Granma's Rose Bush

Granma's Rose Bush
I have a little story to relate about this rose bush that I very carefully covered with sheets last evening, when our area was predicted to get freezing temps overnight. This little rose bush was grown from a cutting taken many years ago from my Mother's "Home Place" in North Carolina (this is a Southern term..means where most of your family were born, in case you've never heard the expression). Anyway, my Mom would be 101 years old this April 24, and when I was a small child, she would tell me stories about playing around this rose bush when _she_ was a little girl. The original bush grew beside the kitchen where the Home Place was.

 Her family were farmers, who had 11 children; they owned a good bit of land, but didn't have much money. Most farmers in those days had big families which were needed to work the land. My Mom was one of the younger kids. They lived in an old wooden frame house, out 'in the country', and their kitchen was in a separate building - away from the house. This was done mainly because of fire danger from the cook stove - but also - in the hot southern summers, to keep the heat out of the main house. She said in the winter time, they ate supper (what we now call dinner) very early, way before dark. Winters tended to be rainy, sleety, icy, nasty, and very cold, so you had to be quite hungry to walk out in this weather to get your supper. The older kids - who were mainly the sons of the family who did most of the work in the fields to raise the crops - got to eat first. The little ones just hoped there would be enough left for them, when their turn came. The little folks didn't get to sit at the table with the 'big folks'. Now, my Mom went to her Heavenly Home 16 years ago, and I still miss her dreadfully. This rose bush was first planted in my oldest brother's yard. His wife (who has a green thumb) was the one who rooted the cutting, babied the bush along, fertilized, pruned, provided all the tender care rose bushes seem to need. It never bloomed for her while they lived in Florida. They moved to the Georgia mountains from Florida, and the bush still never bloomed. Plus the mountain deer really loved this green bush. Nothing they did to protect it seemed to deter the deer. After we had moved to SC Sis-in-law asked if I would mind if she brought it over to plant it here, as we don't have any deer. Of course I said "Yes, if you aren't worried that I'll kill it" as I have a _black_ thumb! The first 2 or 3 years, it didn't bloom, but it did survive my inexpert care and attention (or lack thereof). Then early one spring, DH noticed Granma's rose bush was covered in buds. I was so excited. And every spring since then, it has had the most delicious smelling real old fashioned roses used to smell. And each Spring, I feel like I am getting a wonderful "Hello" from Mama, as I remember her stories when I see the buds. So that's why I was out last evening, when the temps were dropping, to cover this particular bush. I didn't worry all that much about the other roses we have, but I didn't want to lose the blooms on this little bush. And even though the picture shows some blossoms, it still has hundreds of buds on it to come out yet.


Mary said...

Oh have found your niche! It almost made me cry...such wonderful memories continuing in a single rose bush. So much meaning... You should do more of this..but still do your cards as they are wonderful too. You should send this "story" to Readers Digest...and I am not joking. It is truly worthy!!

Di said...

Wow Mary, what a fabulous bit of history. And, of course, you realise that your Mom's bush blooms ready for her birthday too?


MaryH said...

Thank you for the compliments. Di, I had not really thought about the fact that it blooms for Mama's birthday. Thank you for thinking of that. Makes it even more precious to me, as I had been thinking of making Mom 'a card'. Instead, she is sending ME one! It is around this time, that I truly & really miss her, even though it's been a long 16 yrs. She was an extra special lady to whom I must give the credit for the person I became in life.