I spent my high school years on the Cape with Mom. It was festive in the summer but it was very isolated during the ‘off-season’. Mom was so creative and talented during this time. She had her gardening of course but she also was painting a great deal and taking courses at night at the school. She learned silversmithing and then she got a kiln and began cranking out ceramics as well.
She made jams from the harvest in the garden and also wine. The wine was in little 8oz Coke bottles and when she opened the first bottle during dinner one night we both had a small glass of it. As we took a first small sip both our eyes began to water and she began to laugh. The stuff was like white lightning moonshine. I told her we could make a fortune with this stuff but she declined.
Her gardens around the house were really great. My friends and our neighbors wondered why we never mowed our grass. It was a secret garden. She had a pathway that went all over the property and below the protective tall grasses were beautiful wildflowers.
One summer Jan Foster came to stay with me and care for the house while Mom was away for the whole summer. The summer was very hot and dry and Jan’s ‘Cape Escape’ deteriorated into a never ending struggle to keep Mom’s wildflowers from drying up.
I recall all of this to tell my favorite Mom Story.
One day my mother showed me a particularly beautiful plant that she had “saved”. The plant was an ‘Indian Lady Slipper’. She said that they were endangered and were actually protected by the EPA or some such thing. She showed me a number of them that we had in our small forest. I was so pleased to tell her that she needn’t worry that I had seen many of them on the wooded path that came out behind the liquor store on the way into town.Read More