Thursday, March 22, 2012

There are lots of things that bind families to one another. In our family, silver is one of those things. My maternal grandfather was a wonderful man; gentle and loving and full of fun. He was also a silversmith for most of his life and we are lucky enough to have some of the pieces which he worked on while at Webster Silver Co., in North Attleboro, Mass. It was partially because of this and partially because my Aunt Vivi, whom I wished to be like since I can remember always wore a lot of jewelry; that I began my collection of silver bangles. I now add to them mostly just for special occassions as they number 15 and Eric says I will need a separate life jacket for my wrist when we go boating if I don't curb my appetite for them. So, now I make very special purchases when we go on vacation or in this case when I realize how fabulous it would be if all the girls and I had identical bracelets stating the motto carved into the beam at the Lodge, "Mighty Oaks from Tiny Acorns Grow". Perfect my father's fathers land, my mother's fathers trade and all of us bound together by the wearing of the same bracelet. Thank you Two Willows Jewelry and Kim Perry for creating such a marvelous connection.

The Regal Color Purple

Ahh, not hard to see why the color purple was traditionally the color of kings! What regal splendor these crocuses epitomize. Such a welcome burst of color after the browns and grays of this winter without snow.

Eric got the chain all sharpened up for a full day's worth of "The War on the Pines". We were able to completely remove the last of the pines from around the greenhouse gardens. I could fairly hear the sighs of relief from the oaks who will now be able to get all the sun they need to develop into "well-rounded" trees. I have become less and less merciful to the pines. I used to actually feel bad when we cut them down, but now, seeing how much better, how much fuller the oaks become, I am committed to reclaiming the woodlands for the oaks. Afterall, it IS Oak Hill!

This weekend we will start the daunting task of cutting the pines in the playground area. We would love to get that project completed this summer as four of the grandchildren are playground experts now, challenging themselves on the most scary of apparatus. We have elected to leave a few of the pines and most all of the oaks. There are some pines in this area which measure a good 15" in diameter which is comparable to the pines we left for the hostas in the center of the field, so I am thinking they were part of the first generation pines which would be roughly 50 years old as Grandpa Bartlett would have stopped farming the land in the late 50's or very early 60's, having died in 1963.

Winter's Over-What Winter?

Mother Nature was very kind to us this year. We only had one plowable snowstorm the entire winter in midcoast Maine. Even the oldtimers were remarking that they'd never seen such a thing! A part of me wants to worry about what this could mean... the entire global warming phenomena, water for wells this summer, fire danger, etc. ... but there is a large part of me who wonders if it is just not a cyclic thing, to be enjoyed and winter's wrath will return with a vengance next year. I choose to believe in the later. Last fall, I again ordered my 250 daffodil bulbs and Eric and I carefully placed them each in the ground occassionally surprised to find there was already one where we had intent to plant! We have high hopes of waves of daffodils lighting up the woods, the gardens and the pathways. This is a long range plan as it requires the removal of many more field pines with their hundreds of twisted, misformed dead branches, the purchase of thousands more bulbs and the patience to keep adding each fall. I look at it like a savings account... just keep adding, faithfully, putting in as much as you can...and eventually, you will get the look you are striving for. In the meantime, I can take great joy from the small displays of brilliant yellow which will dot the gardens soon. The leaves are up about 5 inches... so the timing should be just right for Easter.