Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finding Gardening Time

June 25th 2010

Between trying to keep my own sites updated, and taking care of my aunt, liquidating her stuff, and building sites (believe it or not) for others (which I had never really planned on doing since I'm not a web designer) I seem to have little (very little) time to devote to my hobby(ish) sites, like this one, although the site is quickly becoming a little more than a hobby.

My aunt in her younger years, with her beloved pet, Bambi.
My Aunt in her younger years.
Family issues keep intruding on my schedule. That happens when your family gets older. Currently trying to care for my last remaining aunt (whose in her 80s) who fell on Saturday night in her kitchen and couldn’t reach the phone. She lay there for 24 hours before we found her. We’re very grateful she was still alive, although she had a broken hip and has just come out of surgery safe and sound.

Now the long road to recovery begins. Before she leaves the hospital (where I visit each day) I’ll have a little time, I think, but once she heads to the retirement home I probably won’t be able to post anything new for a while. There will be no internet access at her "place",  When it comes to stuff like this, you just have to put family first – particularly since we are getting pretty short on older family members. Once she’s no longer with us, my generation will be the “oldies” of our family (shudder). I’m not sure I ever saw myself in that position before…

Par of a large living room open to a kitchen with island.
Part of my Aunt's livingroom, open to the filled kitchen.
She has soooooo many nicknacks and little bits and pieces on display in her home, that cleaning can take an entire week (and of course, you do want to clean before you pack, right?). Dishes and plates at the top of her kitchen cabinets; and every nook and cranney is filled with some pretty little thing, some of which have been around for quite a long time. On the top of the dresser sits a pair of vintage glass lamps (1940s) with red glass shade a crystal drops. My grandmother got these lamps, one at a time, by collecting coupons from laundry detergent at some of the homes where she worked as a cleaner.

My grandmother (Nanny, seated in the middle in blue) with her surviving adult children.
Nanny with her children & sister.
A vintage glass lamp with red shade from the 1940s, and a lamp in the shape of a Victorian Woman.My grandmother raised her children mostly alone, and lost one at the age of 12 (um, the child was 12, not my grandmother). In a time when women with kids didn’t work outside the home she did many things to keep her family together – from cleaning homes of the wealthy, to taking in laundry, and sending her kids out to follow the coal truck to pick up any bits of coal that fell off so they could heat their home.

Considering the age of these glass lamps, they must have been “prized” back then. Today, they are still in excellent condition with no chips or nicks in the glass, or crystals.

Tulips in my garden. The background is white because the sun literally blew the background away.
I haven't had much opportunity to get out and about and take new images lately, and because we're also acting as a storage bin for my Aunt's belongings (only until tomorrow - when we're having a massive garage sale) my studio and office are so crowded with boxes and bins and furniture that I can barely get in the rooms. During the early part of February we had a bit of a tough time.  My time was pretty limited since I like to spend as much of it with my Aunt as I can..

Have you ever watched that TV show "Hoarders"? Well, these two rooms are running a close second to one of those houses - minus the debris. It is mainly boxes, but the rooms have a small pathway only - in my studio it's to the closet that stores my photography equipment and in my office it goes from the door to the computer.

I'm looking forward to getting the stuff out of my house and getting my space back. Hopefully, once we've got her house emptied out fully and the carpets replaced we can get it listed for sale, and then maybe I'll have the semblance of a life back.

Anyway, I suppose that's more than y'all needed know, but it does curtail the amount of time I have to spend in the garden, except for part of the time I was working on her house, I also had to spend time out in her large gardens, cleaning them out and fixing them up to look nice and neat before the house gets listed for sale.

It doesn't really matter to me that it's "work" (meaning, something that has to be done, but maybe not something you want to do) because regardless of where I garden, I am still enjoying the places I love the most - the outdoors, and the gardens. For several years as she aged I looked after her gardens, spending one or two days a week weeding, tidying, moving plants, pulling out old, tired plants and adding new ones. And she loved to look at her gardens from her back porch, so even if it was work, it was worth the effort.

Isn't that what life is about? Bringing a little enjoyment into the lives of others, while finding a way to make it fun for yourself ... it's one of the the things that makes family such a good thing to have.

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