My family and I had moved back to Wyoming from Yuma, Arizona. We temporarily settled in a small town called, Chugwater. This community is huge ranching country. In the spring, it is as if every single community member comes out to lend a helping hand to brand all the new calves. This is a glorious time! The warmer days bring with it a strong sense of community... ropes, branding irons, horses and/or 4-wheelers :), fences, roundups and huge potluck feasts after a long, long day of riding and wrestling calves. The quintessential true west scene, which due to my upbringing and family background suited me like the pair of Justin boots and Rockies jeans I sported with my braids and bows. I loved it, every moment!
During one particular branding, I received a HUGE bouquet of lilacs! Now, this is not really the full story. In all actuality I didn't really "receive," that would require a girl not completely hung up on the whole tomboy bit. :):) A sweet boy, one whom I actually liked picked this bouquet and came up with his cousin alongside to give me this particular beautiful lilac bouquet. I don't know what was wrong with me, but I was mortified! I was so embarrassed to have this display of affection right in front of everyone that I impulsively threw them on the ground. My mother, she was now the one mortified! :) She had me pick up the flowers and take them to the car. I remember being so embarrassed at my behavior and feeling the hurt and confused watchful stare of the boy. And, I don't really remember what she specifically said to me, as we walked to the car, past the very bushes that were the origin of the bouquet... but I am sure it was something along the lines of, "This was a sweet gesture, don't be so ungrateful and rude!" How I cringe remembering this memory, but I also smile in acceptance of who I was and how silly I was in regard to boys in general. Who knows about these things, right? Poor boy. :) I was, and I guess still am a difficult one...
Trip down memory lane almost to an end.... the sweet, ethereal smell of the lilac has triggered another dear memory for me. This is a special memory of sitting on chairs made using old tractor seats placed atop tree stumps located underneath a canopy of lilac bushes. A special memory set on the ranch..... There we were whittling, trying to catch wild kittens just starting to venture out, making pretend soup concoctions with sawdust, leaves, rocks and other treasures, playing hide-n-seek... bouncing back and forth between play and just quiet laying back watching the clouds roll by. These were the sources of endless entertainment for us all. These memories come with images of my Grandpa, sister and cousins. And I couldn't depict more of a perfect picture. It was just perfect. The lawn area freshly mowed using the old push mower- one similar to this. The garden just starting to show signs of life... and my Grandpa sat, expertly whittling alongside us. We attempted to mimic his methodical movements with little pocket knives of our own. My poor Grandmother, oh how she worried! But there was no stoppin' the way of things. There were to be cuts, bruises and dings but nothing "too close to our hearts" (an old saying of my Grandpa's... if we had a little scrape he would lovingly say- "It's a long way from your heart."). These were the joys of spring, the joys of the ranch, the joys my Grandpa shared with us... the aroma of lilacs swirl and dance around these memories.
It comes as no surprise, if there is something to bring to a function during this season, well you can rest assured I will sprinkle lilacs on whatever the dish it is I am bringing... even something as simple as a fruit plate. I also am in the process of making lilac jelly! So very excited to get this down pat and have little lavender colored jars to give out as gifts. Canning up a little bit of spring! I have also made lilac water, just for fun. See below. Today I made lilac peach pancakes. Yum, yum! You can make lilac infused sugar and honey. You can make lilac ice cream, I mean the options are pretty limitless. Take a look at my Pinterest Page dedicated to lilacs and have fun!
Savoring the spring flower in a multitude of ways! Happy Spring!