Although Julie and I repeated the normal "Until death do us part" wedding vows, the real wedding promise was made beforehand.
I told Julie that while I didn't know how we would get along she could rest assured that her two children would love me and she would have the nicest yard in the neighborhood. I didn't tell her she would have to do the work!
Keeping the yard promise this year has been difficult. Between a bout of depression from an aborted bike trip, three weeks of flu with a viral infection and a virus caused heart attack, I haven't done much of anything, including yard work.
Leaves of three, leave it be! Julie minded this boy scout caution and had me pull some posion ivy for her. I had it so often and so bad as a child I have built up an immunity. Yes, I still used gloves and wore a long sleeve shirt. Otherwise, Julie has done all the yard work from planting flowers to clipping the hedges.
Fifth Street NW in Barberton is a typical all-American neighborhood. Tree lined with mostly maples, the houses were built a bit over a hundred years ago. All the houses on our block are owner occupied excepting one.
We used to rent out this house but decided to downgrade to this smaller house for retirement. It is a small home but we had it refurbished inside and out and had it professionally decorated by Ethan Allen. It is relatively inexpensive, easy to maintain and a source of pride.
When people drive by 280 Fifth St. NW, our address, their attention is drawn to our house. From the rock garden around the big maple tree to the walkway to the porch, beauty abounds.
When we give directions to our house we tell people it is across the street from St. Andrews Epistisicoal Church, the house with the wicker furniture and the flowers. The porch stands out.
The doorway to 280 Fifth St. NW has four welcome signs. When we have a group dinner we print the menu which extends to our guests the "warmest of welcomes". In addition to the four signs at the door there are multiple welcome signs in every room.
The yard is framed with plantings and the steps hold two beautiful potted plants. The door way has a beautiful colieus, Julie's pride and joy.
Every man needs a throne and mine is in the rocking chair to the right of the steps. I can and do spend hours in this chair, sometimes reading and sometimes just watching as the world goes by. I love it late at night or the wee hours of the morning.
From the floor to eye level flowers abound. Every year Julie selects different hanging plants. This year she has gone to pink and they are beautiful. She shops carefully and is as proud of the price she pays as she is of the flower its self.
Julie likes frogs. I do too but I prefer mine cooked! Or, maybe on a fishing hook? UMMM. She has a frog in every nook and cranny of the porch, in the pots and in the gardens. I broke the protruding eye out of this treasure that sets atop of our milk can. I keep putting a flower in the empty eye socket but she keeps taking the flower out. Wants to keep the guilt trip alive. UMMMMM again! I told her she should be ashamed for the porno frogs but she insists they are just playing leap frog. I REPORT. YOU DECIDE!
Our porch, an important part of our home when we entertain, has two couchs and two chairs. We often need to add a couple chairs on the porch from the dining room for a large number of family or friends. I very frequently set on the porch very late at night when the neighborhood is silent. I love it when it rains and am thrilled when it thunderstorms.
One of Julie's favorite flowers is her hisbiscus plants. In this picture they have just completed a flowering cycle and are bare. I counted 36 flower buds forming on just one plant. In a week or so each bud will be a huge, six inch, pink flower. It will be spectacular. The pink hisbiscus is underplanted with pink vinca.
The back deck and small back yard is likewise covered with flowers, hanging plants and an underplanted fountain. The patio by the side of the garage has a large stone waterfall. The patio needs attention and the deck needs painting. Oh, well!
Unlike me, Julie has so few faults, being addicted to flowers being one of them. Yes, the wedding vows also included the words "for better or for worse" so I guess I'll keep her. Hmm!
Old Chinese Proverb:
"When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one and a lily with the other".
PS: I dearly love it when I get a comment before I even finish the blog. Thanks Cheryl. Yell, tell me about those frogs!