BY BEA WESTERBERG
Bloom, bloom, bloom
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”. A poster available on Amazon.
It’s been worth it to make it through the almost forever winter to be here to soak in, smell and see all the beauty of spring. The lilacs and so many other blooming plants, shrubs and trees are showing off their talents to bring us joy and giving a special touch to our everyday lives. The color factory has to be working overtime to give us that wide variety of colors. It is such a surprise for most of us to see an “ordinary” tree or bush suddenly sporting a huge batch of color. Sometimes it can be just a single object that catches our eye. Sometimes it can look like a color parade is going by. You can see that parade of blooming trees planted on the west side of the Hastings YMCA. It has been there for years but it still is a welcome “wow, look at that!” thing each spring. A number of the bloomers do show off their flowers first, and then get down to the business of growing leaves.
The clean up journey is almost to an end after the fire that took down the garage and shop on April 11. I no longer have to see and smell the effects of all that damage. Neighbor Tony and I have had an adventure filling 4 huge dumpsters with the remains and getting our hands on some treasures that made it through the fire. Most can’t be used for the purpose they were made for, but I have a very good collection of “art materials”. The concrete floor of the garage is still in place as I probably will be needing a parking space for winter. A new garage/shop may not be constructed until next year. If anyone knows of a miracle company or people who could do that project this year, let me know! It was miracle that we got the special dumpsters when we needed them. Right now I need another miracle to get the gravel that is needed to fill the area. EVERYONE is booked way into the future for almost every construction related job. I found out it was for real, not just something on the news.
I have had a few spare moments, so that I could get to the gardening sales areas. It is a lot of fun to just shop to see what is available. Oh what fun it would really be if one had an unlimited budget, space to the put the treasures and then maybe having someone on call to pick up on the care when that job gets old. I went in without a real plan and did end up getting a nice selection of plants. It took 2 more small trips to fill in areas that needed a bit more. There is an area by the She Shed that had a lot of annual grasses from last year that died and turned a light brown. They have roots down to China so I might just leave them to wave in the breeze and pretend that is the growing color and they are doing just fine. Maybe light brown flowers will be trending this year. Maybe I should be working promoting that idea so they do get to trending. The plant sales people no doubt would not be excited about that.
I also have another project going that is probably something that is not on your list of things to do. After a few years of not doing it, I decided it was time to clean out and redecorate the brick outhouse. Ted Chamberlain made the bricks so it a real treasure. All the old art work, wall paper, and magazines got tossed out, followed by a good hosing down. After a good dry time and scraping, I started painting. I will start doing 3 wall paper borders this week and Amazon will be bringing me some new art work. It also has a chandelier from a past decorating time. Neighbor Tony and his Bobcat did a wonderful job of removing all the old growth and broken down fencing around the area and I have planted the hollyhocks on the south side of the building. In the old days, one did not ask where the outhouse was, you just looked for the hollyhocks. There was not enough sun for them to grow well on my site, so now I hope that they will do much better. It is said that I have the only brick outhouse in Dakota County but I have no way of proving that. Please fill me in if I have that wrong!