Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memories of Peonies ... and a Holiday Sale!

I think I say this every year, but peonies remind me of Memorial Day, and Memorial Day reminds me of peonies.   

For as long as I can remember, my mother would save up the peonies that would bloom about a week or two too early, put them in plastic bags, and keep them in the frig to prolong their blooms, saving them for our annual pilgrimage from Kansas to the cemeteries in Missouri where our family members were buried.   

I can't describe the feeling, exactly.   Solemn, respectful, but not sad.  It was a happy occasion we looked forward to even as children and later as young adults.  We would clean the tombstones, tidy up any weeds, and put the peonies out in glass mason jars used for canning.   It was a moment to reflect on the names written in stone, how they were connected each other, and how we were connected to them.   Sometimes we would do stone rubbings, take notes, or photograph the names and dates.   I was always very interested in the stories and people, and liked hearing them over and over again, trying to remember, to memorize.

As time went on, the peonies from my grandparents' farm made their way to my mother and my aunts' homes and, years later, eventually on to mine.   I've planted them in separate groupings, so I know the journey of each group.    

Even though we no longer make our pilgrimage to all the cemeteries each Memorial Day, my memories are with my loved ones, here and gone, and of those lovely trips.   

This year the peonies are blooming on the Memorial Day holiday!   I can't think of a year when that has happened, but I've just taken these Saturday evening--the first to bloom!   I'm sure there will be more to come this weekend.   Happy thoughts and memories to each of you!


P.S.  I would love to hear what you do on Memorial Day, family traditions, etc.!  Please share in the Comments sections!  


Special holiday sale at
now through Tues, May 28.   
20% off everything in store 
when you use this coupon at checkout:   

Sunday Update:
Added new components overnight.   
Expect to add more today.
Feel free to ask me to Reserve any items you may want
until all items are listed.  I'm happy to do that!
Just send a note to me at the Artfire store!



Carole M. said...

what wonderful memories you hold onto Sharyl, and your photographs of peonies growing in your own garden are delightful. Beautiful colours; they would be fabulous for indoor decoration. Not something I can grow here; too hot in summer, not cold enough in winter...

Sharyl said...

They WOULD be beautiful indoors,...oh but for the ANTS! You can make lovely bouquets with these using other flowers that bloom here this time of year, Carole (iris, spirea, etc.), but the ants LOVE the peonies so I never bring them indoors anymore.

There are some things I've tried such as cutting them, putting in water, and letting them sit out over night. We wanted to use them for a big party one year and experimented with various techniques to get rid of the ants. ha!

I'm amazed my mother put the peonies in the frig, but maybe the cold put the ants in a stupor! :-)