As this blogathon begins to wind down, I'm thinking about not houses, but gardens. One of the things that my family always did was have something alive, something growing, even if it was only a potted plant, in every place we've ever lived.

When I was six, I had a pet Venus Flytrap, and while she was nothing like Audrey II, I enjoyed feeding her the occasional bit of raw hamburger. My mother had seasonal bouquets on the table all the time, and usually had some kind of container garden if we didn't have a yard. When I was nine, I grew a wild crop of marigolds as tall as I was.

Since my grandparents died, our tradition has been to mix some of their ashes into each of our gardens, both to give them a form of eternity, and as a kind of blessing for our home soil. Family and home are intertwined, places and people intermixed.

We're neither pure nor wise nor good;
We'll do the best we know;
We'll build our house, and chop our wood,
And make our garden grow.
And make our garden grow.*

*”Make Our Garden Grow,” Candide

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