Saturday, December 27, 2008

Taking some time to reflect on a fellow gardener

Many years ago, my father was one of the very first people to plant a xeric garden in his west Texas town. It was partly forward-thinking on his part, and partly simply because liked gardening and tinkering with new projects. I got my love of both from him.

He hasn't been able to do any gardening for a few years now, so I have been driving down and tidying things up for him every so often. This is a photo of his side yard hell strip, in which I spent the earlier part of this past week clearing out weeds and winter kill. I love the contrast and play of negative space of the river stones against the buffalo grass, and tried to make it look the way he would have.

On Christmas Eve my father slipped into a coma as his kidneys began to fail. Yesterday, there was some small improvement in his condition, but the prognosis still does not look very good. I am back in LBB for a couple of days; I need to take care of a few things here before returning to be with him and the rest of my family. I think I'll spend a little time in my own garden between my chores and errands today, since I always find it easy to think about him when I'm there.

12 comments:

  1. Susan .. I'm so sorry about your father's illness. Spending time in the garden is a a tiny morsel of relief .. I find it soothes the jagged edges of my feelings for little while at least. I hope it does for you too !

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  2. My heart is with you as you go through this difficult time. May you find peace and comfort in your garden.

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  3. My sympathy Sue. Please know you are in my thoughts and do take care. I'm hoping for a good prognosis. Your father sounds very special, as are his gardens.

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  4. Oh dear Susan, You and your father are in my thoughts and I send wishes for healing and peace-for him and for you.
    Jan

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  5. Susan, I am so sorry to hear about your Father's health.My heart does so go out to you.Time in his garden and yours will help you. I think to daughters,Fathers always hold a place in our hearts so dear.

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  6. Susan, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad's decline. His "hell strip" is a beautifully wise and respectful interplay of natural shapes and forms. I can see where you came by your inquiring mind and love of pattern language. I'll be holding you and your dad and your family "in the light" as Quakers say, and hoping that you find the grace and balance you need in whatever comes. Blessings, Susan Tweit

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  7. Hi Susan - so sorry about your dad's condition. Nice that being in the garden, his and yours, connects you to his life legacy even when he's no longer able to get out there. On a more trivial note, I love that he has a xeriscaped hell strip! When you have a chance, I'd love to see more pictures of it. Maybe a guest blog exchange, you do a bit about your dad's hell strip and I could offer a piece and pics of our family's bikes or ?? :) Just a thought, no pressure. Hang in there and hope your dad's condition improves!

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  8. I'm holding you and yours in my thoughts, Susan - I hope that your Dad's condition may improve. The garden is surely one of the best places for reflection. All the best.

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  9. I came over to visit you and to thank you for faving my blog. so sorry to hear about your father's illness. i certainly find that some time outside is the best way to have some quiet time and that gardening helps me both to think and to have some time off from thinking.

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  10. Susan, I'm so sorry about your Dad's condition. I hope that your garden, and his, will keep you connected and help you weather whatever the future may be.

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  11. Susan, I know what a difficult time this is for you and my heart is truly with you. I hope that your father's garden and your own garden bring you a measure of comfort. I wish you and your family all the best.

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  12. Susan,

    I am so sorry your father has been so ill...I know what a respite the garden can be during tough times..
    take care. gail

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