or will it not?
or will it not?
What a weekend! It was Tom’s 50th Class Reunion (twice delayed), which sent us heading to Scottsdale, AZ for Memorial Day Weekend. The class reunion was great and provided my hubby with the opportunity to connect with folks from his past, talk about high-school pranks, project cars and hobbies. We enjoyed much laughter and good connection with some of his former classmates. During the video presentations of senior pictures, I realized those students looked like the kids I graduated from high school with 50 years ago. They sure looked young! My guess is they were like the kids I graduated with. They thought they knew much about life, Didn’t we all experience a surprise?
Though the reunion was fun, our accommodations were the highlight of the weekend. We stayed in the house where Tom grew up. A home built in the early 50s, designed by a renowned architect and built by Del Web as one of his first homes before he became famous for building communities. This house was a one of a kind in a unique neighborhood developed by invitation of the owners of Ride ‘n Rock Ranch. This house was the initial build within the area and identified as the Ranch Guest House. The owner never stayed in the home, but used it as a perk for his executives and for tax benefits. A breezeway separated the bedrooms from the main structure, with each bedroom having its own entrance and a private bathroom. Tom’s parents were the second owners of the structure. During their tenure there, they enclosed the breezeway, which resulted in the first bedroom being connected to the main part of the house.
There’s a one lane road leading to the home, which is set back with plantings and trees lining the walkway to the entry. I felt like I was entering an enchanted zone.
The current owners are passionate about the history of the home and understanding changes performed on the property. They have amassed a huge history on the house and the neighborhood.
Tom has told me many stories of the place and his growing up experiences. I have to admit, I struggled to understand the layout or the neighborhood. His stories came to life for me. It felt like I stepped back in time.
We’re home. Landed, unpacked and adjusted to another time change. We’ve had time to process the early months of 2022. It feels good to be home. We returned changed; different from when we left in January. We immersed ourselves in the Irish culture of County Kerry; we reconnected with old friends and made new. Any time one opens themselves to another or something new, they change.
Our return in 2019 and again in 2020 started me thinking I needed to slow down and not rush through life as I was. I had no plan for implementing this change, but recognized it was something I needed. (Enter Covid), which made the change possible. Ha-ha.
The Pandemic left me (Linda), believing God was refining his church. What Ireland revealed to me convinces me of this belief even more. Pastors would tell us they lost some members, they gained some members during Covid. We saw them last in January/February 2020, just prior to the world closing its borders because of Covid. The difference in those congregations/fellowships between 2020 and 2022 was discernable, and so encouraging. People appeared more committed to their faith, and so much more compassionate and committed to their fellow believers. Covid did not surprise God, nor has he stopped working in the hearts of believers around the globe. These communities were more confident in themselves and what they believed. I returned to America with hope in my heart. Hope that we too in America will draw strength from our faith, that we’ll become more committed to the basis of our faith and that we’ll have more compassion for those around us.
When I think of the friendships in County Kerry, my heart is overflowing. I’m grateful for the time I spent with fellow believers, fellow writers, friends of mine.
Between Ireland and home, we spent a week with friends/family in Dorchester, England. It was a time of relaxing, refreshment, and renewed friendship. Sometimes I wish the Atlantic Ocean was not between me and my friends.
There may be more thoughts later, but for now, I’ll just share some of my favorite photos.
Almost a year of tending a rose garden
No prior experience
Gaging water and fertilizer needs
Pruning for shape and plant health
You think you have learned
Then the seasons change
So do the needs of the plants
Cooler temperatures arrived
First cutting this season
I know way more than last year
Yet know there is more to learn.
The end has arrived. It was time to purge the agave before it became rigid and too tough to cut. The blooms hosted bees, honey birds and some butterflies.
When the stalk fell, a mild sweet fragrance filled the air.
Pieces cut to fit the green waste mounded on the ground.
Then each was stabbed with a pitch fork and dropped in the bin.
Smaller pieces were scooped in.
Few pieces wait for next week’s trash collection day.
Check out the close-up bloom. Each of those tiny tennacles were feeding zones for all the flying critters that hovered around the blooms once they opened. After sitting in the sun for several days, there was no fragrance, and no visiting creatures. This piece will join its kin in the bin next week.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this marvel of nature with me.
We’ve yet to determine what will be planted in the agave’s former location. But the next selection will take into consideration the little bridge and mature size of the plant.
Obviously, I lacked patience when I wrote my last post
The blooms are breaking forth
Hummingbirds and bees swarm the yellow flowers
The green leaves shriveling and giving up their life blood
Soon the flowers will produce seeds as the plant withers and dies
My front row seat to this miracle of nature has fascinated me
Our blue agave bloom process took longer than my research suggested
The show has been fun
I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you
Gardner friends have encouraged we start to cut back the leaves
As their nourishment drains, the outer skin will shrivel and harden
As they say,
…the curtain closes on this performance
We’re nearing the end
The long spikey leaves are shriveling
Starting first at the base
The tall bloom spike has branched
Buds reach tall from the branches
No yellow flowers
New plant sprouting at base
Advice to us
Cut the leaves before they dry
Or the work is much harder
The location is too prominent
Don’t allow the dead plant to remain there
Yet no flowers
For now, the stalk remains
Each week, some of the leaves will be removed
Thanks for watching this amazing transition with me. It’s not over yet, but we’re getting closer to the end. I expected the flowers to bloom before the death cycle became evident. So, future photos will have fewer leaves on the bottom, and perhaps there will be yellow flowers. Or not…
Bougainvillea plants explode with color
Petals are thin
Each bloom holds four to six petals tightly together
Two white dots fill the center of each as identifying marks for the species
Some tower to the sky growing against the house
Others fill large areas of the garden
Whichever, they fill their space with color and gaiety
Colors vary depending upon plant
The blossoms dry then flutter to the ground
They swirl in the air, ultimately landing below
Like tissue paper scattered and left after a celebration
The yard represents life
Family visited for two weeks
House filled with laughter
Children played games, ran in the garden
Shared cooking experiences
A glass of wine enjoyed in the evenings
Tomorrow’s adventures planned
Memories are left scattered around
Different shades and hews
Much like my bougainvillea tissue flowers
The blue agave is still reaching for the heavens.
Branches to hold some of the blossoms are forming.
For some who’ve witnessed an agave bloom, you may wonder why I’m doing this.
My fascination with the new and different vegetation of this area is getting the better of me – and I’ve never seen anything like this before. So, I’m sharing…
Can you see the excitement building?
All the photos from this series have been taken from a second story balcony.
Compare these photos with those in the last post to see the progress.
There will be more to come.