Family Personal

It’s Fall, Y’all | Change is Normal

Seasonal gardening teaches us to enjoy the process.

I love flower arranging, cooking, and being outdoors, but gardening is not my jam. The ground is just too far down there, and it wreaks havoc on my nails. But my son, Gray, loves the soil and the science of plants. He gardens without gloves!

Normally, my 32-year old son would be working on his own garden in his own yard but, in many ways, this year has been full of unexpected changes.

A Year of Changes

For one, in August, Gray just up-and-married his longtime partner. Because of COVID-19, their wedding event, so to speak, was just us Ma’s and Pa’s at the courthouse for the signing and recording of the marriage license. Not even the couple’s siblings were invited. Unlike my daughter’s wedding 20+ years ago, where she thought it was a national holiday, or my middle son’s more recent wedding, an event for all seasons, this was a priceless wedding in more ways than one.

The money saved on flowers, food, booze, trousseau, and honeymoon were applied to a down payment on their first home. Like many first homes, it is a fixer upper. With the current low interest rates, they were able to apply for and receive an interim bridge/construction loan with the hopes of doing the repairs themselves.

At first, the renovations were thought to be about a two-month project. As the weeks plodded on, the renovation grew more unwieldly and, just like the Tom Hanks comedy movie, The Money Pit, (only this has not been funny) it is taking longer and costing more than anticipated.  Much to the couple’s chagrin (or maybe good luck, depending on how you look at it), they have moved, for the time being, next door to dear old Ma and Pa: Me!

Change is Always Around the Corner

Though I know it has been disheartening to the new homeowners to not to be in their home yet, it’s been a nice change for me. Since husband Grady quit drinking over 3 years ago, I too have forgone the evening cocktail; I mean, who wants to drink alone with a dry alcoholic staring at you? And so, having a neighboring son to share a glass of wine with while cooking has been fun for me. In addition, when I cook (which is often because of COVID-19), there are more mouths to feed which, in some weird way, is satisfying, and leaves fewer leftovers to manage in the fridge.

All these mommy-meals, coupled with son Gray’s need to dig, prompted Gray to offer up his gardening skills last weekend and we spent a beautiful, sunny, fall afternoon reluctantly (because they still  looked pretty) uprooting the overgrown, pink begonias and planting a colorful array of winter pansies.

Looking at the still-beautiful pink flowers that were heaped in the wheelbarrow and heading for the compost pile, I was reminded of the constant change of the seasons, that change is normal, and another one always just around the corner. And that is why I, annoyingly, keep reminding the newlyweds/homeowners to relax and enjoy the ride. That there are many more gardening years to come, many many more changes ahead, and that the only thing that benefits from worry and impatience is age lines.