Posts Tagged ‘traditions

23
Sep
16

remembering the past…

“As for marigolds, poppies, hollyhocks, and valorous sunflowers, we shall never have a garden without them, both for their own sake, and for the sake of old-fashioned folks, who used to love them.”  Henry Ward Beecher, 1874

sunflower-summer-swittersb

29
Aug
16

Decay…

The peeling away of life’s illusions, life’s protective barrier & perhaps life’s necessary traditions.

iron-peeling paint-rust-decay-SwittersB

01
Jul
16

Desirae’s eye…

A tradition with our grandchildren is to visit the top of Rocky Butte (Portland, Oregon) and view the sunset, people watch and generally enjoy the panorama. My granddaughter, Desirae (12 y/o), took the camera in hand. The following are just a few of her beautiful images she saw and captured. (click the individual pics)

19
Dec
14

Happy Holidays: Say, do you know……….?

Do you know how your parents met? Do you know the towns your grandparents were born in…have you looked them up on a map? Where did your great grandparents grow up and can you draw out our family heritage? Perhaps use the quiet time during a holiday visit to elicit special details from your Dad or Mom or grandparent. Gentle enquiries about the family. It builds or repairs bridges. It gives you a greater sense of self. Are there any old photographs, in a shoe box, that could be shared and folks identified on the back in pencil?

Happy Holidays SwittersB

27
Nov
14

Recipes (In your head?)

In the rush last night to prepare a dish, a traditional holiday treat, my wife could not recall the proportions of the ingredients. This is a dish she makes maybe three times a year. She has never written down the recipe…it all was in her head. After several calls to friends, with whom she had previously shared the recipe, she lucked out and got the details.

Old family recipe card

My dear, departed Mom made, without question, the best Potato Salad I have ever tasted. Nothing has ever been close. Problem is my Mom never wrote down the recipe and for whatever reasons never shared it with the women in her life. I never thought to ask. She passed on and the recipe didn’t. Lost. Yes, attempts have been made to mix and match ingredients to replicate the dish but really no success. 

beater

So, you already know where this is going. Write down the recipe. Share those recipes. You can enjoy someone else attempting to match your special dish or, shudder to think, improve upon it. Some of you have very special dishes that were handed down to you. Share the knowledge and as I said write it down. Should your memory suddenly fail you, the simple card will save you.

 

12
Jun
14

Traditions in Gardening (Life)

“Long experience has taught me that people who do not like geraniums have something morally unsound about them. Sooner or later you will find them out; you will discover that they drink, or steal books, or speak sharply to cats. Never trust a man or a woman who is not passionately devoted to geraniums.”

Beverly Nichols (Merry Hall)

photography-geraniums-flowers-gardening-traditions-SwittersB

Observations with no Conclusions: I find myself repeating the habits of my dear departed loved ones when it comes to gardening. I am reflexively drawn to flowers that my parents, Aunt, grandparents planted and raised in abundance for as long as I can remember. Why? Why the following in the same path?

Geraniums, Roses, Fuchsias, Foxglove, Hollyhocks, Ferns are foremost in our gardening preferences. Yes, there are other efforts toward Hosta, various perennials, ground covers and trees but the go to flowers year after year are the above.

I like these flowers by virtue of their colors, their blooming time and quantity, their hardiness. But, if I drill down for the honest why’s of it all, I meet that same swirl of thoughts and emotions I seem to meet anymore when plumbing the depths of who I am and why I believe what I believe or feel or think or say. There is a lot of unresolved emotions and thoughts that just makes one turn away to deal with the present events.

Yet, the preference for the plants? Memories of being a child and things were happy and bright. Playtime, sunshine, those colors around me, something connected to my parents and family…that was positive. Those plants brightened the hearts and minds of my loved ones. I know enough now, as an adult, that the subcurrents of unhappiness and unfullfilled dreams were there for them but gardening was an outlet.

So these oft repeated flowers and colors did something to raise their spirits. I know they raise mine and I feel a positive connection to the past. Such remembrances to the past, be it gardening, cooking, decorating, tinkering in a shop, crafts, recreation all have traditions that we borrow because, yes they work and are efficient, but also because we watched our parents, our mentors and somewhere in that muddled memory are pleasant recollections of warmth and peace.

Last night, a neighbor lady beckoned me to her yard to show me the flowers she had planted. This lovely woman, in her 80’s, was so proud of her geraniums, her petunias and hosta. She bubbled with excitement about the colors, the soil, the amount of sunshine they receive, the hosta having originally come from my departed Aunt. I listened, admired, took in the beauty and tidy plantings. Her geraniums, my geraniums prompted my considerations for this post.




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