Late last summer Mike and I and our daughters decided we wanted to start a huge blueberry garden … maybe turn it into a U-Pick place.

Recently we relented that the bushes won’t go into the ground this spring as we had hoped.  My mom has grown seriously ill, and we’ve decided to move closer to her as soon as our school year ends. (We’re both teachers for those just getting to know us.)

One good thing in all of this crazy change is that the move will put us closer to our (as yet invisible) giant blueberry garden.  Instead of being 300 miles away, we’ll be about 12 miles from the lots that my parents long ago purchased in the small town where I grew up and that are now ours.

So, while most of our attention is going to our move and to Mom, we are cleaning up as we can.  Last weekend was our first chance to tackle the overgrown mess this year. I must say, our hurried hours spent uncovering forgotten flower beds, wrestling (and losing) with thorny rosebushes, and rescuing a 40-year-old neglected apple tree was nothing short of a romantic afternoon for us.
The Blueberry Chronicles

The Blueberry Chronicles

Barn and overgrowth

The Blueberry Chronicles

I wish I had better pictures to share, but these captured with my cell phone make me smile as I think how we hustled to capture every weed and stray limb that we could before the  sunset completely sucked away every last ray of light.

Thankfully, it was a slowly dying day, and we were unexpectedly rewarded with an amazing symphony of geese, ducks, pheasants, meadow larks, sparrows, and coyotes who also protested the day’s end.  I wish I could record and play now for you the background music that swelled around us as we furiously tried to finish our work.  The honks, quacks, chinking, and warbles still echo in my head.

We commented later that the beautiful concert made it even harder to come back to the city’s clashing cymbals of sirens and angry car horns.  Oh well … just a while longer.  (Although the sweet voices of loved city friends will be sorely missed, and we are already working to entice everyone to long visits in months ahead.)

The Blueberry Chronicles
When I was kid, I unburied a broken, wooden sidewalk that had disappeared under the roots of old poplar trees.  After I went to college, the town cleaned it all up and installed real sidewalks.  Everyone laughs that the town has no people, but it does have beautiful sidewalks for them to walk on!
The Blueberry Chronicles
The escaping sun lit up the grain bins behind us for a showy display as Mike cut away.

As I look at these pictures and dream of what is to come, I realize what a healing balm this blueberry venture is becoming.  Mom has been diagnosed with Lewey Body Dementia recently and is quickly withdrawing from us. (There … I said it.  I know I have been vague in recent months as I’m wrestling to understand and watch what she’s working through. Not saying it out loud won’t make it go away … so there it is. I’m talking to myself here, if I’ve confused you.)

On good days, I see the glint in Mom’s eyes as we talk about the blueberries.  She is the one who loved this property from the beginning.  The house she wanted to restore fell down and was swept away long ago, but the idea of living things – alive and thriving – have always brought her joy.  She saw to it that the apple trees, a couple of plums, and a lonely apricot tree were planted here.  She’s the one who rescued several peony plants and rose bushes years ago or they might not be here now for us to rescue again.

So we’re going to share a chapter together in the next season …  Mom and my family. We are going to make this site thrive again. It may be a closing chapter in her book and an opening one in ours … but both will point to the legacy of the love for neglected things that she has instilled in me.

Thanks for stopping by to read.  Your “likes,” “comments,” and “follows” help me to grow my readership and community.  Thanks for using links and giving credit when you share. I appreciate you and am thrilled to have you along!  – Shelly

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