MIMI AND I ARE JUST getting back from a quick tour of some of our favorite states with some of our favorite people living there. Mimi’s mother is in the process of relocating. She is leaving her wonderful home in the Ozarks I have written about so many times. This is the home my kids know as “Lolo’s” and Papa’s house where they played in the snow, learned to fish and learned to drive stick shift trucks with their Papa and eat good ole Lolo food.
Mimi’s parents lived up there for 32 years after spending the earlier parts of their lives raising Mimi and her brother Joe Dan in the Mississippi Delta while farming. Papa passed away three years ago leaving Hilda to take care of a large spread they together kept immaculate. It was a two person spread because of its size but also because they love their plants and everything to do with entertaining. Their azaleas, maples and peonies and so many other colorful plants that were there for either a great spring show or were bringing down the curtains in the fall took a lot of constant TLC.
Mimi’s mom held the fort down perfectly for those three years with a little help from friends and neighbors. She went through the stay-at-home stages of the pandemic solo and got through two pretty major ice storms on her own. She decided it was time to let someone else enjoy the sanctuary they built with their own hands, the most satisfying and gratifying way to do a thing.
The really good news is, after a lot of thought, she has decided to move to our area. Some people might wonder how having your mother-in-law moving closer is good news. In this case the news is great. We have a wonderful relationship with plenty room for growth. Mimi could use a little help in the offices at Garden Works and on the floor helping us to even further our shoppers experience with her plant knowledge and the grit it takes to join us at our garden center.
This past weekend she had a successful auction that helped to clear the years of tools and doo-dads in their two barns that accumulates when you are busy people as they are.
Mimi and I got on the road at 3 a.m. in order to surprise her at 10 a.m. the day of the auction. We knew it would be an emotional time for her watching all their stuff get shuffled and sold to the highest bidder so we wanted to be there. This was the Saturday after our Plants, Pumpkins and Pinot party that so many of you made successful, I thank everyone who attended and made the night so much fun.
We got there just in time for the bidding to begin. There were trucks lined up and down their long driveway. It looked like a great turn out. The youth members from their church set up a concessions area and had hamburgers grilling and smelling up the place so good. I know she was glad to see us when we snuck up to her because her eyes started leaking immediately.
Auctions are so interesting to me. To see what value other people put on stuff. Sometimes they find that very thing they’ve been hoping for. At the end of the day they had cleared out everything, things I would have never dreamed anyone could find a use for. That auction saved everyone in her family a lot of work. It’s hard to get rid of stuff when that stuff belonged to someone you care so much about. So we would have probably justified keeping a large portion of it either in Joe Dan’s barn or in mine and Mimi’s barn. I have quite enough “stuff” of my own.
Now we can move on to the other parts of getting her settled around us somewhere and a new life for all of us that I know is going to be another great chapter in her life.
THE NEXT MORNING Mimi and I hustled the three hour drive over to Tulsa to help Max with the harvest on the farm he is working on. Mimi’s growing up on a farm kicked in while we fell in with the group. She and the owner’s wife scratched up some vittles to keep all the farm hands fed while we harvested into the night. I don’t know where these young dudes found the energy to keep going after the long, hot summer they endured to get the crops to this point. I guess the light at the end of the tunnel can be enough to keep you going when you are running on fumes.
Mimi had to fly home mid-week while I stayed the week with another buddy of mine who came to help the same day she flew out. It is fun and exhausting to be a part of a farm at harvest time. Lots of excitement in the air.
This Sunday will be the end of daylight-saving time. I understand a lot of people hate spring forward and fall back but to me it makes a lot of sense to do so. I get excited for the nights in the fall and winter and I get excited for the days in the spring and summer. I guess I like things to change from time to time or I tend to get stuck in the same ole routines if something doesn’t cause me to change.
My diet changes. My workout regime changes. My work day changes and my life after work changes when the time changes. Mimi and I enjoy being in our yard at night when it’s dark. We have developed some great places to eat our dinner outdoors, a cool place to hang out and listen to music and one another down by the pond and we have enough lighting around the yard to walk on our paths while we look at the plants at night and dream up more stuff we can do when the time changes back.
The early darkness allows for us to have fires both outside in a fire pit or inside in the fireplace. We love to build and hang out near a fire. Sunday morning changes are coming our way. We plan to make the most of a gardener’s time to relax and enjoy the fruits of our labor.