backyard gardening

a favorite next door neighbor stopped me on the street
on my way to the parade
and said
oh!  your garden!  it's gotten so big!
it's like a little rainforest in your backyard!


she said she checks it anytime she walks her dogs

which makes me smile
i check it 4...5...10 times a day.
i water it...i pull some weeds...
i move a sprawling cucumber vine
hoping it will catch and hold the branches
i put in for support...
i count the strawberries
and look for baby string beans...
and, of course, i take pictures of it.

i feel like the closest neighbors
must think i am a bit of an obsessive nut.
but it draws me back again and again.

and already i am thinking about next year
and what i will add and what i will do different...
so yeah...maybe the obsessive nut thing
isn't that far off.. :)

the days are long...

but the years are short.
(gretchen rubin)

tonight our boy graduated
from high school.

it feels like the end of an era.

we have no kids in school.

sure, we have one in school away
and the 2nd one will be going back
next year but that's different.

that's on them now.

no more lunches,
no more phone calls from gym teachers
complaining about forgotten gym clothes
and lack of interest in gym
(um...they are MY kids...if you know me at all,
you will know i did EVERYTHING i could to
get out of gym)
(and for the record, not one of my gym teachers
ever phoned home because of it),
no more lost sneakers,
missing pens, late homework assignments...
no more googling math problems
to try to figure out what the hell
the "new" math is this year.

no more permission slips
or chaperoning field trips...
no band committee meetings, no fundraising
no more christmas concerts
and face painting day...

it's bittersweet.

i think about that little boy
that i brought to the shiny, happy grade one class...
the boy with the big eyes and
the crazy thick black hair...

and then i think about the 6+ foot tall
young man that i watched
walk across that stage tonight...
all confidence and easy going,
a big laugh and an even bigger heart

and i can't help but think
for all the years that i was so scared
of all the things
we might doing wrong,
as i watched him watch across that stage tonight
i couldn't help think
we must have done some things right.

congratulations bighead...
you did it!
and we are unbelievably proud of you.
♥ ♥ ♥

mary, mary...quite contrary...

how does your garden grow...

the whole time i have been working on this garden
(and i'm telling feels like a LOT of time...
i had no idea how much time this would take...)
i keep thinking about my uncle emmett.

when i planted my first garden
(back before i started shooting weddings)
my uncle emmett would stop by
to tell me how to keep the birds from
pulling my shoots up
and what to plant next to what
and when...
he would drive by the back lot
where the garden was
in his big old blue truck
to check on how it was doing
even when i wasn't home...
and then would call me when i
did get home to tell me that he was by
and it looked like the string beans
were finally coming up...

i can't tell you how much i miss that advice...
the sound of that big old blue truck coming up the road,
the little dog on the seat next to him...
i miss his big booming voice, his wheezy easy laugh
especially when he was making a joke at your expense
(cause that's what we do best in our family...
it means we love you...)

so today, when i went out and saw that
where last night there were NO string beans,
today they were popping up all over the place...
i immediately thought of him...
and how he would tell me to get some
aluminum pie plates out there to stop the birds
and how he would laugh when i told him
i already had to yell at 2 crows and a robin.

♥♥ ♥♥ ♥♥ ♥♥