Sibling Assignment #161: What I Will Leave Behind

I gave the sibling assignment this week.  My sister reminded us of the beauty of our hometown  here and my brother illustrated with his pictures the beauty of his new town here.

"When you want to surround yourself with beauty, where do you go? Take five pictures of that place and share your thoughts on it's beauty"

Today I took five pictures of what I will leave behind. We are moving in June and leaving behind beautiful gardens that hold memories, have been perfect subjects for photos, and brought us joy that is immeasurable. Today I took a break from packing up the house to focus on the simple beauty that surrounds us in late April  around our gardens. 
 The combination of a tulip, light, and rain brings the simple beauty of this gorgeous plant front and center. I wish I would have kept track of the names of the tulips of planted. Hopefully I will be able to duplicate them.
 We visited the gardens at Manito Park about fifteen years ago and saw this shrub in bloom in early spring. We thought it was a rose, but knew that couldn't be because of the time of year. I called to inquire and learned it was a Kerria plant.I had to plant some!  Planted in a row they form a hedge that blooms and blooms in early spring. Today ours was in full bloom in front of the greenhouse. Hopefully I can take some starts with me.
 Another tulip I love because of the blurring of colors in the blossom. Raindrops are an extra addition of beauty.
 When I lost my beloved dog Nikki in 1996 my mother gave me a gift to honor her the next spring. This dogwood tree has never bloomsed as beautifully as it has this year. I am blessed with its beauty as I leave it behind ,but hold precious memories of my dog and my mother's generous gift.
Everett wanted a small orchard and the apples have been very successful. There is nothing more striking than the blossoms of apples and a signal that fruit will be on the branches in the autumn months. I hope the new owners of our house love apples.

There will be more pictures as I take garden walks and slowly say good-bye to the gardens at Martin Creek. I am already creating the gardens on Cameron Ave. in my head and on paper.

Sibling Assignment #160: A Still Mind

We are back doing our sibling assignments after a hectic time with each of our lives. Brother Bill gave the assignment:

Do you have anything in your life that you've not been doing that you used to a lot more of?  In other words, have you let something important in your life slip away -- maybe not completely, but more than you'd like in a perfect world.

Write about it -- why it matters to you, how you miss it, and how you think you'll go about getting back to it. You will find my sister's here and my brother's is

Right now my life is very hectic. As a family we are striving to provide support and care for our mother after she had an accident. As a teacher my brain is on overload trying to navigate the procedures and processes for administering a large amount of tests to my students. I am also trying to walk the fine line of pushing more information into my students' minds and just letting them relax and do their best to show 
what they know on the new federal tests. 
We have been working tirelessly to get our home ready to sell. We have had lots of help, but the decluttering and downsizing just needs to be done personally. There have been "discussions" about what to keep, what to give away, and what to sell. There have been numerous trips to the dump,hardware stores, charity places to donate, 
and places that have moving boxes.
I have been educating myself on the world of real estate. I have studied selling houses, buying houses, and all that it involves. I have searched for houses, visited houses, and drove by houses. When we made the decision to move back to my hometown, we knew there would be houses available. 
It was just finding a special one.
What have I not been doing? Letting my mind be still. It was obvious to me this week-end when all kinds of information, communication, and decisions came at me in a short period of time. I needed my mind to be still. My mom has been going to bed very early while healing from her accident. Last night after she was tucked into bed, I forced my mind to be still. I started writing, making lists, thinking, praying, and writing some more. I knew it was what I needed to do.
I also know I need to continue to find time to keep my mind still as we transition into a new chapter in our lives. Sitting in my childhood living room, looking out the window at the house that will soon be mine, finding comfort with the lawn lights and streetlights kept my mind still.
Now I just need to keep it up.