#FlashbackFriday – Home is a Flower Garden

By Janice Ruzich, Marketing Manager, Central Region

Flashback Friday - Home is a Garden

My childhood home

I’ve been thinking a lot about the growing up in our little house in Country Club Hills since we began the process of preparing my Mom’s house to be put on the market. Mom lived in the same house for the last 47 years. We tried over the years to get her to move closer to us or move into a condo but she wasn’t going to budge! This was her home. As it is for so many people, her house represented her independence.
As we were packing up the house I came across bags of seeds from her flower garden. This brought back memories of my sister and me pulling weeds on a Saturday afternoon. Why did I complain so much? Now I love nothing more than to work in my own peaceful garden – even if I’m pulling weeds! Maybe that’s the point – creating your own beautiful garden in your own home.

Moms Garden Phlox

Mom’s garden phlox

As we cleared out the bedroom I shared with my older sister, Bonnie, I had to show my husband the closet. We shared one closet! I guess we didn’t have as much stuff back then. I still remember thinking my brother was lucky because he had his own room! But our room had two sunny windows and faced the corner where the school bus stopped. I remember how often I would hear the bus coming and dash out the door just in time!
Our little house had three bedrooms and one and a half baths for five people. My husband was not impressed. His family had one bath for six people! We all seemed to manage just fine though.

Back Yard Ice Rink

Backyard ice rink

But not everything was small. We had a huge yard to play in. I remember my cousins from the city coming to visit and saying how they loved to come out to the country! There was enough room to swing on our swing set, play catch or build a snow fort. I remember the awesome snow fort we built after the blizzard of ’67. (Yes, I’m that old!) I don’t think we actually called it “awesome” back then. That was back when I looked forward to snow. And I remember a few years in a row when my little brother Jimmy flooded the back yard to play ice hockey. All the neighborhood kids would come and skate until they were called in for dinner.

Our terrier mix dog, Sammy, loved to run around in the backyard, sometimes dig up the flowers – and escape under the fence! Coincidentally she had two litters of puppies in that house. They were so adorable. I miss that dog.

Garden Phlox and Lilies

Garden phlox and lilies

And of course there was plenty of space in the yard for my mother’s beautiful garden. There are beautiful Peonies, tall Phlox, Lily of the Valley and other old fashioned plants passed down from my great-grandmother to my grandmother to my mom. These beautiful specimens are still in the garden. And I have them in my own garden right now as well. I’m hoping to pass some cuttings down to my son, Josh and his wife for the garden in their new house.

Mom’s garden has become overgrown over the last couple years. But the flowers and plants are there waiting for the right person to love the garden and make it beautiful again. I am confident the new owner will add their own touches to create their own beautiful garden.

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