This is the first chocolate tomato harvested this year. If the birds do not get to them before we do, there should be many more, along with other types of heirloom tomato goodies. I fell in love once with a tomato called Cherokee Purple, An old Cherokee Indian heirloom, pre-1890 variety; it has a beautiful deep dusky purple-rosy red color and sweet flavor. And so I began to learn more about heirloom plants in general, and especially tomatoes. I love them for their stories, for their names, and for the adventure of growing them. They are not as hardy as the recently hybridized tomatoes. In addition to these 2, this year we have Brandywine, Louisiana Pink, Eva Purple Ball, and Kosovo plus a yellow heirloom I failed to tag. No, we don't have a large garden, only 1 or 2 plants of each. Joe, Ben, and my daughter in law Kristen do most of the work, and I get to pick a tomato or two and enjoy the benefits. Nora, at 3, already loves harvesting cucumbers and tomatoes and peppers with her mom.
I find heirloom plants intriguing, and am thankful for the pleasure gardening brings to all of us. I believe the love of gardening is another heirloom, one passed down to me and mine from my parents and grandparents, who first showed me how to garden, but also introduced me to delicious fresh food on our table. Long before the current farm to table trends, I knew that eating local (as in very local, our own garden) tasted better and helped to keep us healthy.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Friday, February 24, 2017
This is my father, Oliver Parker. Daddy and his twin sister, Dora, were born 112 years ago today on February 17, 1905. All of my family loved and are so proud of this great man in our lives and we miss him very, very much. This is a picture of Daddy at about age 12 with a friend.
Note: My father-in-law, Oliver Parker, passed away before Joe and I were married, so I never met him. But he left a legacy of hard work, perserverance, faith, and love as communicated through the years to me by my husband and his brothers and sister. Now there is another Oliver Parker, his great grandson who bears his name - our baby grandson, Oliver Hilton Parker!
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Ky and ClydeIn the week that leads up to Valentine's Day, I am reflecting about the couples and marriages that have been part of my understanding of love and commitment. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents and my parents had the "until death do us part" kind of marriage. And since they lived a fairly long time, that meant many years together.
The photograph above is one of the last ones I have of both of them. It has been stored away for many years, and Joe's scanning project brought it to my attention again. I am so grateful for these two and their love for me. I remember Papa's hearty laugh, his toothless grin, the way he bent down low over a small radio to listen to baseball games. I remember Grandma's hands kneading biscuit dough, scattering scraps for the chickens, tucking me into a feather bed, doing fine needlework and quilting, the way she lived out her faith. Life was not easy for them. They had few comfortable amenities, and a great deal of heartbreak. But they did their best and shared what they did have. Ky's birthday, February 17(1885), and Clyde's on March 15 (1887) prompt me to think of them with great respect and admiration. They were married in 1905, and were together until Ky's death in 1965, a month short of his 80th birthday. Clyde lived on for another 12 years, dying in 1977. Their 60 years of marriage is a tribute to making a life together.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Christmastime is a time for reflection , remembering, and for savoring moments of love and tenderness. I love watching my sons with their daughters. I love watching my granddaughters with their Daddies. In this photo, Jordann has found a sweet safe place in Jeremy's arms. Both of our two older sons have 2 daughters, and now our youngest son and his wife are expecting their own little girl. When baby Nora arrives in the Spring, she will have a circle of girl cousins to welcome her and the adoring attention of her Mother, Grandparents, and Aunts and Uncles. But I can hardly wait to see her Daddy hold her.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
October 19, 2013
Tonight I am in Tyler, Texas – the city of my birth almost 73 years ago. As I stand looking out on the busy street below my hotel room window, I think of my mother and father and the small clinic where I was born. Tomorrow would have been Mother's 100th birthday so we will go to visit her grave in a small cemetery in Bullard, Texas - a small town south of here where both my maternal and paternal grandparents lived, and where Mother and Daddy met and were married, and where their remains lie, marked by a single piece of granite. The cemetery is the burial place for many others of my relatives, and is a place I visit not out of obligation or of belief that I am visiting them, but as a sign of respect and a way of keeping our family story. A way of saying “I remember.”
Today is also a day that I gave birth to our second son, who was born only minutes before midnight the night before what was then my mother's 67th birthday. She came shortly after his birth and welcomed her newest grandchild and splendid birthday gift. Birthing day and all his boyhood birthdays, these too, remembered.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Thursday, February 28, 2013
The Redbuds are blooming. Easter is on the way.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Howard Teal and his first grandson, Sean Parker, Christmas 1968
This picture speaks to me of Christmas past and Christmas present, even Christmas yet to come. My Daddy is holding our first son. How proud he was! Sean loved his Papa, and already loved books. They are delighting each other with the reading of The Night Before Christmas. Can't you hear "...up the chimney he rose?" With this book, as in most, arriving at the last page meant "again, read it again!"
So, as I bring in the boxes of decorations and begin pulling out all the old familiar ornaments and set up the manger scenes, I am brimming with both tears and smiles, thinking how good it is to do it again. I set up our advent wreath and candles and fill the big basket with all the children's Christmas books read and reread so many times. I stack my Christmas piano music and practice the arrangements of White Christmas and Silent Night that I have played for so many years now. I am thankful that I did most purchases for gifts before Thanksgiving, so that shopping is not on my to do list, and I can spend more time re-calibrating during Advent. I listen to my favorite Christmas CD, James Galway's Christmas Carol. On the way to Bethlehem, again.