My grandma Joyce Mae Druffel Heitstuman passed away on May 6. The call came from my mom about two hours after we pulled into the driveway on our return from Pullman for Gretchen's graduation. She'd ill for a while, and though she'd rallied in the past from a similar medical situation, she wasn't up for it this time. I'm quite certain that I'll miss her the rest of my life.
Due to some crazy logistics, I ended up flying back to Spokane on Wednesday, hanging out with my sister, and then going down to Colton on Friday. Where, in true Colton fashion, I was soon drafted into moving farm machinery with my dad. They'd had a wet spring and couldn't get into the fields until the second weekend in May. It was a frantic race to get so many things done.
My cousin Blake had to instruct dad on hooking things up.
What, you've never moved farm equipment during your bereavement leave?
My chore at my grandmothers house was to fluff her garden beds in advance of the post-funeral open house. Remember my post from yesterday saying I needed to expand my color range? Yeah... my grandmother seemed to get it right. Check out her raised beds:
One interesting thing about my Whitman County family: they don't mulch their garden beds. I don't know why? I suspect it has to do with spending the money on mulch? That they'd rather have to hoe the garden than spread mulch? Or have to water daily since water evaporates more quickly? Either way, it's a mystery to me.
In addition to spring bloomers, she had an interesting variety of sedums and succulents worked in.
Though the weather was beautifully spring-like the four days I was there, it did get cold at night. So cold, in fact, that my dad and uncle raced out of the house at 10pm to drain the water from a piece of seeding equipment in fear of a freeze. Good thing they did; it got down to 23 degrees. Down to 20 out at my grandma Jan's farm. Check out the difference between these two plants; the one against the foundation made it and the more exposed version didn't.
In a really funny twist of fate, my childhood friend Sarah is dating a wonderful guy whose dad is from Colton. Jeff's dad graduated with one of my dad's brothers. It's a small world. Since they'd have a place to stay, and since Sarah knew my grandparents well too, they came over for the service. It was very sweet of them. Sarah got to see my dad's mom, Grandma Jan.