Friday, May 14, 2010

Lilies, Not Leeks

{Three Days in the Desert with Mom}

My mummy left yesterday after a glorious visit spent drinking too much coffee, identifying wildflowers, and discussing dog and horse behavior at great length. That is what we Stockman girls do best: discuss the minutiae of pack and herd mentality and overcaffeinate our sensitive WASPy constitutions. 

We spent one perfect morning ordering the dahlia tubers I reserved for her at Christmas from that bastion of heirloom gaiety, the D. Landreth Seed Co. We went for evening hikes through the desert wilderness behind my house and checked on the various and sundry bird nests I've been keeping tabs on all spring. Mom caught me up on farm gossip (my favorite kind) and Lemon's miraculous recovery while we pored through the jpegs of my wedding pictures, which, two years later, we're just getting around to ordering. (That's another thing we Stockmans do best: procrastinate like hell.)

I love my mom. I miss her every single day. What a gift to take a few days off from the studio and just be together with no one to answer to and nothing preventing us from taking luxuriously long naps.

For a belated mother's day present I gave my mom an earthen mug thrown by a local potter and stuffed with a boastful exuberance of desert roses grown by my amazing friend Nora.

My mummy had considered picking me a suitcaseful of wild leeks that sometimes grow in the woods around our farm, but that involved the hunting and gathering of said rumored leeks which may not even exist in the first place. So instead she told me about how she *thought* about picking me wild leeks, but, in fact, did not actuate on the charming plan (another winning Stockman attribute).

Instead my darling mummy brought me a posy of lilies-of-the-valley, which she picked just before leaving for the Philly airport. She brought them wrapped in damp paper towel through airport security and all the way across the country to California, being careful not to crush them in her purse. If ever there were a gesture of love from a mother to a daughter, the transcontinental delivery of beloved spring flowers must be one of the sweetest. Plus, lily-of-the-valley smells way better than wild leeks.

P. came home from his ten day excursion last night and mummy is back home on the farm where dahlia tubers need planting and the existence and location of wild leeks needs researching.

Our little desert house still smells of mom's signature lavender lotion, and it makes me smile just thinking about it. All is well, friends. All is very, very well.

Have a good weekend, muggles, and thank you for the generous comments about the shows.


  1. All so lovely! I think that desert wildflower bouquet is my favorite thing right now.

    Also that our bookshelves look like they overlap quite a bit, including that Norton anthology of English literature.

    Why do we not get lilies of the valley here? When I feel whiny, I sometimes choose to whine about this sad fact. Or maybe someone has a secret stash of them in SoCal and I just need to find out where they are.

  2. i adore your words + photos. those lily of the valley are gorgeous.

    xo Alison

  3. What a beautiful post Lily!!! Also, you won a little something over at my blog. Wishing you a lovely weekend and sending you a hug! xo

  4. Your mom sounds beyond lovely ~ will she adopt me? :) I can only imagine what the wild leeks must taste

    Congrats on your shows...not surprised in the least.

    Happy weekend to you!

  5. sounds like the week was one of the years ten best so far! and lilies for lily? gotta be!

  6. I think your mom bringing you those flowers on a plane across the country is just about the sweetest thing I've ever heard. She sounds pretty special! Have a great weekend, Lily!

  7. Aww...I cried a bit at how sweet this post is. Which, of course, is the best kind to be. Wish I could send you some of my signature wild leek would be lovely eaten on your outdoor patio and remind you of the hardwood forests of the east.

  8. this post made me so happy. the lily of the valley well that just must be the best gift of all. my mum is coming next month for two weeks and i can not tell you how excited i am!!! we will very definitely try the coffee method. i have never had coffee- just espresso(mocha ) but finaly i might find something that is worth giving coffee a try!!!!

    i love the pics and the tiny bouquet of wild desert lowers!

    oh this post was sunshine at eleven at night!

  9. You Stockman ladies rawk. And all the superbness is clearly genetic.

    Mom time is some kind of amazing. Mine will be with me in 6 weeks, and I cannot wait.

  10. oh so sweet--the fact that she brought such a sweet gift of lily-of-the-valley allthat way is sucha testament--so caring. i love it.


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