Sunday, December 19, 2010


This morning we are up early to visit my paternal Grandmother, Anna. At 96, she has her wits and most of her mobility, but lives in a nursing home where most have neither. I think, for her, it is akin to being in the low academic track while having the brains for honors. The wheel-chair bound, the gaping mouths, the stupor, she (and I) can hardly take. There is something disturbing in the collection of the frail into one life compartment. It is difficult to walk through that front door -there is just too much.

I credit my grandmother with my introduction to the cultivation of flowers. She was always in the garden, on her knees in her border beds, and I think she was the only person I knew as a child who did such things, who commanded the plants that, under every other circumstance, simply ran free. Her garden was my first.

Roses are her favorite, and had I ample warning of the sale of her house, I would have rescued more of her roses, most 40 or 50 years old, from the garden. Instead I hastily yanked just one, on a cold day in November. From her garden I also received my Eupatorium and iris, but little else.

I am sure that Anna would have difficulty gardening now, thanks to arthritis and some difficulty bending, certainly kneeling. Yet I often wish that the facility could have extensive gardens for her to appreciate. She always had cut flowers in the house, from the garden. Today we will buy her some flowers, for the vase in her room.

Grandma's Tea.

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