Spring

A few days ago, I saw the first sign that it won’t be long in my neck of the woods until spring. Near my patio, a tiny bed of tulips and daffodils are poking up through the cold, damp soil.

My mama always loved spring. She was an avid gardener of both vegetables and ornamental plants. In the growing season, if you went to visit in the daylight hours, most likely, you’d find her outside rather than in. As an adult, I don’t know how many times I dropped by, calling out for her as I let myself in the front door without knocking, only to be greeted with silence. I’d make my way to the kitchen, look out the window, and there she’d be, most of the time, in the garden, but sometimes in the yard tending her flowers.

In late winter, she’d pour over seed catalogs she received through the mail. I’m not sure if she ordered anything—I think not—but she loved to window shop. She purchased most of her seeds and plants at the local Farmer’s Co-op Feed Store in early spring, and as soon as the soil was warm enough, planted her onion sets, potato cuttings, leaf lettuce, radishes, turnips, and other hardy plants and seeds. Soon it was on to cucumbers, squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, corn, carrots, beans, peas, and last but not least: okra. (Please forgive me, veggies, if I left some of you out.)

I know our garden was important in feeding our large family, especially in the early years; but Mama continued raising a big garden long after all of us were grown and gone, long after there was a monetary reason to do so. As the years went by, Daddy helped her more and more. And my brother and sister-in-law, who lived nearby, took over the most backbreaking work, enabling her to continue doing what she loved.

Mama surrounded our old house with all manner of flowering plants and shrubs. She loved anything that grew—she had to. What other reason than love would she have for spending hours tending vegetables, then still carve out time to work her flowers? And all this while holding down a job in town for a lot of those years.

During the last few months of my mama’s life, her mind was slipping away. She died in mid-January when a lot of the days were cold, dreary, and sometimes rainy, as it is here today. Quite a few times, when she was cognizant of the weather outside, especially when it was raining, she’d remark that she wished it would stop so she could get out in the garden. It broke my heart because I knew she would never walk those rows again. I’d tell her it was winter, and the garden was resting, and she should too; that come spring, she’d be out there again.

In the years since she has been gone, when spring comes and everything is green and growing, I take it all in and think how Mama would love it. Sometimes, I cry. Sometimes, I smile. And sometimes, I do both.

©️2020 KT Workman

Image via Pixabay

Comments

34 comments on “Spring”
  1. ellie894 says:

    I love this very much KT. Thinking of my mother in different ways 🌷 take care, suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KT Workman says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Suzanne. Mothers may pass away, but live forever in our hearts. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ellie894 says:

        Very much so. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrew Dabar says:

    Wholesome. Fresh as your mother’s garden.

    Your voice in this touching piece sounds very much like Earl Hamner Jr.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KT Workman says:

      What a nice compliment, Andrew. Thank you. 🙂 A hospice worker told my large family that we reminded her of the Waltons.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You and I have a lot in common! I, too, think of Momma every time I see a lovely garden. It brings to mind the love she had for her flowers and the care she would take to make them as beautiful as they could be. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KT Workman says:

      Thank you for the visit and comment. 🙂 it’s nice that we can see our mothers in the beauty of flowers.

      Like

  4. Dr B says:

    These are the best sort of memories to have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KT Workman says:

      I agree. Not all memories are pleasant, but the older I get, the more I concentrate on the good ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda Workman Smith says:

    Dear Sister, you forgot GARLIC. Remember the hilside below the garden where garlic had escaped and grew wild among the Bermuda grass? In very early spring, Mama dug several clumps; she would divide the tightly packed garlic plants, choose the best looking ones, trim tops, lay off a row or two, then plant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KT Workman says:

      I remember the wild garlic, but not that she transplanted some to the garden. I knew I would forget something.

      Like

      1. Anonymous says:

        I think it was probably domesticated garlic that had escaped at some point; cloves were too large for actual wild garlic.
        I talk to Mama and Daddy in my gardens…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. tidalscribe says:

    A lovely blog about your mother; gardening is so satisfying ( and frustrating ) but what could be greater than feeding your family. I like gardening, but have never had a lot of success with vegetables, so I just try and keep the bees and butterflies happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KT Workman says:

      I also enjoy gardening, but no longer have the space to do so.
      Thanks for stopping by. 😊

      Like

  7. This, to me, is a tribute to you mother. What beautiful memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KT Workman says:

      Thank you, Diane. She was an amazing woman. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is is such a wonderful sentiment to both Spring and your Mother. It’s funny how the people in our lives have their special seasons – the ones they loved become the ones we do too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KT Workman says:

      Thank you. I’ll always see her in every spring for the remainder of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Halbarbera says:

    May this bird
    be your
    Blue Bird
    of Happiness
    🕊🦩🦜🦢🦆🦅🦉
    Just imagine
    that these emojis
    are mostly blue!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KT Workman says:

      I can do that…I have a good imagination. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Very nice memories of your mother.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my crying right now. Just beautiful.

    Like

    1. KT Workman says:

      Thank you so much, Kim!
      I’m sorry about my late acknowledgment of your comment; I just found it in my spam folder.

      Like

  12. jccast says:

    Although I do not have any talent for growing plants, and have even killed a plastic plant, I enjoy the memories they invoke in others. Excellent as always, Kathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. hcmorris77 says:

    my dad and I did most of the gardening, my mom took care of the house plants…
    did bring back memories 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KT Workman says:

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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