La Maison et le Jardin nous Disent Au Revoir (the house and garden whisper good bye)

Clara Belle had smooth black fur and loved to sing to the television when singing shows came on. She had crossed eyes, and because of a spinal injury at birth, her back hips were wide and her feet turned inward. She was adorable. Clara was very shy around people she didn’t know. She lived at my shop for three years and I would always know that someone was suffering when they came in because as they stood perusing the shelves of medicines, she would plop down at their feet.

Our kitty lies beneath these stones where her spirit is free. We planted this rose bush above her and it swells with new flowers each day. Ma belle fleur.

Louie is out there too. There are smatterings of chickens and baby birds and a feral kitten I tried to save.

All gardens tell a story. This one whispers of a couple who moved to a new city a year and a half after losing everything, with heavy hearts and fatigue from working so hard to get back on their feet. Le maison was tired too, but its cozy adobe walls and wood floors welcomed the couple in. Le jardin was a dusty blank canvas of goat heads and crunched soil from cars parking on its crest.

The inside of the house got a fresh coat of paint and the gardens became overflowing beds of brightly colored flowers and months and months of delicious vegetables. Dozens upon dozens of medicinal herbs helped heal the land and the people of the city.

This house has been a great blessing to us and we will forever be grateful for the chance to live here. These gardens…they will stay in my heart. For each plant has a story- the rose bush that my husband brought me on Mother’s Day, the gooseberry bush I brought over from our farm long ago, the ancient roses that remind me of my grandma and great-grandma. Les joyeux sunflowers. This place is overflowing with life, infusing us with life as well.

I could not bear to paint over the growth chart of a little boy named Rowan inside the hall door. I started one for my granddaughter, Maryjane, on the opposite door. How she has grown. Over there is where Maryjane wanted Pa to build her a tree house and where the baby squirrels were born. That is where we set up the long table and hosted friends and family that year for Father’s Day and sang karaoke for the whole neighborhood. Every garden and every house has a story.

Tomorrow we move to a new house, land filled with natural western plants- wild and untouched. I can’t wait to hear their stories. To become a part of their story.


  1. Looking forward to reading and “watching” how you will create a beautiful surroundings for you, Doug and your family.
    Blessing to you!!


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