a big change

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here to bring you up to date on our very modern lifestyle. You may remember me from such change-related posts as “Another Change”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I really like lying on this rug, which may not be the cleanest rug in the world, though it does periodically get washed by rain and then sort of hung out to dry. The garden doesn’t look too horrible so long as you don’t look too closely and see all the shredded leaves. There are lots of cow-pen daisies and Aster oblongifolius flowering right in front of where I’m standing and surveying. The “old rock garden” looks okay. The view along the north path looks the same. The guy I live with keeps saying he’s going to get more gravel for the path but so far he hasn’t done it. Out in the “way back” the cow-pen daisies (Verbesina encelioides) are flowering, too. They’re the only plants flowering there.

The really big change here is that the guy I live with’s mom died this week. He thought about this happening for a few years now, and figured he would be able to deal with it at least a little, since she was approaching ninety (this coming Halloween), but he’s been having a very hard time with this.

He brought home some watercolors and other paintings from his mom’s house. One of them was a watercolor done by his grandfather of the “way back” in his garden in Los Angeles. Looking west. (The windows next to the telephone pole are of the Dover Hotel, which is still there and looks the same. The apartment house in the background is still there, too.) It took him a long time to realize there was a “way back” in the garden here, too, bordered by a hedge, with a shed sort of at one end. The other thing, which in its way is kind of big, is that there’s a new bed in the upstairs bedroom. Really just a mattress and foundation. It’s a lot higher than the ancient one that was there, and I was very surprised when I tried to get up on it the first time. Of course I can just leap up on it effortlessly, now, but he said when I get older he’ll put a cushion or something next to the bed so I can get up there.It turns out that I can see more of what’s happening on the street now. And sleeping on a new mattress with a soft Pottery Barn mattress pad and sheet isn’t too bad at all.

Back to the garden for a minute, here’s Colchicum ‘Innocence’ flowering in the garden on the north side of the house. There are more plants on the other side of the garden, but the flowers aren’t up yet. And Colchicum montanum, new from Odyssey Bulbs this year. It used to be called Merendera montanaSome Cyclamen hederifolium and colchicums flowering in the little bed just off the patio, among the lamium and violets. The guy I live with says not to walk through there but I still do. There are snakes to hunt, under the birch on the left.And a chrysanthemum, in the pot that had a tomato plant. He said “One does want a hint of color”. I didn’t get it. I guess that’s all. We did a little bit of gardening today, and he said maybe we’ll do some more, when things settle down a bit. I’ll leave you with a picture of me walking along the canal road, which hasn’t been mowed at all this year.

Until next time, then.

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28 Responses to a big change

  1. Nell says:

    My heart goes out to TGYLW; loss is a tough kind of change, even when it doesn’t take you by surprise.

    Those colchicums are stunning. And the “hint of color” made me laugh out loud. Maybe he’ll watch that movie with you this winter.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. It was kind of unexpected since his mom was doing pretty well until week before last. She would call the guy I live with and want to know if the Battle of the Coral Sea was the turning point in the war in the Pacific, or what was the lead male character’s name in Gone with the Wind, again? That sort of thing.
      That is probably the guy I live with’s favorite movie. He hasn’t watched it since his wife died. She said when Pooka, a purebred border collie who lived here last century, died, she watched it over and over again and it helped her get through the grieving period.

  2. Barb K says:

    Oh, I’m sorry. The void that happens when someone who loves you is gone just can’t be closed up again. Those of us who remain behind just have to work our way around the hole every day. Eventually we build little bridges that help, but the void is still there, gaping. Oh asters, aren’t they wonderful? I like the ones with the little tiny leaves, ericoides? I think. Does TGYLW have a pickup truck? I used to but due to an unfortunate episode with a check engine light that couldn’t be repaired and the DEQ I had to trade it in. I miss it a lot when I want things like gravel and can no longer get anything but small quantities. Or if I see a piece of furniture at a garage sale…..

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with is pretty unhappy but his mom was going to go into hospice, which he didn’t want to happen at all. He and his friend went to visit her a few hours before she passed away but he still thought she would be around for a long time. The way you do, I guess. He is used to this feeling and now it’s just compounded, if you know what I mean. There used to be a pickup here but gravel delivery isn’t very expensive; there’s a place down the street. He took a picture of one of the Aster ericoides growing along the canal road but it didn’t come up because he took the picture as we were walking, instead of stopping and clicking. There’s a really nice on called ‘Kylie’ which maybe I’ll show a picture of; he got that from Far Reaches. They have a lot of really good asters.

      • Barb K says:

        I have “Golden Spray” which I like a lot. The tiniest of leaves. I got some rocks delivered from a place about 5 miles away 2 years ago. The delivery charge was more than the rocks, which weren’t cheap.

      • paridevita says:

        For a yard of pea gravel it’s about eighty dollars, including delivery, because we’re so close to the garden center that delivers. The guy I live with said Far Reaches has ‘Pink Cloud’ this year. But not ‘Vasterival’, which isn’t an ericoides but possibly his favorite aster. He got that some years ago and “distributed it to a few enthusiasts” (like you would read in a book by Graham Stuart Thomas).

  3. Deb says:

    I am so sorry to hear about TGYLW’s mother’s death.

  4. Simba says:

    Sending comforting thoughts on the loss of your mother. Have been told one is never quite
    the same and I can attest to that. But we must carry on.

  5. Condolences to the guy you live with, Mani, on the loss of his mother. My husband lost his mother this year in like circumstance. We have missed her but not mourned. The guy’s mother must have been a Good One. I love the color which isn’t a hint at all. As I don’t watch movies, the reference flies overhead. Those delicate little flowers — to think that each must be implanted. Oh, the labor! The Grandfather shows as an accomplished artist. I like the scene and the coloring — oh, coloring again. And the new mattress and bedding look fine, and I’m happy to hear they offer a better more expanded view. Tell the guy to take a hint. And a soft cushion won’t do in later years, Mani. You’ll need something of harder surface to clamber upon and reach. I know you’ll do it. Life is adjustment.

    • paridevita says:

      The new mattress is a huge relief. The guy I live with said the old one was a “vintage” mattress and wondered if there might be mattress collectors who would be interested in it. Judging by the label alone it was made in the days before ZIP codes. He said he might see if it could be taken to “the roadshow”, which I’ve watched before, as you may know. The guy I live with really doesn’t go to movies—they’re unbelievably loud—but he has a lot of DVDs.

  6. tonytomeo says:

    You certainly are busy. The guy you live with must be very grateful that you are there to do what you do for him. Rhody is working hard as well, and tending to his friends, as I write the obituary for one who passed away just a few days ago too.

  7. So sorry to read about the loss of your mom, Bob.

  8. mjkeane says:

    Hi Mani, please be especially caring and loving with Bob. Death is hard to accept no matter what. We’re never really prepared for its finality. Be his most reliable support and best friend!
    New mattresses are one of life’s small pleasures. And with the bonus of a Pottery Barn mattress pad and sheets, you must be extremely comfy as you lie there, contemplating Life!!
    I love cow-pen daisies. They’re in bloom everywhere here in Santa Fe – huge swathes of yellow brightening our world. Their cheerful simplicity makes me smile.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The new mattress is extremely excellent. The guy I live with’s sister said not to take the old mattress to the “roadshow”. Even though it’s an antique. Cow-pen daisies are really nice. There are a whole bunch of them flowering everywhere, here, too, but they’re still nice to have in the garden.

  9. cindeesgarden says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Thoughts and Prayers to you and the guy you live with.

  10. Mark Mazer says:

    May her memory be as a blessing.

  11. melanie says:

    I’m sorry to hear your mom passed away, Bob.

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