A picnic with the branch handled tray… and my mom.


Remember the branch handled tray I created for Mother’s Day?

As promised, I used it for that very day, with someone special in mind. I made it for both of us after all.

(photo heavy post on tray and the outdoors)

… continued …

I took my mom on a little picnic. And I knew of the perfect spot.

Under the big willow tree out back.

Our property backs on to a city owned park against a little babbling creek. It’s very natural and beautiful.

And my dog Jenna knows it well. If you look really hard, you can see her waiting for my arrival in the picture.

So let’s roll out the pretty three layered sheets because this one’s for us girls!

I love collecting sheets from the thrift. At about a dollar a pop, they’re affordable and fun to layer and try new things with. And these made for a very pretty picnic blanket.

And on today’s menu… chocolate dipped strawberries with fresh cantaloupe alongside my favourite fruit dip.

Fruit dip – real whipping cream with a dash of sugar, blended with strawberry yogurt. Delicious!

Chocolate – leftover Easter chocolate melted down in the microwave, stir, then dip.

I am not a chef. Just a simple farmer’s daughter.

A new magazine made it’s way out to the back 40 as well, and then it was time to lay back on the sheets, squint up towards the sunlight filtering through the willow branches, and reflect on my mom.

This one’s for you, mom.

This place makes me think of you. 

Wild dandelions in full bloom waiting to be picked and blown,  just like on our old farm yard.

This space is everything you were. Casual, down to earth, natural, with the sun casting it’s warmth and happiness to everything it touched.

This space is also me. A babbling creek on a hot sunny day is all the music I need.

But no worries, I’m in good company. My little fluffy girl that’s my shadow, is keeping watch over buzzing bees and all things that flitter by.

She’s a smart one. She knows I like company, but not overdone. Just enough. The presence of another without talk is all that’s needed some days.

Just like our visits. We didn’t need to talk non stop. We were happy just to share the same space. That’s what my girl does for me.

You weren’t a cat person but you loved that I was.

Except when you found the hidden barn cats in the house…

This fence reminds me of you. 

I remember you throwing vegetables craps over such a fence so the cows could have a feast. You didn’t know I paid attention, but I did. 

These old trees feel like the farm. Twisted old bark covered in moss was our kind of art on canvas.

I also remember when the old bing cherry tree got knocked over by a big truck and it upset you. Old trees earned their time on the farm and they didn’t come down until something made it happen. I couldn’t agree more.

Look mom, I even have a culvert! 

You’d laugh I know. It’s just a ditch. How did I get hung up on such simplicities and necessities anyway? Why would one fall in love with such a normal thing?

Because of you. You taught me that sticks and stones were magical and could become anything we dreamed of. Trickling water through a culvert is very simply a farm girl’s lake front property. And they are beautiful.

The fragrance of lilacs were your favorite. They were abundant on the farm, inside and out. So even with eyes closed, their fragrance brings a smile to my face today.

Goodness, do you have any idea how much you’re missed?! What effect you had on all of us? How all your influences are driving us today? That just goes to prove one thing. You did an amazing job at being our mom.

I’m still striving to become the woman that you were. At 50, I don’t believe I’m even close.

But that’s ok. You were very simply one of a kind.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s totally natural to take for granted someone that is still with you. But our time is limited. Do what it takes to make those connections and let them know how much you love them. Dig for interesting stories. Learn all you can. And above all else, enjoy them. But do it NOW while your hands are warm and your words can be heard. 

Just do it. 

I have a few connections to make myself.

(Part one – ‘A moment back in time… on Mother’s Day’ is HERE)

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  1. I don’t live on a big, beautiful piece of land like this but I can relate to this post! My mom is gone too but everyday is filled with things that remind me of her and what she taught me. Half the time I didn’t think I was paying attention and then I will identify a flower or find myself repeating her words. Young mother’s need to know that their children are little sponges and that their influence over them is life’s most important work. Thanks for sharing this post. My mom would have loved it too. Especially the black kitty (always her favorite cat).

    Robin
    Robin Flies South

  2. Thank you for sharing. I so love your story. You are a great mom as well and you are leaving a lot of good memories for your son. Hugs.

  3. Oh, Donna- This post brought tears to my eyes as I read every word. Growing up on a farm myself I have always felt that deep connection with all things large and small that farm life is composed of…from the barn kittens to the smell of freshly mowed hay. God bless you- I’m sure your Mom was looking down and smiling…even if you DID have a cat for company- xo Diana

  4. A wonderful, wonderful post Donna; loved it. We spent lots of time on the farm my mom grew up on and I treasure those memories. I am so fortunate to have both parents still with me and am thankful that I am learning new things about them every day. I know your mom loved her picnic and all of your tributes to her memory. 🙂 PS LOVED the cantaloupe in the juicer… I adore old glass juicers but hadn’t thought of this use!

  5. You have such a beauitful backyard! Your Mom would have loved this picnic. A very sweet and loving post! I know what you mean, I miss my Mom more than words can say…

  6. I have your post sent to my email. I didn’t see this until today…after Mother’s Day. Donna, your pictures and memories of your mother just took my breath away. How wonderful a tribute you created. Thank you so much. I miss my mother too!

  7. well, today is my mom’s birthday and I just read your wonderful tribute to your mom. I also read the one you wrote on your mom’s birthday. Beautifully said.
    I don’t think we ever get over missing them.
    Thank you for sharing. It was lovely.
    Carole R.
    Burlington, MA
    [email protected]

  8. Oh Donna….what a beautiful tribute to your sweet momma. You wrote it so eloquently and with such heartfelt love. Tears were in my eyes as I read this. You are a wonderful daughter. ♥

    xoxo laurie

  9. What a sweet post. How proud she would be of who you have become and are even now becoming. I wonder if she knows Gods big plan for you? How fun to imagine that she is so excited for what awaits you. You have a gift. I am usually silent when I read your blog. I don’t know why. I think I feel I was “late” in getting to know you. I just wanted you to know that your words “touch and move” people. I was one that was “moved and touched”. Love, Me http://www.youaretalkingtoomuch.com

  10. I wish my daughter felt this way about me, but she never has and never will. I have always tried to be the best mother possible. She is grown and married and has no children because she doesn’t want any. Your post brought tears to my eyes. You’re a good daughter…your mother obviously raised you right.

  11. First time commenting. This was so heartfelt and beautiful, I am crying. Thank you for such a lovely tribute to the one that formed who we are.

  12. OMG,First I’d like to say I LOVE your site. We are new to the “vintage/thrifty” blogging world so I’ve been checking out lots of blogs and I just love yours. I had to do a double take at your precious cat. She looks exactly like mine that we had to put down last year due to a stroke. He was 16 years old. I’d love for you to check out and join our blog when you get a chance.:)