Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Foxgloves

April 7, 2014
2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge
A Rural Life
Day 6

F is for Foxgloves

We’ve reached the second week of the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge! As they say - time flies. I hope you're enjoying the variety the challenge offers as much as I am. Bloggers are writers and writing is all about telling people your story. So thanks for coming along for the ride in the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge.

If you’re a frequent visitor here at Between the Keys, you may have read my foxglove story before. I write often of my grandparents and the influence they had on my life. It’s less difficult than writing about my parents since my mom is still alive and I respect her privacy. My grandparents are ever constant in my mind, centered, together, always tolerant and loving in ways one’s parents cannot be. It’s the way of things, you know. 

I decided to reprint a blog from 2010, which just happens to be the most read entry I’ve ever posted. I think it has withstood the passing of time and is all the more appropriate given that those seeds from so long ago continue to sprout and grow with robust health.

July 11, 2010

I have faded memories of the old log cabin on the other side of the creek, the one my grandparents ‘went to house keeping’ in back in 1930. Abandoned by my grandparents when they built a brick home in 1940, the dark logs with their white chinking had almost disappeared when I was a girl, hidden by the poplar grove that sprang up in the old front yard. When I was about eight, my granddad hooked a chain on the old Allis Chalmers tractor, and pulled the cabin down lest one of his grandchildren come to harm playing in its shadow. From 1965 to 2007, the forest laid claim to the property, shrouding it in grapevines, behind a carpet of ferns.

Being an only child (and the only girl), in a generation of mostly only children, makes for some very close ties. My cousins and I act more like brothers and sister than some blood siblings do. When the subject was broached that one among the next generation was interested in the old lot, there was no need for discussion. All us grandkids are established with our own homes, on property given us by our grandparents (yes, we’re all neighbors and have been for almost thirty years). We welcomed the chance to honor the spirit of our grandparents, and pass the old property to one of the great-grandkids who would care for it. Clearing began in 2007, and the new, modern house was completed in 2008, built on the exact spot where the cabin stood so many years ago. 

Little did I know the treasure that would surface this year when I paid a visit to my young cousin. I strolled down my lane, hopped the creek, and walked across a carpet of grass where a few short years ago, wild ferns grew. Being family, I went around the corner of the house with the intent of using the kitchen door. What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks.

The entire length of the backyard, where lawn met the woods, was awash with pink, purple, and white foxgloves, yellow coreopsis, white daisies, and red sweet Williams. What sprawled before me were the flowers of my grandmother’s first garden. I plopped down on the porch step, and cried.

All those seeds, dormant in the good earth for decades, had fulfilled the promise of sun and rain, sprouted and grown, and now bloomed. I marveled at the miracle.

I’ve since transplanted roots and harvested seeds. Come fall, I’ll move more roots to my own garden, increasing my chances of good growth in the spring. I will cast the seeds back onto the earth, and watch for seedlings in the coming years, a precious legacy unknowingly left by a woman who loved her only granddaughter well.


You didn’t really think you’d get away without a brief book promo, did you?

F is also for Fallon Roxbury of THE BACK STAIRS, BENEATH DARK STARS, RIVER WALK and now MOON DANCES. For more information please visit my website at 

KC Kendricks


Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

Foxgloves are such beautiful flowers and so useful for their medicinal properties too.
Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

Laurel said...

Oh, this made me weepy. So beautiful. Thank you for this story.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Oh, what an incredible thing to see - all those foxgloves growing in the backyard! It's wonderful that you took some seeds and roots and planted them in your own yard. I hope they grow like crazy!

I'm sorry you were getting obnoxious comments from people. It drives me crazy when religious nuts like to spread self-righteous hate around. I hope you're getting lots of nice comments as well.

KC Kendricks said...

Thanks for stopping by Between the Keys, Tasha, Laurel and Cathy.

It was overwhelming to see those flowers blooming. My young cousin had no idea where they came from but I knew right away. My grandmother always had the most beautiful foxgloves in her garden.

Chrys Fey said...

I love flowers and foxgloves are one of my favorites. I would love to have a backyard full of them. What a site that would be!

Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

Oh how lovely! That sounds like quite the sight.

Happy A to Z-ing!
herding cats & burning soup.

Rebekah Loper said...

Grandmothers give us the gift of such special memories, don't they? I never knew one of my grandmother's, but the other is still alive and doing well, and probably the best memories I have of her (besides the ones we still get to create - today is actually her 82nd birthday) are of her in her rocking chair, knitting or crocheting, and either praying quietly, or telling stories to me and my siblings and cousins.

~Rebekah Loper
Fantastical Ponderings - The A-Zs of Worldbuilding
The Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society

KC Kendricks said...

I was lucky enough to have both grandmothers for a good many years but my maternal grandmother was a remarkable woman. She was a doomsday prepper long before it became fashionable. In her day, living off the land wasn't anything special. I feel very blessed she taught me so many things.