Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mid July with Mom

The middle of July is when my mother was born. 81 years ago this year and we packed up and went out to spend a couple days with her. Keith walked the garden and selected a few pretty flowers to take for a table arrangement, I packed up my little gift of hand made lavender sachets plus a new purple cone flower and we took off to buy a nice birthday cake at Whole Foods and make the drive out to Manassas.
yellow day lily is a new cut flower for our mid-summer bouquets 

We discovered from Pure M├Ądderlake that day lilies keep on blooming after cut one day at a time.

Keith the florist on Monday July 15th wrote his journal beside his center piece for mom's birthday

This time of year is usually so hot you can barely breath but this is just beginning to be the start of heat in DC above 90┬║. We have had great levels of rainfall and no one has had to water anything until now. When we arrived it was a delight to see Mom's garden looks great and is in big bloom and to know she hasn't had to put much effort into maintaining it thus far. We visited a while and made a nice lunch while we caught up on all the news. We took a trip to Lowe's and Home Depot to find some new plants for the garden a kind of tradition for our birthday gift to mom.

Then later we decided to risk a dinner on the lake outdoors in the "heat" on the deck at Logan's Road House. As it turned out this was the perfect night to go. It cooled down and there was a nice breeze and clear blue skies over the deck as we enjoyed the birds swooping over and under the deck. Canada geese, Mallard ducks, and Barn swallows are all around the deck and on the lake. Over in the shrubs by the lakes edge we heard song sparrows singing as we arrived. When we got home we dove into a nice slice of lemon curd topped vanilla cake with a butter cream icing.  Made the mistake of eating it before the butter cream got to room temperature but it still was a nice finish to the meal.

Then Monday the sun came up and the heat started to climb. We enjoyed breakfast but were concerned the AC wasn't keeping up with the heat out side. It was four degrees above the setting on the thermostat so Mom called in the service man from Sears to have a look. While we were eating a delicious Pannera lunch he arrived and quickly found that there was a leak in the coolant lines which would require a repair man, not him a lowly service maintenance guy. To get a repair man would take four days wait since it was so late in the day and at the beginning of a heat wave. We decided to go looking for a solution to the muggy in the house while we had to wait out the next few days. We turned off the AC to let the frozen lines defrost and see how long it took. The system wasn't totally out it still functioned part way. At 81 Keith and I were very concerned about mom waiting for this repair in a hot house. Mom found a little table top oscillating fan that was used at a great price and we brought it home and with that in addition to the struggling central AC unit it was quite pleasant to sit in the living room even with the high heat outdoors. The phone line was also not working right. It came and went, in and out, one minute it was fine and worked then next it was dead and no calls or messages got through. That requires a cable company repair to come and all these repairs require brother David to handle his dogs so that these people can come to the house without fear of injury or the dogs escaping to the streets. The levels of stress that all this mishap added to our "happy birthday" celebration was one to be remembered. In the end I planted the new plants in the ground, watered and mulched, we ate delicious cake and enjoyed beautiful flowers. Jenny and Frank sent a wonderful bouquet of flowers from a new to us Haymarket florist that were a delight to see. We also have Casa Blanca lilies blooming in the yard and at home. I always associate them with Mom's birthday since they usually bloom on or near the 15th of July.
Jenny and Frank's arrangement with a bunch of casa blanca lily and soft pink roses & white daisies.
We got to enjoy the really unusually green scenery and trees at home and all along the route. I made a video of the deck where I sat mornings to write in my journal under the big American Beech tree that we dug up in the forest as a sapling back in the early 1960's with Dad who died five years ago on the day after mom's birthday. It is a great reminder of him and how much he loved flowers and gardens and trees. When we moved into the Manassas house back in 1964 there were only foundation plantings and one little maple tree in the yard. He soon turned it into a forest and ever since I have been a tree hugger because I know what it is like to live in the heat of a pasture with no shade! I used to marvel at the number of plants and trees my mom's dad knew the name of when we went on long drives. He would point them out and ask if I knew them. I do now and it's fun to think of that as a tradition brought to the city by me from my ancestors who come from the  woodlands of Appalachia.

American beech tree planted to shade the back of the house with dad in the 1960's

glider and potted hostas on the deck in Manassas 
Here is a short video sample of the view and songs of birds and cicada July 16th on the deck in Manassas:

We had a lot of unplanned repairs to see scheduled on this trip but soon as those are done it will be good to know that mom will be snug as a bug in a rug with her AC and phone line working and her flower garden blooming pretty pink and white flowers. Then on the next trip we will celebrate like Alice's friend, the Mad Hatter, all 351 Unbirthdays to come!

1 comment:

Linda F. said...

Wow, that was a trip to remember. It is a good thing for her that you went.