May 23, 2024
  • 3:18 pm Several area seniors receive AgTexas scholarships
  • 3:17 pm 8 area students receive Five Area Connect Scholarships
  • 3:14 pm Muleshoe City Council considers childcare facility tax exemption
  • 3:14 pm This is what the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge Expansion means for landowners
  • 3:13 pm Muleshoe Art Association holds last meeting of the year

Mother’s Day is only a few days away, but my memories of my mother don’t need any calendar or greeting card company’s prompting.

This morning, I was looking at some Mother’s Day-related columns I’ve written in the past, and what follows is mostly one of those with a bit of updating. Multiple sweet memories drew me back in.

I wrote about doing something Mom would have dearly loved, something she taught me to do, with someone she never met but would love with incredible love, someone I believe she will indeed one day meet.

I was planting flowers with our little five-year-old granddaughter Brenley (who’ll soon be sixteen). I knew we were taking a chance. To plant anything in our area before Mother’s Day is to walk on the wild side and live dangerously. But plant we did. Out in the back yard, we dug down into the soil of two whiskey barrel planters, set in our plants, and watered them with water from our rain barrels. We were standing there, our hands covered with mud. Bren was holding the “loppers” as I showed her where to separate our cuttings. And we had time to talk.

That’s one of the best things about being together and planting plants. You’re working for a common goal, looking forward to what God will do to make the world and your little corner of it more beautiful, and you get to talk while you’re in the midst of the worthwhile labor. We dull grownups need to spend all the time we can talking with little people. They still know what’s really important.

And that was when it hit me: “Bren, your MawMaw Shelburne, my mom, would have loved this! She loved to plant things and watch them grow, and she’d really have loved doing this with you!”

Memories flooded in, countless times in my childhood when Mom would take my younger brother and me out to the back yard, and we’d dig, and plant, and water—and talk. Mom was Rembrandt and her yard was her canvas. I think the only things she loved more than her growing plants were her growing kids and grandkids. So, she just grew them all together.

A lot of what Mom knew about growing things, she learned from her parents. Grandmother Key was always on the lookout for rocks with hollows in them, perfect planters for her little cacti. For larger planting projects, the instrument of choice, both for Mom and Grandmother Key, was a grubbing hoe. I remember setting the plants out and then grubbing dams around them to hold the water in. I’d play with my little plastic soldiers around those

dams, earthen barricades prone to frequent flooding. Drowning was a far worse danger to my troops than any enemy action.

Granddaddy Key was often drafted into Mom and Grandmother’s service. He raised more cattle and sheep than plants, but he certainly knew how to grow things. I’m not sure who loved those rare and precious collaborative gardening times more, the father or the daughter. One thing was clear: they loved the time together.

Mom knew that Paradise was a garden, a place to grow love. And love grows forever.

Curtis K. Shelburne

Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

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