Friday, April 5, 2019

Seasons of Life

Greetings from Plum Cottage in s.e. FL. Here it is the start of another weekend and time keeps zipping right along. These past two months have been seasons of change, not only in the weather patterns, but also in the times of life.

At the beginning of February my favorite aunt, my dear husband's aunt, had a stroke at home, and fell and broke her hip. She was taken to the hospital and they did surgery. She would be 92 this year.  She was then put in rehab. She had another stroke and went to be with God her Father, on the 18th of March.  She is survived by her only child, our cousin Faye. Before my Aunt passed from this life to the next,  Faye's husband suffered the exact same kind of stroke her Mom had had. He passed away a week to the day from when her Mom left. This has been really, really rough for Faye so I am asking prayer in her behalf that she will have the strength to get through each and every day. I ask prayers for myself as well that I will be comforting support since I've already been where she is in being a widow.

I've been re-reading 3 different books in my personal library for widows as it's been 6 yrs and 4 months since the start of my widowhood journey and I wanted to refresh myself with dealing with grief from the beginning. While doing this reading, I realized that I've come quite away since those first few weeks/months. God has been my strength. I prayed, read the Bible, books, devotionals, I cried. Grieving is different for every one. There is no right or wrong way. There is no time limit. To be of help to widows, we need to be compassionate and encouraging. We need to be there for those who need someone to listen to what they say or don't say about their feelings. Be supportive, give help where help is needed. Do not be overly helpful, or pushy. But be there for them when they need someone. Pray for them.

The blogging community, family and friends, church family, have all helped in my growing through my grieving and I thank each and every one of you for your love, prayers and encouragement.

We widows can not only survive but thrive. God has a plan for our good, He hears our hearts cries, He is with us every step of the way.  I am so thankful to Him for what He has done, for what He is doing and for what He will do.


Part of my surviving/thriving mode, (even though I've had some slumps), has been working in my gardens. Gardening in s.e. FL is a year round project, so it is never done, and my tropical, cottage gardens can and do turn into a jungle quickly. I've been working outside in the mornings trying to get caught up. Summer's heat and humidity will be here all too soon and working outside past mid morning will not be a good thing then.

My dear husband is the one who came up with my online name of 'FlowerLady', because of my love of flowers and because I was out in my gardens among the flowers, when I wasn't working at my job. He always knew where to find me. He once said I was 'the girl with far-away eyes' (line from a Rolling Stones song) when I was out among the flowers.

These days I am working on grouping potted plants into 2-3 main areas making it easier for me to water, etc.

Below is an area that really needed some serious weeding. This is my clothesline/caravan garden area, before and after. It could be better, but it is forward progress and I am happy with that for now.

Now for some blooms.There are so many things in bloom right now, and the air is filled with scents. It is absolutely wonderful. There are at least 3 different jasmine perfuming the air, roses too, a scented geranium, a faux orange bush and more that I can't think of at the moment.

This rose did not have a name tag when I bought it, but the color and the scent made me put it into my cart. I think this was from Home Depot.

If I new the name of this one, I don't remember it, and it has no tag.

This little sweetie is 'Kathleen'. I've had the mother plant for many years now, this one is a cutting that rooted. She has a nice delicate scent, and is one of my favorites.

This is 'International Herald Tribune'

Yesterday I did some errands, one of the places I stopped at was The Dollar Store for some tissue paper. I looked around while there and bought some Easter candy, 2 pkgs of cup cake liners, 8 pkgs of flower seeds 25 cents a pkt. 

I moseyed over to the little book section and found a real gem, at least it is to me. I had seen the author of this book in Country Living Magazine many years ago and loved her style. This is a lovely hard back book with lots of wonderful photos and history of 'Magnolia Pearl'. Price ~ $1.

I highly recommend this book for inspiration and eye candy. 


I think tonight I will fix tacos for supper, my favorite comfort/happy meal.

Count your blessings, take nothing for granted, grow and learn through your circumstances whatever they are.

Kindness matters, so be kind.

Have a wonderful weekend ~ FlowerLady


Nancy J said...

I read your loving words today and am lifted up. You will be a huge support, and will gain strength as you help another through the path you trod. Love those flowers,and each time a part is cleared and weeded in your garden, it opens up to show new goodies. Hugs from a cool morning down here.

Junkchiccottage said...

Hi Lorraine,
I am sorry about your loss. It is so hard when family members leave us. Love seeing your flowers and am so jealous you get to have flowers year around. That is so wonderful. Hoping by the end of May we can start flowers here. Happy Friday and have a great weekend.

ellen b. said...

Oh my, that's a lot of grief for one person to bear. Definitely praying for dear Faye and for you.

Thelma said...

Hi Lorraine. I'm sorry for you and Faye's loss. You sure did a lot of work cleaning your garden. Weeding is very good therapy. I've been alone for 15 yrs. and have a large flower garden. My sister Annie is a widow and she comes to live with me in the summer and is a big help with my flowers. She loves to weed. We are both in our 70s.
Thanks for your words of wisdom.
My flowers are still covered in snow. Our summers are short here. I'll be happy to see the snow gone and flowers peeking out.
I'm always happy to have you visit my blog. Thelma xo

Ann said...

So sorry to hear of your loss and prayers are being sent for Faye
You made great progress in your garden. It's looking good. That rose is beautiful.
Tacos sure do sound good. I haven't had them in a while

KathyB. said...

We still have snow on the ground but the rain today has made great headway in melting the snow. Won't be doing any serious planting here until May, but it is wonderful to see what is growing in your tropical gardens.The scent must be heavenly.

I am sorry for your family loss. It must be uplifting and encouraging to have you around to be of comfort to Faye.

Betty said...

Sending you a great big hug. I think when we are young we do not really think of all the good things that we have and the people in our lives. It is when we get older and they leave us we realize how much they meant to us. I now try to treasure every moment of life.

Ruth Hiebert said...

So sorry to hear of the losses of loved ones. I know that you can and will be a wonderful support for Faye.God will give you the strength you need for this journey.Love,love,love all your flowers.

Cheryl said...

Your poor cousin has a hard path to walk. I will pray for her as the Lord brings her to mind. I pray, too, that you will be a comfort and inspiration to her as you have walked the path of widowhood before her. Our God is faithful . . . even as we walk through pain. (And isn't it amazing to see how far you've come . . . even when you're not aware of it?)

Out on the prairie said...

I have grown all those 25 cent packets. I had good butterfly and hummingbirds on that orange cosmo, along with finches eating the seeds.Will add Faye on to our wheel tonight. Always like your roses, I worked in a large rose garden one year, my undergrad is centered around botany.People are shocked when they see I like non native species as well. I have done prairie restoration for a few decades. a verse to share to cheer you up.

This Moment

Lift the visor,
Remove your shades,
View the broad sky,
Dressed in blue, white, and gray,
Shapes and light,
Move swiftly across,
Display changing patterns,
Illuminate darkness,
Create silver linings,
Radiate light, wonder, and
Warmth from within...
Do not look away,
Take it all in,
Lest you miss this sight
That won't come again...
Do not miss this moment.
It will not come again.

Rebecca said...

Sweet Lorraine, What a caring heart you have. I know you will be an encouragement to Faye... We have just started yard work. Trimmed bushes, gotten winter "crud" out of a couple of beds.... Our grandson is here for a few days and will be a huge help cleaning out what remains!

L. D. said...

This is such a great posting. Since loosing our dog I have been slack on commenting. I think it is a good idea to reorganize things for easier water. I would have the same problem if I lived down there as I would just plant everywhere and then have to drag the hose everywhere. Your rose is so wonderful in color. I have bought plants like that and no identity. I know the workers have lost them off and they can’t identify the bloom unless it is blooming. One does keep reorganizing things in gardens all of the time. I have moved everything to the new place and it is all in a scattered form. I will start organizing this year after I take photos and think through how I want it to look. Do stay safe when that heat starts to hit.

Anne Payne said...

I'm so sorry for your friends loss. God will use you to encourage Faye as she walks this difficult journey of grief while at the same time, I am sure you will be enriched through this as well. He is faithful in all things! I've certainly had my ups and downs these last seven years come May 12. You've been a blessing to me, my dear Rainey!

Your garden spot looks lovely. You are such a hard worker out there. I wish I had half of your love for the outdoors and the energy to go with it. :-)

Melanie said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your aunt...and oh my goodness, poor Faye with losing both her mother and then her husband all within one week. I can't imagine. That poor woman. I know you will be a good support to her.

Always enjoy seeing what is going on in your gardens. I was delighted to find my red leaf sorrel coming back up in my herb garden yesterday. We still can't clear all the winter "gunk" our of the garden beds yet though. The weather needs to consistently be above 50 degrees...and even though it's in the 60's today through Monday, the bottom drops out again and we're back down to 40 degrees. I'm am just itching to uncover my patio furniture and get it all set up and plant pots of flowers once more!

Terra said...

I know you will be a big help and comfort for Faye, you have shared wise words with me about facing widowhood. Like I tell people, being a widow is a club no one wants to be in. I like the deal you got on flower seeds, I planted some purple zinnia seeds yesterday.

Kit said...

You will be such a comfort to her. You take care my friend. Love, KK

GretchenJoanna said...

Do your roses tend to get diseases in the humid climate? I suppose the potted plants need watering daily in midsummer?

I also am so, so thankful for my garden, which has, except for a few months of confusion, kept me in remembrance of who I always have been and still am, even if my life is different in huge ways since my husband died.

For the first year or two of my widowhood I did not want to talk to any new widows! Just being with them would make me cry, and I didn't feel that I was even crying with them, because I was still so consumed with my own grief, I had no room for theirs. But after three years or so, I had regained emotional strength, and while I might still weep with new widows, nowadays I am actually able to bear their burden with them, to feel their pain without it reawakening my own.

Debbie - Mountain Mama said...

Lots blooming at Plum Cottage, Lorraine! When my dad passed away last June my mom just let her gardens go....which is a shame, as prior to that she found great joy and peace in her gardens. I'm hoping when she returns from Florida this year she starts to putter around her gardens again. I think it would help her find some peace.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi There, Flower Lady is a perfect name for you!!!! Your flowers are all so gorgeous... I especially love that first pink rose you showed us... WOW---what a perfect rose!!!!!

So sorry about two deaths in the family. I will keep Faye in my prayers... You can be a huge help to her since you've been there!!!!!


Zaa said...

Dear Lorraine... I'm so sorry for all the loss that you and your family members are experiencing... I am sending healing prayers for all... Your beautiful flowers will surely bring you loving joy and spiritual pleasure, knowing that God has presented nature for you to cultivate and others to see. It's quite a job weeding garden... but such a reward when you do. Your roses are so beautiful... We still have snow so your gardening thoughts and pictures were uplifting... Take care, Dear Lady ... Bright Blessings

Karen said...

I am so sorry to hear of yours and Faye's loss. She is blessed to have you in her life. Sending prayers and hugs to you both. :-)

outlawgardener said...

Faye will be in my prayers. So difficult for her to have two losses within such a short time. She's lucky to have you as a friend and support. Gorgeous flowers, as always, and the book looks fab.

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hello, Lorraine, I am late in reading this and so sorry to hear about Faye's losses - my goodness - so heartbreaking. She is lucky to have you to help support and comfort her, although so sad how you have come to be so knowledgeable. You are always an inspiration to others. Your gardens are so enchanting, but I do know they are lots of work. I bought that book when it first came out and I love it. It brings me back to those long ago Hippie/Bohemian days :) Sending hugs and prayers for both you and dear Faye. xo Karen

M.K. said...

I love tacos too, and yes they are comfort food. Plus, you can tell yourself you're really eating a salad :)
I don't know HOW you do all that gardening, esp. the weeding, in that hot climate. I would DIE, but I am not really a gardener. I hate the summers, and I loathe weeding. My poor plants! You are a good "plant mom."