First, my mom is very much alive. I don’t want anyone to be confused by the title. But I miss her. A lot.
Her birthday is coming up and she’s away. My parents retired a number of years ago and since then, a lot has changed. It’s been amazing, really. They worked a lot… like, a lot a lot. We four kids learned how to figure things out for ourselves because there wasn’t exactly a whole lot of parental supervision. I’m not making any judgements here. It was what it was, for better or worse. Now that the are retired, sometimes I feel like they are even busier! We live next door to each other (as you know if you read my “about” page) but their life is full of adventure these days, so we don’t have the day to day that we used to. I’m thankful for them now having the freedom to enjoy their days, but I miss them… a lot.
Maybe it’s the farmer in me, but I like regualrity. I like knowing that each thing follows the next and I tie those patterns to the seasons. It’s her birthday and with that comes the start of Spring. As a child, one thing I could count on every March was my mom spending late nights in the basement, starting her seeds. She grew all the “hard to find” things before they were popular, before the nurseries had them. Lady’s mantle? She saw it in Europe years before it became wildly popular here. Asters? Now the rage, she hunted down seeds every year. Carnations? Yup, she did those when I was like five. She has always been a curious, methodical person. Her planting space was tidy at all times, everything perfectly labeled, watered precisely. She recycled all her pots - washing even the plastic 4-packs from the nursery. She is who I aspire to be as gardener. When I give talks for garden clubs, I feel like I am basically just talking about my mom for like half the talk.
But now with her new freedom, she doesn’t start seeds in her basement anymore. I’ve taken over most of her annual garden beds. Selfishly, I’m sad about it. I wish she were her with me, telling me I over watered this, or was careless with the tiny seeds, or that my potting bench is a mess. All the things that got under my skin, I really miss them today.
I think I’ll go give her a call.