Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween.  Normally this is a fun holiday for me, but not so much the last couple of years.  Prior to my mother passing away on October 15,2005, Halloween was a holiday that was shared by her, my aunt, sister & grand kids coming to my house for Sloppy Joes and assorted treats.  I was the stopping off place for the country grand kids to gather for pictures & then a quick rush out the door with a parent in hand to scurry up and down the streets surrounding our house.  When finished with their appointed rounds back they would come & try to eat something, but far too excited to see what "goody loot" they were given.  The day my mother passed away, my world was completely shattered.  It was very unexpected & the thought I not having my mother to call or see anymore was very hard for me & my two sisters to handle.  So that year, I just could not bring myself to pass out treats as all I wanted was for my mother & aunt to be there.  Each year becomes easier, but still no great joy as it is a reminder that neither my aunt or mother are with us anymore.  This year was even harder as my two grandsons who normally would be here, had moved to Florida in August, so just didn't see the sense, not to mention it was a miserable cold, wet and rainy day & night.  So maybe next year I'll be in better spirits & who knows maybe I'll have a couple of small tricksters coming in my back door.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bittersweet October

"Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter." ~Carol Bishop Hipps

I am a lover of the written word.  I love reading what other people write & I enjoy writing.  I do most of it in my head & have ideas for books that I would love to write, but alas I never seem to get it done. 

Bittersweet October.  How do I begin?  My dear sweet late mother-in-law, Jeri Bobik, planted a bittersweet bush many, many years ago.  It grows directly on both property lines belonging to them & to us.  It started out small & very rarely gave us the delightful orange & yellow berries, or if it did, I never saw them.  Now remember, my mother-in-law was a person with a very sweet disposition & of all the people in her life, she loved her grandchildren with more than an unconditional love.  Enter my son & step-son when they were around 10 years old & decided that the bittersweet could use some grooming.  With saw in hand, they cut away at that bittersweet & my sweet mother-in-law totally lost it.  She cried over the loss of what was once a beautiful lush bush & the promises of bountiful fruit.  Of course, we all felt bad, the boys even more so.  So, from then on the bittersweet was off limits.  Looking back, I remember thinking how awful we felt for her & where would we be able to find a replacement & with no such luck, the long Michigan winter set in.  When spring finally arrived the following year, the bittersweet had survived & in fact flourished.  And since then the bittersweet was off limits & no one touched it for years on end. 

The problem with some strains of bittersweet is that it is very invasive & will grow rapidly upwards, downwards & intertwining into anything close by, including trees, bushes & buildings.  The bittersweet did exactly that & after climbing up into the box elder tree, it needed to be pruned.  Each year, I wait for those glorious berries to form & the one year that it came into its own, my husband cut all of them, leaving me with no bittersweet.  I'm not sure if it has something to do with the timing of when he cuts it back, but again no bittersweet this year.  That bush.....causes more discussion & emotion than a recent football game or car race.  Cut it down, leave it, prune it & all the while in the back of my mind I remember my mother-in-law and how much it meant to her.  So, it is a bittersweet bush with bittersweet memories & for now will stay with the hope that one day it will produce some of those beloved berries that she so cherished.