Tap lightly at my kitchen door...
So much time has passed since I last wrote or answered your e-mails, but I have been tucked away in bed and recuperating for the past few days. I am just sitting up and checking e-mails and a stack of real mails, and for the first time in nearly a week I just padded outside to visit my sweet little garden.
I remember that when I gave birth to my son Noah I experienced the same kind of fresh awakening that I felt today. I had been in the hospital for a few days...and we all know how dull a hospital room can be. When I got home and walked into my garden and colorful house I felt like I was seeing things for the first time. That is how I felt today. Fresh-eyed, although they're still swollen almost shut, but eyes that really saw all the life and color everywhere.
This day reminded me of a portion of a Theodore Roethke poem I have treasured for many years.
Many arrivals make us live; the tree becoming
Green, a bird tipping the topmost bough,
A seed pushing itself beyond itself,
The mole making its way through darkest ground...
My garden greeted and reassured me with its powerful and comforting thrust of life. Even though yours may be sleeping beneath a mantle of snow, it is there, awaiting the first warmth of spring sunlight, and the touch of your gardener-hand.
The hollyhocks dance on their stems.
My fuchsia flowered gooseberry is in bloom and the hummers love it. They not only like the nectar, but they often build their nests on the spiny branches, perhaps these spines deter some of their predators.
A long hedge of jade plant is in full bloom and thronged with bees. These flowers are tiny stars, just slightly larger than a honeybee.
I haven't been able to bend over for days, so when I knelt over this patch of dianthus I was shocked by their vibrant color and their piercing clove aroma. Delicious.
The hummingbirds are fighting over the blooms of our native columbines...they've never bloomed this early in my garden.
My first sweet peas. Aren't their tendrils amazing? See the blur of kumquat in background?
I think this stellar pelargonium is 'Fandango," but I'm not sure. The cutting was given to me by my oldest gardening buddy. I love this and he keeps it in his dining room indoors throughout the winter. It just shines in the New Mexico sunlight, but it is happy on the patio here at our house.
These dependable white roses bloom almost continuously. I like to tuck them into tussie mussies of scented pelargoniums.
A big box arrived outside our gate just before Christmas...
and inside was this wonderful bee skep sent from my dear (and opinionated) girlfriend Susan Branch. I used to sell these at my herb and garden shop Heart's Ease many years ago, but never kept one for myself. So now I have one that was a gift and will always think of sweet Sue when I look at it.
Let me end this day of fresh and eager eyes with a cautionary tale. I am usually very private about personal issues, but I think my oversight may somehow help you in the future.
In October I bumped my head on the brass bell outside our Maine cottage. When I lifted my bangs I saw a sore, washed it, added some neosporin and ignored it. The sore persisted. I kept ignoring it. By the first week of December the spot was about the size of a dime. I went to my dermatologist and he said, "this is a bad one."
Last week in a prolonged surgery he removed the tumor and had to make an elliptical incision to sew me back together. Now I have four inches of railroad track stitches on my forehead, and beneath that a row of subcutaneous stitches. The surgery went well, but it was extremely painful afterward. On Saturday, when the big pressure dressing was removed, Jeff discovered an infection. My doctor opened his office for me and did a culture and sent us to the pharmacy. By that night, New Year's eve, my face had swollen until my eyes closed. Jeff took me to the hospital and we found out that I am allergic to sulphur-based antibiotics. The rest is just boring medical information, but what I want to say is that YOU must be pro-active about any abnormalities. If I had let this go another month? Who knows the end of that story? So take good care of yourself. Celebrate life, friends, nature, family, and the miracle that is your own precious body.
Sending love and thanks to all of you who have taken me into your lives-and HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2012 is going to be a great one.
P.S. The winner of the hardcover (twenty year old) edition of Sunflower Houses and my latest book, Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars is Vee of a Haven for Vee. Congratulations dear blogging friend.
Oh my goodness! Keeping you in my thoughts and sending good healing energy your way.
Oh Sharon, What a time you have had,Get better and take care of yourself and I hope you heal quickly!!!Cheri
OMG sharon, i cannot linger to look at your garden, not yet. i am upset and relieved that you are recovering from something painful and scary. i don't like not worrying when i should be, especially about a dear vibrant friend.
i bid you to take good care and i send you bushels and barrels of love and good wishes. thank god you are becoming alright, if not already alright.
i will perhaps crack a joke or two about your bump and lump at some point, but not now. now, just ♥
Oh my Sharon!! I'm so glad you went and took care of your incision before it progressed any further!! Being a nurse I've seen some pretty impressive infections...so glad you caught it and hopefully in a few days will feel even better. Glad you got outside to see your garden. Your bloomers are beautiful! Wishing you a Happy New Year!!
Take care of yourself Sharon. Life is fragile and we sometimes take it for granted. Love your garden photos and wish you a happy new year!
Oh dear Sharon,
I am so sorry for you but am glad that you now on the mend. The sight of your garden should do wonders for you. Christmas Day in 2010 was spent in the emergency room because I passed out from some medication, you never know how your body will react to chemicals (which is what drugs really are.)
Please take great care of yourself!
When you can look at the photos of comet LOVEJOY from Australia, the photos were amazing...
Oh, Sharon, I am so sorry to hear of all you have been through! I'm glad you are on the mend now and that such beauty greeted your newly appreciative eyes. I pray that all will heal and you will have good health in 2012!
I;m so happy to hear that vee won your give away! She will be so thrilled and I know she'll put your books to good use with her grandsons.
Sue's bee skep is darling! I've always admired it in her web shop.
Happy New Year!
Oh Sharon, I am so glad you are now on the mend. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012! Take care of yourself and I hope you feel better each and every day. xxx
Thoughts and prayers for you dear Sharon... hoping you are feeling much better soon... certainly your lovely garden is a blessing right now... xoxo... Julie Marie
Egads! What a way to end the year. I'm glad you on the mend. You must have really knocked that bell. I hope you are relaxing some after such a scare. Enjoy the garden and the blooms. I have a foot of snow, so it will be awhile. I will have to live vicariously through other people's blogs.
oh Sharon, so glad you are getting better-you poor thing! Wishing you and yours joy in 2012 and good health (of course). Thank you for the beautiful garden photos-I drink them in. We are just beginning our very first cold spell and possibly several inches of snow in western NY by tomorrow. Before this we have only had dustings and not much really cold temps.
What a "freaky" experience you're going through. Hopefully the infection clears up, the incision heals well, the swelling continues to go down and you are out and about - back to normalcy VERY soon!
First things first...I am so sorry that you had this thing in the first place and how providential that you banged your head when you did. I know that Jeff is taking excellent care of you and I hope that you have the opportunity between assignments to lie low and heal. Tucking you into my prayers, Dear One.
Have you ever heard the story of the Maine woman who nearly died after taking penicillin? The doctor asked her if she had known that she was allergic and she replied, "Oh, yes, that's just how it happened the first time." Stoic—Maine women are.
That's a lovely gift from Susan. I have enjoyed seeing them in her garden. It just looks right there in your own.
And I won your books? Oh my! I am so thrilled. They will be read and reread and enjoyed over and over. Thank you so much!
I'm so very sorry to hear about your troubles and trust that you are now on your way to full recovery.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful blooms with us!
Oh, my goodness - do take extra special care and heal completely. So glad each day is better for you. Loved seeing your garden. Thanks you for sharing. Judy C
Whew! So glad everything turned out okay!
(Cheris, Violet & Graham in sunny Austin)
Oh dear! I've been missing you and now I know why. Take good care of yourself.
thats terrible, you poor thing, imagine, from a bump on the head.I'm so sorry that your new year is starting to rocky start but it will all be wonderful from here on out I'm sure now, lovely photos, please take care, I missed your posts and truly wish quick recovery and best of health to you. You are very lucky to have that wonderful man by your side!
Best wishes and Happiness, good health for this new year from Canada!! We are in a blizzard, you photos make my heart smile!
My!!! You certainly have had a bad spell. Sending huge waves of healing energy your way! Beautiful shots from your garden too. Here we are all bare and dead looking :0(
Sharon this is a shocking tale of a seemingly minor injury turning into a dangerous and painful situation. I am very glad you are treated and healing so we get to keep you :)
You are good to share this cautionary tale with us.
Oh my Susan! Thank goodness you're okay and recovering. Such beautiful photos of your garden - I hope it helps you heal as mine did in the 2nd half of 2010 after I was hospitalized with a deadly infection & fever and had 2 kidney surgeries. Best wishes for 2012!
Well, I must say that I am touched by your kindness and ticked off at my inability to communicate...and hey, that is my job in this life.
I had a malignant cancer and didn't realize that was why my sore wouldn't heal. Luckily the constant bleeding made me seek my doctor's help...so there. If you have a sore that won't heal you MUST have it checked. My cancer grew rapidly and it was what killed a friend of mine five years ago. Be aware of your body and realize that it can happen to you too, but I wish you nothing but wellness.
I am hoping that you don't think that Susan had this problem. She is fine, thank goodness.
So good to know you are doing better and being taken care of by your observant and caring hubbie.
Seeing all your colorful blooms on this cold January night (heading to well below zero all ready) reaffirms my faith that Spring will come again...maybe in 4 months or so but it will come :o)
KJ, you tickle me.
Jo, and I do mean Jo, not Jp...oops. Now we're even.
Good night everyone...sweet dreams!
Continue to heal, and may your garden bring you comfort and joy til you are all better. I will keep you in prayer.
I had one of those bee skeps from your shop long ago. Lovely remembrance. XXX
So sorry to learn of your accident and following complications but glad to know you are on the mend now. A lesson to us all to take care and that we can never know what is round the corner eh?! Glad your garden is so beautiful and that you have been able to see it with fresh eyes and hope that your eyes will be opened fully soon. Take care and be well soon.
PS Love your little robin header.
So glad you are on the mend. Life can change so fast can't it? I try to be thankful for every minute. I am anxious for spring already!
Thank goodnes you had this seen to in a timely manner and that despite your dreadful reaction to the antibiotics are now recovering. Your garden and it restorative powers will soon have you on the mend.
It's so mild here in Normandy that daffodils are springing up daily!
Sending all best wishes for 2012
btw love the bee skep!
Sharon, I am so sorry to hear of your troubles! Thank goodness you and Jeff were alert enough to what was going on. I'm so glad you were able to get out in your garden - surely that will speed up the healing process!
happy new year! that sounds like my kind of accident. i am always banging into things. what an ordeal, huh? glad to hear you are on the mend.
Oh Sharon, so sorry. Prayers for continued healing going your way from my cottage in the woods.
Have missed you and now know why.
Me too prayers for constant healing...Poor you.. You just never know..and I agree be pro active and if you are sure something is off insist on being treated.
Even a dentist can cause life altering changes.
Take care..Bless you.
Oh sweet Sharon, how scary! Makes me think the Universe interceded causing you to bump your head, and to then become aware there was the growth just beginning to do its dirty work. Who knows how long it would have been until you noticed it if you hadn't injured yourself!? Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. I too am rather private about personal type ailments, but in the interest of public good, it is beautiful that you shared, and this hopefully alerts someone else to check out a hard to heal spot, preventing any tragedy! Bless you! I am sending healing support energy to you xx
Btw, very uplifting to enjoy all the colors and joy of your garden pictures this cold Illinois day!! big hugs xoxoox
Oh my goodness Sharon.. You've been through it haven't you? We are glad you are home and on the mend. Your garden makes me jealous... You know, nothing is in bloom here in New England right now, and we are hearing temps of below 10 degrees are on the way... still no snow..
much love and fast healing to you!
Deb and Boz
Dearest Sharon, so sad - but so relieved to hear of your horrible time and it's positive outcome. Your message is an important one - I don't know if I told you, but I had a heart attack 5 years ago (aged 39!) as a result of ignoring some family history that was screaming at me! Thankfully, we BOTH just got a warning. I will listen next time. So thankful that you're on the mend - and love to dear Jeff, too - I can imagine what a rock (but a scared one) he's been during this time. Sending much love and a big hug for a healthy & joy-filled 2012 to you both xoxo Rachel
My dear Rachel, I am stunned. Honestly, you of all people are the picture of health. Jeff and I couldn't believe how quick and vital you always act...even when you get up in the dark to begin your creative baking.
Maybe you should write something about this. Most of us women are used to just shaking off problems and going on and on. Your story could help others.
I am thankful that you are around to tell your story.
Love you R,
Oh, I do pray you continue to heal!
I have learned through experience not to ignore symptoms. Although I understand why you would at first think it was just the initial injury.
I had to smile when I saw the pictures. My first thought was that you HAD to be in California and not New England. :)
Our high today in the Midwest is to be 25.
So glad that you are on the road to recovery. Living here in Florida, we are always on the lookout for the ravages of the sun... but I'm glad you shared your experience. Skin cancer is very curable if caught early. As someone who has had her share of gratitude for discharges from hospitals, I'm empathizing with the joy of your return home and the beauty of your garden, seen through new eyes.
Hoping your recovery is completed without more bumps in the road.
Oh dear! Thank you for sharing your cautionary tale. Sending many good wishes for speedy healing, your way. Wishing you and your's, a happy, HEALTHY new year!
p.s. I have had a bee skep from a long ago visit to Heart's Ease on my front porch, where it's presided for close to 20 years, now. It continues to make me smile every time I see it. I hope yours' will bring you many miles of smiles too!
So sorry you have had to go through this. May the beauty of your garden help to promote complete healing and may the new year be filled with good health and happiness.
Congratulations to one of my favorite bloggers, Vee, for winning your giveaway.
Scary, scary, scary. Am so glad you are getting better now. What a thing to go through.
Forgive me Sharon! Quite by accident I left a comment above calling you Susan instead of Sharon! My apologies!!! I've no idea how that happened! (blushing)
Sharon, I'm so glad to hear you're home and beginning to heal. What a horrible and scary ordeal you and Jeff have gone through! I'm lying in bed right now, recovering from foot surgery I had yesterday (they had to shave 1/4" of bone off of the top of my foot-YUCK!) and have been thinking of you (in between my drug-induced naps!) I hope you're not in pain, and are able to comfortably rest. I'm so, so glad to hear you're doing better. I'm thinking of you and sending you lots of love. p.s I love the poems you find for us. I rarely read poetry, but so enjoy yours. Ever think of compiling a 'Sharon's favorite poems' book? I'd be the first to buy it! :)
Hey, you, hitting bells and other objects are my specialty! I have an English friend who fell on two separate occasions, broke her nose and banged up her leg. I can see I'm going to be busy in 2012 keeping you two upright and in one piece! All joking aside, Sharon, I'm glad you are getting better! Had a cat scan once and had iodine dye! Funny, I'm allergic to iodine dye, but didn't know it until after it was in. Hives like you wouldn't believe! An interesting life we all have at times! Thinking of you from the freezing east. We finally have snow on the ground! Yippee! xxoo Nancy and The Herbal Husband I'm only ever a click away and then there's a plane ride across the country, but for you dear Sharon!
Sending healing prayers your way, Sharon! Thank you for having the willingness to share your cautionary tale. Peace & love, Patty
I am so glad to hear that you are going to be OK. I'm sorry for the pain and suffering you endured. Thank you for the advice, you are so right about taking your health into your own hands.
Your garden is beautiful, as always.
Bless Jeff, watching out for you and holding your hand through everything.
I hope 2012 is a year of exceptional health, and many celebrations, especially of the simple every day things.
Sending you warm and loving thoughts Sharon. I guess sometimes we need a bonk on the head to pay attention to our bodies, huh? I am glad you caught it and glad you are finally healing. Hang in there my friend and mentor.
I am glad to hear that everything was caught in time and that you are on the road to recovery.
I love you my friend. Sending healing across the miles.~~Dee
I'm shocked Sharon at how a simple bump turned into something so scary. Glad to hear that you are feeling better now but do continue to take care of yourself. This is the third post I've read in the last hour talking about plants blooming early in the south. The weather is beginning to worry me when it fools even the plants.
I knew herbal jelly had healing powers! Glad you are enjoying them! xxoo Nancy
Oh dear, Sharon, this is an amazing story. I would have never thought to get a common bump on the head check out. It's a good thing you did. So grateful all will be well. For you, I shall smell the Prunus mume, twice tomorrow....Helen
dear sharon, i didn't know something like this could happen. thank god, thank you, thank jeff that your alright. enjoy your garden, but in small bits, just get well!
(i hope your not getting a headache from reading all the comments)but you do know your so very loved.
xxx happy healthy new year to you and jeff.
Glad to hear that you're healing, and that your lovely garden is helping rejuvenate your spirits.
Wishing you and Jeff a very healthy new year!
Dear Sharon, Proactive is a good word in dealing with our health. I hate to think of you with your face so swollen and having a nasty tumor. Glad to read that you seem to be well on your way to healing. What a fright for your husband and you! I understand what you mean about seeing for the first time . . . colors and beauty are so absent from most hospitals ~~ the very place they are needed most. Take good care of yourself, for the world needs your spirit and inspirational life force. I hope a hummingbird will build a nest in your fuchsia again this year and low enough for you to enjoy them more. Happy New Year! May 2012 be Joyous, Healthy and Prosperous for you and yours. Peace, Carol
I wondered why the blogging lapse, and I was happy to see you back!ive been a fan of yours through reading Fearless Nesting. Keep on the upward mend, and I'm sure your little ventures to your garden will help! It's a balmy 10 degrees here in Northwestern New Jersey. Happy New Year!
Love and hugs.
So happy to hear you are home, but what a time you've had and that from a simple knock on the head!
your garden is so beautiful, I can't believe the color you are surrounded with, sweet peas, pelargonium? But then again, I think if I were in your garden, I would bloom too...love and care has a way of making the world bloom.
comment #61- Wow! What a sweet comment you left me! I'm so honored that you thought of me when you snuggled in that bee skep from your sweet friend, Susan. Sorry Susan ;) lol! I'm joking of course. I'm honored too that it was from her to you. Are you following me here?! Anywhoooo... Funny story. I was in an adorable book store in Falmouth, MA (Cape Cod) on a girl's weekend and saw your book. I held it up and said, "This author is a follower of my blog!" One of my friends said, "You're so cool Alyssa Foy!" And they loved your book. How's that for marketing! In a nutshell, thank you again! ;)Alyssa
I don't like that you would suffer even one bit! Doesn't it seem like you gardian angel was sort of hitting you on the noggin (with a bell, no less) to give you a heads up??? I see he got his wings with that one. hugs and kisses, Sharon xoxoxoxox thea
Sharon: I hope that your lovely healing garden is doing the job for you! So sorry to hear about your pain and concern but hope you are on the path to complete recovery.
Oh dear Sharon! I'm so glad you're okay. Your ordeal sounds really painful. I will definitely heed your warning and take good care of the body I've been blessed with.
Your garden photos are amazing. You've got so much going on for January. "A long hedge of Jade" oh...in my dreams!
This mild winter has been so nice. I know people really get upset about global warming and all that but the reprieve from icy roads is wonderful.
May 2012 be a blessing in every way. Hugs.
I am so, so sorry to hear that you had this medical problem...and then to have an allergy to a medicine on top of that!!! You are so talented and I wish you a speedy recovery and I thank you for sharing your story to educate! You are so right in that we have to be vigilant and proactive when it comes to our own health and our loved ones around us! Sending healing thoughts for a wonderful 2012!! With gratitude and love, Sherry
So sorry to hear about your illness!! And that sulfa allergy is one to be oh so careful about now. (A doc told me everyone will end up allergic to sulfa...they do not know WHEN...it may be after having it once, or 20 times...but it will come eventually). I had a horrific reaction, though was able to stay home. Since then, I have to very careful what I eat in restaurants, or purchase in grocery stores...NOTHING with sulfites used to preserve it. Olive Garden I am too scared to venture into these days. They preserve a great many items and what was termed fresh, was not...and I nearly chocked to death. Do carry some benedryl with you and see if your doc will give you an inhaler...between the 2you have a better chance of coming out ok. Having one's throat close off is very scary!!
Elizabeth in NC
Sharon, I am just now catching up with all my favorite blogs, and I am so dismayed to hear about your ordeal. I am sending you healing thoughts of positive, warm, loving energy for a good recovery! I am so sorry to hear about your pain and suffering. So glad you have a beautiful garden during these winter months that will fold you into its soothing embrace. Please take care! Love, Robin.
'Catching up on blog-reading this morning and am sorry to hear about your ordeal. I'm glad you're back home in comfortable and colorful surroundings, and I hope the rest of 2012 is a time of healing and peace. Best Wishes! ~ Val
Sending prayers and warm wishes for complete healing. I'm so sorry you had to go through this! Hope to see you at the SF show.
Your comments are a salve for any sick person.
I actually got dressed and walked through the arboretum and visited the Cal Poly nursery and a dear, dear friend who is in assisted living.
Love to all,
Dear Sharon- Give Jeff a BIG kiss for taking such good care of you for all of us!
In 2012 may neither of us need to see so much of hospitals- because we dont' need to, of course.
We all need a wonderful opinionated friend, don't we? YES!! Thank you for your wonderful post and updating all of us....blessings that you are on the mend and thankfulness for your reminder to care for our precious bodies....
Happy New Year!
Joann in CO
Your guardian angel has been working overtime. Thankfully you are working towards healing. I'm so sorry you've had this scary experience-- prayers of healing are in my heart.
You are blessed to have a beautiful and comforting home in which to rest and recover. I know your honey will be doting on you as you mend. Please do take care of yourself. You are always so busy- always doing for others-- it is time for things to be "all about you" right now.
Sending you love-
Oh my! That is a lesson to be vigilant with our health. What a strange thing to happen. I hope you feel better soon and mend quickly.
Thank you for the poem. It's one I'm not familiar with and enjoyed.
Sharon, I am so sorry that you had to go through this. I am so thankful that you caught this in time and that you are on the road to recovery. What a painful and scary experience you have gone through. And to think I was whining to you about our little flu bug. Seems so insignificant in comparison. I will keep you in my prayers. I'm so glad Jeff is taking good care of you.
Sending hugs and love,
Oh my God, what a scary story! But the worst is gone, now you have to take care of yourself and work towards a full recovery. I'll e sending good vibes across the oceans...
Your blog is irresistible! Thank you for the wonderful world you write about. Your life is anything, but boring! Just look at your dining room table. I am sure it has so many stories to tell! I hope you heal well and savor the newness found in your healing. ~Kari
First, I hope you recover quickly.
And thank you for sharing your ordeal with us. I never would have thought hitting ones head would cause such problems and lead to surgery.
I love your bee skep. What a sweet gift from your friend, Susan. I see many in her cards, etc.
I'm glad to see my friend, Vee, won your drawing. I have both of your books ,(not hardcover, of course), and know Vee will love doing the projects with her g'children. I know I have.
Blessings to you as you heal and recover-Kimberly
I'm thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way for a return to everything 'normal'. I always love walking through your garden with you:)
Dear Sharon, Sending prayers and healing vibes and wishes for your health and comfort and strength!
That is so scary from just giving your head a knock. Hope that all is well now and that full recovery will be quick.
Your photos are lovely and I hope the garden gives you some peace. Take care Diane
Oh My!!! So glad you are on the mend and able to enjoy your sweet garden again!!
The bee skep is wonderful! I remember years ago coming to a book signing that Susan Branch did at Heart's Ease. It was a wonderful day.
You keep getting better!!!!
Oh dear, now that I've finally caught up with you over here, I just shudder at all you've been through, but so glad you've come out on the other side of the healing. That is so scary and so glad you shared it with us all. (I see we share an allergy, I just found that out last year too.) Your garden is glorious as usual and you probably wouldn't believe how temperate it has been here in Maine this Winter so far. Love to you dear. xoxo ~Lili
I so love all your drawings and photos! Look forward to reading all your beautiful blogs. I hope you are feeling lots better.
The garden books looks great!
Take care and happy gardening!
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