When we were growing up, mother had many interests and hobbies. Summer's were a time of working in the gardens, both flowers and vegetables. In the midst of raising seven children, she would rise early, many times before daybreak, and get going on the household responsibilities. But she always found time to work in her gardens, and would bring us with her, and we would join in the chores of pulling weeds, and harvesting or pruning the flowers. But mother had a way of making these tasks seem like games, and we had a ball just being with her. While we dug in the dirt she would tell us each plants name, and many times the insects that buzzed around us, the whole venture was a mixture of joy and learning. During the winter month's she would feed the birds, and studied the different species that came to her feeder's, with a handbook close by to look up the name of one that may come that was new, and unique. This was also a time of bringing us kids into her life, and interests. We were never bored, because mother was always interested in life, and the blessings of it.
Remembering these times, I decided to bring the outdoors in, and make it possible for her to do some of these things again, as much as I could.
A place was made in front of my glass doors to allow mother to be able to sit and watch the birds coming to the feeder's on the deck, and surrounded the area with potted plants that she could tend to, and enjoy the blooms. She was the one who watered them, pruned them, and tended to their needs every time she came. She would spend many hours in her wheelchair in front of the window with the bird book close by. She commented at times how she enjoyed the sunshine coming in, it was a warm inviting place for her.
There is a small sofa nearby, and we would sit and watch the birds together, share a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy the time together. Often I would put some of the music she liked on, and we would listen to it together as she sat and tended to her plants. During these times we would get reminiscing of days gone by. There were smiles and laughter in sharing some of them. Now, I have precious memories of those afternoons, it was time well spent.
The photos here show some of them, but they bloomed much more when she was here. It doesn't take a lot to make an environment of peace, love, and warmth. Just a little thought, imagination, and making some adjustments. These made it possible for her to spend many hours of enjoyment and contentment, and it made a great difference in her last years.
Whenever I look out these doors now, and watch the birds as the sun streams through them and lands on her potted plants, those memories hover in this special place in the house.