The temperatures here have been hovering around the 100 degree mark (plus or minus a couple of degrees), so getting anything done outside is pretty much regulated to the morning or evening hours.
This morning, I decided to weed our front garden, which has been ignored for a long, long time.
Luckily, Darling Man and I aren't known for our green thumbs and our garden consists of mostly aloe plants, which do quite well with benign neglect.
As I was working, I looked at the rocks that I also have in my garden. Every rock has meaning. The long, rectangular rock came from North Carolina and my honeymoon near Linville Falls. We'd gone down this little road accidently and came upon a roadside waterfall. We got out to explore and as we were leaving, Darling Man spotted this amazing rock. It came home with us.
The large one toward the back of the picture is from Hueco Tanks in Texas. We used to go there for vacations a lot back in our climbing days. The nights were cold, but the rocks warmed up quickly and nothing felt better on a chilly morning than to sit on a warm rock drinking camp stove coffee.
The octagonal piece in the back was made by ZBoy for his grandmother for Christmas one year. When they moved to a nursing home, we got it back. The bear was a birthday gift years ago from Darling Man for my rose garden in Wakulla County. I never could grow roses down there, but I tried every year to make that work. And the pot with the orange daisy... That daisy was a housewarming gift from my late grandmother when we moved into our place in Wakulla County back in the summer of 1995. We kept it on the front deck, where it apparently died. Darling Man tossed it in the woods and several years later, he and the boy were cutting a trail and came across it, alive and blooming. He dug it up, put it in that container and it blooms several times a year.
In the corner of the bed is a whole bunch of aloes - and in amongst them is a fossilized piece of coral. That one was Darling Man's find and it's traveled with us to every house. Our late betta Lava is buried under that rock. The circle of friends statue was a Christmas gift from DM's son Kurt the first year we lived in Wakulla. Next to that is a heart stone that granddaughter Kylee made for Father's Day last year for her "Pappy".
This last picture... You have to look really hard to see the rosebush Darling Man gave me back in Feburary. It's been slowly dying in it's pot, but I've managed to revive it several times already. It's a knockout rose, which is almost impossible to kill through neglect, so I'm counting on it to come back now that it's been properly planted. I had to prune it back pretty severely, which means it might not bloom again this year, but next year I'm looking forward to some outstanding flowers.
As I stood back and looked at my handiwork, I realized that I had been working amongst memories all day. In a small pile of rocks are a few I got as a teenager in North Carolina. I used to go up there every summer with my grandmother to join the St. Pete family in Nantahala. And our favorite pasttime was wading around in the icy creeks, picking up rocks and looking at them. We put most of them back, but the special ones we kept. As I looked at my little pile of rocks sweltering in the 100 degree heat, I felt the icy water swirling around my calves and heard the laughter of two older generations, delighted to find another lovely, striated rock in the stream.
These rocks represent memories. And I will continue to carry them with me wherever I call home.