The Spaces that Hold Our Gardens and Barbs

garden-spider

This post is part of the #wholemama summer series started by blogger Esther Emery. Last week’s theme was SPACE. Even though I didn’t write in time to add it to the Tuesday link-up, there are posts focusing on “space” from 20 amazing women on Esther’s website. IN MEMORY OF SOMEONE WE LOVED By Amanda Cleary Eastep There was […]

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You wouldn’t believe the stars

By Amanda Cleary Eastep “You wouldn’t believe the stars.” My daughter tells me this in one of her voice messages from the refugee camp in north Africa. She and her friend had dragged their bedding out onto the desert sand, staying up until 2 a.m. as if this was some junior high sleepover, chatting and “wow”ing and awestruck. We live 30 […]

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The Fall: Beauty beyond the reds and golds

By Amanda Cleary Eastep You know that perfect fall day. Where the cool lays across your cheeks like a damp cloth, and the setting sun is a bullet of warmth above your right eye. You walk through freshly mown grass, speckled with decimated leaves that fell onto the dregs of summer, too soon to join the […]

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Planting gardens in us

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I pinch seeds like fuzz from a winter coat. It is the last day of visiting my cousin. Every one of his homes has seemed a retreat to me. He incessantly has his eye on some dilapidated structure full of hoarder treasure or bat guano, yet he somehow sees past the cracked […]

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In which I meet a man with a time machine…

by Amanda Cleary Eastep This photo was taken right before I met a man with a time machine. In the spirit of that, let me back up. I recently discovered an off-the-beaten hiking trail that winds along the banks of a lovely little stream and detours around a tree that reaches like the fingers of a cupped hand […]

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Build it, and the fairies will come

by Amanda Cleary Eastep My youngest step-daughter and I knelt under the huge pine tree in her yard in Kentucky. We were building a house for the fairies. Sticks, leaves and rocks formed walls, a door and places to sit and rest your wings. I hadn’t been with her dad that long, and this collaborative […]

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Planting spinach in a snowstorm

It’s only January 5. And day two of another snow storm in Chicago. Not one to be thwarted from anticipating planting season by a foot of snow, I remembered that I have these two lovely empty tea tins from Trader Joe’s just begging to be filled with dirt.   While shopping for storm supplies, i.e. […]

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The work of her hands

By Amanda Cleary Eastep As a child, my grandmother worked in the truck patches of vegetables her family grew on their rented farm in Southern Illinois. Whether from planting or harvesting or picking off bugs to drop into buckets of kerosene, the calluses that lined her palms like small pebbles were a source of pride. […]

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Everything turn, turn, turn

I used to watch that 45 rpm record spin on the turntable, the green apple label a blur as Mary Hopkin sang “to everything turn, turn, turn…there is season, turn, turn, turn…” And as my garden finally starts to yield fruit at the far end of this cool summer, a change of seasons is obvious in […]

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A mother’s ode to wayward green children

As I dig in the dirt and plant seeds, yank weeds, water and watch things grow, I can’t help but consider how gardening is so much like raising children…the trials and the joys. I’m disappointed in my tomatoes. I started them from seeds. Watched amazed as they poked through the soil and cheered them on […]

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