Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Memory of a Farmhouse

Busy with unpacking and trying to organize a family of five into a home with no closets, I had very little time to explore the ragged hedgerow of neglected, gangly tall bushes and high grass surrounding two sides of the property.

Fall and winter passed and it was not until the following spring that I realized there were treasures hidden in the grass beneath the overgrown pen and ink rendering of criss-crossed branches.

The gift of a slightly crumpled bouquet of tiny violet and yellow flowers from a slightly grubby child's hand, elicited my question, "Where, oh where, did you find these?"

My daughter chattered in excitement as we walked across the yard, her warm little hand cradled in mine.

Nestled in the grass were hundreds of the minute jewel-toned blossoms. Their slight, sweet fragrance surrounded them with gentle, perfumed scent.


I crouched down and touched them reverently. "Oh look, look," I told my daughter. "My grandmother called these little wild violets 'Johny-jump-ups'! Isn't that a funny name?" I tickled the tender underside of her chin with a little velvetty blossom as she giggled in delight.

I told her stories of my Grandmother who had adored gardens and all growing things. I told her how my Grandmother had also called these little flowers by the name 'Hearts Ease'. I told her that it DID ease my heart to know my Grandmother was still with me in the memory of the flowers...even though she had been gone for a long time.


My daughter was more delighted with the name than hearing the stories. "Johny-jump-up? Johny-jump-up! What a funny name!"

As the spring progressed the hedgerow continued to surprise and delight us with daffodils, forsythia and white and purple lilacs.

But none of their beautiful blooms touched my heart as much as that first little gift of Johny-jump-ups.

This little memory is written in honor of the letter “J” for Alphabe-Thursday. J is for Johny Jump Ups!


To read other 'J' offerings, just click here.




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25 comments:

Lola said...

What a *j*oyous memory,

XOXO Lola:)

☆☆Mumsy said...

I can feel the joy reading this post, because I was so happy seeing these flowers once too. Growing in the wild and so beautiful!

It's All Connected said...

Oh, I love this secret garden story Jenny! I had never had a flower garden before I moved into this long abandoned house and remember my excitement when the first daffies popped up! ~ Maureen

Sue said...

I love the name "heart's ease," too. What a great story!

=)

H said...

The smallest things can often trigger deeply cherished memories :)

Karen S. said...

...and a jolly john jump-up story it was for me too! Blessed are we more often during our hardest times...!

Lorrie said...

So very sweet, Jennie. Flowers and memories.

anitamombanita said...

That was pure delight!

wheatgerm said...

great stuff

Nezzy said...

'Loved the journey though your joyous memories. Sweet story Miss Jenny.

God bless and have a phenomenal day!!! :o)

Anita said...

Thanks for sharing some of the beauty of life: your relationship with your grandmother and the Johny-jump-ups. :)

Gail said...

Your memories, your creation, made my heart sing.

My grandmother always had Johhy-Jump-Ups.

Thank you.

Judie said...

I think that the most important flower I miss from the southeast is the violet. What a comfort to be walking along in a wooded are and find them growing in a little bunch.

xoxo,
J.

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

Lovely Jenny,
I will always remember the stalks and stalks of corn in my grandmother's garden.
Dana

taylorsoutback said...

So dear - a special memory for you.
I always wait for the appearance of those little faces sprouting along our wooded path. They go into our violet jelly.

Ms. A said...

Ah, Jenny, what a wonderful little memory story.

Pondside said...

Lovely that the sweet spring flowers tickled your memory and brought up your grandmother. Those spring flowers, so delicate but then so hardy in the face of possible late snowfalls, are the gift for making it through winter.

Steph said...

Another sweet memory. It's so rich to me how many gifts this farmhouse gave to you. I think, because you chose to see and receive them.

Naperville Now said...

very sweet, Jenny.

upinthecosmos said...

How sweet, I love those little flowers too:-) They seem to be the only ones I can grow without a problem & they spread & jump up like little johnnys of joy.... that's how I figured they got that name:-)

Ames said...

Lovely! I can see it in my mind's eye. Just precious!And I have always known them as Johnny Jump Up's too!~Ames

edenhills said...

I do love those beautiful little flowers too. Beautiful story.

Jo said...

you didn't need the photos, you painted such a wonderful word picture ... what a beautiful memory!

Pat Tillett said...

Isn't joyous living really about the amzing memories that are created? To me, it is...

GREAT post Jenny!

Splendid Little Stars said...

What a wonderful memory! Johny-jump-up are so pretty. I've heard of Hearts Ease, but didn't realize that it was the same flower.

aahhh... you cause me to long for Spring! and all its delightful discoveries!