Merryville is a very pretty and some say a bit quirky, though neighborly, little town. A simple place, in a simpler time, it sits within a small valley ringed with evergreens, wild cherry trees and several small farms . Most folks who grow up in Merryville, tend to stay in Merryville. Just a bicycle's ride to the coast, you'll find the loveliest lilacs grow here in spring, and folks come from miles around, just to see our bluebirds, and to hear the blackbirds sing.
The kettle's always on in Merryville.
It whistles a song of peace.
Now, while you may say that Merryville isn't a real place, you can't really say that it doesn't exist. Merryville is as real to me as any place on earth. It dwells in my heart, and in the spirit with which I try to approach living.
This is my first real attempt at tinting the whole of an old photograph.
I like how it turned out.
I love foxgloves.
They are my husband's favorite flower. His mom grew a lot of them.
I hope you all are having a grand day.
We're celebrating Young Mr. Staggs birthday a little early with a dinner out tonight with some of his very good friends. A couple of them have been his friends since he was in 6th grade. He calls them brothers, my only child. It seems like only yesterday that they were small. I wish I could say that they were still strangers to heartbreak, but they're not. They've all grown up to be wonderful young people though, in spite of it all. Into every life, a little rain must fall, I know that. Every now and then, it comes a great storm. First loves go away, loved ones pass away, friends go off to war, and some friends choose paths that lead to dark places. I suppose that, without the tears, our hearts wouldn't grow so big. These young people, they are lights shining brightly. They are there for each other, in good times, and in bad. Each and every one of them. Tonight we're including old friends, and some not so old, and everyone's significant others too. We're celebrating friendship along with one very important birthday. One couple will be marrying in the fall, and everyone is so very pleased for them. Time sure does fly. It doesn't really seem that long ago, that we were 26 and celebrating birthdays and weddings with our best friends.
I feel as if spring is moving too quickly. Only a few days ago, the dogwood was in full bloom, the lilacs were open, and a few of my irises and poppies were just starting to bloom. Look at those same irises today. They look and smell very pretty, and their numbers have really multiplied. The dogwood, alas, has finished for this year, and the lilacs will fade soon, but the hawthorn is full of its white blooms now, and its sweet fragrance is attracting the goldfinches, and I always enjoy seeing those lovely birds when they return to our garden every springtime. They are cheerful in both their color and their manner as they flit about from bush to tree to the honeysuckle vine on the front arbor. It's so hard not to tear up at the thought of another springtime swiftly passing by. When you've lived with a garden for a great many years, you come to know it intimately. It becomes as beloved as an old friend, and you want to give it all the love and care that it deserves. My garden is still in need of a great deal of work. I keep thinking that "this will be the year", year after year, that I will have it back in good form, but year after year, things keep getting in the way. My helper this year, has seriously injured a hand, breaking one of his fingers in four places amongst other things, so it's just me again. One day at a time, I keep telling myself, hoping not to feel so overwhelmed.
I have a new garden ornament that I like very much. Did you know that in Colonial times the old finials shaped liked pineapples represented hospitality and symbolized "Welcome"? My finial is a reproduction cast in a dyed concrete, but it has a nice old look about it that I appreciate.
I've ordered a bee skep to decorate my garden too. I've always wanted one. I have something I like a lot to put mine in, but you'll have to wait to see it, as I still have to paint it. It's really just a box of sorts that I found at the Goodwill for just $4 a few years ago. It's sort of neat though; so neat that a gentleman followed me all around the store, hoping that I'd change my mind about it. I think perhaps it was made to house a religious statue. At least that is what it made me think of. When I saw it, I thought of Italy, and the statues that bless homes and gardens there. In simple little altars. I've had the box for awhile never really knowing what I was going to do with it, just knowing that one day, there would be one of those aha! moments. It's going to be perfect I think to house my skep.
This is my favorite columbine. It was a nice surprise to find it blooming in the back garden this afternoon. I have a few other columbines in the front garden, but they are the more traditional star shaped ones. They are very pretty too, but this one is the one that I would be sad to lose. I should gather a few seeds to scatter around this year. I hope I remember to do that.
So far, only one allium as come up and bloomed. I don't know what happened to the others. It's a real mystery.
I know our gardens can keep us busy as a bee at times, but the rewards for all of our hard work surely are great.
I am ever being taught new lessons in my garden: patience and industry by my friends the birds, humility by the great trees that will long outlive me, and vigilance by the little flowers that need my constant care.
It was a very, very, long day, but in the end, my Dad has come through his surgery doing very well. All of us who love him are so happy and grateful for his life. I can't even begin to tell you how much he means to so many. When doctors are refusing to do the surgery because of the high risk involved, it's hard not to worry once others are onboard, and respectful of my Dad's wishes. It has been a long road to get to this place, and though there is a little bit of time needed for healing ahead of him, my Dad says he already feels a positive difference. Hopefully the energy that surrounds my loved ones has finally started to shift some, and now we can look forward to some peaceful and happy days to come. I sure do hope so.
Thank you everyone, for your good thoughts, prayers, love and care.
Mrs. Staggs loves to garden, and you will often find her outside wandering about her property with her faithful companion, Miss Luna, in a long skirt and wellies, with a trowel or other garden implements in hand. Known for her lovely roses and the tallest foxgloves you ever did see, Mrs. Staggs also grows an abundant vegetable garden, and a great many dahlias that she loves to share. Pickled beets, and giant sunflowers, tomatoes and collard greens, are just a few of the crops Mrs. Staggs will grow this year. Well, she'll have to pickle the beets after she grows them, but you know what I mean!