Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)
TITLE: Happiness Is A Flower Garden
By Dolores Stohler
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
The yard was large and Mom was able to plant a vegetable garden. I loved to walk through the garden, picking the ripe red strawberries and pulling up onions. I wiped the dirt on my jeans and ate them fresh from “mother earth” who bore them. And there was a peach tree bearing the most luscious fruit I‘ve ever tasted. If I close my eyes and concentrate, the smells and the tastes come back to me.
There were snakes in the garden, mostly hiding in the bushes, and I squealed when one of them came slithering out at me. But I delighted in the miniature roses which blossomed in abundance along the trellis running the length of the back of our house. And what a joy to breathe the fragrance of French lilacs in Spring--a flower our town was known for--and to see the peonies blossom along the walk in gorgeous shades of red, white and pink, casting a fragrance of their own that stole your breath away. Monet, in his prime, might have painted our home in the Springtime, creating a palette of delight for everyone to enjoy.
But then I married, enduring a long succession of apartment dwellings, while my husband, who suffered from bipolar disorder, squandered the money we might have spent on a home. How I longed for a house with a garden that might have nurtured my children through their growing up years. But it wasn’t to be! My husband took his own life one night after an aborted attempt to snuff out mine.
The ensuing years were tough, with teens to raise, but softened with the help of the many wonderful Christian friends who comforted me. But I had no time to smell the roses and dream of the home that might have been.
Retirement brought a move to a different state and God was in that move. It was a great surprise to me when a kind and gentle Christian man wanted to end my years of widowhood. I could hardly believe my eyes when I first beheld his modest ranch home, nestled into a large corner lot with carnations at the corner, and a color spectrum of flowers gracing the back yard. I found the inside of the home less attractive but together we remodeled and refurnished the house to make it the lovely and comfortable home I’d always dreamed of.
I feel greatly blessed to be married to a man who loves to garden. Our yard is a paradise for our grandchildren to explore. Pansies of every kind and color bloom in our yard the year round. Even when snow covers the Rockies, there is always a brave little yellow or purple pansy poking its velvety head out of the piles of snow on the ground. In the summer, a trellis of red roses shades the path to the greenhouse where my dear husband coaxes his seeds into growing. Another trellis borders the vegetable garden, artfully wearing a flowing cape of purple clematis, while Sweet William in gorgeous colors surrounds the strawberry patch.
While many prefer to store their wealth in a bank or a mutual fund and watch it grow, I count my treasures in flowers and summer showers, blue skies and billowing clouds. From our patio swing I view house finches at the feeders, their tiny heads crowned with a cap of red feathers. The air is alive with their song. A strong breeze sends the wind chimes flying, thrilling the air with sound. But when I kick up my heels, the swing creaks to the rhythm of my feet.
Laughing, I send my thanks skyward as a small grandchild with cheeks of rose petals approaches with a ladybug to show. Her hair is like the blush of a Colorado dawn. Yes, happiness lives in a summer day--a day spent with people you love. Happiness is a flower garden.
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