Monday, October 8, 2012

The Garden of Love

 I love my dad.  He is one of my greatest heroes.  If you know him, you know that he has a passion for his yard.  After my parents built their home, they started from scratch on their 3 acre lot.  I remember right after we moved, working in the weeds...I mean, yard...with my siblings picking up rocks so that dad could lay grass seed.  And you better believe I complained with every rock that I put in my bucket.  The things parents put up with from their children!  Since that time, my dad has put his heart and soul into the yard.  And it shows.  I honestly don't know how he does it.  I can barely manage to maintain my staggering TWO flower beds.  My mom and dad do it together.  It's cute.  I love going home during the summer months just to hang out in their yard.  One of the focal points in the back is affectionately known as "The Garden of Love."  It came to be the summer of my wedding.  My parents were motivated to get it ready for our August backyard reception.  I remember being at the house the day of the reception and my dad taking Shane and me out to walk "the garden of love."  He made us walk through the archway and kiss afterwards.  We did as he asked, of course.  Even took pictures.  It was pretty romantic  Especially with my dad standing with us! :)  The night of our reception, the backyard was pure magic.  The garden of love has matured so much since then.  It's more beautiful than ever, especially as my dad adds to it every year as our family grows.  Though the pictures don't do it justice, let me walk you through it.
I especially love the two lamp posts.
Look at all that ivy!
If you'll notice, there are figurines throughout the garden.  Each represents the love birds of the family.  He finds just the perfect one as each child gets married.
Meet Aaron and Natalie.  They are studying the for the LSAT together.
This is Shane and Me.  It poured on our wedding day.  Perfect.
 This is Wynn and Lindsay
 And here we have Luke and Brittany!  
Lauren has been making requests for her future statue.  I think it is currently a man on a horse. 
Aren't they just sweet?

So this year my dad made another addition.  He found tree stumps perfect for sitting.  He decided to create a spot just for them.  He says it's the place where any conversation can honest discussions.  In fact, he told Carson and Cade that whenever they want to talk to their Grandpa and ask him any question or need to talk, to just come to The Garden of Love and sit on those stumps and that he would be there.  He walked the boys out and you know I needed pictures.  It just made my heart happy!  Hopefully there will be lots of stump-sitting in our future. :)

 The rest of the yard is wonderful too.  Lots of cute benches and beautiful flower beds.  Here are a few other spots.

I'm so grateful for a father who is gentle, kind, sentimental, & full of love.  He makes every day, ordinary things special, no matter how small and simple they be.  He is the perfect example of one who finds "joy in the journey".  I want to be like him when I grow up.


*LaUrA* said...

Love it! What a wonderful, loving father and grandpa. I love that everyone has a statue (do your parents have one???) I love when men show their gentle loving sides.

When my dad was repainting their house he painted the two extra blue and one pink. We kind of gave him a hard time about his paint choices until he explained to us that he painted one for his granddaughters and one for his grandsons so they would know it was a space just for them in his house. (Not quite the love garden) but it touched my heart because he was sharing part of his.

Anyways...loved this post. I love your dad! I am so grateful to him for being our early morning seminary teacher and how he was always so kind and fun and put in so much effort to teach us snotty, grumpy, hormonal, less than pleasant pubescent 9th graders. What a year huh? blahg! But your dad was a bright spot...I still love the music he introduced and then had us go around to wards and sing! I loved that...and that extra effort did not go unnoticed!

I also remember that each of us had to give a thought or something before the lesson during that year...didn't you do something with a can? or a can of something?

JoLyn Stevens said...

This post made me cry... Perhaps because I know how awesome your dad truly is too! The statutes, stumps.... the symbolism is so thoughtful. What a neat dad! And your parents' yard IS amazing! I marvel every time I visit. What a great place to have grown up!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Ahh -- what a sweet post. Love your dad. Always have. Always will.

Unknown said...

Guess I didn't do something right, so "unknown" is really me!
Aunt Carol
aka Lucky To Be His Big Sister