6/21/10

The Funny Farm, Revisited.


There are many things that my sister and I have in common, and one of them is our love of flowers. I’m sure it’s because our mother adored her garden, and spent many hours weeding, planting, rearranging and sculpting her plants. We both do the same now, perhaps because in our hearts we feel it brings us a bit closer to her.

I recently spent a soggy week visiting said sister in her lovely coastal town in Connecticut. (I mean Washington State. ) From the moment I arrived, she kept insisting that we visit a local nursery she discovered called “The Funny Farm.”

“We HAVE to go to the funny farm! You will love it. It’s just down the road from here – a couple miles.”

“K, I LIVE at the funny farm, why would I want to visit one?”

I could see that she was very excited about this little adventure and as an avid gardener, I couldn’t wait.

We drove to the nursery and on the way she told me the story about how this couple originally lived in New York City and would come to their farm on the weekends. This weekend hobby quickly turned into their full time love – and they chucked it all and moved to the farm lock stock and barrel.They acquired several horses (Gin and Tonic) , a donkey, a miniature horse, huge dogs, a billion chickens and turned a small pond with a few frogs into an incredible work of art involving HUNDREDS of frogs, including a large granddaddy who frankly scared me to death. (He could not POSSIBLY be real. I feared for my life, people.)

We parked our car and walked among the many plants that were blooming in all their splendid glory. I noticed a woman standing with her back towards us holding a hose, and knew instantly that this was one of the owners. Her black hair was pulled into a ponytail, with a little teased hair peeking out at the top from underneath a silk headband. We approached her, and when she turned around to greet us with a smile my heart stopped.


I found myself frozen, staring into the face of my mother.


My sister introduced us, and I listened as she and my sister chatted – and then I laughed as she shared a funny anecdote about her husband - Bob. (My father’s name…)


I knew she would have a sense of humor.


She gave us a tour of the farm, and we walked and laughed and were genuinely impressed by this amazing combination of nursery/antique shop/petting zoo and frog extravaganza that they’ve managed to create.

When K and I prepared to leave Claudia rushed over with free plants for us (there are amazing people all OVER this country) and one last smile and chuckle before she sent us on our way.


As we pulled out of the driveway I turned to my sister and said, “K!!! I can’t believe it. She looks and acts EXACTLY like mom!!!”


“I know! I know!! I couldn’t WAIT to see your face when you saw her." And smiled.


We rode quietly for a few minutes, both of us lost for a time in a sea of memory.


Quite a nice, lovely, happy sea.


(Yes, it's a repost. However, we are mourning the loss of a beloved uncle, and I will be diving headfirst into a sea of memory, love, grief and loss. Hold my aunt and her family in your prayers as we travel this familiar, yet painful road.)



23 comments:

Rick Daley said...

It's very cool that you and your sister could share that moment.

Cheryl said...

Sorry for your loss. The road seems to becoming more familiar and well-traveled the longer we live and we love.

yogurt said...

My condolences, VM. Here's hoping for a safe journey and the comfort of loved ones.

Steven Anthony said...

Im so sorry for your loss, you all are in my thoughts and prayers.

what a priceless memory you shared with your sister.

hugs

Brian Miller said...

what a cool experience VM...

sorry for your loss...you are in our thoughts and prayers...

Gigi said...

It's utterly amazing when moments like this happen! So sorry for your loss & will be thinking of you...

On a totally different note-frogs freak me out! Now, going to bed with the thought of the grandaddy of frogs... Thanks for the nightmares that are about to ensue...

noexcuses said...

What an incredible experience! The hairs on the back of my neck just popped up! I'm happy you could relive a happy time of your life.

You are in my thoughts an prayers.

The Wife of a Dairyman ~ Nancy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss...

What a cool story about the Funny Farm. I bet you can't wait to go back for a visit.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Wonderful experience to have and remember. Good thoughts from here as you console and be consoled.

Anonymous said...

知道他有了外遇
面對他的低聲下氣妳冷嘲熱諷、無理取鬧
妳瘋狂似的大吵大鬧
甚至到他的公司去亂、向他的親友抱怨、向鄰居們哭訴…
妳把他的外遇鬧的人盡皆知
最後,妳把他的愧疚消耗殆盡…
最後,妳把他想要回頭的念頭打消…
最後,妳自己把他推向外遇的第三者身邊…

The Professional Family Manager said...

I am sorry to read about your loss. What a wonderful afternoon, though! Sounds like the "funny farm" is a great place...except for the frogs. :-)

Elenka said...

So, so sorry about your Uncle. I hope everyone finds some peace.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

This was a new post to me and it was amazing! How cool is that!
I'm so sorry you're experiencing sorrow in your family. Hang in there. xo

a Broad said...

Oh this is so touching in so many ways !
That your sister did this, that she found such pleasure in surprising you and introducing you to these people and this place, and that you found glimpses of your mother in this woman..
My sincere condolences on the loss of your Uncle. Muchas besos,Candice

Laura said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your uncle. Thanks for re-posting this...I loved it the first time, too! <<>>

Laura said...

That was supposed to say "Hugs" inside those brackets...I don't know what happened!

The Empress said...

I'm so sorry. I hate grief, the pain, deep deep pain of it all.

I'll think of you and your aunt's familyl.

jessica said...

god it hurts doesn't it? little things remind me of the mother i lost in october and sometimes i laugh, sometimes i cry, sometimes both. it comes in waves and they almost always knock me down.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh honey, I'm sorry for the loss of your Uncle. I'm holding you and your family in my heart and prayers.

Great story about the funny farm :-)

jj

feefifoto said...

Sorry for your loss.

My sister and I occasionally see strangers who remind us distinctly of one or another of our grandparents or a beloved friend we lost about seven years ago. Whenever I see one of these people I feel a strong urge to give them a loving hug; so far I've resisted.

RottenMom said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your Uncle. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. XO

slow panic said...

beautiful.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Loved your funny farm story..very cool.
I am sorry to hear of a death in your family..as we get older we seem to go to the Funeral Home on a regular basis..sucks to get old and die:(