Thursday, July 2, 2009

His Garden Grew Quite Well

This is the backyard of my neighbors. They have been my neighbors for 24 years or so. He was the principal who hired the Mr. and me. We taught for several years before we purchased our home and became their neighbors. They watched our girls go from skipping off to school together to backing a car (rather badly at times) down the drive. So they watched our girls grow, and our family enjoyed their beautiful yard.
Their yard has been a haven for birds, squirrels, and flowers. They've hosted wienie roasts and backyard camp outs. Back in the day- they had a huge garden, and every fall our neighbor/principal would create a fall display with a corn stalk tepee, pumpkins, Indian corn, and squash. A lot of the pictures of flowers and bird houses that I've posted this spring were taken in their show-place of a yard.

These days, their yard is tended by the neighbor wife. It is a lot of work for her. She has always done a lot of the outdoor work, but she and her husband made a good team. Now she does the work alone. Her husband and my former principal is in the nursing home here in town. It has been hard watching him deteriorate. You can tell he knows what he wants to say, but can't formulate the words to speak or write. Always a bright man, his mind is still functioning but he can't communicate.
I'm thinking of making a slide show of all the pictures I have taken of his yard and taking my laptop to the nursing home so he can see how beautiful his yard is this year. His yard and gardens were always his pride and joy. Well, his yard-- and the generation after generation of kids that he nurtured through our school system. It is kind of a toss up. This is a man who took pride in his work. He nurtured quite a few teachers, too. I was lucky enough to have been one of them.
His flowers? His students? His teachers? All doing quite well, thanks to him.


Gayle said...

I think that is a lovely idea. I'm guessing he would love to see a slide show of his yard.

elk said...

lump in my throat reading this...sigh

ols1 said...

He will love the photos - you have written a lovely blog about him - he is lucky that you bring his good work to everyone's notice - you are a lovely neighbour.

Nathalie Thompson said...

Lovely post. It's wonderful to know someone for so long through the happy as well as the sad milestones. I've kept in touch with my 4th grade teacher for about 36 years now and our correspondence is entering the bittersweet stage. I'm her only student who has kept up with her that way and it's been a wonderful journey for both of us. Thanks for the reminder.