Years ago, when I was much younger, in high school and before that, my mom had this bothersome desire to frequently rearrange the plants in our yard. Not just bulbs and mums and small manageable plants, but bushes, hedges, and even trees. Big ones, sometimes. Of course, fulfillment of these wishes fell on my shoulders. Literally.
This penchant for moving plants of all sizes continued even after I went off to college and our yard had become her yard (somehow Dad escaped having to participate in all of this and I never found out how he managed that.) Over time, her plant movings became more ambitious. On one trip home from college I was handed a shovel and directed to a twenty foot tall pine tree in the back yard that “would look better in front of the house.”
After Mom passed away back in January, I thought that my days of moving Mom’s plants were over.
Before she left us, long before she left us, about fifteen years ago, when Mary, the kids, Rusty, and I lived at 8618, Mom gave us a rose bush which we planted near a front corner of the house. The bush flourished, to say the least, and, despite trimming by us and the new owners of 8618 after we moved, the outer edge of that rose bush pushed out pretty wide and quite high. It had become a huge, flowering presence.
That changed, as I witnessed on my walk with Ryan last week, when we saw all the plants trimmed down to almost the ground. A brief chat with one of the workers on the site informed me that the plants were to be removed completely in short order. I related the history of the rose bush to him, and without me even needing to ask, he offered to save the rose bush for me. He warned me, though, that, although he would set the bush aside with his backhoe, it would likely not remain there very long and that the day I saw it, I should take it while I could.
I agreed, happily, and a few days later, as I drove home a bit late from work, I saw the uprooted rose bush and its ball of dirt.
Later that same night, I returned to 8618 and grabbed the plant and its root ball to bring to our house. I was glad to see that the light rain that day had kept the whole thing damp. I held it firmly by the base and lifted.
It did not budge. Not one bit. I suddenly realized that it outweighed me by a considerable amount.
“She got me, again,” was all I could think.
I eventually knocked enough dirt off the roots so that I could wrestle the rest into the wheelbarrow I had brought with me and which, on the way home seemed to creak as if this would be its last trip. The bush stub and root ball still weighed about as much as me but somehow I was able to hoist it into the wheelbarrow and deposit it in our current back yard, which will be its final home, I can assure you.
Addendum Postscript: Happened to meet the new owner of 8618, the wife in the wife and husband couple who bought the house from the people who bought the house from us. She said that they bought the house to rebuild and sell and that they would likely not keep any of what was there.
Oh, well. Time to move on.