Saturday, April 28, 2012

Flowers for Dad

It seemed when I was growing up in south central Kentucky, everybody was a farmer. My Dad was one of those farmers.  Everybody milked cows, first by hand and then by machine.  Milk was hauled away in cans.  Eventually, farmers stopped doing that.    Like most, he also eventually had to rent out his crops and raise a smaller herd of beef cattle as he got older.  Then he began to put most of his attention and energy on gardening.  I don't know that I ever saw him look through the seed magazines every year, but somehow he always managed to find new things to put in his garden and new ideas to use.  He also raised fruit trees and different flowers, especially those that would help control the pests in the garden.  As a result of trying so many things and being so successful with his garden and fruit trees, he had to give away food and ultimately fed the whole farming community if they wanted it. Poor Mother would come home from a day at the office and have to can or freeze the fruits and vegetables for themselves and what wasn't given away because they couldn't stand to see anything go to waste..

This gardening phase occurred while his grand children were growing up.  So, naturally the oldest grandchild wanted to remember him via the grand children's casket flowers for his gardening.  She thought simply to say something on the ribbon of the bouquet.  I then asked the florist if he had a miniature rake/shovel he could add to the flowers.  The florist then had the brilliant idea for us to get his gardening tools and let him do his thing.  I drove back to Daddy's garage and found his gardening tools along with his old pair of gloves, that had lasted forever, and some gourds he had raised to make birdhouses for his buddies the Martins that kept the worms and bugs from his garden and fruit trees and the mosquitoes from us.

The bucket was an item I didn't know my sister had acquired.  When I was 5 and she was less than a year old, my parents moved to their own farm.  The house had no plumbing but had a pantry type room that had a water well.  This is the well bucket and rope.  Daddy didn't throw anything away but yet kept things all neatly organized. So, of course course he had kept the bucket. My sister also kept the address from the mailbox.  I guess we are like him.  She said she had been using these things to decorate her back screened in deck.

Below, you can see the beautiful bouquet of garden flowers including his favorites: lilies and roses.  The florist also included some flowers we can't identify which would have been like Daddy surprising me each season with something new peaking my interest once again and causing me to want to "figure out" what they are.  

Unfortunately, in my rush to drive 2 1/2 hours to get to my Daddy's bedside in the last moments, I didn't take my good camera as I thought I had and had to use my little Casio to take these pictures.

Hope you enJOY these flowers as much as we did.
Well bucket and rope.

He always had a bunch of sunflowers in his garden.

You'll find this post at several Linky Parties.


  1. The flowers are beautiful and the story of how they were put together is heartwarming. I too grew up in South Central Kentucky, on a small farm though. We had a few milk cows, just for our milk supply, but actually sold milk to the neighbors because we had more than we could use. My brothers and I would take turns delivering it and would get to keep the money from it (50 cents a gallon). We always grew a big garden and would can or freeze much of it. As an adult, I often would work all day and come home and can. I rather enjoyed it because I felt I was doing something good for my family as well as following in my mother's footsteps.
    I loved your post and reading about your father. He sounds like a Good man.

  2. I love this Joy -- the collection of rural things for your dad is very touching.

  3. SO beautiful and filled with love and memories... thank you, Joy for sharing at Weekly Top Shot.

  4. First of all, My deepest condolence and second, you have ALL the memories in your heart - these pictures are just perfect *hugs*

    Kind regards

  5. These are really gorgeous flowers...Perfect for a final farewell.
    So sorry to hear of your loss.

  6. So sorry about your dad! The pictures are perfect! Thanks for being a part of our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." Hope to see you again real soon!! -The Sisters


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