a different kind of spring fever.

{the girls picking cherries, at the old house, right before we moved}
(ages four and six)

The sun is shining today.  I am ouside with no coat.  As I walk out the door at the VA hospital on errands for work, I swear for just two seconds I can smell Spring and so look up and see that there are not only buds on the massive trees  lining the buildings, but actual baby leaves starting to burst forth.

Spring is coming.  There is something special about this time when Spring comes and the green starts pushing it’s way back into the world.  It feels like hope and renewal.  It feels like a fresh start, but still, each Spring  as the weather warms and we look to spend more time outside, I realize there are things I am missing.

There used to be a time when Spring came and I was a married woman and we would make our bi-annual trips to the nurseries.  You see there was a time when we were happy and when we did things together.  My old husband at one time was a very hard worker.  He would work sixty plus hours a week at the restaurant and then come home and Sundays we would plot the outside.

We were newly married.  We didn’t have kids yet.  So we would wake up to the sunshine.  The windows would be open, a breeze would blow through.  We would find ourselves starting the morning with HGTV and This Old House and then we would start plotting on graph papers, hoppimg in the car to buy plants, working side by side out in the yard pulling out scrub, putting in new soil, depositng new plants with all the hopes that they would flourish as we hoped to.  Roses, hydrangeas, butterfly bushes, succulents, berry plants. This wasn’t work, this just was.  We would work outside until it would threaten to get dark, then fire up the grill.  I would run inside, rinse the muck off, start a few things and we would sit out on the porch and eat.   Then go inside to shower and crash for the evening, maybe running back out in the dusk to put a few things away, perhaps I would find him, tooling out in his shed after the day had closed.

Even right after Emily was born, she would go out with us, bobbing up and down in one of those exercise saucers as we raked leaves, sitting on a blanket chewing on a pumpkin as we mixed in fall chrysanthemums or some clearance end of summer perennials bought on the cheap.

In time all that changed.  As his back broke, our relationship did as well.  The yard and our life fell to ruin.

Today I have a new home, leaving all of that hard work and ruin behind and I would have free reign to do it all again here.  But I don’t ever turn on HGTV anymore. I have no passion to work in the garden.  It’s just there  is never enough time, enough money or enough energy.  I’m barely fitting it all in now, the daily requirements, figuring how to factor in the budget summer camp and karate lessons, energy being at an all time low.

These days I kill all the plants I try to nurture. There may be a few strawberry plants eeking out a life under the winter’s weeds behind the garage.  The herbs I planted in pots on the porch last year suffered neglect and finally gave up.  I miss having a partner in these ways. There are things that I miss about being part of a pair.  I miss lazy mornings and my Better Homes and Gardens landscaping books.  I miss scoping out last minute end of summer perennials. I miss the satisfaction of bringing color and beauty to my surroundings. More than anything I miss late evening dinners out on the porch with someone I love, dirt still in my fingerprints.

Life marches on.
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5 Comments

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5 responses to “a different kind of spring fever.

  1. beautiful words…it sounds like things were really, really good…I’m sorry it all fell to ruin…
    the photo of your girls is VERY beautiful…the colors…their body language…such a great capture…
    on a growing note…plant a dang tomato…you can hardly kill them.. 😉
    sending love to you today…xoxo

  2. Liz

    You will have that again in time. It’s amazing how far you’ve come already. As for me, even with a partner, I’m happy if I can keep a tomato plant alive these days!

  3. Denise

    I second what Michelle said 🙂

  4. barbra

    it takes time to heal. someday i hope/feel you will realize you can plant a garden on your own, or better yet, with your daughters. and it will be amazing! many of us have been in that place, and it’s really really hard to overcome. you have a big community of people who care. i’m one, and i don’t even know you…

  5. Carolyn

    “Today I have a new home, leaving all of that hard work and ruin behind and I would have free reign to do it all again here. But I don’t ever turn on HGTV anymore. I have no passion to work in the garden. It’s just there is never enough time, enough money or enough energy. I’m barely fitting it all in now, the daily requirements, figuring how to factor in the budget summer camp and karate lessons, energy being at an all time low. ”
    These words touched me so deeply – so beautiful, so poignant, so sad. And I identify with them so much. I, too, have the memories of another time. Now I am old – yes, really old – and find that I cannot do the things that I would love to be able to do. One thing I can tell you is that Joy can be your constant companion whether you are along or in a relationship with another. Your girls are beautiful! Thank you for your lovely blog.

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