This morning...as I checked on our garden, suffering from heat stroke no doubt, the heavy sweet scent of honeysuckle filled the air. Such a wonderful summer aroma that brings back many happy memories. Dawn and dusk are always the best times to really inhale honeysuckle in bloom and stir up childhood memories.
Heavy scented days of summer are the times, that I really miss certain individuals who are no longer with us in the flesh, but I'm sure their spirits are. When the summer is strong and the flora is doing its best to out last the excessive heat, I always think of Tasha Tudor.
I'm not sure why...except she was an extraordinary individual, artist and gardener. I have always loved her books, since my great Aunt Grace (1880-1975) gave me a copy of The Secret Garden and other books illustrated by Tudor. In the dog days of summer, I think of Tasha, her beloved corgis and admire a woman strong enough in her convictions to live the life she imagine. I certainly can not go barefoot like she did, but I am trying! In the early mornings and late evenings, I take off my shoes and socks and let my feet soak up the messages from Mother Earth. Tasha always said she could tell when the first snow is coming by feeling the changes in the earth. I wish I had that ability. My feet have a long way to toughen up before I could go barefoot all the time and a LONG way to go to read any messages!! I regret never getting a chance to meet her. Tasha's family is keeping her memory alive and you can check it out on their website http://www.tashatudorandfamily.com/
***Photograph of Tasha, by Richard W. Brown***
Lately I've been thinking a great deal about my Aunt Grace. While she was actually my father's aunt, she was just "Aunt Grace" to me and like me was a teacher. My grandparents on both sides, died while I was fairly young, so Aunt Grace became a surrogate grandmother. Her life was full and interesting. Being the horse lover that I am, I always enjoyed the stories she told me of driving her beloved horse, Carrots, to the 1 room school house everyday. When she was 40...the Ohio Board of Education made her go to college to get a teaching certificate! This after teaching for almost 20 years! She went to Miami University (Ohio) and had a great time with the younger coeds...and finished her teaching certificate. Returning to the classroom, she taught for many more years. I wonder what she would think of education and students today...and the fact that cursive writing is being removed from the curriculum.
Grace was quick with pen and ink. The following is one of many poems she wrote. She also sketched, painted (watercolors), painted china and was an excellent seamstress.
One morn there came to our back door
A cat we'd never seen before.
Her face and figure so forlorn,
We knew that she'd been alley born.
We took her in, and hoped she'd rally
No luck--so she became our Weeping Sally
We soon found out she fed herself.
She scorned the food from off our shelf
For to our garden she'd repair
To see what forage she'd find there.
She scaled corn stalks and husked the ear
Until the soft grain did appear.
She sat erect as a squirrel to dine
On young green beans still on the vine.
Now, was her dish just corned bean hash?
Or, was it cat-made succotash?
~Grace I. Scott (early 20th century)
reminiscing along Turkey Run creek