Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Goodbye Garden, Yard and Pool

The decision was seemingly sudden and overwhelming but we all knew that it was time to move Dad out of the house that he and Mom have owned for over 40 years. Now that Mom was settled into a Quaker-run nursing facility, it was time to face the monumental task of packing and sorting (and burying-more on that later) the house with all of the memories and the 40 years of belongings.
With a stale bag of chips in my hand, I stood looking out over the yard and watched in horror as a huge bulldozer tore through my mother's beautiful gardens. My Dad's realtor had recommended that it would be much easier to sell the house if the yard/gardens and pool were leveled and buried. WHAT?! Dad agreed. And so it was done. I just so happened to arrive the very day this was happening. I was hoping to salvage something but quickly realized that I was helpless so I impulsively grabbed that really old bag of chips in the kitchen (Mom always kept them in a Charlie's Chip can but now they were hanging from a basket on a shelf) thinking I would find some sort of comfort. There was no comfort to be had. I kind of just stood there and watched and sobbed and ate those horrible chips.
I hated that bulldozer. It ripped and tore and dragged and buried everything. Doesn't it know my Mom worked so hard to create this peaceful landscape? Doesn't it know that we played Marco Polo and skinny dipped at night in that pool? What about the whiffle ball games and the smoked turkey that Dad would make? What is happening? Why is everything being buried? Dear God don't let my mother know that her gardens are destroyed! I will never tell her. Stupid bag of stale chips.
I feel very, very, very sorry for that man who stopped by the job (burial) site to check on the progress of his Bulldozer. I think, I'm not really sure, but I'm pretty positive that my eyes bulged, my veins popped, my skin changed color and awful, awful things came out of my mouth when I saw him. I'm claiming temporary insanity. It was bad. I remember him walking (actually he ran) back to his car and sped off. I did feel immensely better, though until I turned around and everything was gone: pool shed, pool furniture, trees, gardens, bricks, fence, gate, childhood. Gone. Buried. What?! I'm so sorry Mom. I'm so sorry Dad. Stupid bag of chips.
I said my goodbye and left. I haven't been back-it's too painful. Memories are a good thing.


  1. This must be the same Charlie's Chip can I saw in your kitchen.

  2. Garden-not gone entirely. Some remnants managed to make their way through kind gardening hands-Martha's--Lilies to be precise. Transplanted lovingly to my new garden. I often think about your Mom when I'm weeding in there-13 of them-beautiful lilies, blooming, thriving, reminding me of those devoted gardners-Martha and her mother.

  3. Thanks for sharing Marfie! I have fond memories myself of their house and yard(sherbet floats by the pool, hanging out in the basement,picking apples on the tree out front so Grandmom could teach me how to make an apple pie and OF COURSE the Charlie Chip can that would be brought out for hoagies at lunch!)I WILL ALWAYS cherish these memories!