I planted irises in my yard because I love them. But I love them because my Grandma Effie loved them. One summer when we lived in Indiana ( I was in 5th grade) my brother and I went to her house regularly as our parents worked. It was the most magical of summers for me. She gave us coffee for breakfast which she let us pour into our saucers to cool before sipping. I remember the creamy sweetness and her smile at our devious secret. We made sticky bread together and helped her wring the laundry with the hand wringer in the basement. We picked blueberries, and wouldn't you know I have a meager bush in my yard. We napped on the porch and watched the thunderstorms rain on one half of the street while the sun shone on the other side. Watched my one-armed uncle Dickie (who lost his arm to polio as a child and spent ages in an iron lung) - so mysterious, laugh out loud in wicked delight. My grandmother had long hair which surprised me the day I first saw it down...sat on her bed and unbraided it while we talked of her youth, being a nurse. She let me brush her hair and to this day I can smell her room, see the late afternoon sunlight as it bathed us in its warm light, and feel how special I felt in that moment - priveledged, grown-up. There was a photograph of her in her nurses cap on her dresser and I thought she was beautiful and so full of life. When she smiled she had those twinkling eyes that grace the faces of kind souls. My Uncle Danny has those eyes, and so does my own mom, though hers appear brighter and more mischievious after a margarita (which delights me to no end)!