The last week of April, I spent a lovely Wednesday afternoon with my mom at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. More than once we’d discussed the possibility of going there together some weekday afternoon, but it hadn’t come together, yet. It was Administrative Assistants' Day, and since my mom’s boss gave her the afternoon off, we made the most of the beautiful day.
Fortunately, I’ve gotten in the habit of bringing my camera with me, so I already had it in my vehicle when these spur-of-the-moment plans were made. We walked to the Lora and Claiborne Robins Tea House & Garden to have lunch. All of the outdoor tables were taken when we first got there, so we walked around for a little while, snapping some photos nearby while waiting for one to open up.
We both ordered the Tuscan grilled cheese with a side salad. The food was delicious, the scenery serene, and we really enjoyed having the quality time together to catch up. We split a slice of homemade key lime pie for dessert. (I managed in one meal to eat pretty much everything that’s not on my prescribed diet—wheat, dairy, lots of meat, and processed sugar—but I didn’t stress over it. I savored each bite.
Mom took a few photos of me with her camera and mused that I didn’t ask right away to see them like some other people do. I figure I take so many photos of other people and ones of nature that I rarely bother asking someone right away if I can see a photo they’ve taken unless it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime events. Then I might check to make sure at least one of the photos (with me in front of the camera instead of behind it) is in focus.
Enjoying a beautiful day outside, having a nice lunch at the tea room, and spending time surrounded by gardens made my mom and I both think about Grandma. My mom’s mother loved to garden, always appreciated spending time out in nature, and was good at doing things that would be fun, relaxing, and entertaining.
My mom declared that our afternoon together was the perfect Mother’s Day present. Great weather, not too crowded, a leisurely pace, lunch out without having to wait in line for hours since it wasn’t actually the Sunday designated for celebrating moms all contributed to the special circumstances.
I took over 465 photos in the span of four hours that we were there. The sky was a brilliant blue with a few puffy white clouds, making it a perfect picture-taking day with some neat reflections in their ponds and waterways.
Going through one section that overlooks the treehouse in the children's area reminded me of the April day 20 Kevin and I went to Mass, lunch at Kuba, Kuba, then spent the afternoon at Lewis Ginter with our beloved brother in Christ John on his birthday.
Also, the Butterflies Live exhibit was open, so I entered the mist and got some photos in there of the butterflies, moths, and tropical plants. I remembered when I’d brought a group of homeschoolers in the photography class I was teaching on a field trip there. All of us got some neat shots.
When we walked through the children’s section, I thought of the photo shoot Tina had done with me a couple years ago at Lewis Ginter. I’d posed near and in the fountains so she could get some more playful shots and ended up getting soaking wet. We had fun!
A nice lunch of mostly forbidden foods, followed by a slice of homemade key lime pie on a gorgeous day with a million blooms, a bunch of butterflies, provided countless reminders that God has created some beautiful nature. I left even more grateful that I’ve been blessed with such a strong, prayerful mother who is good at enjoying life and loving people. It made that a particularly exquisite Wednesday!