Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bring Me A New Season

Even though they will not bear fruit until mid-July, Gran would say, "Its time to dung!"

Often worrying about repetitive subject matter when blogging, I studied to find that committed bloggers and blogging 'experts' recommend it. At some point you must recant to move forward again ~ heck, after several years you just have to revisit it.

Chances are if you crept into the archives you may appreciate that by now I am itching to get outside and just talking about it gives WB the jitters. Never excited about getting my hands dirty, there is something about digging around in the yard and beds that satisfies me.

When WB and I began planning our life together, Mike and I were living in a small house in Alabaster. It was a fixer-upper with special needs when purchased and all that I could afford. However, in just a few years, we had worked it into what I would consider a charming modern-day cottage with luscious landscape; always manicured, neat and colorful. As middle school aged boy, he hated the Saturday morning wake-up call from me to get the lawn mower cranked and running. Today, however, he makes a good living for his family designing hardscape and landscape solutions in west central Texas. (And from time to time, I can still get him to travel a thousand miles to help me with a special project outside)

I can remember my grandmother's gardens. She was the transplant queen, often snipping off a limb, twig or start and transporting across country to root in her kitchen window sill. Her rock beds were even a diary of her travels. When visiting us in Alabama, she continually dreamed of sneaking a piece of Kudzu contraband in her suitcase.

Today, we have evidence of those genes in our own yard with her fig trees, climbing roses, succulents, two rocks and a piece of petrified wood. But that is not all,  as we have now included monkey grass from WB's mother's beds.

Perhaps it is something you hand down to your children ~ the love of gardening. I think you either enjoy it or despise it. But around here, everyone contributes with Michelle handling the lawn and Kate planting the tomatoes and peppers. But, WB absolutely hates it. To him, it is simple drudgery.

Up until we married, I spent Friday afternoons planning for a weekend of planting, pruning or mulching. WB's Friday afternoon's were spent getting the bass boat ready for an all day trip to the lake. Since he could never really grasp that I enjoyed working the soil, he felt guilty leaving me to do all of the work. What he could never understand is that I so loved it (and loved his being away while I did it). So to assuage his guilt, he hired a yard maintenance man. Not only to maintain, but to start planting. To plan, to plant, to design ~ it was a disaster. It was then that I quit. I quit gardening altogether. Perhaps the purchase of a hanging basket or two, the planing of pots on the patio, but the real gardening ~ I was done.

Then, moving from the big house to an unfinished foreclosure with a bare landscape changed things. With limited income, no yard boy, and no landscape budget.....

Today, the lawn and beds are finished, but the house still remains as it was when we arrived three years ago. Our beds today are filled with vintage starts and pieces of our past. Certainly not something a landscape architect would design, but unique enough for people to stop, look and even take pictures.

With the to-do list started, WB's moaning has begun. He will say that I am torturing him even though he will likely not do much this year. Even running the mower from one end of the lawn to another had become a challenge for him last year. Disgusted with the blower, edger or trimmer, he then destroys them. No burning either for WB as last year he caught his sleeves on fire.

This last week I notice his speech is becoming more and more impaired.  Before when he struggled, we could normally finish a sentence or fill-in the blanks. This week, things are beginning to come out of his mouth that make little to no sense at all. I am hoping for a turnaround as this has happened before.

Five steps forward, three steps back. Three steps forward, five steps back. We've officially made it to another season.

Just Brantley

My name is Rhonda Brantley and my husband, Billy Ray Brantley, suffers from Early Onset Alzheimer's Dementia. This is the best shot we have at documenting daily living.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Valentine's Day to you and your family. Wish you lived closer. Miss you!


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