Thursday, May 28, 2009

Highways and Byways and flowers that bloom

Hubby and I left early this morning for a one day jaunt to meet his sister in their hometown near Chicago. Our trip was for the sole purpose of only one phone call... a very long day of driving so my husband could be on a conference call with his sister and a judge about her unemployment insurance claim and then turn around and come home.

The trip was important enough that his brother sent gas money to make certain we took the trip. We used just a little of the cash for a late lunch on the way home at Wendy's. Call it... a necessary user fee. :)

I "suggested" (okay, maybe a little nagging) we should leave earlier than planned in case we ran into one of those (dratted) detours on the country highway... the same highway we have traveled together over thirty years when his parents were still alive (and longer for him as he drove this road between home and the University). It is famous for warm weather detours taking one completely out of the way from their intended path.

As it turned out, the dratted detour sign showed up only half an hour down the road and led to a thirty minute detour (and... of course, an additional thirty minutes on the way home). Since we had padded our time, we enjoyed the scenery of Midwest farm country in late May and the sounds of John Denver and Selah coming from the itty bitty ipod.

We discussed plowing and planting and the lateness in the season of both. I reminded him of another detour off the same highway in the early 1980s when Stephanie was little and we were heading from Michigan to Mamaw's house. The adults in the car were frustrated with the inconvenience but she saw it as an opportunity to pop a Psalty tape in the player and sing her way through the country roads... a very pleasant memory.

One of my very favorite flowers is the peony and they abound in this area of the country at this time of year. We came to wonder if it was the custom for farm wives to plant their peony bushes as a border near country highways as we passed dozens of houses along the way with peony borders. They were all in gorgeous bloom, I could imagine homemakers making their way to the bushes in the early morning... clipping a few blossoms to fill their houses with fragrance.

Speaking of which... I mentioned to Stephanie this week how I was driving past the football stadium at the University.... windows down for a cool breeze... and caught the whiff of a lovely fragrance. I looked around just in time to notice many houses across the street had gardens full of peonies. What a lovely scent, certainly not one expects near football stadiums. :)

The peony under the dogwood tree in our back yard is blooming. I plan to cut a couple blossoms tomorrow and bring them in the house to enjoy. It produces better than one would expect growing under a tree. The two peony bushes I planted (from sticks) last autumn are growing very nicely near the fence line. They won't produce blooms for a year or two but they are growing.

It has been a long day and I'm glad to be home. No longer have I miles to go before I sleep. Perhaps a few pages of a book and a cup of tea before tucking in for the evening. Um... that is reading the pages of a book, not nibbling on them as one would with cookies and tea. I need sleep. :)


Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Your trip sounds lovely. I have a Selah CD and play it back and forth on my journey to and from Atlanta. It is so soothing to me. All the peonies sound so pretty. If I get to come to Indiana in July do you think they will still be in bloom? That was so sweet about the Psalty tape and Stephanie singing. Isn't it great to have such special memories? Thanks to the Lord for letting us remember those touching moments. I can't seem to remember short term stuff that great, but years ago I can give you details. :)

Mrs. Rabe said...

Peonies are a personal favorite of mine...I have one bush that smells like old fashioned roses. Delightful!

Wendy said...

I just couldn't help smiling when I read your comment about Stephanie listening to her Psalty tape! Our oldest two children LOVED the Psalty songs and I remember knowing all of those words by heart - 'the BIG, BLUE, SINGING, Song Book!'
And, peonies are my favorite flower! What a blessing to have one blooming in your yard!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for adding the link for the freezer post. I was trying to tell someone how you did it from memory when I realized my memory was not so good! :) Now they can read it themselfs!! I wanted to add a thought I have had about raised garden beds. People on the net have mentioned using the free compost from their town to help fill the boxes. Meredith of Merchant Ships being one. I cannot comment any longer on her site using anonymous so hoped to add it here. In our town the stuff you put in the greens bin for recycling is a lot of what they use for this compost. That and the greens from the trimming of the cities parks etc and the cleanup at the curbs of leaves etc. {Which would include the car oils on the street mixed in?} I don't know about your city but mine uses a lot of chemicials on the citie's parks and lawns and dogs are there too. We have always composted all the greens we have fit for composting. The rest we put out for the recycling. What we do not compost ourselfs is anything that has had a chemical sprayed on it, any badly deseased vegetation or the sweepings from the street areas as they contain car oils and cigarettes and even dog messes. So please ask about the cities free compost. Is it ok Really to use in vegetable gardens? Especially if you are growing organically. It may be ok for flower beds or areas where no food for eating and or fruit trees will ever be planted. With so many people now going to garden and wanting more compost or soil I am just concerned that this city compost might not be as good as it sounds? Let me know if anyone finds out anything about this please. Thanks. Jody

Anonymous said...

I love peonys too. How do you cut your peonys to bring them inside? Mine are always so full of ants I would never dream of bringing them inside.