The name rolled off his tongue like quick silver. My non-reader, my imaginative, dyslexic child Joseph; he immediately responded when I asked what her name should be. Sarah Elizabeth Gramble. He was only about 8 years old.
She was a new piece of statuary at a local garden center. Heavy as lead. The real deal. I was given a handful of money for Mother’s Day and told to go get her. Children in tow, I went and looked and dreamed of my own garden and what it could be some day, and I came home with Sarah Elizabeth Gramble.
Sarah Elizabeth Gramble is gone now. I did not part with her easily, and she did not go cheap. But she did not belong in an apartment. I sold her for more than what I paid, and I made sure she went to a woman who loved her garden. She was carried with care to the woman’s car, to a new home, to a new garden. It hurt.
Sarah Elizabeth Gramble, cold as stone, cold as what she is, she saw my blood, sweat and tears over the course of more than a decade. She watched silently as I tried with every fiber of my being to push my life out into every little corner of a happy box it should have filled. She saw my love. She saw my work. She saw my broken spirit when I had been dealt with harshly.
It is a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking thing when you know it will never be. When you have cried and prayed until your eyes burn. When you have put on a happy face and told the knot in your stomach to be quiet; the knot that is evidence of the sick realization that what you actually live and what you want to live don’t fit together.
Sarah watched the bees pollinate. The first hint of green to push through the ground after winter; she was there. She has worn a hat of soft snow. She has held an apron full of petals of all kinds and colors. She stood across the way, looking at me as I gulped tea after hours of heavy garden work. She stood there, looking at me on days when I sat on the front steps and hurt from loneliness and sorrow. Wherever you are, Sarah Elizabeth Gramble, I sure miss you.
Sometimes life feels like a puzzle.
And actually somtimes you just need a puzzle.
I’ve been trying to keep the apartment quiet, clean and relaxing. I want us to do quiet, healing things.
Who can resist a puzzle? I set one up on the card table, now that the card table is free (thanks to the new farm table from Goodwill). We don’t work on the puzzle all the time, obviously, but sometimes the puzzle just calls out and it’s fun to sit down and find where a piece or two goes.
I wanted a sideboard for the wall that seemed so bare. I still want a sideboard, and when I spot the one for me, I’ll know! It’ll have those celestial beams dancing all around it! In the meantime, I was tired of that wall being bare and stuff sitting on the floor in front of it. But I cannot afford to buy furniture unless it’s the right price on the right day. Then I remembered a dresser sitting unused at “the old house.” I hauled it to the apartment. I cleaned it up and put it in my bedroom. Then the white dresser that had been in my bedroom was moved into our little dining area to be my sideboard. A large scarf dresses it up. It’s filled right now with all the makings of school scrapbooks for all the children. I am nearly done with all scrapbooks for all children for all years. Just think! Only a few more to do. By then maybe I’ll have found my sideboard and I can purge more books from the bookshelf and put the completed school scrapbooks in the big bookshelf. Then the sideboard can hold sideboard stuff (whatever that might be).
I went to The Little Wild Garden today. One word. Roses. I could not resist picking some flowers. The garden is full of them this year. My beloved little garden. I know roses need water, but I tried not to cry on them. I’ll leave the watering to the rain. I picked with joy. I know that Edna St. Vincent Millay was glad under the sun and touched a hundred flowers and did not pick one, but I had no such restraint.
I rather like my flowers in the oatmeal container. I feel like I went down from the highlands to visit an English garden and all I had was my Irish oatmeal container to put them in. Cool.
I must run. My girl needs the computer for a school project.
Enjoy each day!
My Dear Friends,
Can it really be four days since I posted? And I was going to post every day! Life is busy, though, and I find myself needing naps. I suppose that’s normal. I have also continued to weed out STUFF, taking almost daily trips to the dumpster, Goodwill or the consignment shop. So therapeutic this is. I cannot even tell you how good it feels.
It’s feeling like home here, and I find myself adapting, which brings about inner change. Life is just that way. Our minds and our bodies respond to our surroundings. We encounter new things. Maybe we like them, maybe we do not, but there’s suddenly a new normal.
Annie is loving it here.
She sprawls out on the floor with her deer antler and chews. And chews. And chews.
It’s a sight to behold. Did I say already that Annie is my baby and that she is the spoiled rotten fatso beagle of the universe?
Finally, after a prolonged photo shoot, she wonders what I am doing and she stands up to look at me. Go back to your antler, Annie.
I have continued to put new little touches around the apartment. Pictures of family members sit atop a round table that came from the old house (it’s a garden table) and makes a perfect end table for the loveseat.
Some things make me sad, like glimpsing something Michaela and I were in the middle of for homeschool and will likely never finish. Do you remember our Prairie Tuesdays? We started our nature plates back then and still pull them out sometimes to reminisce. I am so thankful for the years we had together homeschooling.
It has been a beautiful day here. Fresh baked cookies, which I cannot partake of, but John and Michaela enjoyed them. Sunshine so bright it was hard to see the computer screen! All of our clothes washed, dried, folded and put away. A new collection of farm charms for the shop.
Enjoy this day.