, raised in a happy family full of sisters and one brother, she grew up to marry the love of her life - Arthur Umstot, who would later become my mom's father and my Granddaddy.
Grandmother was so dearly loved by everyone who knew her. I will forever remember her and all of the goodness and sweetness she brought into my life. She was a cheerleader for my self-taught piano lessons and my choral, educational and theatrical achievements - tiny to memorable. She taught me to sew, crochet, embroider, do counted cross stitch, quilt and create what she and I deemed masterpieces (in reality, not really, but - she made me feel my projects were just wonderful). She believed in me. She encouraged my interests, she lent me her ears and shoulders when as a young girl, I experienced my first teenage heartbreaks. She quieted my broken heart, and taught me that sometimes in life when we love with all our hearts, we still feel the sting of sad endings and rejection. Time marches on...in new directions, and we try to love again.
Grandmother was my mentor, my staunch supporter, and the reminder even today that love is everything.
Now, we roll into March - the month I spend gatherings my thoughts and plans on spring gardening. I have lots of annuals that will need planted amongst my perennials, and the choices are endless. What colors will look best where, and which of my favorite flowers will I choose this year?
I'll be opening up a couple of new garden spaces, and having work done on my driveway. I want to have a new tree planted in the space where Mom's weeping cherry stood for 40-plus years - but still debating what kind. One of my favorites for sure will be planted there. Perhaps a mimosa, or a flowering pink dogwood, or a Japanese maple.
Soon, the neighborhood will be a-buzz with the sounds of lawnmowers and weed eaters, but at this point, I'd rather hear those sounds than snowblower and shovels, wouldn't you?
Garden maps, yard clean-up, flowers and veggies plans, transplants, twinkle lighting, rock borders, flagpole restoration and lighting - just a few of the things I am putting into my master plan. How I love the outdoor presentation of a happy home.
So, winter? Even I have put you behind me. We've been spoiled by these beautiful sunny days, and as much as I love you, I'm ready to say goodbye until Thanksgiving.
Thank you for reading, my friends. Catch you here next week!