Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sunflower Story

So many have commented on my sunflower, I will tell you the story of how we started a yearly tradition of a sunflower garden.

Along with being a Mom for many years, I was also a teaching assistant at a neighborhood school. I was a reading aide for the first grade classes, working with the kids who were struggling. I also spent time doing prep work for the teachers and working along side them in the classroom. I did this for almost 17 years. No teaching degree for me but I WAS and always will be a teacher.

When my DD and her husband decided to have a family, they asked me if I would take the baby when she went back to work. I was a stay at home Mom and the very thought that our grand baby would go to day care was more than I could handle. So, I quit my job and baby Julia came to stay when she was about three months old. I loved it, loved sitting on the patio swing rocking that baby.

As she got older, we started doing fun things. I decided one spring to teach her about seeds........the renewal of life more or less. So we went to Target and bought cups and soil and several seed packets so she could see that not all seeds looked the same. (man was the teacher coming out in this Nana!) We planted and watered and things did wonderful. Then the great white hunter (also known as Papa) asked what I was planning to do with all those wonderful sprouted plants???

I told him that I had no idea, when we did it at school, we just sent the plants home with the kids. I had not planned past my big teaching moment! So, being the special guy that he is, he spent a solid week building us a raised bed with landscape timbers in the back yard. We planted all our sprouts and had great sunflowers and cucumbers and squash plus a green pepper plant and tomato. It was a wonderful spring for us all, especially Julia who was so proud of her garden.

The great white hunter lost his job in a big corporate downsize during this time so was home with Julia and I. We were a great three some, and became a four some when Colin joined us two years after Julia. When he did find work, it was second shift so we had time together every morning.

Every year we make a trip to buy soil and seeds and plant our sprouts. Then we transfer them into the two new raised beds that thegwh built, complete with a watering system and a way to cover the more tender plants when the heat hits.

In the spring, I look out my kitchen window and enjoy the sunflowers. The birds flock to the garden and have a feast. And I give many thanks for the blessing of my husband, those sweet babies and sunflowers.


Amelia said...

What a wonderful story.

I love sunflowers! I have a vanity tag on the front of my car that says"Sunflower" - plus I have a large collection of sunflower "dust collectors" on several shelves. If you want, look at my flickr pictures and you can see a sunflower that came up last year from birdseed that contained sunflower seeds.My kitchen has sunflower things in it too.

Kristie said...

That is such a sweet story about the grandchildren and your sunflowers. My mom has that connection with my oldest son, she watched him while I worked. I am fortunate enough to get to stay home now, with both boys.

QuiltingFitzy said...

Gotta see the spread on of these days. I haven't figured out the flora here yet!

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Sunflowers and children - a magic combination! What a happy post!

KCQuilter said...

Loved, loved, loved reading your post this morning! As a retired teacher, I can only say it's never too late to get that teaching degree! We need more teachers like you who have that spark for making learning fun. Lucky grandkids!

Beth said...

I LOVE the story! We used to love to see fields and fields of sunflowers in our 5 years in Spain. The Spanish people LOVE sunflower seeds..and you can tell when you drive in the countryside! All those sunny faces turned toward the sun...Wish I had grands to plant with ! (SOMEday!!!)