Tag Archives: iPhone photos

19 years on a farm: sunflowers

black-and-white-unnamed-1-copy-as-shot

This is the year of the sunflower, and the drought, and a few other things.

After last year’s bust of a sunflower crop, my husband, Radames, nurtured these beauties through woodchuck attacks and squirrel carnage.  Today, he picked the last of this particular batch…big huge blooms that the chipmunks were munching away at…we will keep them on the table a few days and then put them outside, up high, for the birds.

In celebration of 19 years here, I thought I’d try a theme for a while:  19 years on the farm. I’ll let you know if it works out.  My husband said to tell you this isn’t a farm, and it really isn’t.  But it was a farm and it is a lot closer to a farm than my homeland, the suburbs.  I like to say I live out in the middle of nowhere but then I am reminded that there is a Dunkin Donuts about 4 miles down the road.

It is September 18, 2016.

 

©claireaperez@gmail.com

Sunflowers picked by Radames and photo-shopped by me.

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The quote my Father repeated

Sunset in upstate NY summer
Sunset in upstate NY summer

My Father would be 86 in a few days, he died years ago.  But as if in warning of the precious reality of time, as if to remind himself, he often said this quote throughout the full 44 years I knew him.

Spring passes into summer, and through summer and autumn into winter, only the more surely, by its own ultimate return, to triumph over that grave, towards which it resolutely hastened from its first hour.

Cardinal John Henry Newman

The central garden

central garden July 8 2010d 046

Often I’ll go outside and just place my hands on the soil, even if there’s no work to do on it. When I am filled with worries, I do that and I can feel the energy of the mountains and of the trees.”
― Andy Couturier, A Different Kind of Luxury: Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance

I have often thought about writing about the gardens we have here and so I may give it a whirl this winter.  After all, it may inspire me, when confined, to think about why we tolerate the confinement.  It is still fall and we are now in the middle of our second snowstorm.

The backstory on this garden:  when I first moved here, I said, “New husband, I need a garden of my own.”

“Ok, how about that one.”  He pointed to a row of flowers, three tiers of unorganized, tall flowers that abutted the clothesline.  The clothesline stretched from this area to the barn and faithfully, Barbara (see December 7 post) put her laundry up to dry several days a week.

I plotted my garden out and I bought lots of plants…as I recall, one season it looked really good, but then…reality hit. Reality being work:  the work I attended to every week, my job; the housework and grocery shopping on weekends; and the world of weeding.  It felt too big  and so, I believe eyeing its potential and my subsequent abandonment during a few summers, the new husband, who was not so new and had summers off, said:  “I know it is a lot, if you don’t mind, I can take it over.”

In came the variation of plants, the bench, a little pond, yellow tulips, and a Japanese Maple, not all at once, of course. This picture is pretty close to how it looks today: fourteen years later.  It is lovely.  I can’t begin to name all the plants. But for me, it is where I  learned how wonderful it is to dig in the dirt on a rainy misty day and see fushia colored flowers and my beloved peonies bloom.

Sadly, Barbara died shortly after this garden was finished.  The garden then looked more like a template of things to come. The last place I saw Barbara was on the bench pictured above.  She then went in to watch the US Open.  That night, a short two days before she died, she called a friend and expressed a tremendous sense of peace sitting with my husband and I that day.  

As if everyone she loved was right there with her.

This is the central garden and I will probably revisit it in these posts..

photograph & content:  claireaperez@gmail.com

quote under photograph from Goodreads

Royal Wedding

I captured this photo from the TV. I like it for three reasons. It is surreal…just like the fact that 2 billion plus people can watch a wedding in brilliant color and definition. Second, it is lovely, the green trees, lacey dress, and William’s bright red uniform sent me a message of hope for the future. We hear many negative stories involving destruction and huge human, environmental, and financial cost, that a beautiful creative story is welcome. And finally, the mystical element of the photograph. In a church that has witnessed many stories that have impacted the larger human story, William and Kate appear to be both passing through and carrying the story’s trail to a new, possibily better place.