PRUNE THE GOOSE, DEMOLITION + OTHER SMALL JOYS

 
mother and child by samantha spigos
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daughter and father enjoy morning coffee by samantha spigos
daughter and father enjoy morning coffee by samantha spigos
daughter and mother enjoy morning coffee by samantha spigos
daughter and mother enjoy morning coffee by samantha spigos
dismantling a ramp outdoors by samantha spigos
dismantling a ramp outdoors by samantha spigos
dismantling a ramp outdoors by samantha spigos
babies at a water table by samantha spigos
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Today is Mariellen’s birthday. It would have been her 87th year this side of heaven. Instead, we have filled the rooms of her home with growth and vibrancy, and lately those same qualities have been finding their way to the flower beds, Ghost’s grave, the onion patch, et al. Yesterday was Mary Frances’s birthday. The queen of my heart and, by all scientific measures, an actual earth angel. We ate rhubarb pie together, the unofficial food patron of our family. Tomorrow is Janet’s birthday. A Chicagoan who blessedly moved to Ohio and raised the man I love most on Earth, plus flower beds that you’d swear sing with gladness. Grandmother, Mother, Mother-in-law: the marvelous trifecta of matriarchal birthdays.

I’m taking notice of this abiding peace. It is settling somewhere that I hope can’t be, or won’t be, easily penetrated. Decisions made in the name of Family and Hope and Possibility are bearing ripe and abundant fruit. Certainly nothing exotic. The boys dismantled a ramp with hammers and drills and saws, while I readied an “orange plate” consisting of every orange-colored provision I could find, and my sister set up a Slip ‘N’ Slide. When the work was finished the little ones made haste to throw on their swimsuits; as for mine, she waited exactly five minutes before pooing in her brand new swimsuit. Like I said, nothing exotic. But good, good, good.

A too-early morning with a too-full heart, if such a thing exists. Prune is settling in nicely; it is as though the spot between the rose bush and the bird feeder was waiting for a concrete goose. The sparrows don’t mind her and, oh! would you believe it, a grey catbird came to visit — a first. Subtle changes, big feelings.


“There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.”

— Gerard Manley Hopkins


—S

THIS WEEK IN FLOWERS

 
seasonal flowers in an east fork pottery egg vase by samantha spigos
seasonal flowers in an east fork pottery egg vase by samantha spigos

“You may not be rich;

you may be unable to bequeath any great possessions to your children;

but one thing you can give them is the heritage of your blessing.

And it is better to be blessed than to be rich.”

— Saint Ambrose


+ More wisdom from the saints to be found in this favorite guidebook.
+ “I must have flowers, always, and always.”
+ Swiss Blue.

This Week in Flowers is a series where I combine my love of arranging fresh flowers with my love of books. It is a simple way to share with you what's in season around me, and what words I'm finding particularly inspiring. What books do you love that I ought to know about? 

last time in This Week In Flowers: Guess How Much I Love You


—S

A HANDFUL OF: BOARD BOOKS FOR SPRING

 
board books for spring by samantha spigos
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Board books befitting of spring . . .

+ Fly! by Xavier Deneux — tactile, big, with a sweet tale of spring for the birds
+ A New Day by Ronald Heuninck — a wordless book with beautiful, serene depictions of daily life for a child
+ Spring by Gerda Muller — a true favorite; sweet spring scenes in a wordless book
+ The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter — to have a children’s library is to have Beatrix Potter included
+ My First Root Children by Sibylle Von Olfers — a folk tale with a tender, earth-loving message
+ Squirrel is Hungry by Satoshi Kitamura — a very basic, colorful story that my kid cannot get enough of
+ The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Brown / illustrated by Clement Hurd — mother / child embodiment
+ Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney / illustrated by Anita Jeram — a father / child love story

These days we do a lot of reading, or looking at, or tossing of books. Rather than worrying about practicing gentleness with books quite yet, I have put away all the paper books in the house and leave board books within easy reach. These are the ones Rosemary has been gravitating towards and handing to me most frequently.

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P.S. I have included sources for purchase that I personally use. I do not receive any form of commission from these companies, but genuinely hope you’ll consider supporting small(er) companies when you look to adding new books.


—S

ON MAY + THE FIRST ICED COFFEE

 
iced coffee pourover and stoneware cup by samantha spigos
iced coffee with cream spilling over a stoneware cup by samantha spigos

Iced coffee season is upon us. April turned May, officially closing the maybe-fullest month of my life. We spent the final hours of April stripping the remnants of wallpaper from a room that is asking to become a dining room. Stripping wallpaper, at least the way we did it (hot water + fabric softener + elbow grease + some cursing), reminded us of our days renovating Pink Cameron. When we bought the house at the beginning of the month, we anticipated moving quickly on several indoor / outdoor house projects. What we did not foresee was just how many hours each would take, or how much my belly would grow, or that we would be burying our cat at the end of the same month. It was a month of joy and grief. Spring waits for no one, and so we propel onward.

May brought seventy degrees and sunshine, which necessitates two things: stepping outside and drinking iced coffee. Also, the fence crew arrived, which means soon our Very Fast Child will get to roam around without her mom and dad on her tail every step of the way. I truly cannot wait to simply observe her in the outdoors—not monitor or direct her footing so that she doesn’t hurl herself into the road, but just observe her.

white vinyl fence posts by samantha spigos
child with phlox against a brick house by samantha spigos

One more thing: our Main Street is lined with ornamental pear trees, from which delicate white petals have been cascading onto the sidewalks, atop cars, and through open windows. It’s heavenly. Mark called it our very own Macondo.

Wishing you a very exuberant and grounded May. What small wonders are surrounding you?


—S