Hallelujah, spring is really here! All of the snow and rain of the past few months have paid off and we’re enjoying stunning weather, blossoms, and scenery overall.
I’ve been driving up to these old orchards in the foothills near my home for the past few weeks, waiting for their blossoms to explode. This week they finally did!
I know I’ve already shared this quilt, but I haven’t been able to get a good full-body shot of the whole quilt, so I took it with me for some glamour shots with the flowering orchards.
If you missed the full story/post about my scrappy vintage-inspired log cabin quilt, you can find it here.
And here’s what the orchards look like without a quilt in the way. Still stunning.
While I was up there I enjoyed a great hike and walk with gorgeous views, including a new-to-me path along the base of the mountains.
On my walk I came across this handsome guy. I think horses have a thing for me. Plus, they’re such great posers.
It’s been a week with a full range of emotions for me. At the end of last week my grandmother suddenly passed away. It did me so much good to go for a hike in the foothills and have time to reflect and feel this week.
Here’s another view from a different angle. That pop of pink was even prettier in real life. My Grandma enjoyed painting and as a result, she noticed and commented on clouds more than anyone I know. For me it’s color that I notice and get excited about. Isn’t it interesting how we each see beauty in different ways? And now I pay more attention to clouds too, thanks to her.
Here is my Grandma with one of the quilts I gave her over the years. This was Christmas just over 2 years ago. Because she was an artist herself, she recognized the value and meaning in a handmade gift. But because she was not a sewer, she was always so excited when I gave her something I’d made.
When she asked about my love of sewing she’d laugh and say, “Well, you didn’t get it from me!” But she’d proudly talk about how her mother could make anything – how her mother made all her clothing and formals for dances, etc. Well, I definitely didn’t get that level of skills either. Although, I did make the dress in the photo below (with help from my sewing teacher who put in the zipper) for my high school graduation, so maybe I did get some of that. A smidge.
I’m sharing this because it’s part of my story, but please don’t feel sad for me. I will miss my grandma, but at the same time we have already started missing her in a way for the past few years as her mind and memory have started deteriorating. No one was more frustrated about that than she was. She’d always been so sharp, loved learning – taking classes well into her 90’s. She’s lived an amazing, adventure-filled life. She would proudly tell us, “I’ve been to all 50 states you know!”and numerous other countries and locations including Jerusalem, Cambridge, the Kremlin, and sailing on the Nile.
She had some heavy tragedies in her life, but she didn’t want to be a tragic figure. She made the most of her life.
She turned 95 just a few months ago. She’d been a widow for over 48 years and most of her friends are gone – she was more lonely and really missing them.
Last week my Dad spent a wonderful day with her, driving her to see the blossoms on the nearby University campus and other places that she loved. Her home health nurse came to check on her and her heart rate and blood pressure were perfect. That night she went to sleep in her home of 47 years (that she refused to leave for a care center) and didn’t wake up in the morning. What a way to go!
We had a wonderful day this week celebrating her life. It was much more happy than sad, much more sweet than bitter.
I’m selfishly sad that I didn’t get one more goodbye, but at the same time incredibly happy for her to have her mind clear and sharp again and to be reunited with so many that she’s loved and missed for so long, including her only daughter who suffered from extreme mental illness in this life. I can only imagine how many happy reunions there were that day, and because of my faith, I know that I’ll have my own reunion with her in the future.
One thing my Aunt shared with me when they came after her passing, was that she was peacefully in her bed, covered by the quilt that I’d given her two Christmases ago. That thought made me teary, but so happy (probably always will).