I had the most wonderful morning yesterday, catching up with old and dear friends. M, a woman I've known since my earliest days in NH (an irrepressible, never-aging spirit like no other!), hosted a lovely brunch at her home. To give you some background on M, her youngest son, a "change of life baby" who was born many years after his next oldest sibling, was in my oldest son's kindergarten class and went all the way through grade school and high school with him. Anyway, five other ladies she'd invited, including me, sat around her dining room table drinking coffee, eating quiche and fruit, and reminiscing about old times. (Okay, full disclosure: there was also cheese Danish. And I may have partaken of some--you'll never know.)
There would have been more gals there, but during the summertime it's tough to find a day when people aren't on vacation or otherwise busy. That's why M always hosted a brunch like this right after the kids started each new school year. It was a given that during August we would all receive a hand-written invitation to her yearly "Back-to-School Get-Together." There was never a quiet moment at M's table when we all gathered there; we Catholic school moms had so much in common, so many shared experiences. It was a sad day when M's baby graduated from high school, and the rest of us younger moms realized that this yearly event we all looked forward to was going to end. How would we start the school year without it? But M continued the practice for at least a few years afterward, and then the tradition died a proud death...until yesterday.
If you read yesterday's post, and you know how weepy and sentimental thinking of days gone by makes me, you'll be surprised that I didn't break down in tears at the table. Especially because one of the ladies, who is also the mom of a boy who was in school from K-12 with my firstborn, is getting ready to move away. She and her husband are empty-nesters, and their four grown children have migrated west and south. They just packed up a house that they've lived in since before we ever met them.
I didn't cry, but I felt so blessed and happy getting to see all those women again--women I used to run into all the time when our kids were going through their school days. We met when most of our oldest children were barely older than my twin granddaughters are now. We never used to have to exchange pictures when we talked about our kids. But yesterday, we passed around wedding photos of our offspring, and oohed and aahed over how grown-up they all are. We filled each other in about their jobs and their current places of residence, and a million other things we never could have dreamed we'd be talking about 25 years ago. And of course, I also showed off many pictures of my three precious little granddaughters, feeling perhaps a bit too proud that other than M, who has grandchildren in college and even one who's married, I was the only one there who'd become a grandparent (so far).
I do hate to brag, ladies...okay, that's not true. I love to brag about those little sweetie-pies, and also the wee lad who's going to join them in October. Grammy for the W!
One thing M asked me about, shortly before we said our good-byes, was my gardening. My gardening?!? I sort of laughed and told her I might be many things, but a gardener wasn't one of them. She reminded me that once upon a time I'd talked about gardening at one of her brunches, and then I remembered that yes, I did try (for one or two summers, anyway) to turn my brown thumb green. Here's the story on that: it didn't take. The end. "I like perennials," I told her. "They grow like weeds, and weeds are the only types of vegetation I know how to grow."
So I'm going to end this post with some photos of my ever-flourishing perennial gardens. I know you'll be impressed.