Sunday, March 10, 2013


My better half has been gone for a week.  On day two just before naptime, Hazel slipped off the mudroom stair and bonked her head.  She screamed while Juniper whined about somethingorother, and the phone rang.  It was the florist.  She needed directions to my house.  Actually, she had to repeat that question five times before I could hear her.  My first thought was, Who in the hell would send me flowers?  And then, Oh.  And I told her, through the crying and whining, "You know, this is why I'm getting flowers."

I can think of only one other time my husband has sent me flowers.  Well, maybe two.  Mind you, he brings me bouquets of hand-picked wildflowers all summer long.  But buying?  No.

I've mentioned once before in this blog how I came upon the pen-name Clove (my real-life name is Gretchen).  To make a long story very short (for the longer version, click here), my man and I have been exchanging love notes since the very first days of our courtship.  I don't think I've ever had a note addressed to Gretchen.  I've always been Clove, but only--ever--in writing.  We were often away from each other in those early days and would slip notes into socks, books, toilet paper, tackle boxes...and the tradition continues.  He has always found the better hiding spots.

The flowers came with a card.  The card read: "Bookshelf.  The Life of Birds."

First thought: Huh?  Second thought: Oooh.  I ran to the bookshelf, pulled out his old biology textbook and shook out my letter.  I didn't notice the chapter it had marked, but later he told me the note was tucked inside "The Care and Development of Young."
I have never appreciated flowers as much as I do these.  Like song, they changed the entire attitude of our household.  We needed flowers.  And I needed a love note.
Juniper chose one hot-pink daisy for her room.  

:: Over the last week or so...
We've been enjoying the waxing sun, the way these almost-spring rays creep further into our home like hopeful pea tendrils.  It's infectious.

:: Bear-love continues.  

:: To date, my favorite of J bug's watercolors.  The work of a wild, free soul.  In her words, "Bear den, bear tracks, and the moon."

:: I finally made Juniper a baby sling which she uses for animals.  The bear, yes, also turtles and big horn sheep.  

And now I need to sew one for Hazel.

::  We started a window box of basil (well, as you will soon see, I haven't poked the seeds in yet).  This was the first time my kids have seen dirt since early December.  I didn't anticipate the reaction.  Talk about infectious.

:: My cousin stopped by!  The last time he stopped by my Wyoming stead was 14(?) years ago.  It was summer, he arrived on a motorcycle and sporting a purple fro.  This time he was donning a handlebar mustache, fresh off the ice of Antarctica, and on his way to paddle the Inside Passage for the summer.  Love my family.  And, like fresh dirt and spring sun, his presence was infectious.  

:: Wyoming's version of a celebrity sighting.  Our resident herd of mountain goats have come down close enough for even my non-telephoto lens.  Typically, you can spot them by the gang of paparazzis on the highway.  Anyway.  They are so fuzzy and cute and often perched precariously on a cliff.  

:: In a fit of pre-spring ferver I shoveled 18 inches of heavy slush off the wrong garden bed.

:: Juniper's favorite play area of late is our loft, where she strips naked and jumps off the futon into a pile of blankets--I mean "the pool."  Hazel climbs atop the chest, dangles her feet and tumbles in with a squeal.  At our last playdate, it took about 2 seconds for Juniper's friend C to strip down and join in.

:: And then, late Friday night, my man returned.  The sun is shining, the snow is melting and we spent yesterday on a warm riverbank, fishing, picnicking, and lizarding around in the sun.
^My flowers included irises, of course.  


  1. I'm so in love with this post. Your hubby is so sweet and the rest is just adorable!

  2. Lizarding around in the sun...

    Love that thought!

  3. You're a wise mama to let your kiddos play in the dirt, even at the cost of an extensive clean-up. We just planted cilantro a couple of weeks ago and my guys have been THRILLED about checking on their seedlings every single day. :)

    The well-timed love note and flowers is so thoughtful. What a man. Isn't a solid marriage just so satisfying??


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