(I didn’t know today was Grandparents’ Day when I wrote the post a week or so ago, but it seems appropriate!)
Roses and other flowers blooming along
They live in Hythe, Kent, an area known as England’s Garden, and with good reason. Nearly every house has extensive gardens filled with profusions of blooming roses, dahlias, fuchsia, butterfly bush, hollyhocks, hydrangeas, and many others. The picture shows the gorgeous row of flowers beside my son’s driveway. Given how hard it is to keep anything alive, much less blooming, through the hot summer in our central North Carolina home, it’s safe to say I have garden envy.
Of course that’s mostly the result of a climate that stays moderate and rather rainy most of the time. Daytime temperatures over eighty are considered hot and several days in a row of those highs are a heat wave. We were there in August and day-time highs hovered in the upper sixties to low seventies, which they agreed was pretty much normal. We agreed it was pretty delightful. We were fortunate that it only rained on us a couple of times.
Looking out over Hythe from the hill. The English Channel is
in the distance.
When we made treks to other places, like Rochester Castle, and Dungeness, we took the train, and then walked from the station to wherever we wanted to be. Generally it wasn’t a very long journey.
Because of the small children, we didn’t eat out as often as we might have. But there was a Sainsbury’s grocery store on the route from the town center of Hythe to my son’s house, so we frequently stopped there to get ready-made meals or ingredients for putting something together and schlepped them up the hill to their home.
Long strolls gave us plenty of opportunity to interact with each other, share stories, and compare notes on a wide variety of subjects. Walking let me stop to admire gorgeous views from the hillsides, glorious flowers everywhere, interesting and different birds, and the neatly compact houses that are hallmarks of English homes. We stopped frequently to pluck the blackberries growing in abundance all over and pop them in our mouths.
The scenery is beautiful and because the area is new to us, every corner and turn seemed to present something new and interesting. I blessed the new pair of sturdy walking shoes I’d bought shortly before we left because they supported me well through the many miles I put on them.
Back at home my husband and I walk most days, long marches through our neighborhood early in the morning in summer, to avoid the heat. It’s good for us and feels good, but it isn’t as pleasant as being able to walk to so many interesting and different places in Hythe, Kent.
And I miss the company and chatter of my son, daughter-in-law, and especially their two children, Freya (4), and James (2).