This week’s photo challenge asks us to wax nostalgic.
Frankly, I have no desire to return to my past. While there are memories of times and places and people that moulded me into the person I am today, that was then; this is now; life goes on.
A funny sentiment coming from someone who loves to read history.
Still, the best time of my life is happening now and this is where I choose to dwell.
Having said that, there is one place about which I feel particularly nostalgic.
A restless spirit, Granny was a bit of a nomad but spent most of her later years in a small town north of Edmonton, Alberta. She lived alone, but for the companionship of a small dog of one kind or another, and a steady clientele of farmer’s wives and school teachers who passed through her beauty parlour every week.
She was a survivor and, to the extent she was able after 27 years of marriage to her misogynist husband, my grandfather, she became a thriver.
Her place of solitude was her beautiful garden. Fortunately, having been raised on a farm, she’d been blessed with a green thumb, so through the short growing season she had what I remember to be a most luscious and productive flower garden and vegetable patch.
Hollyhocks, daisies, petunias, sunflowers, sweet peas, dahlias, marigolds gilded the air with a melange of fragrances. Her dreary town lot became a kaleidoscope of living colour in the summer months which, sadly, I never really appreciated until it was nothing more than a memory. Granny and I had a difficult relationship, the reason for which I won’t get into right now.
Her vegetable patch grew an abundance of beets, cucumbers, onions, peas, potatoes, carrots, lettuce and tomatoes, et al. During pickling season she could be seen hours on end standing over the hot stove canning her precious produce for a winter’s pickled feast. I can still recall shelves and shelves of Pickled Beets and Bread and Butter Pickles lining the walls of her anteroom.
And oh, how I loved her Green Tomato Relish.
I regret that I never had the chance to learn from granny about gardening or pickling. Again, too many things got in the way. Her recipe for Green Tomato Relish surfaced several years ago when I was going through one of her old cook books and, with the help of a friend, I attempted to make my own batch. It was lovely, but somehow it just didn’t taste the same.
These images are of flowers I recall seeing in granny’s garden. Sadly I have no photos from way back when. Still, when wandering through any floral paradise, I always think of my granny and the flowers in her garden.
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