This spring, having a gorgeously sunny warm day in April like the one we had today is cause for rejoicing and celebration. So we did. We invited my mom and dad, grandma, Kara and Adam, and Jenna out to the house for a cookout. We had barbecued chicken breasts, hamburgers, potato salad, California Blend vegetables, seedless red grapes (which tasted strangely like mulberries), and Apple Crisp with ice cream for dessert.
While the weather was something to celebrate, it was Kara's birthday for which we actually had this little party. Our firstborn will be 27 years old on Tuesday.
This is an amazing thing, the growing older of one's children. By the time I was Kara's age, I had a four-year-old and a two-year-old, and while I can remember both of the girls at those ages like it was yesterday, it also seems like another lifetime ago when I think in terms of myself.
I'd like to think that I'm the same person I was back then, but of course, I'm not. It's impossible to go through raising two children from birth through college then releasing them to make their own way in the world and not be changed. Just as our children change and grow, so do we and this is what keeps life interesting.
After we had our lunch, we took off for a walk in the woods to see what wildflowers were in bloom now. We went back to Oklahoma, the little woods down the road, and just like two weeks ago the woodland floor was covered with all kinds of wildflowers. Still some Dutchman's Breeches here and there, Spring Beauty and Trilliums everywhere, and a few Trout lilies scattered at the base of several trees. But there was something new!
Wild ginger (Asarum canadense) was quite abundant and just coming into bloom. I'd seen the foliage many times before, in many places, but never its unique bloom. I don't think I even knew it flowered before I saw a photo of it last year. Close-up, it looks like someone split open its fuzzy round bubble and peeled it back just enough to reveal the kaleidoscopic image inside.
Cunningham's Ditch, which runs behind our house, has many colonies of wild ginger growing all along its wooded banks. Before I became so interested in gardening, I'd taken this for granted and gave it no more than a passing glance and noted that it was there. All these years, I'd missed the unique flower hiding under its heart-shaped leaves.
Among her gifts, Kara got a Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood') from Adam, and some Fiskars pruners and a gift card to Lowe's from Jenna. We all remarked how different her birthday presents were now, compared to just a few short years ago. There's that change and growth again...
Speaking of growth, Kara's Buckeye (Aesculus glabra) tree that my mom and dad gave us when Kara was born, has more than tripled in size since it was planted 27 years ago. At five feet ten inches tall, so has Kara.
It was a great spring day !