Saturday, May 30, 2015

Home and Family by Diane Burton

It’s still spring here near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, although the heat is rising each day along with the humidity. Flowers are blooming—irises, rhododendrons, and a couple of blooms on the daylilies. 

daylily just starting to bloom

my favorite iris

new last summer

I love  perennials, even though they only bloom for a short time (except for the daylilies which keep going most of the summer). They spread and return stronger and fuller each year. I'm sure I've mentioned before how many of my flowers (like irises and Shasta daisies) came from my mother's garden by way of several of my other houses. Lilies of the valley came from my grandmother's farm via my mom, etc. When I see those flowers, I feel a connection with Mom and Grandma. 

outside my office window

I also brought tiger lilies from my mom's. Some people call them "ditch" lilies because they often grow wild in ditches along country roads. Do they ever spread! So I only brought a small clump from my old house. This is our second summer here in West Michigan, and already the perennials have shown how resilient they are.

Bloom where you are planted.

I can’t remember where I first read (or heard) that expression. It takes resiliency and flexibility to set down roots only to have them yanked out and transplanted again. Those of you who have moved with your (or your spouse’s) job know what I mean. Too often it’s the wife who doesn’t have a choice. She sets down roots, makes a nest, settles in, then—whammo—uprooted again. Flowers have been my way of bringing something of myself along, something that reminds me of “home”—wherever that is.

Home is a nebulous concept. It isn’t a house, although many refer to a building as their home. The slogan “it’s what’s inside that counts” refers to more than a product. What’s inside a house, or rather who’s inside makes a building a home. For our last three houses, it’s only been Hubs and me. We’re a family just as we were when we first married. But when our children and grandchildren are in the house, it’s feels so much better, like home. I understand the appeal of multi-generational homesteads. 

In the television series Blue Bloods, an episode doesn’t go by without the entire Reagan clan (four generations) sitting around the dining room table for Sunday dinner. What a tradition. It helps that they all live close by. In today’s society, families are spread out across a state or even across the country. Too often extended families only get together for weddings and funerals. Maybe even a reunion.

How do we preserve the sense of family?

Diane Burton writes romantic adventure . . . stories that take place on Earth and beyond. She blogs here on the 8th and 30th of each month and on Mondays on her own site:


Susan Coryell said...

Love this blog! Flowers are my passion--keeping hungry critters away from them is my profession! Home is where the heart is...cliche that never grows stale. Thanks for posting!

Jannine Gallant said...

Your flowers are beautiful! It is hard to get together with extended family. Everyone is scattered and busy... My oldest will be flying the nest to go to college at the end of the summer. The beginning of a new era for us.

Leah St. James said...

Lovely flowers, Diane! I'll try not to be too jealous. :-) And a lovely message as well. I need to redo the little flower bed in front of my house (I'm in a townhome community), and I'd love to plant hydrangeas, mostly because that's what grew at my grandmother's house. I always associate hydrangeas with Grandma. :-)

Alison Henderson said...

Diane, I can truly relate to this post. Over the years, we've moved 10 times - the last two houses with just the two of us. You're so right - home is much more than a building. When my daughter came for Christmas last year (our first in this house) the pieces came together, and it finally felt like home. I'm so glad you've been able to bring flowers from your family gardens with you to each new house. They appear to thrive wherever you are. Must be the love.

Rolynn Anderson said...

My brother and sister grow peonies (three generations old) from cuttings, in each home they inhabit. I love this idea. Wine grapes have similar histories, don't they. For all you flower lovers out there, I just finished a compelling story, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Contemporary. I had no idea that the names for flowers 'meant' so much. Clever conceits used by this author with a fine dash of suspense.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Susan. Keeping critters away is a challenge. I think the rabbits ate my rose bush over the winter. :)

Thanks, Jannine. Yep, the beginning of a new era for you.

Leah, my DIL got a hydrangea for Mother's Day. I hope it will survive in AZ. Thanks for posting.

Thanks, Alison. I knew you would get it. It's so hard to move without children. In August, everyone will be here--both kids, spouses, & children. Can't wait.

Rolynn, that's beautiful. I had 3 peonies at one time. Only brought one. Thanks for the book recommendation. Sounds interesting.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Beautiful flowers is right. I did like you, my iris,day lilies, and peonies all came from my mother. I've passed some of each on to my kids and grandkids. Luckily, we all still live close to each other. Though not every Sunday, we do the family dinner thing a lot! Wouldn't trade it. Great post.

Alicia Dean said...

Beautiful flowers. I can never have lovely plants like that. I have a black thumb for sure. I love your post about family. It's really difficult in this busy world to make time for family. I live close to many of my siblings, yet we don't see one another often enough. My kids all live nearby, and with the exception of my son, who comes over once a week, without fail, I don't see my kids regularly. Such a shame!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Here I am, late as usual. I loved your blog. I love flowers and indoor plants, but no longer have the time to water or weed with my writing and editing schedule. This last year has killed all my indoor plants...I was writing too much to water and talk to them. Great post!

MJ Schiller said...

Enjoyed your post! With each passing year I think I come to appreciate plants more. I love to watch them come up in the Spring and blossom, becoming more full with each passing minute, it seems. I love your idea of bringing plants from your mom's. I think I might see if my mom has some to spare. We get together with my family a couple of holidays a year and it is always so nice. You can act so stupid around family and it doesn't matter! We just laugh and carry on! Hmm...nice thoughts. Thanks for sharing!