Spring, Grandchildren, & Other Lovely Things – Saturday Open Thread

One of the joys of having grown children is that they sometimes produce grandchildren. Now that I have more time to focus on things other than the daily demands of life, I like to think about things that will delight my grandsons, 10 and 7.

Often the things that delight them are simple. They look forward each year to building the gingerbread house for Christmas, for example.

Another activity that they really enjoy is coating pinecones with peanut butter and birdseed, and then hanging them (via fishing line applied before the peanut butter!) outside for the birds. I’m afraid the squirrels get most of the birds’ treats, and we all get covered with peanut butter, but we have a great time anyway.

This week, I have been thinking about Spring, and what will soon (I hope) begin to happen in my garden.

It is exciting to take a walk each Spring day to see what’s new. The grass begins to green up, and tree buds fatten, then pop open. Have you ever noticed that one sunny day when you are driving or walking down your street there seems to be a green haze in the air, as the leaves unfurl? The Spring flowers pop up; first the crocus and grape hyacinth, then the daffodils and tulips, the forsythia, lily of the valley and bleeding heart, then the lilacs (sigh), and the glorious explosion of the peonies! Tada! It is God’s gift after the cold and snow of winter, an amazing, miraculous time of the year.

My mother once gave me a wonderful gift; she planted a spring bulb garden for me near my front door, so that I would see it each time I stepped outside. I looked forward to that each morning as I left for work.

Mom loved working in the garden almost more than anything else, and sharing its bounty with family, friends and acquaintances. One of the “activities” for the children in Jessie’s garden was collecting tomato worms in a paper bag, then throwing the bag in the burning barrel. The kids loved it, and the tomatoes were the better for it!

My daughter and my mother had a special relationship. They spent a great deal of time together, both out of necessity and out of love. Jenny was born when my mother was already 62 years old, but since Jessie, my mom, lived for another 29 years, they had from childhood to just after Jennifer’s marriage to cultivate the love affair between a grandchild and her grandmother.

Today I’d like to share a poem Jessie wrote to Jenny when she was about two years old. It reminds me of the love between a grandmother and her grandchild, and the beauty of Spring.

The Woods

O, come to the woods, sweet Jenny.
Come to the woods with me
To smell the earth’s damp fragrance
And plants from the earth set free.

From winter’s cold dark prison
Seeking the sun’s bright beam
Hearing the voice of the prompter,
“Come up, awake from your dream.”

The buttercup is blooming
It has spread a yellow sheen
And out upon the water
You can see some velvet green.

The phlox are every color,
Their fragrance fills the air,
And at our feet so tiny,
The violets nestle there.

O Jenny, peek beneath the leaves
To see the flowers fair
In purple, white, or yellow,
An exquisite jewel rare.

I could name the lilies red
And lilies white and blue.
In all of this great company
I’ve only named a few.

But if I’m gone, dear Jenny,
And can’t take you by the hand,
Take Mom and Dad to the woods someday
And experience something grand.

For God created simple things
Like flowers and songs of birds
To be enjoyed in quietness
Without the sound of words.

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27 Responses to Spring, Grandchildren, & Other Lovely Things – Saturday Open Thread

  1. GracieD says:

    Your mom sounds like my maternal grandmother, I am named after her. There is a special relationship between grandmothers and granddaughters. What I wouldn’t give to be able to hug her just one more time!


  2. GracieD says:

    I saw on Redstate that Zippy has filed to “clarify” Judge Vinson’s Ruling on Zerocare. I am not an attorney, and the ruling was perfectly clear to me. Zerocare is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Period, The End! I hope Judge Vinson puts a foot up their backside-figuratively, of course! I am cautiously optomistic.


  3. Menagerie says:

    How talented your mom was. i loved her poem. Do you still live where she planted the bulb garden?


    • stellap says:

      No, I don’t. I rented the house from my uncle, in the 1970’s, and lived there for about six years. The house is no longer there; the land is on a busy road, and it was sold for commercial development.

      On the bright side, I do have tulips and daffodils that I planted, and some other bulbs that the previous owner planted.

      The place where my mother had her vegetable garden is at the family homestead. It also is no longer in our family, but we are friendly with the woman who now owns the house. She grew up next door, and lives there with her husband. The farmland is owned by another farmer we know.


  4. Sharon says:

    What a beautiful portrayal of gardens and Grandmas! Spring is coming. I do believe!


  5. Auntie Lib says:

    How beautiful!!!! The poem creates such wonderful images of lovely flowers and brings up all sorts of memories of my own darling granddaughter when she was a toddler and experiencing the magic of spring. Curly blond pigtails, big green eyes, button nose, and the sweetest little giggle as she smelled each tiny bud. Spring in Oregon is absolutely the best anywhere and those memories are priceless.

    Spring in Montana is not a season – just a series of one-day vents sprinkled throughout the year.


  6. Menagerie says:

    Did Stella give us spring fever or what?


  7. Help get this video into every patriots computer screens…… Stand With Scott Walker


  8. Ad rem says:

    Brava Ms. Pat! Another home run and one for our Treehouse memory book . I didn’t get past the first couple of paragraphs and it had me longing for that first grandchild. Well…..while I wait for that to happen, I think I’ll venture outside to pull a few weeds and prune the bushes. 🙂


    • stellap says:

      Thanks! I only wish I could get out to weed (none yet) and prune (too cold).

      I can heartily recommend the grandchildren as soon as it seems like the right time!



      • Menagerie says:

        I took a walk in the woods today. Green shoots coming up that will be daffodils in a week or so. Two little yellow flowers on the forsythia bushes, a carpet of some kind of curly ferns, leaves on the rose bushes. Oh boy. Now I just need a grandkid. Right now all I gots is two grandpuppies.


  9. weeweed says:

    Another great post, Stellap! I can feel spring coming through your mom’s words – Jenny was so fortunate to be able to get to know her well! Thank you – I’ve felt ‘springy’ all day.


    • GracieD says:

      I agree WW. I was blessed to have my grandmother for 31 years. Jenny was indeed blessed to have that special relationship for as long as she did. I am certain that she will treasure that relationship always!


      • Sharon says:

        I was in a ladies clothing department tonight, and enjoyed over-hearing a beautiful, 20-something granddaughter, very well dressed…going back and forth taking things to her equally stylish grandmother in the fitting room: “Grandma, that one looks so nice! Do you want one in blue as well?…..here’s the one in a size 10, do you want to try that?” They were having such a lovely time shopping together. I was tempted to stare a bit! It was so nice listening to the kindness and shared enjoyment.


        • GracieD says:

          Sharon, that brings back memories! MyMaw-Maw hated to try things on in the store, so we would go shopping, and pick out what she liked. We went home and she tried them on. What didn’t fit properly, I returned for her.


          • stellap says:

            That’s a lovely story Sharon! GracieD, I used to do the same thing for my mom. We had a small ladies’ clothing store in the town where we lived in the sixties, and I would take things home for her to try.

            Later on, she got over the aversion to shopping, especially after she and my aunt started spending the winters in Florida.


    • Ad rem says:

      Can weeweed haz laptop???


  10. Kristi says:

    OK.. I was gone all day and didnt have the radio or tv..

    What happened in Wisconsin?


  11. Kristi says:


    Iron Dog starts tomorrow and here is Todd Palins team..

    He is really good looking… geesh.


  12. AFinch says:

    Spring is coming! I hear we had a near 70-degree day in central Indiana last week. Unfortunately, I was in Maine so I missed it. But the folks in Maine were every bit as delighted with their day of temperatures in the high thirties and low forties.

    Thanks for sharing Jesse’s wise and beutiful words.


  13. Jennifer H says:

    This was an awesome tribute to your mother. I loved the poem!


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