Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March Continues Like a Lion, For Me

Looking back over March, I can't believe so much has happened. This month now seems like a year. Lots of good and lots of difficult times. So, please excuse this self-indulging post before I get on with the 2008 gardening season.

My doctor had just informed me that I still had another six weeks to fully recover from my second round of bronchitis which is sweeping the country. The next day my father began his final decline and passed away on March 12. The beautiful part of this sadness is that he was 92 years, and had been ready to leave his earthly body since my mother died 2 1/2 years ago. He missed her immensely every day. He was always a very stubborn man and refused to go to a doctor for many, many years. It is very difficult to care for someone like this, as I didn't know what to do when he became ill. His greatest wish was to die in his own home and not go into a nursing home (don't we all want that?) and I shouldered a great deal of stress in supporting him. (I kept thinking that any day now a social services person was going to knock on the door and tell me that I was guilty of elder abuse... keeping this declining person from medical care, all by himself and almost blind.) But he was actually happy being alone and was a very independent person. FINALLY I got him to agree to ente a hospice/palliative care program and this was a lifesaver for me and a way to honor his wishes. They were great most of the time, but as with almost all healthcare services these days, were overburdened and not always available for as long as a few hours when a crises arose. In the end they were really there for me and I could have not done it without them. I now have the wonderful image of my dad being placed in his new hospital bed which he LOVED, holding onto the rails that made him feel so secure, and smiling as he looked out at his beloved backyard for the last time. That was probably his last conscious interaction, and in the years to come it will mean everything to me to have honored his last wishes. He died peacefully the next day.

Now, onto more pleasant times. My wonderful son who lives in Boulder supported me every day and continues to do so. I am so fortunate to surely have the MOST wonderful son in the whole world! Don't most of us mothers think like this??? He celebrated his 40th birthday in the middle of all of this and I feel bad that he had to share such a special day during such a difficult time. Being the great person he is I didn't hear one complaint, and I hope we can make it up to him one of these days. He even sent me these beautiful flowers to cheer me. Didn't I just say how great he is??

Back to gardening! We had a couple pretty good snow storms so far in March, including a good one Easter Sunday. They melted fast and have added lots of good moisture. The snow pack in the mountains is 126% of normal, so let's just hope it doesn't all melt at once and cause flooding in various areas of the state. My heart goes out to the people in Missouri and other areas that have suffered recent flooding.

My DH has cut back almost all of the perennials, grasses, and trimming. How nice and fresh it is to look out at my strips and see lots of little green areas and many tulips peeking through the ground. It smells fresh and wonderful. The little crocuses always bring a smile to my heart.

As to my Garden Tracking program....well.... I haven't even had a chance to install it yet. My plan now is to get it started along with spring flowers and begin recording with this season. I will play catch-up later in the year when things hopefully calm down. I spend my days doing triage...whatever needs the most attention at the moment gets done. I'm really anxious to get caught up on my favorite blogs. My joy comes from taking a nice stroll along my gardens, smelling the fresh spring air, and listening to the beautiful chirping of birds. Aren't our gardens such solace at times like this? They give back so much for the time we spend tending them. There is nothing like working in a garden to bring a feeling of peace, calm, and gratefulness for all that life has to offer.

Spring is here, days are warming, and my heart is healing. What a beautiful time of year for a new beginning!

Monday, March 3, 2008

March Comes in Like a....Lamb?

Such a wonderful, short reprieve from winter! Saturday was 73 degrees, a NEW RECORD for that date. It was quickly followed by snow and cold the next day and a chilly, frosty 16 degrees this morning. March is typically our snowiest month of the year with an average of 9.4 inches of snow. February brought only 2.7 inches of snow, well below the average of 5.1 inches. It made up for it with cold, however, and those 2.7 inches consisted of mostly ice on the roads. There's a good chance we will have snow for Easter (not unusual in any year) as this year it is so early.

I usually take advantage of every semi-warm March day by cutting back all of the plants that I left for winter interest (a lot this year). There are over 20 Russian Sages that need to be cut back and that is quite a job. I like to get it out of the way so that I don't walk over the many tulips emerging. I do it a little at a time, since my old body won't be used to this kind of exercise yet. Not that it ever does though. I'm really concerned about getting my gardening started this Spring, as I have been so sick with bronchitis. It has been a month now, with two doses of antibiotics and one relapse. Today is the first day that I am feeling half-way human. Now, if I can just keep it up. Seeing all sorts of little green shoots peeking through the ground certainly goes a long way towards cheering me up. Along with the birds singing more each day.