Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Springing into June

The clock struck midnight as I started writing tonight.  Ready or not, June has arrived.  Our first scheduled garden walk is June 15.  Oh boy, fifteen days to whip this disaster into shape.

 Carl pruning pines late Sunday night, I was on a ladder next to him working on my own tree and trying not to fall off my perch.

Since Mom's been home from the hospital, I've had to to get used to a new routine, but apparently I'm a slow learner.  My old routine for the last three years was to get out of bed in the morning and immediately apply workout clothes (yes, I actually do wear Spandex, stop recoiling in horror as you picture it in your head; hey, it's comfortable.) 

After swallowing my thyroid medication and a glass of water, I'd head into the living room and survey my perilously perched tower of fitness DVD's, hmmmm....which trainer did I want to have torture me today?  I have multitudes of choices, Leslie Sansone, Jessica Smith, Debra Mazda, and if I get really serious, Kelly Coffey Meyer or Cathe Friedrich for weight lifting which I should be doing three times a week. 

After picking one of the trainers, I would commit to a one hour workout, and if it was feasible, I'd also fit in a rebounding session on my mini-trampoline.  And to end the workout session, a thirty minute stretch with Miranda Esmonde-White.  I have four seasons of Miranda's PBS show on DVD which means I can have a different stretch almost every day of the year.  

I had to lay off the heavy weight lifting when my joints began to really bother me last October; I'm sad about it, but until I get this Lyme disease under control I don't want to risk doing any more damage.  My heavy weights are upstairs gathering dust along with my Craigslist gym machine, but I have high hopes I'll get back to it by fall.  Seeing what hard work and heavy lifting on the farm did for Mom, I know it's a must for me, too if I want to be mobile in my old age.  

I used to go to our church for the Monday and Thursday exercise class, but the last time I was there was January.  Amazing how fast time flies, it's been almost six months already.  I quit going when Mom was in the hospital because the timing wouldn't work out and because I wasn't feeling well.   

When Mom came home from the hospital we had the visiting nurses coming several days a week in the morning and Mom needs her medication right away first thing, too, so now my routine is all kaput.  Now I get out of bed and swallow my medication.  Then I   locate the small backpack Mom's meds are kept in, put the straps over my head and traipse the quarter mile up to her house, picking up her newspaper from the box on my way in the driveway.

 Heading west to Mom's

I keep her house key attached to the medication backpack and unlock her door.  I tromp loudly on each step as I try to make my arrival known.  Unfortunately, I'm not noisy enough.  Mom, usually perched in front of the east window with her back to the door is always startled by my sudden appearance even when she knows I'm coming.  She nearly jumps off her chair when I walk in.

"OH!  You scared me! I never heard you coming!  Did you walk down the road?  You did?  I never saw you," she says, completely astounded every day.

And every day I reply, "Yep, I walked right down the middle of that old road, sassy thing that I am."

"Well, I never saw you, and here I'm sitting in front of the window, I must be getting old."

"Nonsense," I say.  "You're not getting old."

I quickly move to the refrigerator and retrieve one of her two hospital mugs filled with water.  I open up her pill dispenser and dump the contents of five pills into her outstretched palm.  Then I try to divert the conversation to whatever is blaring on the TV so she'll hopefully not be upset about the medication and swallow them without incident.  I gave up giving her the vitamins and probiotics, the extra five pills were causing her far too much anxiety.  She made it to 95 years old without supplements, and she hasn't complained about her stomach hurting, so I'll leave well enough alone for now.

After we have the pills down, I talk to her for about a half hour and then it's time for the blood pressure readings and get her to jump on the scale for a weight reading.  I usually spend an hour or two with Mom in the morning before I head home to get on with my day.  Her weight has been a worry; she's teetering around 98 to 102 pounds.  I'd like it to be over 100; I don't want her to lose any more ground.  

She's been painting up a storm again though it took a lot of convincing to get her started back in February.  She had a paint by number of the late Thomas Kinkade's 'Garden of Prayer' to work on, but she said it was too complicated, the spaces were too tiny, she just couldn't do it. I finally told her if she didn't want to work on it, it would go to waste because I don't have time to oil paint and neither does Carl.  Thankfully she took the bait and started painting again under protest.

Carl told her she had to have the painting done for this gardening season 'because we are going to display it at garden walks to show people the picture that inspired our formal garden'.  (The picture did inspire us, by the way, this isn't just malarkey he was pulling out of his butt to keep my mother busy, but I know we won't display the picture outside, too risky with the weather.)  

Once she got started on the painting she was addicted and every day another square inch or two came to life.  Finally the day came when she declared her work finished.  

"You're not going to keep this picture outside, are you?"

"No, we won't keep it outside," I promise.

"Carl said you were going to display it by the dome in your garden, did you know that?

"Yes, we could, but only when we have walks on nice, sunny days, and we'll keep it in the dome itself, out of the weather." 

Ok, Carl convinced her we needed the painting desperately for tour purposes, but it's what it took to get her motivated to paint again.  I wish our garden looked as ethereal as Thomas Kinkade's painting, but we do the best we can with what we have to work with.  Mr. Kinkade's garden paintings are all gorgeous. (And not a weed in sight.)

I told her she did a beautiful job, and though she pooh-poohed it, I know she was pleased.   Now that her confidence is back, she's moved on to repainting my garden lanterns, freshening up the color schemes.  She loves to be artistic and it gives her something to look forward to.  She loses herself in the process and that's a blessing.  

I find I lose myself while weeding in the garden; my aches and pains are still there, but all my troubles seem to vanish as I work.  And since I'm already on my knees, I do a lot of praying while I weed.


  I do believe the saying, 'We are closer to God in a garden than anywhere else on earth.' 

 Spring has sprung, and with it, new life.  I think of our infant granddaughter while I'm working, and I smile.  

Abby sent me this picture of Audrey and her Daddy yesterday and I had to stop and wipe away happy tears.

 Is there anything sweeter?
I am blessed.


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I think your Mom's painting turned out lovely. It's good to have her interested in doing something she enjoys each day. Bless her heart.

Love the photo of son and new grandbaby!!! Sweet, sweet, sweet.

Enjoy making your lovely gardens even lovelier, as you prepare for your first garden tour.

Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

Carol said...

Your Mothers painting is beautiful but it doesn't hold a candle to your granddaughter!!! Beautiful photo if them is nice.
Your garden will be beautiful for the walk , even if you are not happy with it. We are always our worst critics. Good luck on keeping your Mom motivated. It's the most important part of keeping her alive. A hard step to accomplish. I need to work out more often too... it just doesn't happen :(

Larry said...

Audrey is precious! Your gardens are gorgeous.... what a wonderful season we are having... Larry

Alison said...

Although I know *you* will pooh-pooh it, I can see a resemblance between the painting and your beautiful garden. I've had a difficult spring, with problems with my health, and have only recently started working on my garden again. Goodness, the weeds were as tall as me. I know your garden walks will be a success.

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

Yes, you are blessed! The grandbaby is so sweet! Is that your mom's painting or Thomas Kinkade's? Either way, it's stunning, as is your garden. It's great to get your mom busy with something she enjoys. We all need that, right?

Garden Fancy said...

Beautiful! The painting, the gardens, this time with your mother, and of course, that precious baby -- you are blessed indeed. Thanks so much for sharing your gifts with us. -Beth