Dear Sunday Letter friends,
As I look back over the past two weeks, I realize I’ve been riding an emotional rollercoaster. Along with life events, even the weather has delivered a series of highs and lows. In a matter of hours we went from near 80 degrees to snowfall (!). A few days later, tornado warnings covered our area as storms passed through. I’m sure the flora and fauna are weary too.
Isn’t this all part of gardening though?
All part of life?
Highs and lows make me more appreciative of the in-between days, the early mornings when I walk through the garden with a cup of coffee, the quiet nights spent lost inside a good book. How about you?
My cousin Cindy passed away a few days ago. Her funeral was a lovely tribute to her life and a hopeful reminder of eternal salvation. But oh how surreal it was. At any gathering, she was the center of attention, a big personality. It was strange to be with family yet not hear her laughing and talking, not hear her putting in her two cents about something. Like a missing tooth, her absence felt weirdly wrong. What an empty space she leaves us.
Last night, I read back through months and months of text messages we shared. And I’m grateful to have those snippets of conversation about everyday life and family and even her illness. I’m grateful for our childhood shenanigans.
She just turned 61 in February.
Last weekend, our son and his fiancée visited for a few days. Because of Covid, we had not seen them since August. Spending time with Tate and Laura was a definite, much-needed highlight. (I hope to see my daughter and son-in-law soon!)
We also celebrated my niece’s graduation from the University of Arkansas. (Kudos to her for graduating in three years.)
On Saturday morning, John and I attended the plant sale at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.
It truly was a fabulous weekend. If we aren’t careful, life might return to normal. Wouldn’t that be something? We are fully vaccinated now, and normal is certainly my goal.
My mom, sister, and I left for my cousin’s funeral early on Tuesday morning and returned home around 4:30 that afternoon. Five hours in the car, plus the service, plus a stop in Russellville made for a long day. Upon returning, it seemed we had been gone three days. Even our three clematis plants were blooming! A few blossoms had been close to opening the day before, but the sudden explosion of color was certainly a welcomed and unexpected surprise.
What a tribute to life after such an emotional day.
How amazing to think that none of these flowers had been blooming when I drove away that morning.
When we lived in Dallas, we never grew clematis vines, but in Fayetteville, these climbers have become a garden mainstay. As they scramble up trellises and spill over walls, they provide bright color in small, vertical spaces. We recently planted two at the little cottage where Momma lives.
I don’t have a tattoo, but I hear if you get one, you’ll always get another. Same goes for clematis plants. Don’t buy one unless you are okay with eventually buying five. Ha.
Nature, y’all. I hope to be happily surprised by nature for the remainder of my days.
Not at all.
It looked fabulous and happy, filled with books that were neatly organized.
Isn’t it wonderful?
It proudly stands in a garden bed near Caraway Hall (her dorm). Two gorgeous Japanese maples provide a peaceful backdrop. We gave this Little Free Library to Arkansas Tech on Momma’s 80th birthday. It was one of our best ideas, if I do say so.
Things Momma Said:
I think I want to get a tattoo.
Another Sunday Letter is in the books. Yes, I’ve been a bit out of sync with my writing lately. This happens to me from time to time, especially during spring when there is so much I want to do in the garden.
Also, to add to the craziness, Gracie was spayed on Tuesday. Needless to say, the past few days have been a challenge. She’s on the mend though!
I hope you have a productive, hope-filled week with good health and spring blooms and positive things on the horizon.
Look for my April book reviews coming very soon.
As always, thanks for reading,
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.