Love of Home and Roots of Many Kinds

In honor of Valentine's Day this week, I want to write a post about love in a very different somewhat non-romantic form sans the lace and red hearts.

This week marks the 31st anniversary of my family moving back to the place of my birth from a 7 year hiatus in the state of Colorado, allowing me to reconnect with my roots in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I am very fortunate to be a 4th generation Bay Area native born in the same county as my mother, my grandmother, and my great-grandfather. My great-great grandparents had immigrated from Glasgow, Scotland with my great-great grandfather working his way across the American continent from east to west on the railroad as a welder and machinist. When he reached the Bay Area, he knew he'd found his second home because it reminded him so much of his beloved Scotland. I have been to Glasgow as an adult and immediately saw the connections between that wonderful city and San Francisco. I can see why he felt he had arrived "home". That's exactly how I felt when we found Rosehaven Cottage over 7 years ago. It needed a lot of love and hard work but it felt like our home. With all the work we've done both inside and out we've definitely put down some deep roots (photo above was taken just yesterday).

This past weekend the lovely purple heads of the crocus showed themselves in all their glory. They are so low to the ground that they are easy to miss if one doesn't know to look for them. But I always watch for them and then point them out to Hubby when they've bloomed. The rich orangey-yellow of their stamens contrasts so strikingly against the blue-purple of the petals that it always leaves me in awe of how beautiful nature can be. I have learned to love the little surprise gifts that nature provides again and again, year after year.

One reason why we named Rosehaven Cottage with that name is because when we came here we discovered a handful of neglected rosebushes that had been chopped back severely but were not giving up. These old roses are not labeled so I don't really know what variety they are. The most "ancient" looking of the bunch has red blooms like a Mister Lincoln. Then down the fenceline is this lovely pink rose that grows like a climber. It doesn't ever seem to stop producing blooms. No matter what time of year, I can almost always find a pink bud or blossom on it. Right now it has a nice collection of heavy pink blooms that look magical in the February sunlight as it shines on and through the petals of each bloom.

There is something about the smell of spring bulb flowers that is so enchanting and soothing to me. The smell of paperwhites, narcissus, daffodils, and tulips all have a distinct nuance but they all say "spring" to me with all the wonderful feelings that association brings. A couple of years ago, I planted some bulbs in the neighbor's yard across the street along the curb in a patch of land that she was happy to have me volunteer to tend. Each year since, the sweet yellow teacup blossoms have come out heralding the full sun that shines on that patch of ground practically from sun up to sun down. As if they've stepped straight from my favorite Disney animated classic Alice in Wonderland, they remind me that you indeed CAN learn a lot of things from the flowers.

Finally, there are now roots of a different kind that I have grown to cherish and those are my roots that have begun to grow within the blogging community. Like the arrival of the glorious crocus blossoms that I anticipate so much, I anticipate the arrival of each new comment on my blog and each new post from a favorite fellow blogger. As I drink in the essence of each of you the way that I breathe in the aroma of each distinct spring flower, I am rejuvenated and filled with a renewal that is hard to describe but is real and powerful. Just as I can learn a lot of things from the flowers, each of my blogging friends is a flower that I can and do learn a great deal from.

Here are a couple of perfect examples of this very phenomenon. This last week I received the following award from Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author. Tristi is a very talented published writer who I am honored to have reading my blog. In giving this "You Make My Day" award, she made MY day (which had been not too great up to that point). Her thoughtfulness gave me a certain boost into a more positive direction creatively. Thank you Tristi!

Then later in the week I received the "This Blog is Rated E for Excellent" award from Jodi at bloomingwriter. Jodi is another very talented published writer and gardening expert that I admire immensely and am so humbled to have as a friend. Receiving Jodi's award in short succession after receiving the award from Tristi, really gave me a swift kick in the creative can.

Kylee at Our Little Acre commented recently on how technology has facilitated the forming of friendships across the miles that otherwise never would have happened. I remember reading a post last summer from one blogger who talked about how before blogging she felt so alone in her immediate community because none of the other mommies on the playground on play-day understood what it was like to be an artist. It made her feel isolated and alone. Then after she started blogging, she realized she wasn't alone at all. There were many women throughout the world that understood her and were similar to her in so many ways. It's just that those women didn't live in close proximity to her. Without the internet, she never would have connected with them! I can relate so well to that sentiment. And Kylee's too. Because of this wonderful technology, I now have friends around the globe that understand me. I no longer feel isolated like the "odd one" that no one in the neighborhood "gets". Thank you to all of you for making that a reality! I am passing on the two awards above to every one of you because you all deserve them. Thank you for helping me to feel rooted in something real and wonderful.

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  1. I love your perspectives. Well deserved awards too!!

  2. Your cottage looks lovely. The start of spring is so filled with promise, isn't it?


  3. What a lovely post, Cindy! Isn't it amazing how we can be feeling so blah one moment and then someone will make a comment on our blog and what seems like such a small thing on a surface level, turns your day around in a positive way. Congrats on your awards! Both are well deserved, my friend. :-)

  4. Cindy,

    This is such a beautiful post - you have a lovely house. It is obvious that you have done much work on creating a special environment there. I am glad to know now how the name of Rosehaven came to be.

    The pale pink of this rose is beautiful.

  5. that cottage looks so cosy, and the flowers are so pretty.

  6. Sorry I haven't been by in a few weeks. I've been living the gypsy life. However, sitting down and reading 2 weeks work of your blog was fun indeed. Thanks for a most pleasant morning.

  7. What a wonderful post. I love your cottage. And yes, I too have found friends here in bloglandia. I wish we all could live in the same neighborhood!

  8. Good going on receiving the awards. Those crocuses are my favorite color, too. However, around Pennsylvania it's still too cold for them. (And a winter storm warning is up through tomorrow morning.) Enjoy all the beauty out your way...

    And I sure do understand what you mean about the power of the internet to bring people together. Since posting yesterday that Kelly had collapsed and rushed to the vet, I've had dozens of people leave comments and vibes of support. It sure means a lot.

  9. Cindy thanks for sharing this story, yet beautiful flower photos, cannot wait to see them soon here. Anna :)

  10. What lovely photos. Thank you for sharing the story of your family's history.

  11. I understand what you mean about the significance of living in the place of your birth. I also live in the city I was born in, which is also the city my mother was born in. My mother's family has been here since 1923 and I still feel close to them (even the ones who are no longer with us) because I'm still walking the same streets they walked. I don't know why being a native here should matter to me, but it does. Sometimes a person is lucky enough to be born in exactly the right spot.

  12. Cindy, I love this posting. It makes me miss the warm spring days and flowers (we still have snow on the ground!) Very nice Valentine Love post...
    Your favorite Auntie

  13. What a lovely home! I want to see more overall garden pictures sometime. I know that sounds bossy, but I don't mean it that way. Just love seeing garden designs. Hugs, Cathie


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