August 8, 2011

the crash...a poem

My life is but a barren wasteland of colored flower petals and grasshoppers,

Grasshoppers who hop away before I can take a picture.

Solitary zinnias reaching skyward,

Empty day after empty day.

My life has no purpose.

No direction.

My life is a birdhouse of hopelessness,

Flowers twining,


My life is a sea of flower arranging skills that I do not possess,

Possesionless skills,

That I do not possess.

My garden cries out, "Hey lady, you can't get us hooked on Miracle Grow and then expect us to go cold turkey just because that whole wedding thing is over."

But I turn away,

Deaf to their cries.

Lonely onions sit in clay pots of solitude.



Who in their right mind plants a single onion in a clay pot?

Meanwhile, their siblings shout out from their raised garden bed prison,

"You promised to thin us when you planted us too closely together way back in April!"

Promises broken,


I ignore their voices,

Numb to their pain.

The screech of magpies fills the air,

Magpies, magpies, everywhere.

But still, I refuse to put a picture of a hateful magpie on my blog,

So they screech...and mock,

Hateful, catfood eating vipers of despair.

They haunt me.

White cosmos hug my birdbath

The birdbath in which no bird will bathe,

Birdless bath of emptiness.

Big Mable floats on the pond....a big, orange platform of loneliness.

She has no purpose,

No direction.

Her Adirondack chair moving glory days are over,



Aimless drifting.

The zipline of death sits silent,

A lonely cable, stretching to nowhere.

Zipping soldiers, gone back to the desert.

Zipping husbands, gone back to work.

Zipping grooms, no longer upside down.

No one died on the zipline of death.

Alas, even yours truly lived to tell the tale.

The tale of a groom who wouldn't let his mother back down the tree when she had second thoughts and saw her life flash before her eyes,

The very mother who gave birth to all nine pounds of him and lovingly protected him from all danger,

Yes, that is the mother that he would not let back down the tree.

The tale of a husband who promised to love and to cherish and to catch me when I got to the other end.

Thank you for catching me, dear husband.

No, I did not die on that fateful day,

Dare I say, it was actually kind of fun.

Big, huge sigh of relief for all who lived through the zipline of death.

The Bride zips,

Zips in her wedding dress,

Twice, no less.

Tiny droplets of water bead up on her pretty white train,

Droplets that say, "This girl is awesome!"

Talking droplets.

But droplets are not enough,

We must find a fountain.

These droplets do not bead up on her dress of loveliness,

But we hang it up on the back porch and it is good as new in the morning.

Zipping, dripping, fountain dwelling bride of beauty.


Rings on fingers,

Rings on fingers that are driving Eastward.



Far, far away.

Come back, ringed fingers!

Come back, desert soldier!

Come back, friends and family!

I miss you!

The end.


  1. I bet it is a lil hard now that the big event is over!! Love love the flowers as always and love even more the bride ziplining!

  2. beautiul teresa. i know how you feel, i to love having company to dote over. but when they leave, all you're left with is a strange emptiness and a wondering of what to do. going back to real life is no fun and i want fun back.

  3. What a great post! And what great pics you have to remember that time by. It made me smile and laugh....but I feel sad for you too.

    But wait.....grandkids are next!

  4. Okay...I think this may be my FAVORITE post yet!
    You are the REAL DEAL FUNNY GIRL! I love how you view life!!!!


  5. simply beautiful. what a great ode to family.

  6. I am totally more enamored than I was. You are way cool. Zip lines no less. I have those same demanding flowers that I refuse to baby in this heat. It feels like the surface of the sun out there. And I am totally thankful for those soldier boys. Hugs Mama.

  7. don't
    it's over...


    and boy what fun you all had!
    what amazingly happy memories!
    i love the way you express the mixture of emotions! love it love it love it

  8. Aw Teresa! It is so hard to shift gears and I know you must miss your boys (and girl) dreadfully! I am SURE you will find something to keep you occupied until they all descend upon you again. And no using the zip line without them!


  9. Dear Theresa.

    It will get better. I promise. After my daughter's wedding I swear I felt like I had malaria.

    While everything looks amazing invite 6 friends over for lunch.

    Fix buckets of margaritas. Laugh.

    This is a beautiful post, and your photography is amazing.

    My favorite photo is of the bride-

    I have 3 adult daughters and in my neck of the woods, seeing something as beautiful and strong as a bride on a zip line, people would say-

    'muy brava!'

    What a partner your son has found.
    What a strong example you were.

    It will all be OK.

    White Spray Paint

    PS. It is possible to get blog posts and photos published in book form. I think you need to do that.

    From bossy Laura.

  10. That was the happiest "sad" poem that I ever had the pleasure of reading!
    I especially like the poor onion in the pot and the others so overcrowed!
    Your pictures are awesome as ever!

  11. That does it. I'm not letting my children get a single year older.

    My onions are kindred spirits with yours, if it makes you feel any better...

  12. Oh that is just how it felt here also over a week ago. Crash. Busy, busy and the flowers looked great and the baskets looked good. Went out to water today and it seems I missed a couple days. Even with the rain two of my baskets looked bad. And the Miracle Grow Wend. came and went last week. I feel your pain.

  13. Big lump in throat. Big tear running down cheek. Love these memories from a mama's heart!

  14. A friend of mine calls this
    "the day after the fair"

    You know, months of planning, grooming, anticipating
    waiting fir the day
    the big day arrives
    the prize has been awarded
    the pictures have been taken
    packing up
    driving away
    all done

    "the day after . . ."

  15. Gorgeous photos! I totally envy your pond and zipline!!! Wow, I can't believe the bride did that in her dress.(Especially a strapless one!)

  16. Pass the kleenex please...
    Beautifully written, you had me smiling and crying. Sending hugs!
    xo Cathy
    ...who thinks you are totally awesome to brave the zip!

  17. Wow this pictures took my breath away!!!!! They are fabulous...everyone looks so great and so happy. The pictures of nature at its best are so real I feel like I could reach in and smell the flowers. The pond and zipline are incredible!

  18. Ah, the cycles of life, the ups and downs. I prefer that you stay on an up cycle and I stay on an up cycle, and that all our lovely and loved ones stay near for ever and always. Alas, it cannot be.


  19. It's always such a let down after the big event. Whatever the event may be. And quiet, no less. Soon, you'll get back in the grove and inspiration will hit. Isn't there always a lag in enthusiasm about this time of the summer, when you get so sick of weeding and trimming? Maybe if you start doing some Fall planning that will help.

  20. Oh this is the epitome of bittersweet. I laughed and I felt a tear tug my eye. Your poem is beautiful. Makes me wish I had a boy (although I wouldn't get rid of my girl). Hugs to you!

  21. Who knew?! In addition to being a wonderful photographer, you are also a talented poet!! :) Hang in there!! It will get better!! Beautiful pictures!! Looks like you guys had a wonderful time together!!

  22. It looks like one of the liveliest weddings I have ever seen and the let down will end and your flowers will bloom, the onions will forgive you and the birds will bathe once more. Give it some time. I agree with Laura...make a pitcher of margarita and let the party begin.

  23. Dost thou think an impromptu trip to the Midwest might return thee to thine purpose?


  24. Oh Teresa, I have so missed your blog. I spent hours last night catching up on your posts and looking at all your amazing photos. This post and poem--AWESOME-as always. I have to tell you--I wish you would do a room by room post of your house--it is honestly heaven on earth to me. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. Makes me want to just stop watering my flowers that look so pitiful right now :) LOL
    Hugs, Amy

  25. Teresa... you have now convinced me that there will be no weddings at Red Gate Farm... if this is the low after the high, nope, not gonna happen. My kids will have to settle for one of the bare and sterile rental spaces!


    And I must say, I just love the thought of owning a floatation device named Big Mable!

  26. Wait?! How on earth did I miss the wedding post?! What a gorgeous wedding...picture perfect in every way! And the low after the high is always hard. So much anticipation and preparation and then poof, in an instant it's all over and everyone is scattered to the 4 winds. The job of mother truly is the toughest one in the world! If it's any consolation, your photos are beautiful!

    Kat :)

  27. Oh dear, I laughed and CRIED!

  28. I think you are suffering from a terrible case of empty nest syndrome. Take heart, they will be back before you know it with babies. There will be the sound of children's laughter on Mabel and the zipline...they will be picking your flowers and eating ice cream on the lawn...mark my words!

  29. this is beautiful and haunting and sad and beautiful again.

  30. Wow, Ode to cutting loose the apron strings for good. Been there I understand the empty part. Fantastic captures of a time to remember. Glad I visited for the first time.

  31. "catfood eating vipers" LOL!

    you're awesome. Your pictures are awesome. And we're still here :)

  32. HI Teresa, Your poem is at once sad and beautiful. You have an awesome new daughter. Who does that in their wedding dress?? I can tell you miss them deeply. You are in my thoughts and things will get better. Hang in there.

  33. wow! You are incredible and those pictures of the bride...and of your gardena nd wow wow...hugs to you...enjoy the quiet as much as you can.

  34. Agghh, my heart hurts!! I will not wish away these days of 9 and 6 and 2... I hope you find some joy to fill the emptiness - I know that these days, like the ones before, will pass as well, and a new season will bloom in your life. Prayers for your soldier's safety!!!! You are an amazing, amazing lady.

  35. Post wedding let down really sucks. Was in the same boat last summer. Awesome pictures!

  36. You are one sweet mama!! I love that your daughter-in-law zip lined in her dress..she is awesome. So are you for trying it!!! You are awesome.

  37. Nothing like your first born getting married,or your second born, or any more after that,i was Happy and sad at the same time happy because like your son they found Beautiful young girls,who have given me BEAUTIFUL Grandchildren. Take heart with Gods Blessing this is going to be a joyous time (grandchildren) bring special joy you have this to look forward to. Peace and joy to you and your lovely Family.

  38. Move over ee cummings! Been there too. Bittersweet. Mimi

  39. Absolutely awesome.

    Jackie from PA

  40. Oh yes why do they all grow up and go away. The flowers are stunning and I would really like more pictures. I devour each one. They touch my heart. And yes, the grandkids will come and fill the space with bubbles and shreaks of glee. Your heart will grow even bigger than you thougt possible now. <3 kathy

  41. :*( I'm sorry they are gone. It looks like you guys had such an awesome time. What beautiful words and pics you have shared with us in blog world.
    Thank you for sharing

  42. WOW! I have 3 girls...can we have their weddings at your place please?? I know one wants a Montana wedding so it would be perfect!!!

  43. I've read me some Frost, e.e. cummings, Emily Dickens, Shakespeare.... they just don't hold a candle to you sister!!! You have made my day with your talented lament. You need chocolate. Pounds of GOOD chocolate (which will later be known as pounds on your thighs but that is a different lament all together). I pray that they all come home for Christmas real soon....

  44. Aww, that was both sad and hilarious. For the record, I think you have mad flower arranging talents....along with many other talents. The zip line looks like so much fun!! Maybe you should go for another ride to cheer you up!! Or just go make something with CREAM CHEESE!! Keep your chin up! Praying for safety for your traveling bride and groom and your soldier!

  45. My sweet precious T. I know what will make you feel better. Go buy a plane ticket for Indiana. I'll happily meet your flight in the middle of the night again. I'm pretty sure it is the only thing that will make you feel better. There is always a place for you here.

  46. Hauntingly beautiful poem! Your photography and your home are both spectacular! It looks like you all had an amazing time. You have an amazing new addition to your family. Savor the precious memories and know that many, many more lie ahead.

    Every time I look at pictures of your home, I am amazed at the incredible beauty that you have created. Who knew that paradise hides somewhere in Montana?!!

    The clematis "choking" the birdhouse is stunning! I need one! Really, really bad. Is it Princess Diana?

  47. Absolutely beautiful pictures.. I am now following you.

  48. I am now following you.. These are some really great photos.. I am new to the photography world and I have lots to learn.. but these are great..

  49. They leave and our hearts leave with them. Sad but happy. Life. Blessings friend.

  50. Beautiful photos...congratulations!!

    I looked for contact info for you here but unable to find an email for you. I was wondering if you might let me know the manufacturer/name of your china set you mentioned in your post here: that your mom has been giving you. I love this set and have been doing searches, upon searches with no avail.

    My personal email is

    Thank you! and again, Congratulations to your son. I hope he has a beautiful and loving marriage...

    -Jenny in Maine

  51. Your photos are stunning and your words haunting, sad, and beautiful. Grabbed my heart. Be good to yourself...let yourself truly feel the letdown, the empty nest, the husband who has gone back to work. Sleep late, take a bubble bath, have some ice cream or a glass of wine (or both!). Then...get out in the garden and dig in the dirt and take care of your plants, put on some upbeat music and dance around your kitchen, take more photographs, call a good your life and be happy!

  52. Hi Teresa,
    I thought that I followed you a long time ago. Well, guess I missed that. Following you now. I have always loved your blog. I see a pic of one of those 'oh so many zinnias' you planted last Spring. Your poem is awesome, and your photograpy is always amazing! We were in Montana a couple of weeks ago on a road trip. I thought of you. That is where your farm is, right? Congrats on the wedding. My youngest son, the last to tie the knot is getting married on the 20th. The zip line of death looks scary, but oh so fun. Glad you survived!

  53. Lovely Teresa,
    it was great fun
    to catch up on
    the wedding festivities.
    Sounds like you have
    syndrome. Take a
    martini or two and
    call me in the morning!!
    xx Suzanne

  54. How creative you are, loved, loved the poem and beautiful pictures, especially the bride's dress skimming the water. Like the comment above called it,PNS will last a couple of weeks unfortunately.

  55. I forgot to warn you about the post-wedding let down. After it was over for us in June, we looked at eachother and realized the we had forgotten what we normally do in the spring ... wedding preparations overshadowed EVERYTHING else.

    This poem could be my life, except your soldier is our Daughter #2. It brought back all the feelings I experienced in June ... wedding ... excitement ... leaving ... empty.

    The bride on the zipline is priceless!!!

  56. What an amazing time. And, as usual, you handled it with sentiment, honor, love, humor, humility and honesty. You're a grand person. Hugs to you from your neighbor.

  57. Really love your poverty. Even though it is negative it flows great and you choice great words.