New In The Garden This Week: Faux-camping, Flower Fireworks and a Birthday Party For Me!

Our fairly new, fancy Kenmore refrigerator (which is about three times the size of the one I had growing up (which is still alive and kicking) and, being one of my first major kitchen appliance purchases, I researched very well, even going so far as to subscribe to Consumer Reports to read up on it) has broken for the third time in a month. Today, after the repairman’s third visit, we opened the fridge door and could hear the motor blade whacking off something, so he’s going to have to come back a fourth time. While our kitchen is a repair shop, I am sequestered in the garden with the dogs, cooking breakfast by camp stove and typing this post under a “parasol”. 🙂

IMG_20140530_131724-1

Our garden is like the world’s slowest fireworks show. Gone are the lilacs, cherry blossoms and tulips. As they wilt and brown, now emerge lilies, irises, peonies and my favourite: the pom-pom tree (not a technical term 😉 ).

IMG_20140530_131009-1

Perfect Peonies.

0530141058

Luscious Lilies.

a820017b-e23e-4aa7-ab6a-995df8b08e4e-1

Stunning strawberries that I can’t eat anymore! 😦

0525141355

Irresistible Iris.

0525141353b

Riley glamour shot.

IMG_20140525_162418

Romantic Rhododendron.

IMG_20140525_162020

Dr. Seussian Pom Pom tree that snows petals down everywhere.

IMG_20140525_161808

Another “rhody”.

IMG_20140525_154426-1

More irises.

Also new in the garden were people (yes, that’s plural!) for my birthday soiree. My sister, her boyfriend and dog and our best friends here in Seattle, Z and J and their beautiful little girl, A. With my husband, that’s 5.5 people and 3 dogs… And I did it! I was out in the garden, sitting up, listening to various voices and mixed conversations for THREE HOURS. How did I do it? I made it between the hours of 3pm and 6pm, my best times. I warned them (for the 700th time) that it had to be mellow, no big energy, no loud talking, no music. I asked them to bring their own drinks and food and totally took the burden of hosting off of me and my husband. I rested for hours before and after the gathering. I scheduled no appointments the day before or the day after. I made sure I had food in my stomach.

The weather was surprisingly lovely that day (surprising because the forecast said it would be overcast and cool). We sat at our garden table and munched on snacks and I watched from behind my sunglasses and listened… just took it all in. This was the first time having multiple people over in eight months and, the last time we tried this, I was in bad shape after half an hour, even though I hardly spoke.

I don’t remember much from my birthday. I had to ask my husband if everything went okay because I think I meditated myself into a state of Zen trance most of the time. I remember trying on the clothes my sister got me and I remember accidentally spilling boiling water on my dog’s back. I remember marveling at how beautiful and sweet little A is and loving my sister’s dog tearing around the garden (“zoomies”). Mostly I remember swimming in my loved ones’ company, listening to their chatter and laughter and feeling so lucky that they wanted to come see me and so grateful for every moment that I was able to participate.

I love getting older. Every year will be a celebration that I’m still here and I’m still living the best I can.

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I‘ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~Maya Angelou
R.I.P.

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “New In The Garden This Week: Faux-camping, Flower Fireworks and a Birthday Party For Me!

  1. Kari says:

    Happy birthday! Sounds like you had a really lovely day with your family, and your garden is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anna says:

    Love!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bertieandme says:

    Chuffed to bits you got to spend your birthday with the people you love 🙂

    The flowers in your garden are very similar to what’s in flower here in England, only about a month ahead of us x

    Like

    • Thank you for understanding how huge it is that people could come over and sharing in the celebration. 🙂 I also love that you appreciate nature and flowers. Does this happen to all people whose lives become smaller due to chronic illness? I never even looked at a flower or tree properly until I was housebound. 🙂

      Like

      • bertieandme says:

        When we’re part of the rat race we just don’t have time to appreciate life. And “life” isn’t making deadlines or getting a promotion – those things don’t make you feel grace or deep internal joy. “Life” is sunsets, the smell of lilac on the breeze, cuddles from your dog/kids/hubby, the smell of bedsheets dried in the sunshine, birdsong…….

        I think we just appreciate “life” more when we’re sick because we wake up to what “life” is x

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m in love with your pom pom tree. And so thrilled to hear your birthday party went well. I’m also happy to know your refrigerator has gone blink during good weather..

    Like

  5. Christine says:

    Your strength, perseverance, and garden (!) are inspiring!

    Like

  6. BONNIE JOHNSON says:

    HEY, ELIZABETH! HAPPY B’DAY!! SOUNDS LIKE A VERY SPECIAL DAY. I DISCOVERED LAST SUMMER WHEN WE HAD 10 FAMILY HERE FOR A BAR-B-Q, THAT I FOUND IT SO MUCH EASIER WHEN IT WAS OUTSIDE. PEOPLE R MORE SPREAD OUT, GUYS WERE THROWING THE BALL & THE SOUND HAS LOTS OF ROOM TO GO! COMPARED TO OUR SMALL HOUSE. MY FAMILY ALWAYS BRINGS FOOD & DOES THE PREPARING FOR ME, YOUR FRIG–OH, JOY! MY KIDS GOT ME A BEAUTIFUL STAINLESS STEEL FRIG WITH BOTTOM FREEZER–THAT NEVER WORKED! WE SPENT HUNDREDS ON IT & NEVER FIGURED IT OUT. LARRY ENDED UP HAVING TO DEFROST IT EVERY 2 OR 3 WKS TO GET IT RUNNING–WHAT A PAIN! APPARENTLY COMMON WITH THAT BRAND. THEN–MY GRANDAUGHTER WAS GIVEN A NEW DELUXE BLACK FRIG & GAVE US THEIR ALMOST NEW STAINLESS STEEL FRIG–REFUSED ANY PAYMENT! IT RUNS BEAUTIFULLY, IS DESIGNED BETTER & I JUST LOVE IT! SO GRATEFUL & BLESSED BY THE GENEROSITY OF MY FAMILY!! YOU HAVE A GREAT YEAR NOW, GIRL & CONTINUE TO ENJOY THAT LOVELY YARD & THE AREA YOU LIVE IN! LOVE, BJ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BJ, I love your spirit. Sorry it took so long to reply. Our new cheapest-on-the-market fridge is working fine (and Sears credited us $500, so it only cost $50!). All the bells and whistles are just not worth it. I’m so happy you have such wonderful, supportive kids. X

      Like

  7. Hayley-eszti says:

    Happy belated Birthday E-M! So glad it was nice fir you.
    Your garden looks so colourful and a perfect place to sit and breathe some ‘real’ air (as opposed to unfresh inside air) I hope the next year is a good one, with progress and some happy and positive moments along the way. Best wishes, Hayley-Eszti

    Like

  8. Jackie says:

    Happy birthday! All of your flowers are gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, lady! Btw, I linked to one of your posts in my last post, but I wanted to make sure that was the best one you’ve written to describe our nervous systems in fight or flight and how breathing and heart rate regulation can help. I know you’ve written about it a lot, just want to make sure I linked to what you thought was your best description (although you’re very clear in all of them!).

      Like

  9. Laurel says:

    Beautiful photos! What a lovely garden you have. I’m glad you held up well with your visitors! Happy belated birthday to you 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s