2021: G – April A to Z: Mama in Photos…
Gardening with Mama
I’m back for my sixth year (2021)… can you believe it… of participating in the yearly April A to Z challenge… and I’ve had quite a time in deciding on my “theme.” I had a few running through my head, but after losing my mother last November, I thought I’d honor her through the many photographs I have… and tell the story of the photograph… as every photo has a story.
I’m fortunate that my mother had many photos of herself growing up… and I’m honoring her this year as the theme of my April A to Z… especially as was she was an April baby. Mama would have turned 91 this year… but she’s now back home celebrating this birthday with her parents and brother on the farm… where I believe she was always the happiest. The past few years my mother was fighting off dementia, while still managing to live alone until the last couple months of her life. I miss her every day… thinking and remembering all she did for me. She was the storyteller… She supplied me with my stories… and it’s because of her, that I write!
G… Gardening with Mama
Mama adjusting a metal butterfly next to the butterfly sign I made her… every time I came I always brought something for her garden as she never wanted anything for the house. She only decorated her yard!
I brought mama the little fishing boy sitting on the rock and the angels… her nickname was “Angel”, so we always looked for new ones every year. I brought home a few I found in her gardens and also left a few at her gravesite. She had a few mailboxes spread throughout her gardens… but they weren’t for the mailman… they held her digging tools and gloves that she never wore! In the backyard, mama had the biggest Fig tree I’ve ever seen and when it produced fruit… it was loaded! She often talked about going out to the tree and eating until she was full… then the birds would enjoy the rest. Sadly, I never seemed to arrive in hot August to enjoy any!
Mama and grandson, Stephen, enjoying a rest after lugging all those railroad ties to outline the garden. We arrived one summer, just in time, to help lug them home… the railroad track was just behind the house across the street… and we lugged several wheelbarrow loads back to her house one hot afternoon. The following summer we arrived to find them all gone… she had decided that she then wanted to outline her gardens with rocks instead. Thankfully, she lugged home most of them before we arrived! She’s always loved rocks and never went anywhere without bringing a few home.
Hard to often remember how many flowers Mama actually had… loved her Elephant Ears. She was happiest out in the garden!
When mama’s Hydrangeas bloomed,they were beautiful as they pretty much surrounded her house!
The side brick patio area she built was always so inviting… in the top left of the photo you can see her black Hollyhocks… those were her prized ones as they had been hard to acquire. They never grew for me!
I never knew where the wheel came from, but the plow was granddaddy’s… bringing it there from the farm. I even took one home to Connecticut with me… but sadly they both are long gone. The wheel was later moved to the garden that divided the neighbors yard, and was too wedged in for me to dig out on this last trip… hubby kept telling me that it wasn’t going to fit in the car… so I finally gave up and left it to hopefully remain in her gardens!
Everytime we arrived at Mama’s, we always found new additions or changes to her gardens. I laughed when I began going back through photos and saw the alligator and lizard on her trees… I have no clue what happened to them, but I did bring home the round garden wheel leaning against the tree. I was amazed to find the tall pole with several birdhouses on them one year… a nice neighbor put that up for her, but she climbed the ladder to hang the birdhouses. I can just see her lugging home that pole! Mama made many of the birdhouses around the yard… she was handy with a hammer and saw… and never tell her she couldn’t make something!
It was also never unusual for mama to stop and pick up items put out for trash… the old saying of “one person’s trash is another’s treasure”… definitely applied to her. Several years ago she stopped to pick up huge heavy cement urns someone threw out… the man disposing of them even offered to put them in her car. A big problem happened when she thought she could just slowly roll them out of the car… they rolled all right… right on her foot! Two weeks later she finally told me that she couldn’t walk on her foot and had been crawling alongside the cat in the house… I managed to get someone to take her to the foot doctor where he operated and put a pin in. It originally was a fracture, but by her continuing to walk on it, she eventually broke the top bone. As stubborn as she was, she wouldn’t even wear the boot he sent her home in… saying it made her walk lopsided! Somehow she healed and survived… but she never listened to us on what type of things she shouldn’t do. My mother was the mother stubbornest person I’ve ever known… it was always her way or the highway!
Whenever she saw me out with the camera, she’d turn away to work in the garden, as she never liked to look directly at the camera… then she’d fuss that I took backside photos of her… well stop bending over!
Digging up many flowers for me to take home to plant… I’m sure there were Ola Lilly roots in that bag!
I”m sure mama was giving Melissa some gardening tips!
Thank You Mama for all the fun times we had in your gardens… they were beautiful!
My previous years of A to Z Challenges:
- 2016: A to Z Southern Foods and Memories… they said write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew.
- 2017: A to Z Conversations with Mama… it was a somewhat easy one for me to write as I’d journaled our conversations for years… I researched favorite topics to write.
- 2018: A to Z All About Nancy Drew… this one has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another one to equal it
- 2019: A to Z Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories… I felt it was time to finally write the favorites of my husbands family foods.
- 2020: A to Z Family Stories… writing the stories of my husband’s family.
For more A to Z of Mama in Photos… click HERE!
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