I went to lunch with my neighbor Bill yesterday and we started talking about the gentleman who used to live in the house next door. I told Bill about talking with my previous neighbor (Bob) on a bright Sunday morning and how he had spent the day planting watermelons – although the doctors had just told him he had 3-6 weeks to live. Well, that turned out to be pretty accurate. Bob died on another Sunday, just 41 days after that conversation and just one day short of six weeks.
The picture here is of the beautiful floral display at his memorial service. Notice the basket of produce his family included in the display. You can see corn, onions, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, muscadine grapes, carrots and more. They planned to take that home and make a big pot of soup for all the visiting relatives. Yes, just as Bob wanted, his garden continued to provide the life-giving fruits and vegetables and the beautiful flowers for his family and all the neighbors.
In the current issue of Birds & Blooms I read this from a lady: “My grandmother told me when I was little, about 4 or 5, that if I ever found myself in danger to look for a house that had flowers growing in the front yard – growers of flowers would help keep me safe.” Elizabeth Hilpert
I want our house to be a safe place.
Yes, we do have beautiful flowers, shrubs, a special area for the bees and the barn we call The Sanctuary. Joanne does a wonderful job of creating what we call our “haven of peace.” We want people to feel calmness, safety, serenity and inspiration here.
What about your house? What would a 5-yr-old in trouble think if she ran past your house? If she listened to the conversations there? Realtors talk about “curb appeal.” This is something more than that.
Bob’s house was a welcoming place.
He loved showing people around his yard and garden. His generosity and legacy will live on in his wife and three sons. And oh yes, those watermelons were wonderful. We were reminded of his spirit and hospitality as we spit seeds and shared memories together.