Summer Whites

When we moved in, the homes on either side of us were still well loved by their original owners.  In fact, we became very close to Miss J (she was kind of a fixture in our day) and we were all saddened when she passed away a while back. If you’ll remember, the big mirror in our family office came right out of her foyer.  It makes me smile every time I see it.  But I digress…
A while back both houses changed hands and we anxiously awaited the first sight of the families that would move in.  Both underwent extensive renovations and the boys and I peered out the windows daily trying to get a peek of the new neighbors.  Of course we all had our little superficial wish lists… a mom “just like me” (ie. in the same stage of life), a dad that loves golf (I called Honey at work… I think I spy GOLF CLUBS!), two little boys that would go to the same school and be in the same grades, and so on.  Well, as it turns out, we landed neighbors we never really thought to wish for.  And boy did we hit the jackpot!!  While neither have littles anywhere near the ages of ours (teens – babysitters! – and college aged), we couldn’t have asked for nicer, more authentic families to share our block.  We immediately hit it off – all three families – and Honey and I know that we have a long future of friendship, golf, porch dinners, morning power walks, can you get my mail/water my plants/lend me an egg/pick up my kid/feed my pup years ahead.
Beyond all of the typical neighborly things, I can honestly say that both of these women have helped me out in ways they are likely unaware of.  I realized very early on that perhaps I have plenty of friends that are “just like me”.  The simple fact that they are just a teeny bit ahead of me is truly monumental and something I never even thought to nurture.  They’ve been there.  They have perspective.  And they convey these things in the gentlest, most unassuming way.  What a blessing!
Now, I have REALLY digressed from what I set out to share today. Over the last few weeks, we have been sharing the fruits of our garden labors.  And it’s wonderful!!!  It all started with a text from neighbor M saying that her gardenias were going crazy and we should come cut some.  Well, that got me thinking that my hydrangeas were doing the same.  So I offered them up.  And now I’ve been able to grace my rooms with wonderful summer white arrangements straight from our gardens.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!
The gardenias smell heavenly.  I floated a few in little bowls in the kitchen and bedroom, but couldn’t resist a vase in the den even though it only lasted a couple of days.  I mean, I could practically stuff them up my nose I love the scent so much.


My annabelle hydrangeas are gigantic and I honestly can’t keep up!  Like the gardenias, they don’t last long, but having a few bouquets inside is just wonderful.  Every time I come in the office I think “I grew that.  I actually grew that!”

I was really just going to pop in and show y’all my so-Southern, home grown flowers, but I do love to tell a story.  Today, and every day, I go to bed thankful to be surrounded by good people and comforted that friends we can count on are literally just steps away.

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12 thoughts on “Summer Whites

  1. this is such a precious post, Amanda. How wonderful that God gave you such wonderful neighbors. How great that you have their perspective and wisdom to draw upon. and your flowers, so amazing. I've never had Gardenias, but I love their fragrance!

  2. You are truly blessed. I also have some wonderful neighbors. If they don't see me out and about they are calling or coming over to see how I am. When we had a earthquake Janeene came over and walked my house to be sure that everything was okay. Had a lot of dish breakage, but that was it. Two other men neighbors also came over to be sure that I was fine. We really don't have dinners or do anything like that, but we care about each other.
    Your flowers are beautiful. My hydrangeas have not done well this year due to our severe drought. I was so disappointed.
    Have a great weekend .

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  4. First of all- I thought you said you had trouble growing plants? Those hydrangeas look great!
    My hydrangeas are looking pretty pathetic lately- it got hot really fast here, so they had just started to bloom when the temps got too hot for them. :(

    But I wanted to comment on this because when we bought our house 13 years ago, we had high hopes for having young neighbors that we could "grow" with and have kids grow together, etc. But we discovered that all of our neighbors had kids that were in high school or almost grown. Now all of their kids are grown and they are grandparents (with the exception of one couple, their youngest just got married) but they have become like three extra sets of grandparents for our little boy. I also love how we share with our neighbors or come out to help when someone is sick, has a death in the family, or just share an abundance of produce. Oh, and all of our neighbors have "summer homes" and they invite us to their beach home and/or their country home to visit. I am pretty sure we are headed up to the country this coming weekend to pick blueberries, go fishing, etc.

    My point is, at first, like you, I was bummed that our neighbors were in a completely different stage of life, but then as time has gone on, I have learned so much from them and gained such great friendships from these women. The best part is that because they are from a different generation and they have some wisdom, etc. their advice sometimes is right on and what I need to hear but if my mom told me, I wouldn't take it the same! Anyway- thanks for sharing this post! BTW- how is the rest of your garden doing?

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