While Amy was here we went back to the cemetery and made pictures of Mama Nick's flowers. Her casket blanket was pink roses and buds, and stargazer lilies. Her favorite combination - pink and roses. Sandra did a good job with the blanket and granddaughters' spray to match.
Today was beautiful and spring-warm, so I asked Paul if we could pull up the old shrubs in front of the house. I suggested that Mike might help him and he brought his 4-wheel drive truck and come-along and pull up shrubs they did! Later Mike brought his flatbed trailer (and tractor, which they said they didn't use much) and they loaded all but one shrub onto it. He plans to feed the greenery (some kind of evergreen shrubs) to his goats and put the branches down his ditchbank - big root balls so they'll be some filler. The ground was wet, but soft and much easier to get them up than to wait for summer. It will soon be time to plant shrubs and I'm thinking about something with maroon or in that color family - nandina (has dark berries) is a pretty shrub. So is lorapetalum, more purple/fuschia, though. I thought about dark pink/red and white azales (Mississippi State colors!), and there is a type that blooms more than once a year. One huge shrub with a dense trunk had to be cut off, but I plan to make some kind of little garden around it - maybe a concrete figure on the stump. My petunias from Aunt Ginny are still green as they were protected under it and in flower pots through the cold days, and jonquils are coming up. The shrub has been encircled with bricks and I may leave those for sentimental reasons. I would like to have pavers or landscape timber enclosing the shrubs. Shutters and the old front screen door (yes, a screen door with a spring on it, and a hook, and bangs shut!) need to be painted and I'm thinking maroon or burgundy. It'll cheer up the buff brick. Just a pretty day with lots of outdoor plans. Oh - the one shrub we didn't have hauled off is small and we replanted it down in the back yard, in Mama Nick's memory.
Mid-day Paul, Amy and I cleaned out a little ditch below the house. It has a natural flow to the right-of-way ditch beside the county road. Pine straw had clogged it and there was a pond at the beginning of the low garden road that goes up through the pines.
This afternoon I went to Sandra's and got a few of the potted plants and a pretty picture with a poem that our church had sent for the funeral. I put it near the picture of Mama Nick we used at the visitation. She, Carol and I were all agreeable about dividing up the plants and other memorials. I got Sherron, Melanie and Jordan's pretty fern they sent; a pottery pitcher with an arrangement in it, and two other plants. I put a ring of foil around the tops so "perhaps" Lucy would be discouraged from digging. She has already been on top of the small china cabinet and in the Persian Shield plant I got from Charlotte last fall.
I will have flashbacks of the last several days for quite a while. Everyone has been so kind and loving. Three of our friends from Wynne came - Mike B, Jeff S, and Lynn B. Mike was Paul's former police chief (well, the city's) and retired; Jeff is the present chief and Lynn, the fire chief and they both were on Paul's staff as well. It meant so much to us that they came. Some of Paul, David and Tommy's cousins - on their dad's side - were there; also a man who introduced himself to me - Coy D - we had carpooled with some others when I worked at Tennessee River Pulp & Paper Company. I did remember him after he told me who he was. So many others I have not seen in decades; their familiar faces come into focus and I see the young boy or girl, or man or woman, now as gray or grayer than me!
Tomorrow is Young at Heart at church. We have a whole coconut cake someone made and brought us; I think I will take a good bit of that as my dessert. Spaghetti dinner tomorrow and some were assigned or volunteered to bring that; others will bring bread, salads and desserts. Tomorrow night our new Bible study begins - a Beth Moore study on James.
Life goes on... Mama Nick would want it to be so for us. She was never demanding, always generous, so sweet and glad to see us. I'll miss going by Carrington to see her. I hope I don't forget to stop in occasionally to see the other residents and workers. Some of her caretakers came to visitation and the funeral. I miss her here, at "her home" as I've said. I packed up food for Amy today, just like she used to do for us. Those square plastic freezer containers of fried corn, peas, cornbread, sock-it-to-me cake... She always wanted to be sure we had supper when we got back to Wynne. There have been so many changes in the last two years. I am not the same person I was two years ago. I can see a big change in Paul - all for the better - both of us. Country life agrees with us. Mama Nick was so happy we had bought her house, and we are so happy to be here. There is such a feeling of family and community; maybe that is just part of this being a small town, only about one-third the size of Wynne. We love it.