I really don't know what it would be like to garden all year round. This was the first year since 2002 that we didn't have a major garden project in the works right up until the snow put an end to it. I can honestly say it is a relief to be able to take a break from the garden for a few months and concentrate on things in the house that need doing. (And boy, do things need doing.)
Last weekend we were working on clearing out the lower limbs from our eight acres of white pine trees and while Joel had the chain saw out, I asked him to cut down a small volunteer Scotch pine I had growing on the back of the quarry hill. The tree had come up from seed a few years back, having sprouted in a rock crevice. I decided to let it grow and harvest it for the holidays. No, it is not a beautiful tree by any means, but it's homegrown and free.
|With her body made out of a clothespin and her wings made from a pipe cleaner covered in tin foil, wearing a robe made from an old curtain, this angel is always on our tree.|
|Along with this angel, with her pipe cleaner arms and halo.|
My mother, Lucille, doesn't think they are special at all, but that's because she made them back in 1940, the first year she was married. The Depression was supposedly over by that time, but money on the farm was tight that Christmas. Mom said she had a tiny little Christmas tree to decorate with one set of twelve blue light bulbs, a few blue plastic bell ornaments and nothing else. Mom was a 20 year old farm wife and had daily chores to do, milking cows twice a day, getting up before sunrise and going to bed very late some nights, but she loved to craft, so she transformed pipe cleaners, clothespins and an old curtain and some aluminum foil into angels for their tree.
By the time I was born in 1958, the little angels were already 18 years old, and every year when Mom and I decorated the tree, she would sigh with embarrassment when she found the two angels in the box of ornaments. One year, she threw them both in the wastebasket and I was horrified. I ran and fished them back out and made her promise not to ever throw the two angels away again. Mom tsk-tsked at me, but agreed she wouldn't.
When I got married and moved to our new home, Mom gave me all her Christmas ornaments, and the little angels came along. When our two boys were little, I told them we had to hang the angels close to the top of the tree so Grandma couldn't reach them (Mom's only 5' tall) because once again, she was so embarrassed to see them on the tree. The boys readily agreed to guard the angels because they were Special and helped me hang them far, far up in the tree to protect them from Marauding Grandma.
"Why do you keep those silly old things?" she chided me again this year. "You have so many other beautiful, fancy ornaments for your tree."
It was my turn to tsk-tsk her.
No, they are not fancy or made from costly materials, but they are priceless to me.
The angels turned 70 this year.
My dear mother turned 90.
Yes, our tree is short, but it is still taller than my mother, and the angels are at a high enough elevation to be safe for one more Christmas.
But we'll still keep an eye on Grandma.