He was a private man, my father-in-law. He lived with us on our property since 2016. He could be irrational and aggravating at times; yet, he also supported my (sometimes crazy) business ideas, immensely enjoyed spending time with Larry, and loved our girls more than anything in the world.
Caring for him took priority, and his needs escalated quickly in the past few months. We lost him in July; Alzheimer’s finally won the battle. Larry had his planned vacation the last week of his father’s life, and we were able to be there with him every moment. It was such a beautiful, yet heartbreaking, week.
Because he was a private man, there won’t be any lengthy prose about him or his life. He wanted it that way.
We are now settling in to a new rhythm in our lives – a combination of getting back to our old routines (like writing blog posts) and moving forward with new experiences and projects with the family.
While wandering the property and debating what to write about, an obvious answer appeared: Our eclectic collection of garden planters – some whimsical, some beautiful, and some downright odd (in a good way!).
The collection started years ago when I began finding thrift store and yard sale items I imagined transforming into planters. Any cute or unusual container found its way home, had a hole drilled into the bottom, and was filled with flowers or succulents.
When we moved onto our property, larger items became fair game. I found this cute little child’s push toy at Goodwill and it became a plant holder.
Then, we discovered this old stove at a yard sale. Of course, it had to come home with us. It currently holds one plant and a light-up teapot. The teapot was originally made to store wine corks, but Larry painstakingly wrapped outdoor solar lights around the whole thing, and now we have a light-up teapot on our stove – looks so cool at night!
One stove became two when I found this free one on Craigslist. The burners, currently stored in our shop, are shaped just like flowers – a project for later!
And, the piece de resistance: A free piano we found on Craigslist.
We removed the beautiful front piece, and saved it for another project. We also removed the black plastic keys to allow plants to set on top evenly.
We moved the keyboard cover back to create a shelf for plants.
And, finally, added lattice to the back for a Cosmos plant to grow on.
We placed our tea-related, plant-filled containers on it (adding more as we found them) and now we’re letting the plants take over.
The piano sits outside the window that my father-in-law looked out each day. This both entertained and annoyed him, depending on the day. Some days he said it was beautiful; some days he asked what the heck it was.
We are grateful to have been with him in the last years, and minutes, of his life. Bittersweet memories, brought to the forefront of our minds each time we walk by a certain spot, eat a certain food, or water plants in unusual containers on an old piano.