In our ten day absence, the garden grew greener and more lush. A solid week of downpours has been good for grass, shrubs, and my geraniums, though it wrecked havoc in many places in Texas. Because of the unseasonably wet and cool weather, though I cut back the roses, and they have put out some new buds – the climbers, against the fences, however, are finished. The winter pansies are still blooming – this week might be their demise. Warm dry weather will prevail this week, wonderful for black-eyed Susans, not so much for flowers that flourish in chilly temperatures.

winter pansies

Last Gasp?

June and early July in Dallas can be downright tolerable; heat but lower humidity than Maryland. In the next few days, I hope to add a bit more color to last hopefully until August halts any planting. By the way, none of my seeds I planted made it – memo to self: the last freeze in Texas is earlier than I like to imagine, and when the directions say sow them before then, do it.

Don’t think we weren’t gardening in Maryland – we enjoyed our grandchildren! Perhaps we planted a few good memories in their little hearts and minds – I know they did in ours. *

Doug and our son’s oldest son enjoyed strawberry picking in their backyard. A thriving crop from one or two little plants planted last year was unexpected and tasty — its abundance surprised our daughter in law, and my husband whose favorite former duty was taking our kids berry picking in May in Maryland.


An Unexpected Haul

Lending a hand, helping tend little ones reminded me of the invaluable help my mother was when our children were little; she was around the age I am now when she pitched in. I appreciate better her gift to us – having more occasions to help our kids would be for us a valuable gift indeed!

Remembering and reading remain excellent gardening tools in one’s autumnal garden, no matter the month. Putting myself in our kids’ shoes, thinking back to how I was in my thirties – how Doug was – reminds me it wasn’t advice I needed – it was an extra pair of hands and eyes! Renewing an acquaintance with an influential icon has also renewed a desire to make purposeful all my pulse permits.( If you have a pulse, you have a purpose ~ good advice from Paul Newman)

I started reading a new biography of Queen Elizabeth II on our trip — renewing and refining facts I thought I knew about her. (Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith ) She has been a large stone in the foundation of my life – her youth, marriage, service and recent heartaches have been lessons showing the cultural waves of war and weirdness can be endured. Eighty-nine years young, she remains on duty! 

Ms Smith, the author, describes the rigorous academic training the Queen received – reading history, politics, mastering French, as well as protocol. Elizabeth’s parents wanted their daughter prepared to assume the burdens for which they were not trained, in a time when university was not the norm for women. Because Britain’s body of law is unwritten, Elizabeth had to learn: “The constitutional monarch’s duties and prerogatives are vague. Authority rests more in what the king doesn’t do than in what he does.” She also learned from her mother’s drilling: “if you find something or somebody a bore, the fault lies in you.” Moreover, the Queen was taught to get down on her knees and pray.

A timely bit of advice for me: I never was in charge of the realm I thought I commanded – but I can be in charge of finding something worthwhile in circumstances I might not have chosen for myself.

Someday is not a day of the week. ~Author Unknown

papa's hat

All the grandkids love Papa’s Hat!

* Solomon on a Saturday Morning

Rounding Another Bend


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