Tuesday, April 23, 2013

the gifts of friendship

Deb was one of the first neighbors I met when we moved here almost 23 years
 ago. She and her husband and three little boys moved into their house soon
 after we moved into ours. Our boys all grew up together and Deb and I have
 always been close friends. She was one of the first persons to come
over when my son, Phil passed away 3-1/2 years ago. She sat with me and 
helped me breathe and not pass out or completely "lose it".

It has always been Deb's desire to move out west and live off
the grid. Her dream has finally come true. Her husband is retiring next year
and they have already bought a tiny house in the mountains of northern
Washington on five acres of land. Since they are moving to such a small
house, they are now greatly downsizing. Deb had a bunch of her girlfriends
over to her house the other night and we all got to choose some of Deb's 
personal belongings that she didn't want to sell to the general public when
she had an estate sale. Honestly, there was nothing I really wanted ~especially
since I'm purging things out of the house myself right now with cleaning up
after our basement flood.

However, I did want a couple of her larger plants. I'm in love with this
Christmas cactus. She said it flowers beautifully, and she basically left it alone.
 I'm hoping it will love my house as much as it loved hers!

 Brian carried home this very heavy pot of plants for me. There's a bunch of 
different plants in here including Mother-in-Law's Tongue, ivy, a spider plant,
a couple of others I'm not sure of...and then I added my  "shamrock" plant.

How gorgeous is this piece of furniture?! Deb had it marked at only $5
for her estate sale. I snatched it up immediately. When the weather is warmer
and the rain goes away (seems like I've been saying that all month), I'm taking
this baby outside and priming and painting it. Then she'll get new knobs.
Brian's currently using it as his nightstand.

 Today has been one of those l-a-z-y days. Cold, gray, and drizzling rain. Just
what we need here in Illinois - ha. The rivers are overflowing onto the sidewalks
and streets. Some towns have even been declared a state of emergency.
We feel a bit safer with our sump pump now, as Brian went out and bought and
installed a battery back-up sump pump. Even the cats haven't gotten out of bed
all day except to eat. Monkey has been curled up in front of Brian's pillow all
day. I normally make my bed every day, but if the cats take over, I let them be.

 I'm off to bake some banana bread now. Cooking Light has a fantastic recipe.



  1. That's a darling piece of furniture! Your plants look great. What a nice thing to have to remember a friend.


  2. I'm sure you're really going to miss your sweet neighbor. Great to have some of her special plants. Cute, cute chest you nabbed from her yard sale.
    Mary Alice

    1. I sure am going to miss Deb...she and her husband are the only decent neighbors on the block!

  3. Hi Melanie, So sad to have your friend move so far away. I think the plant was a perfect thing to take. Everytime it blooms it will be a reminder of your friendship. Did I miss a great sale? Talk to you soon. Love, Penny

    1. Deb had the most beautiful plants...tons of them in front of her main living room window. Not sure if there was anything you would've been interested in, though she did have a great collection of pewter items. (Don't know if you're into that.)

  4. Love that little table! I also love house plants and what a great reminder of your friend!

    1. I can't wait to see how extra-beautiful that little table will be once it's painted!

  5. Love, love plants-these are real beauties and so healthy and strong! You must be sad and at the same time
    happy for them-such a big journey and brave of them to follow their dream! Will you visit them??

    Sweet Hugs!

    1. You are right, Jemma - sad that they are leaving, but yet happy for them because they are living their dream. I do hope to visit them in the near future!

  6. The table is a cute shape - oh, those legs!

    But more than the table, I loved reading about your neighbor and your long friendship. Those friends who are there for you when it isn't sunshine and roses are so special.

    I hope you get out to Washington to visit them.

    1. Spot on, Carol ~ friends that are there for you even when life really sucks, are the ones that matter the most and will always be in your heart. I do hope to get out to WA to visit them after they move.

  7. Love the plants. I need to get the mother-in-laws tongue plant. You practically can't kill them. I've had the Xmas cactus before, but it's been many years. Like the one that is a mix. And I really like the piece of furniture. Can't wait to see what you do with it!

    1. Thanks, Brenda - I'll be sure to post a picture when I'm done painting it!

  8. How exciting that your friend gets to move off the grid!! I know it's hard for you to look a special neighbor. The plants are beautiful. Great pick! The table is beautiful, too!

  9. What a wonderful cactus (and the other plants too).

  10. Those plants are beautiful! I don't seem to have the knack with indoor plants! And, that nightstand is going to be beautiful! Life to the full! Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    1. Thanks, Melissa...I'm pretty good with indoor plants, except succulents seem to be a little tricky.

  11. How great that you chose the plants, living things, to remind you of your friend after she moves away! Good neighbors are such a blessing and I know you will be missing her. Hope you get some really good new neighbors.

    1. Thanks, Lynn. Deb and her husband have definitely been blessings, and we have some really nasty neighbors too, so I'm hoping that wonderful, nice people buy Deb's house!

  12. It is sad to lose such good friends like that. Although you will visit, it's not quite the same. Good neighbors are hard to find and I hope your new ones will be just what you hope for.

    The table is adorable! Can't wait for you to work your magic and show us!


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