Hope you had a great Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day and flowers just go together, don’t they?

The yard around the house is in full bloom this time of year (which means, as well, that the dandelions bounce back to their former glory less than 6 hours after I’ve mowed them).

I find myself in an interesting place in life, tending as an adult the yard of the house where I was raised.  I now care for the space that my mom cared for all my life up to 7 months ago.  Some of what’s here, in this yard, she herself planted.  Some of it she only inherited, like I have, and nurtured during her time here.

These lilac bushes at the back gate, for instance.  I wonder how old they are?  The original Grierson ranch house here, which we live in, is over a hundred years old — and part of me likes to imagine that these lilacs might be near that old.

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This spring I’ve discovered that the tulips that bloom outside Beau’s office (the building was previously the guest house) are yellow.  Aren’t they pretty?  I don’t know that I’ve seen too many yellow tulips in my day.

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I wonder if they’ve been blooming yellow my whole life and I just missed it until now?

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On Saturday evening, the night before Mother’s Day, I and Beau and the kids took my parents to the big city for a church service followed by a meal.  My cousin and his wife were in town, too, with my 91-year-old grandmother in tow, and so we all made plans to meet for supper.  Grandma wanted to go to Rib and Chop House, and seeing as how she’s the matriarch around here, most everybody does what she says… but the waiting line at Rib and Chop proved prohibitive.  My cousin’s wife called all over Billings looking for room at the inn… er, restaurant… but Billings was jumping on the Saturday night before Mother’s Day.  Finally a Japanese steakhouse promised to serve us in relatively short order.

When we walked in the door of the Japanese steakhouse, we were greeted by the roar of patrons chanting, “Sake!  Sake!  Sake!  Sake!”  As in, Japanese wine.  Detailed color photos of sushi covered the walls.  And, to top it off, we still had a 20-minute wait.  Viewing our group — ranging from the 2-year-old wailing with hunger to my dad (who is not very adventurous when it comes to food) to the 91-year-old who’s been a little cranky as of late — I wouldn’t have made a strong bet concerning the potential success of the evening.

But finally we were seated, and the waiter brought noodles for the kids to snack on.  And then our wonderful chef — a native of Micronesia (!) — showed up and started entertaining us as he cooked right there at the table.  Right away he took to calling Grandma “Sexy Lady,” and twice he was able to squirt sake into her mouth with his squirt bottle.  Somehow, somewhere during the course of the evening, I think he won her over.  Even Dad played along.  The chef nicknamed Emi “Perfect Princess,” Beau “Heycowboy,” and Asher “White Boy” — and of course the kids just ate it up.  They have since realized that the chef didn’t bother to tag me with a nickname.

Hmmm.  I’ll have to break down the possibilities behind that issue another time.

I wanted Sunday, Mother’s Day, to be all about my family being in the yard all day and Beau doing exactly what I told him to do.  I had been looking forward to my special day for months and had a lengthy honey-do list all ready to go:

  1. Fix the big gate.
  2. Move the picnic tables.
  3. Trim the pine trees.
  4. Lower the basketball hoop.
  5. Build vegetable garden boxes.

And so, so much more.  As always, my expectations for the day much exceeded the reality of what we can accomplish with the help of three little Blake kids.  Still, we managed to get a few things done — though none of what’s listed above.  We…

  1. Cleaned out the bed of our pickup (which hadn’t been unloaded since we moved 7 months ago; thank goodness for bed covers).
  2. (Thanks to Beau) managed to find, in the car, the post office box key which I had completely given up on.
  3. Mowed the lawn.
  4. Staked out the position of our planned arena on our own personal land, which is (handily) about 200 yards east of our front door (more on our land in a future blog).
  5. And planted a tree.

As you can see from this picture, which I took at the very hopeful start of a bright, sunny Mother’s Day, my planting plans for Mother’s Day also far exceeded reality:

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I am an absolute fright at a plant sale this time of year.  I want one of everything!  And our local greenhouse, Tulips & Turbines — just a couple miles down the Myers Road here — is quite the den of temptation for me.  Because, again, I want one of everything.

The purple sage I got because I’ve always admired it in landscaping.  The hollyhocks because they seem so old-fashioned.  The gaillardia aristata because I have had really good luck with it before.  The colorful annuals — even though I don’t usually buy annuals seeing as how they’re a very poor investment in the future — because they’re just so darn cheerful.  Also because the kids wouldn’t leave without them.

And three little lilacs to block our excellent view of Pens 1, 3, 5, and of the pen we call Gravel Yard:

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Because we’re living a little too intimately with the feedlot calves for my taste.  There used to be a wind block fence between us and them, but then the guys put in a new fence, and I guess the view didn’t concern them too much… seeing as how there’s no longer a wind block to shield my eyes from the feedlot.

Thus, I will fight back the only way those of us who are prohibited from operating machinery and power tools can:  I will plant those tiny lilac plants, and maybe someday they’ll be big enough.

Hope you, too, got to plant something on Mother’s Day that will grow for years and years.  Because that’s what moms do.

© Tami Blake

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