All of Us!

All of Us!
Finally! All together with enough time to spare (??) to capture a picture of all six of us in the same spot, same time. Now this is a precious photo! I tried to get one last year for our Christmas card and didn't succeed. So when I had the chance I threw out the lasso and rounded everyone up (at my niece's graduation party) to grab a couple snapshots. My oldest son, Casey, and his girlfriend Nika are on the left; and my youngest son, Brady, and his girlfriend Jenne on the right; that leaves Bob and I in the center. (Bob is the one who doesn't look very happy about having his picture taken!!)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Auntie's Eulogy

Some have asked if I would post the eulogy I gave for Auntie on my blog. I thought about it and so here it is:


First of all, on behalf of our family, I wanted to start out by saying a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone for all your kind words, prayers, thoughts and expressions of love and kindness during this time, to Saether’s for the fine job they have done, to Pastor Mark for all his consoling visits, to the New Glarus Nursing Home, Hospice and Meriter Hospital for the excellent care that Auntie received.

Next, I wanted to make a confession. This eulogy will be familiar to Auntie. A few weeks ago when Auntie and I started making arrangements for her funeral, she asked me to speak today. She also asked that I read bits and pieces to her as I composed this. Her final and main request was that she didn’t want to hear the finished product; she wanted to wait until today so she could hear it along with everyone else. So, Auntie, here it is:


First, I wanted to read a poem that may be familiar to some which I think is truly appropriate during our celebration of Auntie/Doris’ life. She had also requested it.


I'm Free

Don’t grieve for me,
for now I’m free
A friendship shared,
a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things
I too will miss.

Be not burdened
with times of sorrow,
I wish you
sunshine of tomorrow.

My life’s been full,
I’ve savored much,
Good friends, good times,
a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time
seemed all too brief;
Don’t lengthen it now
with undue grief.

Lift up your hearts
and share with me,
God wanted me now;
He set me free.


Doris, wife to Freddy; Big sister to Herbert and Al, and sister-in-law to Vera and Lana; Dorie - special friend to Cloyance; Auntie - Aunt to Gary, Shari, Lori, Marci, Kristi, Suzi and Debi, and great aunt to our kids, but still Auntie to them. She was known by many names, but mostly she was known as Auntie. Even to others, the name Auntie caught on. The name caught on while she was in the hospital and in the nursing home so that everyone knew her by that, too.

In the past, I’ve apologized for using the term Auntie when talking about her to others and would try to use her given name, but it wasn’t natural as I’ve used the title for 50 years. It’s hard to correct me after all this time. So, I won’t apologize to you today when I call her Auntie.

Daughter, sister, wife, aunt, friend, cheesemaker, waitress, Dept. of Revenue Clerk, retiree, snowbird, busy bee and putzer. Such is the succession of her life. A wide and vast array of titles and duties, but mostly, many of you may or may not know, she was a caregiver. She liked to take care of those close to her.

While her mother, Grandma Bertina, was sick, Auntie took care of her. After her death, Auntie took care of her brother Al and her dad, Grandpa Oscar. After Grandpa died and Al moved out of the area, she squirmed into my family to help out taking care of the circus of kids in our family. And yet during this time, and even though he was quite independent, she also took care of her husband, Uncle Freddy, and especially more so during the months when he got sick before he passed away.

When I was very young, I had my appendix out the day before Xmas eve. I wanted to be home for Christmas. So that I could come home for Xmas, Auntie took care of me at her house because the doctors were afraid that I would be inclined to absent mindedly pick up my baby sister, Lori. Auntie’s home was my sanctuary to heal.

A little while later, I was set to go on a class field trip. I had the unfortunate luck to have my mom go into labor with my sister Marci in the middle of the night. Auntie came out and stayed with us while my dad took my mom to the hospital. When my dad called home to tell Auntie how things went and that we had another girl, I was more concerned about whether or not I would be able to go on the field trip because Auntie was soon going to have to leave for work. Auntie eased my burden by staying home from work and taking care of things at our house while my mom was in the hospital and so I could go on my field trip.

When Auntie had her heart surgery in 2001, I took care of her and nursed her back to health. She reciprocated when I had my knee surgery four years later. Relieving my husband Bob from some of the burden, she drove me through treacherous winter weather to my rehab appointments. She came out to check on me every day to make sure we had something to eat, to tidy up the house and do laundry. We have always laughed about how we had each other’s back, and of course, as some know, I mean that figuratively and literally.

Through the years, Auntie and I have gone on various road trips, too. Many times if I was going to Monroe or Madison, I would call her to see if she wanted go along. Many times those trips would include a stop for lunch or a longer drive on the way home driving the back roads just to check out what was going on in the other neighborhoods. She would furnish me with timeless and priceless stories along the way.

We had gone on many smaller Xmas shopping trips together, but one year, she went Christmas “power” shopping with me to the mall in Madison. She soon found out that when I power shop, I really do run from store to store with my lists and after trying to keep up, she finally resigned to tell me that she couldn’t keep up anymore, and that she would sit in the middle of the mall and I could bring packages to her and she would play the part of a dumping ground until I was done.

Each time I deposited a package or a bag by her feet, I found she had struck up a new conversation with a perfect stranger who was also the deposit point for another power shopper. Exhausted after we finished carrying packages to the car, she told me on the ride home that she truly enjoyed this particular shopping trip because she loved to watch the people and talk to them, too.

Auntie also liked to play the part of chef’s assistant, although I’m not sure who was actually the chef and who was the assistant. There was the time when the boys were younger that the three of us and Auntie went to the strawberry patch by Mt. Horeb to pick strawberries. We were armed with 5 gallon buckets and lots of smaller pails. Obviously at the beginning she and the boys did not think that we would be picking very many strawberries. She was decked out in shorts and her straw hat to protect her from the sun. The boys were decked out in strawberry appetites. I was on a mission that would conclude in freezing as much strawberry jam as I could.

After a couple hours of picking and squatting on a small bucket, Auntie looked up, squinting in the sun, saying “do we have enough yet?” No, I would reply. A little while later, “do we have enough yet?” Again, I would reply no. Finally, after the boys were full from eating more than they had picked and our hands and gloves were bright red from the strawberries. I declared I was through. Auntie, never complaining through the whole ordeal, was ecstatic. We went to weigh them in and discovered we had picked 48 quarts. “Now,” Auntie asked of her ambitious niece, “what do plan on doing with all these?” “Why,” I said, “I plan to make strawberry jam.” Then, she questioned, “do you plan on doing this today.” I said no, since it was late in the afternoon, but I will start tomorrow.

Without being asked, she showed up at my doorstep the next day armed with a strawberry hull picker and large bowls for mixing up jam. I reciprocated with a generous offer by making strawberry shortcake. Okay, it was as much for me as it was for her. Two days later we had put up more strawberry jam than a third world country could appreciate. That was the last time Auntie and I went strawberry picking. Oh, we went on many strawberry runs together after that, but we just never picked them again.

Later that year toward the end of summer, I got another ambitious burr up my butt. A farmer Bob and I knew that had plenty of sweet corn told us we could pick what we wanted. Never tell me there are unlimited resources of vegetables that I can freeze or can. I’m like a hungry lion that hasn’t seen meat in months. We came home with four large trash bags full of sweet corn and all the while we were picking corn Bob gave me the same looks of “are we done yet” as Auntie had during our strawberry excursion.

I called Auntie up and asked if she wanted some sweet corn. She sure did. “How much do you have” she inquired. “A lot” is all I said. Then she asked what I was going to do with all of it. “Freeze it,” I said. “When” she said. “Tomorrow,” I ended. Again, without being asked, the next day she appeared at my doorstep not with just a bag for her own sweet corn, but with her antique electric knife and bowls in hand. I had a brand new electric knife that had only been used for delicate cutting projects like angel food cake and homemade bread. Hers was old and I was afraid it wouldn’t stand the test of time. But she insisted it would.

So we put the boys to work husking corn. (You would think that after sitting in a strawberry patch with the two of us for hours, they would have learned by now to head for the hills, but they were caught in their tracks before they could make a break for it. Of course, there was also the bribe...... I mean..... allure of having fresh buttered sweet corn that made them want to help. Oh, yea, I forgot to mention, they didn’t realize how many bags of sweet corn I had. They just thought there was one.

So, Auntie and I dug in determined to get this sweet corn put up in record time. When the corn is sitting in the bags, it doesn’t really look like that much. But when you empty the bags out, you are sort of exhausted just looking at it. Auntie was armed with her electric knife and I with mine and off to the races we went. By the time we hit the middle of the second bag, my knife burned out. Auntie’s was still going strong. I had to run downtown to buy another one. By the time I returned, the boys were long gone – an obvious lesson learned – and Auntie was sitting husking corn. We sat and husked corn and husked corn and husked corn. All the while taking a break by cutting the corn off the cobs, cooking up batches of corn to freeze and bagging it in freezer bags. By the time we were getting a good portion of the way through the third bag of corn, my electric knife – purchased just a few hours before – called it quits. Auntie’s was still the Energizer Bunny.

At that point, our internal batteries had given out and we decided to call it quits for the day and just finish up with what we had cut. I sent her home with some bags of freezer corn and some fresh corn to eat. She said she would be back the next day to help finish up the last bag. I told her I could do it myself, but no, she walked in my door the next day with her trusty electric knife – both recharged and ready for the job at hand.

That was the best sweet corn I have had. You know, though, I have to say, just like the strawberries, that was the last time we took on that big of a sweet corn job. After that, a sweet corn run for the two of us meant just a dozen or two at a time. Maybe, Auntie should have taken lessons from the boys and headed for the hills after the first bag.

That would not be the first or last time for any food marathons between us. When Bob and I butchered, Auntie and my mom would come out to help cut up and can meat and mixup and can meatballs. An all day event, but one that she was satisfied with if she took home just a couple jars of canned meat.

She has even come out to help me plant my ambitious vegetable gardens. If we hadn’t talked during the week, one or the other would traditionally call the other on Saturday morning – to check up on each other, to catch up and to find out what the other was doing over the weekend. If she found out that I had plans to do something like plant my garden, she would show up unannounced just to help me. Our phone calls would often include where we could find the cheapest but best sweet corn, or once Spring came around where we could run off to together for a geranium shopping trip.

Through the years, we have become more than just Aunt and Niece – we had also become best of friends.

Then there also came the Norwegian treat marathons. Auntie has religiously made lefse, stryl, and rosettes since before I can remember. She and her mother actually taught my mom the tricks of the trade in making Norwegian pastries such as these. Hence, started an annual tradition in the Eidsmoe family of our Norwegian Baking Day which occurs a week or two before Thanksgiving. There have now become a lot of ambitious Eidsmoe women, little girls and let’s not forget the boys who love to eat it more so than make it, who gather each Fall at my house for a long day of baking. This past year, Auntie was only able to stop out for a short while when we were in full swing. The whole event was chronicled by Paula Maki who did an article for our local newspaper. It will now become an event savored in our minds because it will be our last Norwegian Baking Day with her. She gave me her Norwegian tools last year, maybe in foresight, but told me that we should keep the family tradition alive. It will be hard this coming year, but we will do it in her honor.

Holidays and/or get-togethers in our family always meant that when Auntie asked what she could bring, it was always the same answer – “bring your rommegrot and sugar cookies.” Everyone in our family loved her rommegrot and sugar cookies and the younger ones soon learned to beg for them even as much as the older ones. Although it will never be quite the same, but because of her, that sugar cookie tradition will also stay alive in our family. Someone else will have to bring the rommegrot for the holidays, but it will never be the same.

Living up on the hill overlooking Blanchardville, Auntie and Freddy were blessed with a fantastic scenic view of the town and the valley that spread out along the Pecatonica River. She was also blessed with great neighbors, Dick and Darlene Ewing, who planned the building of their new home at the same time that Auntie and Freddy did. The Ewings had two children, Ellen and Tom, whom after Darlene passed away, and even though Auntie had never had any children of her own, she soon became a semi-surrogate mother to. Auntie has always expressed how loved she felt from the two of them, especially since on every Mother’s Day, Ellen has always presented Auntie with flowers. The love she bestowed on others shone through, because every year she also always received a Mother’s Day card from her dear friend and long-time hairdresser, Mary Ellen Erb Ganzhubner.

A caretaker, a mother without the official title. Wikipedia defines caretaker as a person who takes care of another in the general sense. That is just exactly what Auntie did. She generally took care of people. She didn’t want any accolades, any pay; she did it as sort of a family duty, out of respect, out of love. I learned that from her. Sometimes people can take care of people simply out of love. There isn’t anything greater than that. And I think that is why she became to be known with just a one-word simple endearment like Auntie.

In fact, how would you like to grow up in our huge household and be surprised that you did not know what her first name even is. A few weeks ago at the nursing home, my teenage niece Kristal walked down the hall to Auntie’s room with my sister Kristi. Before they walked into the room, Kristal asked inquisitively of Kristi, “why does the name plate by her door say Doris Scheidegger. That’s not her name. Her name is Auntie.” Kristi had to tell her the truth and I think it sort of bursted Kristal’s bubble that she was certain her real name was Auntie. Of course, we laugh about it now, but, again it just goes to show, that you can love someone so much that titles and names don’t mean a thing. It is what they do in life and how they do it. It is the simple gestures in life that show how good of a person you are.

Having said that and hopefully helping to remind us and give insight to others of who Auntie really was, I wanted to end with a couple poems in honor of Auntie and to show you how much she meant to our family:


He Only Takes the Best

God saw you getting tired,
And a cure was not to be.
So he put his arms around you,
And whispered “Come to me”.

With tearful eyes we watched you,
And saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly,
We could not make you stay.

A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands to rest.
God broke our hearts
to prove to us,
He only takes the best.


A limb has fallen from our family tree.
I keep hearing a voice that says,
“Grieve not for me.

Remember the best of times,
The laughter, the song.
The good life I lived
while I was strong.

Continue my heritage,
I’m counting on you,
Keep smiling surely
The sun will shine through.

My mind is at ease.
My soul is at rest.
Remembering all
How I was truly blessed.

Continue traditions no matter how small.
Go on with your life
Don’t just stare at the wall.

I miss you all dearly
So keep up your chin
Until the day comes we’re together again.”

****************************** last huge favor before I end, you are probably seated right next to him with a hand resting on his, so please lean over and give Daddy a kiss from us.

And, now rest, my little hummingbird, rest.

Monday, April 26, 2010

It Is Never Easy To Say Good-bye

When each new year rings in, you wonder what the year ahead is going to be like. You make resolutions, you keep some, you keep some for just a short while, and some you never start. Life is about each new day and what you make of it whether you have resolved to do something, whether you plan to take the day by the horns and pull everything together, whether it is a day that just blows by – it is a day in your life and you should, no matter what, make the most of it.

This year didn’t start as I would hope. I lost almost four full months of the beginning of this year. I don’t like the ending of those four months because it culminated in the death of my aunt, Auntie. It was a heart-breaking ending. We buried her this past weekend. I would give anything to turn back the hands of the clock, but yet I will still cherish those four months. I spent almost every waking moment, when not working, with her by her bedside. I know in my heart that at least when she passed on to see my father, her brother, that she knew that I loved her very much.

Death is something that I don’t like to talk about. It is inevitable, but it is hard. Hard to explain, hard to understand, hard to take. I was reminded about it recently when my sister had said that her 9- and 7-year-old daughters would inquisitively, but hesitantly ask each morning if Auntie had died. They went to the nursing home to see her a few weeks ago and they saw the change in her physical form. They could also sense it in her mental state, too, I am sure. It was not like she could ever before run and play with them, but before she was able to talk to them easier. They loved the cookies she made. So, it wasn’t hard to understand the devastation they showed at the visitation at its conclusion when before we left when my niece Autumn had an uncontrollable hysterical crying attack of “I don’t want her to go.” Even as adults we don’t want them to go. It is hard to explain this “policy of life” to young children. I remember it distinctly when my dad died and my sisters, the mothers of these now young children experiencing the same thing, went through this.

My sister, Suzi, tried to console Autumn. When things had calmed down somewhat, I asked Autumn if she wanted to go out to say good night to Auntie. She and I and the other young girls arranged ourselves around the casket in prayer. I had to explain that we were saying goodnight to Auntie tonight, because tomorrow we will see her once again. I had to say that tomorrow, though, we would have to say our goodbyes but that we would have lots of memories of her and that those will stay with us forever. How do you really explain this to young children? You can say the words to kids but you also have to believe them yourself. Some may say it comes down to faith, and I believe that, but yet it doesn’t console me entirely. I/we still have to say good-bye and that is never, ever easy.

As I have said before, I have my faith, although it waivers occasionally, especially in times like this.

For now, it is easy to reminisce in our minds, to look at photos and to talk about “old times.” It doesn’t take away the hurt but it eases the pain a little.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Little Hummingbird

I love hummingbirds. I have a hummingbird feeder right outside my front door and front window in the kitchen so I can watch the hummingbirds gather. There are four spigots at my feeder and though very rare, I have had four at one time suckling at the nectar I religiously place in there. I can quietly sit on my front steps and be buzzed continuously through a summer afternoon as the hummingbirds swoop in and out to the feeder. I learned to love the hummingbirds from watching them at my aunt (Auntie’s) house where she had a couple feeders set up along her roof line. She had faithful hummingbirds, so you would never be surprised to see them.

So I thought I would try my hand at them. At first, the hummingbirds didn’t know they had a diner set up on the farm and so had to wait for my flowers to bloom. Now they know that I am there for them. Once they caught on that I was ready to offer them a free lunch and I had put up a feeder for them, they came. Slowly, but surely, they came. They have never failed to disappoint me either.

I received the call from the nursing home around 1:30 a.m. last Thursday morning (4/15/10) that Auntie was in distress and that I had better hurry in case it was time. I called our pastor just after daybreak and he came an hour later to give her last rites. He stayed a good portion of the morning, but she didn’t waver. I stayed as long as I could by her bedside. First, on Thursday I was there from 2:00 a.m. until 9:00 that night. I returned the next morning at 5:00 a.m. and stayed until late that night. She held on even though the nurses weren’t sure she would. She has surprised us before so it didn’t come as a total surprise to me. I just wasn’t sure how she had the strength to hold on and wasn’t quite sure what, if anything, she might be waiting for.

Our anniversary was Saturday, so I took my dog, Pongo, over to visit Auntie in the morning in case we had some time to go out for lunch. I thought maybe she would like that. When we entered the room, Pongo began to whimper. I set him down on the bed and he whimpered more. Auntie began to utter little moans. We hadn’t heard a peep out of her since Wednesday night. I rubbed her forehead and talked to her. Pongo just sat there keeping watch over her.

I know why Pongo was whimpering. He wanted her to get up and get him some warmed-up ice cream. Whenever we went to visit her, he would get excited the minute we drove in the driveway. He would jump all over me trying to get out the door. Good thing he is only 7 pounds! As soon as I opened the door, he would bound out and run into the yard, quickly marking his spots like any good dog would do, and then head to the front door. He would stand there waiting for her to answer the door or for me to open it and he would run inside and do a little dance around her feet. After giving him a good rubdown and a few good pets and, more sooner than later, she would head to the freezer and take out the ice cream. Auntie would place a couple small scoops into a bowl, microwave it for a few second to take the hardness away and to slightly warm it up and then set it on the floor for him. All the time, Pongo would be doing a “happy dance” at her feet in anticipation. Once he had satisfied his ice cream fetish, he would jump up into her lap for a scratching and petting marathon from Auntie. He would be content.

Sometimes if it was nice outside, we would go out to sit on the front porch and Auntie would take Pongo’s ice cream outside. His lapping-up-of-the-ice-cream would only be interrupted momentarily by a few quick barks if he would get buzzed by the hummingbirds. They were quite a bit up in the air at Auntie’s but even there they were daredevils taking a dive-bombing effort to spook off any that dare invade their territory.

Maybe that is why I love the hummingbirds so. They are tiny little birds who dare to tempt fate and put themselves out there for someone to snatch up quickly, but yet they are sly and know that if it is not their time, their speed will carry them through.

As Auntie’s condition worsened and she shriveled up to nothing at all, I had grown to begin calling her “my little hummingbird.” She liked that because as I said, she loved hummingbirds just as much.

Sunday morning came and I got up early and thought I would try to get a few things done around the house first and then head over to see Auntie in the morning for a while and then come back later in the afternoon again. I went into a series of two lows that morning so I decided I had better not go over until after lunch. I did some laundry and was ready to wash the kitchen floor (which I have to admit I had not done since Easter as I had been at the nursing home so much with Auntie). Taking out the floor cleaner under the sink I found my hummingbird nectar concentrate. I thought it was time to put this out and it shouldn’t freeze because, feeling a little selfish, I really wanted to see my little hummingbirds. I filled the feeder and no later than an hour later I saw two. They had been waiting for me. I felt like maybe I had neglected them, but I was yet satisfied because they had come home again.

Less than an hour later around noon, while we had just started lunch, I got the call from the nursing home, that Auntie was once again showing signs. I told them I would be right over and quickly grabbed just a little lunch and headed out.

Throughout the afternoon I sat with some of my family while we watched as her breathing deteriorated and her color began to show signs of jaundice. My mom and two sisters and their kids left and I promised I would head out soon. I sat there for awhile talking to Auntie and rubbing her forehead. Little moans were all I got but they were not very often.

I went to tell the nurses that I was going to leave for a couple hours, as I knew I needed to go home to get something to eat. I could feel a low coming on. When I returned to the room, her color had changed to a light grey. I decided I had better stay for a while longer, so I went out to the car and grabbed the Sunday newspaper and a couple magazines and my book. Lately, it has been a little hard to concentrate lately so I was not sure what I would read.

I went back into the room and hunkered down, beginning to feel the signs of a low coming on. Pat, one of the nurses and the one in charge of Auntie that night until 9:00, stopped by to check in on her. She sat down and we talked. She could tell I was beginning to shake, said she knew I was diabetic and that we had better head to the kitchen to get something for me before it got any worse. I thought I could stay for a little bit and then head back home before it got worse. I guess not; I got caught and the patient’s visitor just became the patient. Pat came back with me and we sat and talked a little about Auntie. She kept checking her and I could see signs that she was going, but she had held on so long before, and Pat agreed that maybe I should go home for a little bit.

I left and less than 15 minutes later pulled into the driveway. I ran into the house, set my phone on the counter and hollered for Pongo to let him out to go potty. By the time I came back into the kitchen, there was a voice message and a missed call on my phone. The nursing home. I quickly called back only to be told that Pat had gone in to check on her shortly after I left and she was gone. My little hummingbird, she was gone. I couldn’t help to think that if only I had stuck around for just a few more minutes, I would have been there for her, with her. The nurse reassured me that maybe she was just waiting for me to leave.

I drove back quickly to the nursing home and picked up my sister, Marci, along the way. As we sat there and said our last goodbyes to Auntie, I couldn’t help but remember what happened that morning.

By filling their feeder, I had hung out my “shingle” to the hummingbirds, telling them it was time to come home. Maybe that was a sign Auntie saw, too – that it was time to go home.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's Springtime and I'm Not Ready

I love the way everything smells so fresh in the morning. This time of year the air is so crisp and the sights, smells and sounds are profound.

I went into a low early this morning. Once I had worked through it, I decided to step outside to take some trash to the dumpster, feed the cats, let Pongo out for his morning potty break (he gets up with me no matter what time it is) and run up to the milkhouse to get some milk. All the time running around outside in my robe and pjs. That’s the thing about the farm, no one sees or cares what you look like or how you are dressed. I sat down on the front steps to let a couple cats curl into my lap until my butt got too cold from the cold cement.

These are the mornings that I long for. Quiet solitude, gearing up for the day. The cranes and geese were squawking up a storm outside. In the darkened quiet, I heard the cranes, geese, a cow or two, Pongo barking while playfully chasing a cat and the purring from Midnight and Sunny in my lap. Pinky came grazing by my side, hoping that he too, could sneak in a few pets from me, and he definitely also had his purr motor going.

Once I had gone through my morning routine of eating breakfast with Bob, taking my insulin, doing the treadmill, showering, packing my lunch and getting ready for work, I headed off to the nursing home to visit with and feed Auntie before I head to the office. As soon as I got out of my car there, I noticed the smells of fresh-cut grass. I love that and the smell of fresh-cut hay.

The other thing fresh-cut grass reminds me of, though, is that I need to get moving on with my lawn work. I just don’t have the time right now. Bob still needs to get our mower tuned up and ready for the season. He is a bit behind on that and the grass is not going to wait for him. I need to get some pruning done which I just recently read the Spring pruning should be done by Tax Day – April 15th – that’s tomorrow. My taxes are done and filed, but my pruning won’t get done by Tax Day.

Additionally, I need to get into my flower beds and do some spring weeding before laying mulch and planting new plants. And that would be those plants that await being planted because they have been shipped to me already. Hope the others don’t show up at my doorstep yet. It seems like the season has come earlier this year. Or is it that I am just not ready for it yet? Most likely the latter. I have an ambitious list for my spring yard work. It is just that the one thing my list lacked this year is time.

Furthermore, I have to decide how big or much of a vegetable garden I want to put in this year. I am going to lose my garden helper and I will surely miss her. She would never complain about how much I planted or if the weeds got a little ahead of me. She knew I would catch up with the weeds eventually and the same with the picking. Auntie will surely be missed there. When I visit with her, whether she can understand me or whether she hears me or not, I reminisce about my garden projects with her. Sometimes she nods at me and sometimes she smiles. Maybe she is smiling, thinking, “whew, I don’t have to help her this year!” Maybe she is nodding at me, thinking, “yes, girl, you better get going on that.” Either way, we are having our conversation about it. It won’t be our Saturday morning telephone conversation any more. But for now, it will be just she and me talking about what needs to be done. Once she is gone, I’ll have to crank my neck up to ask her and maybe I’ll get a sign of some kind. She did this kind of work until she was 86, I certainly can hang in there for a few more years. If I can say that I am still mowing my lawn and planting flowers and a vegetable garden at 86, I’ll be one happy camper.

For now, I’ll just tell Auntie about what I intend to do. When it is time for her to go, then I’ll get to work.