Saturday, December 18, 2010


I return back to my writing and find that I have A LOT of posts that are still not published.....well with vacation now, I hope to remedy that situation:)  If I see something happening in the garden, I go out and snap the pics which will then go into the postings.  Winter break is here and I have been poisoned by children's presents of cookies, candies, chocolates.....and I feel fat.  It's too easy to be working on grades and eating the snacks by my computer....and it doesn't help that they are all tasty:)  I need to get in shape for our Panama trip in June.  It is one of the highlights next year as we are traveling to the Darien Gap, several islands, and a botanical garden north of Panama City.  It should be quite the adventure.

As I am writing this, I am watching my white kitty try and pull my tillandsias from their containers....which reminds me, I still need to find a place for them.  Impulse shopping...gotta love it!  They are pretty:)

In the gardens this week.  After a beautiful rain storm that soaked the grounds nicely, there are a LOT of leaves and acorns all over the grounds.  Tomorrow I will go out and take care of the disaster zone.  Roses continue to bloom in the CC Garden.  I am setting my sights on January when I will begin the cacti gardens in the front of our building.  I may start as early as today in finding large metal bins to spray paint.  It is going to look amazing when I am finished and I'll be adding a new thing to groom and care for in the garden....can't  wait to put that project together.  We'll also be removing two ficus trees from their planters that are destroying the side planters.....and hopefully save a palm that was misplaced in the gardens and is now also damaging the same side planter.

During this time of year, I start to reflect on all those who have come before us and are now gone.  I have to admit that I get a bit teary eyed thinking about my grandparents and the memories of all the people who I grew up with.  I love getting older, but I also hate saying good-bye to the ones who made a difference in my life.....that is the difficulty of aging.  Yes our health also plays a factor but I find it's the "missing" part that I find most challenging.  The garden right now is a reminder of the cycle that plays out around us in nature.  Death, life, and continuation.......

Why this thought?  Simple.  Christmas music.  Music links us to childhood memories and Christmas music is no exception.  I hear a song from Bing Crosby and I think of that dinner on Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's house.....or that side dish or conversation we had sitting around the table.  I realized at an early age that Christmas wasn't about was about us coming together and the traditions we shared together as a family unit.  I was in about 3rd grade when I realized why I love this time of year so much and why I hated to see it go so quickly. I think I opened up my present, which was the Ewok Village from Star Wars, and got super excited as I looked forward to playing with my little ewoks and action figures in the woods with all the cool traps and tree homes.  My Dad was helping me put it together and I thought, "I love that my Dad is here helping me."  I loved how my little brothers and sisters became excited about opening up their presents....and it was more fun watching them scream and jump around then it was for me. That's when Christmas began to change for me...

My Freshman year was the hardest and I will never forget it as it was the first Christmas without a major family Grandpa.  His passing at the early age of 55 changed Christmas forever.  It would never be the same again nor has it been.  I think I learned from that point how to cherish every moment with a cup of coffee and just watch life happen before my eyes.  Several years ago I was back in Wisconsin while my Grandma Rohrer was still alive.  I somehow knew it would be her last Christmas and I went outside in a warm snowfall and watched my family together around the Christmas parents, my uncle and aunt, my Grandma's godchild, Pat, (she was older and was very close with my Grandmother) with her husband, and  of course, Grandma.  It was the most beautiful thing to see.  One of my younger siblings came outside and asked what I was doing out there and I told them to look into the window and to take in the moment.  I don't know if they understood what I meant by saying it as we take so many things in life for granted.  I told her that this rare moment wouldn't happen was like her Goddaughter knew they were saying good-bye for the last time and of course we didn't think that way and certainly not my father. My Grandmother and Pat wrote to each other for years and years from Wisconsin to California.  Pat, Grandma's godchild, would call her every Sunday to share with her the latest in Glen Ellen and Grandma would talk about the happenings on the Lakeshore....and of course talk about what all Cheeseheads love to talk about.....the weather and football....and deer hunting....and food.:)

I think the older we get, the more we feel....the more we put detail into our work and own lives because it's about what we leave behind.  I feel like some of those wonderful things are getting left behind in our technological times.....and there are pros and cons to it all. So just imagine yourselves younger and look back at all that has happened over the past 10, 20, 30, 40, and more years!  So much change has happened in our world......

So why did I write all this?  Simple.  A neighborhood called Winterhaven in Tucson becomes a winter wonderland for thousands of Tucsonans every year.  It is a neighborhood of the green green evergreen gardens (thanks to several springs that feed the area). When homesick, if you are a transplant like I am, this place will take you back to another place and time.  Here are the highlights from this year's event.  I hope you enjoy.  It ends Dec. 26th. Below is a sampling of what you'll see in this really unique Tucson Neighborhood.  Who says you can't celebrate the holidays in the desert?


  1. Wonderful post! There are many people who will be with me and my family in spirit only this Christmas. I'm past the sadness, just richer for knowing that each moment with people you love is enormous. Cliched? Probably, but also true! Merry Christmas!

  2. This is a great post. I'm glad you were able to express all these beautiful thoughts about time, childhood, family, those we've lost, traditions, etc. There's definitly something about this time of year that is so emotional - happy and sad - and very very nostalgic.

    I work in a school too - I can relate to all the treats and feeling fat too. That usually puts a damper on things. I'd for once like to just feel healthy and energetic through the holidays. You know what, I might make that resolution right now.

  3. Great post. I can identify with every part, especially those teacher treats and the computer grades since I'm a teacher as well. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year! Merry Christmas.
    Wow! A trip to Panama. I'm envious.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

  4. Enjoyed your video :-D Thanks. I love those decor lighting in the second pic. Very special.

    Have the most memorable Christmas!


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