Dandy lion heaven


I have memories from my childhood.

Grandparents. A garden at one house, filled with cucumber and tomato plants. The yard at another, with hosta and pussy willows. Just snippets of the whole, but enough to get our journey started.

Decades after these memories were made, Terry and I bought our first home. In the backyard were a few hosta plants, which Lady and Travis absolutely loved. They decided the hosta made perfect outdoor beds. So, with my childhood memories of the plants in place, and smiles over why we needed to move them, Terry and I relocated several of the plants to the front yard. We wanted to have them, and so we did.

Terry and I would move from that home. And, given a bit of overlap in time, we decided to take some plants with us from one home to the next. A great deal of hosta was part of that move, and it flourished in its new location. Subsequently, as our boys purchased homes of their own, we took a few of the hosta plants along on a visit and placed them in their gardens.

So, there’s a connection to my childhood memories involved in some of my preferences for landscaping. And, our boys have plants in their yards that are literally connected to our dogs as well as our homes.

It’s kind of neat.

I’m not telling you that story to talk about hosta though. Also, Terry’s preferences and memories are involved in our actions and decisions as well. (For now though, my essay, my words, my memories. She’s along for the ride as a passenger here.) Instead, I just want you to think about some of the ways many very subtle and small items can have incredible significance for a person.

I have doubts that anyone pulling up to our house, or either of the houses for the kids, will even notice the hosta plants. But there they are, on full display, in garden areas along the front of all of the homes.

While living in that first house of ours, a neighbor stopped by one day. She was thinning the irises around her property and wondered if we’d like a few. We happily took them. Later, like the hosta, many of the irises were brought along with us from one home to the next.

Those familiar with irises will nod in agreement about how quickly they grow, spread, and can crowd a location. They are, in many ways, too easy to raise. We thinned a few out, and several of those have moved on to the kids as well. (In fact, a few made their way to the homes of our parents. They all look wonderful and have been thriving.)

Right now, along our driveway, the irises are blooming. I cannot look at them without recalling that friendly, wonderful neighbor of ours. In turn, it often triggers some tremendous thoughts of the time Terry and I have been together. And those smiles aren’t isolated to our yard. They can be triggered when visiting the kids. They can be triggered when visiting the parents.

Small things. Special to us. Overlooked by others, but surprisingly meaningful.

The other day, Terry and I were driving some back roads. The yards up here have been exploding with dandelions. It seems like they’ve become more and more prevalent in the past few years, but this spring has been a step beyond prevalent. It’s been a virtual wave of yellow splashing across lawn after lawn. Terry made a joke about it being a dandelion heaven, and my mind took off into tangents and twists and created the dandy lion thought.

Funny thing is, that heaven idea may not be too far out of place. All of us have mixtures of moments and memories, combined with special things that we’d like to pass on and perhaps have others consider special as well.

I do not have any hosta or pussy willows from my grandmother’s house. And, like many of you, I would imagine part of that is because the connections and thoughts about moving some of them developed far too late. I began wishing for them really once they were unavailable.

I don’t know how many times some of these plants could possibly be replanted again. To another home if anyone moves? Perhaps. To a grandchild’s house? Doubtful. Still, I am certain that in years to come there will be items and moments for our family that seem ordinary to a casual onlooker but will hold great meanings for us.

It’s a small bit of heaven. Indeed, a dandy lion heaven.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com