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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Printemps in Alabama

Thursday, February 14, 2013


in Alabama arrives while the air is
chilled and still damp with rain.

An old homestead near my mother's house
is one of the first sites to which
 signs of Spring arrive.

The old house was torn down more 
than twenty years ago, but the
trees and flowers continue to bloom.

Daffodils and hyacinths bloom year after year
at the base of an old pecan tree.

The family that lived in the torn-down house had
two daughters and a son.  One of the daughters died a 
few years back.  The other daughter, in her 70s, lives
in North Carolina near her son.  
The son of the original family, also in his 70s, lives in a 
newer 1950s ranch-style house and is the
caretaker of the adjacent old homesite.

Several people have tried to buy the vacant lot,
but it is not for sale.

Each winter the daughter who lives in
North Carolina spends November - February
with her brother.
The old pecan trees bear bushels of pecans
and the daughter can be seen walking
through the lot picking up pecans.

One of the biggest Saucer Magnolia trees I've ever seen
grows on the homesite.
Here it is on February 14, 2013, 
ready to burst into bloom.

Within a week, the tree will be in glorious full bloom ...
about a week earlier than these views taken
February 28, 2011....

Don't you wonder when the family planted
this tree and flowers?
What made them choose a Saucer Magnolia?
Had they seen one as beautiful as theirs was in 2011?

Spring in this small Alabama town is 
truly beautiful.