Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In Shock

An excerpt from Gracie's Diary (my memoir that will soon be finished):  

Weeks later Mike came to visit en route to Pennsylvania from his Florida winter retreat and I spotted him walking toward our office wearing his infamous faded jeans and a cream colored jacket.  He sported a deep healthy tan and his arms were full with a plant, a plaque that read Love One Another, a poster with ten rules for a happy marriage, and a package of multi-colored Bic cigarette lighters he’d bought for a dollar at a yard sale. 
     “Dad, welcome back!” Gary said, hugging him.  I hugged him too and he handed me a lemon tree and a birthday card.  He hadn’t told us he had lost weight. 
     “Happy Birthday,” he said.  I examined the healthy tree, but didn’t let on that it would more than likely be in plant heaven within a matter of weeks in my care. 
    “Thank you!” I said.  “You look great!” 
     He winced when he lowered himself to sit in one of the waiting room chairs, his hip still paining from the skateboarding incident. I opened the birthday card and read the heartfelt words; then tucked the $400 in my purse.  Next year it would be $500.  Every year he’d add another hundred dollars … it’s just something he did.  

Gary's father passed away just weeks later.  But his gift lives on, thanks to Gary and his green thumb.

Every spring we lug that tree outside.  

Every fall we lug it back into the laundry room next door.

Mike was known for his frugal ways which included making free lemonade from his water, lemon wedges and sugar when we'd go out to a restaurant to eat. 

He was also known for his positive attitude in general throughout his life.  He'd take the lemons of life 
and make lemonade. 

This year (6 years later) we got our first lemon crop and today
 his son took the lemons and made the most wonderful lemonade!  Mike would be proud!

But I'm afraid our lemon tree is now in shock.

"How could you do this to me?  You pulled me apart!  I'm in shock!"


  1. What a sweet story. I loved it!
    The lemons are so bright and cheerful looking and I'd bet that is the sweetest lemonade ever. :-)

  2. Awww, what a wonderful story, I hope the tree survives!!!!

  3. A nice story, fond memories.

    Think you need a bigger pot, one that's on wheels...

  4. A wonderful story.

  5. LEMONADE from your own tree. That is PRICELESS. What a legacy to leave you both. Drink slowly. ENJOY every sip. take care.

  6. Beautiful post! Hope you can save the tree!

  7. Nows dat was a most tender post! I just loves da concept of da story...making lemonade from da lemons...and you grew them yourself...from a tree dat was given to by a wonderful person...and then you thought it was gonna die but it didn't. Soooo mnay ways to look at dis's just fabulous!
    Trust me, I knows what I'm thinkin in my head but just can't get it out right.


  8. This is such a special story that touched my heart. Not just because of Mike and the lemon tree but the story also reminded me of my mother and how we came to Florida on vacation back in the early 80's (long before our move to Florida). Mom took back a bag of grapefruits to Michigan and planted one of the grapefruit seeds. (Just one). The tree survived as a houseplant for years until John and I moved to Florida in 1992. As the "houseplant" now touched her ceiling, she told us to take the tree and return it to its homeland. We planted it in our yard and the tree is now over 25 feet tall and producing tons of terrific pink grapefruit every year. Thank you for the memories and best of luck with the lemons!


  9. Sweet story dear Bobbi! I know that Mike is smiling seeing his Son with the lemonade! Love hearing about how you got the lemon tree! BIG HUGS dear friend!

  10. What a good story, and what a great memory Bobbi!

  11. What a legacy to have and remember. It doesn't always hurt a plant to be shocked....within reason. I am sure it will survive with some TLC from Gary, not you Bobbi!lol


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