Swimming in a sea of lilacs

Swimming in a sea of lilacs

Many years ago I had a horrible virus that settled into my lungs and ended up as a case of "walking pneumonia". Little did I know at the time that the virus also settled into one of the discs between two vertebrae in my back, causing degeneration in that disc. When my doc discovered it over a decade later, he was puzzled. The disc that showed degeneration on the x-ray is one that rarely experiences degeneration because it's the transitional disc from the lower to upper vertebrae and doesn't usually get injured. After some detective work, it was determined that the bad respiratory infection almost 15 years prior was the culprit.

Over time, the disc has caused me issues, causing the pain to get progressively worse. By the fall and winter of 2008-2009, I was having to cut back my gardening activities significantly and was desperate for relief. When Hubby received a small-ish annual bonus from his employer last spring, he was generous enough to use it to purchase a hot tub for me so I could find some relief. Thanks to hydrotherapy in the hot tub, my pain has decreased so significantly I am able to work in the garden again this year and once again do the things I love to do. Even though I promised to do the water condition maintenance in the hot tub, Hubby has also sweetly done that for me too. And when I need some hydrotherapy he gallantly removes the cover for me so I don't strain my back. I know it probably sounds like I'm gushing, but my husband really is an amazingly giving man (who is probably blushing right now).

Fortuitously, the largest of my warmer climate lilac bushes has grown into a wonderful tall screen between the deck and the neighbor's yard right where the hot tub is located. When I sit out in the hot tub, this is the view I see right now (see below)...

View from the hot tub

When I sit in the hot tub, I feel like I'm swimming in a sea of lilacs and can't get enough of their wonderful heady fragrance or the gorgeous sight of their amethyst blossoms. Can you tell lilacs are my favorite flower?

Hubby and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this past Saturday. When he asked me what I wanted to do for our anniversary and wondered if I wanted to take a little overnight getaway somewhere, I seriously considered it. Then I said that I'd rather spend the money on something for the garden that would be permanent (my motto is, "Don't give me diamonds... give me garden tools"). Of course I already had something in mind. I've been wanting to build a raised pond basin in a spot that has drainage issues anyway. I usually reuse materials from around the garden, but this time I didn't have enough and needed to splurge on retaining wall blocks.

We went to Lowe's on Friday evening and got all the blocks we needed (72 to be exact). I had planned to unload all the blocks from the back of the truck on Saturday and do the wall-building myself while Hubby did whatever he wanted during the day. But again, my chivalrous husband insisted that he would do the off-loading out of the truck so I could focus on building the basin. By late Saturday afternoon, it looked like this (see below)...

Raised pond basin

I definitely couldn't have tackled this job without the blessing of the hot tub or the tremendous help of my sweet husband who was willing to spend our anniversary doing this (which I know he really didn't want to do but did anyway).

Lest you think I'm completely unromantic... after getting ourselves cleaned up, we went out to dinner for a "proper" anniversary celebration. Hauling rocks, building a pond, and then eating a nice dinner... that's my kind of anniversary.
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  1. That would be MY kind of anniversary too! The lilacs are gorgeous and I'm glad your back is getting better.

  2. Cindy, you gush all you want about your wonderful husband. He is definitely a keeper. I've thought several times since I got home at how wonderful he is. What a marvelous blessing that you have each other.
    Love you both,

  3. Belated Happy Anniversary wishes ... lovely lilacs! Yes, spring has sprung!

  4. I can't think of a nicer place to rest and warm up your sore back than in a hot tub surrounded by fragrance and beauty.
    You certainly have a very considerate kind husband.

  5. Your Lilacs are beautiful. I'm glad your hot tub is working for you,there is nothing worse than back pain. Have a Blessed and Happy easter.

  6. I LOVE lilacs! Can't wait til we have them here.... And what a great use for a hot tub...I can only imagine its magical qualities! I know that was the only night I was at your house that I wasn't at all cold :) You two are some of the sweetest people I know.

  7. I love lilacs and their heady scent! I'm going to have to hunt some down and bring a bouquet of them home with me.

    I'm always amazed at the damage viruses can do in unexpected ways. Nasty things. I'm glad to hear you're finding some relief though.

    Beautiful pond. Water elements are such soothing elements in a garden setting. You're really creating a lovely retreat there in your own backyard.

  8. Cindy, Happy Anniversary!!!!

    You do have one of the best husbands in the world, [LOL, mine is also one of them].

    How wonderful to finally find something that takes the pain away enough for you to do your gardening. And those lilacs....sigh.

    I can smell them from here. Your water feature is beautiful.


  9. When I first moved to the Bay Area, a florist told me that lilacs don't grow here, and that he missed them terribly. I thought that was a shame, because I had lived next to a beautiful old lilac in Central NY.

    Then this past summer, I bought a little house in East Oakland.

    And now, the two lilacs in the back yard are blooming.

    I'm delighted. (And maybe I should track down that florist, and bring him some flowers.)


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