:: I’ve been tinkering outside for the last half hour, deciding that I really don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to gardens. I find I’m perfectly content to sit on the ground and pry bits of stray grass from between the bricks of the patio. I like tasks like that because they’re mindless, require no particular level of skill, and when you’re done, you’ve had fresh air, sunshine, and dirt on your fingers. I also like such tasks because they are the sorts of things Mom’s been assigning to me for two decades. I also like deadheading and cutting dead branches off of trees. These are other things Mom’s often delegated to me. But when it comes to really and truly gardening, I find that I’m clueless.
I dug up another few plants and put them in the spot I deemed more appropriate, and have called it a day.
:: My kitchen window sill has been adorned by a trio of bud vases, a gift from one particular Lore, and these have been filled of late with morning glory blooms. Each morning I walk to the back corner of our yard and pluck three stems. And each night, the royal blue blossoms have faded into pink, and by morning, these have curled up and given way to fresh royal blue.
I love morning glories, regardless of whether they are viewed as friend or foe in a garden. (At our house, they were foe. Here, they appear to be friend.) I love morning glories because Nana lived at 16 Morning Glory, and I spent countless car rides waiting to see that road sign, and addressed numerous cards and notes to that house number. Morning Glory is a place of dear memories. Morning Glory still means a Papa with stubble sitting at the table, ready with a scratchy kiss and evening snacks of Oreos. It still means a silver-haired woman standing in the window, then coming out the door with a wave, a smile, and the biggest of hugs to greet us.
This August makes 10 years since I received such a hug. Ten years since sitting at the table, drinking Levittown water while her ice cold glass sweated into its paper napkin wrapping, watching her make a list for the day’s activities and food needs. Ten years since I showed her the photos of my first exploration of the world outside our borders. Ten years since she asked, “So, how’s your love life?”, and I laughed and said, “Nana, what love life? I’m only 16!”
Ten years since I traced the lines of her wrinkled face with my eyes — wrinkles she hated, but wrinkles I loved. Ten years since Jay Leno on the couch, since watching her dutifully “do” her nebulizer, since sharing the king size bed.
You’d think ten years would be long time for someone as young as me, and so I’m always surprised by how fresh the missing is. Surprised that I still will wake up from a dream crying, missing my Nana.
Funny what memories and feeling three little blue flowers can hold.