Dad Would Have Turned 101

When I walked out the front door the other day, I noticed that the tulips that Mother had planted years and years ago had started to bloom. I snipped off a few, along with some other flowers from the yard, and started looking for something I could put them in at the cemetery.

It was pretty windy, so I thought I’d better get a vase of some kind with a spike on the bottom. After going to three places, I found a small, white plastic one, but it had plastic flowers in it. I hate plastic flowers when real ones are available.

I turned to an elderly woman in front of me (if I call someone elderly, you KNOW they are old), and asked if she’d like some flowers. Her face lit up like she had won the lottery. It was the best thing that happened all day.

By the way, you can click on the photos to make them larger.

Brother David hits Cape

Brother David passed through St. Louis and Cape doing a honk ‘n’ wave on his way back home to Texas. He brought along a wreath to put on Dad and Mother’s stone.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have a way to secure the wreath, and the winds were blowing so hard that we were afraid it would end up in Perry county. I promised him I’d come back the next week to rig something up.

My flowers were woebegone

The cheap plastic vase I bought wouldn’t hold water, and the wind had whipped the flowers around, so they were looking a bit ragged when I went back on Monday to rig David’s wreath.

If you look closely, you can see the head of two big spikes I pushed into the ground, and some fine green wires leading upwards from them.

It’s up in time for his birthday

Two similar spikes and wires hold on the front of the stone secure the wreath. When I messaged David that I got the display up in time for Dad’s birthday, April 17, he pointed out that he would have been 101 years old this year.

Wow! That boggles my mind.

Earlier posts about Dad

What’s the White Stuff?

The gravel in the driveway was getting a bit thin, so I put about a dozen 50-pound bags of it down several weeks ago. The recent rains exposed some more muddy spots, so I bought another five bags.

The irony is that Dad used to buy gravel by the train-load, probably for what I had just paid for about 20 bags. Anyway, while I was spreading the gravel, I noticed specks of white flying by. I didn’t think it was the fireplace belching ashes, so I watched more closely. Sure enough, some of the pellets were turning into flakes.

You can click on the photos to make them larger.

The Bolton House across the street

I decided I needed to bring in more firewood, so I hauled the wagon outside, then went back inside to piddle around for a few minutes. Suddenly, I saw people in the area posting on Facebook that it was snowing.

Son of a gun, it WAS showing. Snowing enough that the ground was white and I had to empty out the wood wagon before I could load it.

Walnut waiting to become firewood

When I bought Mother’s house from my brothers, I had a list of things that needed to be taken care of. One of the first was to chop down two maple trees that Mother and Dad planted when they bought the house. One of them was so hollow that it was a wonder that it hadn’t fallen on us or the neighbor.

I asked the tree trimmer to cut some dead walnut limbs that were about to fall either on the driveway or the roof. He looked this tree over and said, “You’d be better off to let me take it down now instead of having to come back in a year or so.”

I hated to see it go, but he does this for a living. I let him haul off all the big pieces, but had him leave pieces small enough that I could cut them to fireplace length without having to split them.

Shed in a Box

In 2013, David, Mark and I built Mother a Shed in a Box to park her riding mower in. It was a lot easier for her to do that than to wrestle tarps over it.

It’s getting some stress tears in the tarp top that I’m going to have to patch up with tape as soon as it warms up.

Mother loved having these spinners in the yard so she could tell how hard the wind was blowing. This is the last one left, and it’s only a matter of time before the elements get it, too.

Gradually returning to nature

There was an old tree at the corner of the yard that died many, many years ago. Mark said not to cut it because there were holes in that indicated that it was home for all kind of critters.

Old age and gravity finally won out. It’s gradually becoming compost to feed other plants.

 Needles and flakes

The tiny ice crystals lodged wherever they could. Fortunately, they weren’t accompanied by damaging ice and sleet.

A study in green and red

The holdover red holly berries add a festive touch to the cold. It’s 18 and falling at midnight (feels like 8 degrees), and it’s headed for 11 at 6 a.m. I don’t want to know the “feels like” temperature.