And So I Bought A Tree


Yesterday I decided to swing by Southwood Nursery on my way to the grocery store. It's just a few miles from my apartment. 

When I want to relax and not be inside a store, that's often where I head. I like to walk around, listen to the water fountains, and just enjoy being outdoors with so many plants and birds and butterflies around me.  

It's kind of a heaven on earth.


Naturally my cart went right to the Japanese Maples. 

The tree specialist came up to me and we talked about trees. I mentioned the Japanese Maple. But once we came to the Jade Butterfly tree and he explained why he likes them so much, I was sold.

I told him that I love the turning of leaves in the fall. The Jade Butterfly turns a bright yellow. And when you open up a leaf with your fingers, it resembles a butterfly in shape.

Under the landscape use, the tag says: Woodland Garden, Urban Garden, Firescaping/Fire Wise. 

It can grow 12-15 feet tall. And can grow up to 10 feet wide. Hardiness is Zone 4-9.

I got a pot they told me was the right size, their potting mix and one of those rolling plant gizmos so I can move it around. And of course the tree. 

I've invested $125 total in this tree. It is like furniture for my patio. It is the bones of my garden space. And you know what they say about good bones.

I then headed to the grocery store, sipping on the sweet tea I'd picked up. For some irrational reason I was so pleased with myself. 


My mind roamed back to when I lived in Texas, when my confidence was on the floor. 

I remembered how scared I was to even think of venturing out on my own at age 54. Moving to another state with the pupsters and starting a new life. 
 
I still recall looking in the rear view window at my house, my beloved home. With my pond and flower gardens and huge pavilion. 

I told myself: This is the last time you will see that house. And I flipped up the turn signal and turned right on my way out of town.

That very day my ex was moving back into what was our home with his girlfriend. It was no longer my house. It would be her house.

I wondered: Do I even know what I'm doing? Can I really pull this whole new life thing off?


And here I am more than six years later. Thriving. I'm 60 now, and a little worse for wear with the ankle injury.

I lived in a little blue house for awhile. But after the injury, I couldn't handle the steps carrying groceries, and so I moved to this patio apartment.

Life isn't perfect. But it's good. It's really good.

My confidence is no longer on the floor. It's going up, up, up with no end in sight. I did it. I found a way to make money and take care of us. 


Have you ever seen that commercial on TV of the African-American woman who's taken the ancestry test to see what nationality she is? 

She puts on this big hat, looks in the mirror and says: "It's just a hat. But it's the most important hat I've ever owned!"

Well, this is just a tree. But it's the most important tree I've ever owned. Because it's part of my new confident life.

I have my patio set to rights with the removal of the problematic trees. And I have this whole new appreciation and excitement about that patio. Silly as that may sound.

I will live here indefinitely. For the most part, I'm happy here.

I may live in the city, but I can and do have a nice urban garden. I had a gazebo for a year, and loved it, but it was not long for this world in the brisk and sometimes brutal Oklahoma winds. 

That's okay. I make the best of things. I adapt.

In gardening terms, I'm a perennial. 


Tree and groceries in tow, I got home and realized that I had a sun roof on my Pathfinder. I have not used it since I moved to Oklahoma because I somehow forgot all about it. 

Had not given it a single thought.

I realized that the young man who put my tree in the car didn't really have to angle the tree in the front just so to make it fit. I could have opened the sun roof that I somehow forgot about for over six years and the tree could have stuck out the sun roof.

This made me laugh. I'm such a dufus about a lot of things. I forget how to turn on my car lights because I rarely use them. So when the weather gets stormy and it gets dark I have to figure them out all over again. 

But one thing I know for sure: when I fall down, I pick myself back up. I may cry. But I rectify the situation as best I can. And I move on stronger than I was before. 

You win some, you lose some. Life goes on. 

It doesn't really matter what happens to you. It's how you deal with what happens to you that really counts.


I don't need a man. I don't even want a male companion. And he said I couldn't make it without a man to take care of me. 

As I drove down the road I've driven many times, I realized that the home I was driving to is just an apartment. 

But it's the most important place I've ever lived. 

What I've learned: Live in the now. Don't try to look too far ahead. 

Life is ever changing. Sometimes it picks you up and plops you down somewhere you never thought you'd land. 

But what is important is that you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward.



110 comments

  1. Thank you, Brenda. I needed these words this morning. I love your patio oasis. I am anxious to see the tree leaves open and look like butterflies! How beautiful!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I was able to supply them for you! I'm anxious to watch my little tree grow.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Brenda you are always inspiring to us! Always looking forward to your blog. may you continue to help others thru it as you always have. <3 to you and punsters

      Delete
    4. Sorry, pup sters (i hate autocorrect)

      Delete
    5. I'm so happy that my words helped out in some small way.

      Delete
  2. What a beautiful tree! and a beautiful post. It's nice to be able to reflect and see just how far we've come sometimes. You are awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes when we "put pen to paper" we realize things we may not have thought about otherwise.

      Delete
  3. I also needed to hear those words this morning. Thank you Brenda! The tree is beautiful and will add so much to your patio. Since your tree is in a pot, how will it handled the winter months when the temperatures go below freezing? I admire you Brenda for all you have accomplished and was reading your blog when you lived in Texas. You have come a long way and you made it on your own..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They said it should be okay in this pot. To protect it when the wind is blowing. And to keep it watered through the winter. Guess I'll see.

      Delete
    2. Love this post, too Brenda. Usually, with any large potted tree or shrub, as long as the pot can drain you shouldn't have any problem with freezing or overwintering. Love your city garden!

      Delete
  4. This is a wonderful post, Brenda. It reminds us all that we are in control of our own lives. I love your new tree and what it represents in your life. xo Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laura! We've both been in hard places and persevered.

      Delete
  5. As I was reading your post I was thinking, "me, me, me." I was the one who left and never looked back. I faced some tough times but always survived, like you. He said I would starve to death, ha, I have been so happy and thankful that I took the step and improved my lot in life. As I read your posts I think we have so much in common we could have been sisters or cousins. I love your choice of trees. I am looking forward to seeing it grow in your loving care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He told me the same thing. I'd end up in the gutter. I'd starve to death. Yet he's the one that wouldn't stay even one night by himself. Had to move his girlfriend in with him the very day of our divorce hearing. Now I see it was his lack of confidence that made him do the things he did.

      Delete
  6. Oh my gosh, I love this post! Happy for you about your tree, too. It is beautiful and will give you joy for years to come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every time I look at it, I think of my new beginnings and also that of my new little tree.

      Delete
  7. BRAVA!!!
    this little post is a tour de force in how to simply stay calm and carry on. I've always admired that slogan. and how it came about with the brits in WWII. especially reading about those who endured the blitz.
    there was/is an inner strength. and it just grows and grows. like that beloved little tree will.
    it'a a joyous day! here's to all new kinds of beginnigs all around! brava dear lady! xo

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great blog! Love your writing! I truly believe you could make a living writing. How about a book from you. Maybe a compilation of your blog posts from the time you left to now with your new confidence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The way I look at, I guess I do make a living writing. Or almost anyway. Maybe someday.

      Delete
  9. Wise words today, Brenda. The tree looks just right in your space. Was the scientific name for tge tree on its tag? It looks like it might be in the Gingko family. If it is, they are supposed to be very hardy in urban conditions as well as rural areas. You may have read the book from long ago called 'A Tree Grows In Brooklyn'. One of my mum's favourite books and of course, I had to read it too and also enjoyed it. The tree in that story was a Gingko.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry. I was trying to read without my glasses on and type: Ginkgo Biloba

      Delete
    2. Ginkgos are one of my favorites! They are bright yellow in fall. They are also called the maidenhair tree, because the leaves look like maidenhair fern. You know Ginkgo Biloba is one of the natural remedies--I think for memory. Ginkgoes have little fruit on them, so that's probably what they make it out of. Love them!! They always make me smile.

      Delete
    3. The ginkgo is called a living fossil because it dates from the time of the dinosaurs, virtually unchanged. There couldn't be a better example of a survivor than that type of tree. It is obviously perfect for you. Two strong survivors, thriving together.

      Delete
  10. I feel like you wrote that post for me today, Brenda. I'm going through some stuff right now and I really needed that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad! Email me if you need a friend to listen.

      Delete
  11. Insightful post with wisdom galore! Thank you for reminding us strength arises and we are forever learning and growing. Life is a chapter lived one page at a time; we might want to read the ending "right now", but we would miss so much between the journey. Have to go smell those roses and be grateful for Today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right! We often try to look so far ahead. But that is needless. We never know what will happen along the road.

      Delete
  12. What a strong post! Love your stamina and determination...and love that tree, XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure is an emblematic tree for me. A butterfly tree.

      Delete
  13. Great post Brenda! Love the new tree!

    Tania

    ReplyDelete
  14. You have much to be proud of with all you have accomplished.

    This was a very inspirational post and I loved it. I started over also at 60 years of age. It was scary but I persevered and here I am 14 years later and I have a very good life. WITHOUT A MAN TO TAKE CARE OF ME!

    So many women stay in unfulfilling relationships because it it scary to be alone. Yes, but somehow we all make it and are the better for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote it for women like you and me. And for those that are thinking about starting again, but are afraid to take that step. It took me years to get there.

      Delete
  15. Brenda I am so proud of you! It's a hard lesson for many of us women to learn and I'm there with you. I love my home and my simple pleasures in life;grandchildren, books, plants, watercolor painting and solitude! The tree is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and I have both been down that road. We ended up on some dead ends, but we managed to find clear road.

      Delete
  16. Great post, Brenda-congratulations for how far you've come! Now, you KNOW you have to name that tree.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You all help me. What shall I name it?

      Delete
    2. The Tree of Life. Here's a definition of the phrase:

      In this way, the tree of life is a symbol of a fresh start on life, positive energy, good health and a bright future. As a symbol of immortality. A tree grows old, yet it bears seeds that contain its very essence and in this way, the tree becomes immortal. As a symbol of growth and strength.

      Delete
  17. Your new tree is wonderful. It is going to be perfect for your patio.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so love butterflies, I just had to choose a Jade Butterfly tree.

      Delete
  18. Wonderful post. What a pretty new tree for the patio.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just repotted it and have been rolling it around the patio, trying to find a home for it.

      Delete
  19. Hi Brenda~

    Wonderful post, and wonderful advise for everyone! Isn't it amazing how a tree can make you feel so strong and resilient? I don't really know you, only through your posts, but I can tell that you are just like that tree; you might bend, but its going to take a lot for you to break! You are a strong, courageous woman! And, I love your new tree!

    Hugs,
    Barb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've almost broken a time or two. But I manage to live on.

      Delete
  20. THE HAT IN THE COMMERCIAL IS A GELE.
    THE TREE IS YOUR GELE. IT HELPS TO CONFIRM WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW, THAT YOU ARE A STRONG, INDEPENDENT LADY.
    "YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY BABY" AND YOU ARE AWESOME.
    THE TREE WILL BE LOVELY ON YOUR PATIO, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING HOW YOU "STAGE" IT AMONG YOUR MANY LOVELY GARDEN PIECES.
    SNUGGLES TO THE PUPSTERS

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think that's why I was so pleased with myself yesterday. I felt like a tree.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Beautifully written ~ thank you for sharing your feelings. Words we all need to be reminded of ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Sharing feelings is something I encourage you to do here. We're all here for one another!

      Delete
  23. Thank you Brenda, it's been a rough week and I needed this post. I love your patio. I have been renting where I live for 8 years now and am just starting to get into the love it while you rent it mindset, can't wait to see where it takes Me! Gina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so important to love where you live! I won't ever be able to own another home unless a miracle occurs. So I have learned to love my rented homes.

      Delete
  24. What a wonderful post Brenda. Thank you. I Was never confident until the menopause hit and then suddenly I was, I was speaking up when I saw an injustice to myself or others etc etc. I looked at myself in a different way and I too said 'I can do this'about a lot of things I wanted to do but never had the courage before. My husband and sister were amazed.

    Anyway absolutely must mention the tree, I love love love it!! I have made a note of the name, now have to see what zone we are in. I have never seen a tree like that before so maybe we don't have them in this area of Canada or at all.

    Love to hear about your life and how you have come thru and are where you are today. You have a lovely house and garden which I really enjoy seeing along with the pupsters of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty much the same thing happened to me. I was 48. It took me awhile to realize my strength. Really I guess it took me to my fifties to listen to my gut.

      Delete
  25. Oh...I love this post! Your new tree is lovely...but the sentiment behind it is so very powerful! I'm so happy for you...and the confidence to make a go of your new life I always knew you had. You are a strong woman Brenda! Enjoy your day! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love you readers! I love having you on my journey because I always learn from you gals too!

      Delete
  26. Oh, Brenda, it's been too long since I've visited. I just love this post. I'm going to go back and try to catch up a bit. And thank you for your kind words about Mr. Buffy. I'm so happy I found him. I think some things are meant to be, and he is one of them for sure! Have a great weekend!
    Donna

    ReplyDelete
  27. Very inspiring post, Brenda. I love that you're discovering the strength in yourself that was there all along, and I love hearing the joy in your words. If only more people could appreciate that the small things in life are really the big things in life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny how we reach deep within ourselves and realize that we were stronger than we thought we were.

      Delete
  28. Yay for your new tree!

    Funny how the worm turns. You are thriving on you own, and the ex is/was on a downward spiral.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, funny how the worn turns! Love it!

      Delete
  29. I love the choice of the tree! It was meant for your cozy patio. May it grow strong and provide you with many years of shade and butterflies to watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't think I could get so excited over a tree!

      Delete
  30. In many ways this may be one of your most important posts. You say so many wise things that describe who you have become - on your own! All of us women can learn from your words Brenda. Why is it that so many of us women, in this age group especially, were raised without confidence. I made great grades when I was in school but it never seemed that important to my parents. My mother was more concerned that I be thin and pretty and find a good husband. So many of us simply did not grow up learning that we could support ourselves, live on our own and be happy doing so! I am so proud of you Brenda and I can and need to learn so much from you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was just another time. That confidence was often just not instilled in us.

      Delete
  31. Oh Brenda, once again such an inspiring post. You give so much strength to so many women. Yes, you do need to write a book. Your words and photos will fill it in no time. I've been with you Force a very LONG time and I remember in Texas how you'd drive out into the country and write of its beauty. I loved your patio there but I love this one even more. It will be exciting to see the tree thrive under your care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Annette, yes you've been with me for so long. You sent me one of your garden plants when I first moved to Tulsa, and I so appreciated it!

      Delete
  32. Brenda, you have no idea how much I needed to hear this today. My past came back and slapped me today, hard. A past that I truly thought I was over and done with. We all have our pasts, our trials, and it doesn't really matter what they are because they all have a common thread of hurt. What hurts me may not even register on your scale, and visa versa, but we are all connected as women and tend to understand each other in this regard.

    I needed to hear your words today in a big way and remember I am not alone -- even if my experience isolates me. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are truly here for you! Feel free to email me as well.

      Delete
  33. I have often thought about leaving a comment but haven't. I have followed you for a long time and I'm encouraged by your journey. This post struck a cord with me today, you see I'm in the process of picking myself back up and it's slow and painful at times but I'm starting to feel like I might make it after all. Thank you :O)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emailed you. We will be here for you as you pick yourself up and dust yourself off!

      Delete
  34. Beautiful post. I read your posts every day. I have watched you change. You did pick yourself up. You have kept moving forward. You are an inspiration to many. Life is hard, but there is so much beauty we just have to have eyes to see it. Thanks Brenda, you turned lemons into lemonaid.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Just a beautiful post. Lovely words and fabulous attitude and perseverance. Sometime things are meant to be and it sounds as if the tree and the day was meant to be.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oooooeee, what a post! You are one tough cookie and your words are such an inspiration (obviously...look at the responses). I went through my own transition many years ago and learned that I, too, am resilient. Yes. I. Am. And so are you and all the others who've written here today. And Michelle, you can do this.

    By the way, Brenda, your tree is lovely. I hope it grows as straight and strong as you have.

    Mindy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are a unique club of women, and we keep each other strong.

      Delete
  37. Very well said and very true. What you said can apply to so many situations. Being able to make our own decisions is freeing. Leaving your "old " life behind took alot of guts but look at you now. I am so happy for you and I know you will enjoy your tree for many yesrs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can apply to many situations. I never thought I'd be so glad to make my own decisions.

      Delete
  38. Brenda I just loved this post! :) Kind of reminded me of moving on from a bad marriage, buying my place, and starting to plant trees and bushes here ( Putting Down NEW roots :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many of us. And it seems we are friends right here, bloggers and readers alike.

      Delete
  39. What an inspiration you are! So positive and upbeat but I know that wasn't always the case but you've pulled yourself up by the bootstraps and gone on to make a life for yourself and your pupsters. Congratulations for doing that so many don't have that resilience.

    Love your tree and the entire patio. You definitely have a green thumb and the creativity to make the patio beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  40. A butterfly tree. How perfect!! And you, my dear, are
    AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Amen girl! To paraphrase Forrest Gump - "Life is like a box of chocolates" and you really never do know what life is going to throw at you. Breathe deep, exhale slowly and put one foot in front of the other and just go forward. I enjoy reading your blog and am glad you are here online for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I'm so glad to have you all as friends. You light up my day!

      Delete
  42. I must say, your tree looks just as at home in your little oasis as you do. Congratulations on the success of making it on your own. Your post could have been about me. I remember looking back at my home on the hill in the middle of the culdesac and thinking, I hope I am making the right decision. I loved my home and I still loved him at the time as well. But I could not tolerate the alcohol. So to you - kudos and congratulations and GREAT trea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guess we're in the same club then. It's hard to leave all that. But peace is more important.

      Delete
  43. I feel I can use you as an inspirational example for patients I work with. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your words are so, so true, Brenda. And so inspiring. I am facing the possibility of making a big change in my living situation right now and after thirty-some years in this house I am going through a lot of angst thinking about moving and living somewhere else. But I've decided, like you, to just live in the now and let the Universe be in charge. I will adapt to whatever comes.

    I'm so thrilled that you bought that tree! It's such a very positive sign that you can not only adapt to the current situation but make lemonade out of it! I know that doesn't make sense, but you know what I mean!
    That tree is a symbol of your ability to "make it" all on your own.

    Thanks for sharing so much of your life, Brenda. It never fails to inspire me, for sure. I think I'm almost as excited about that tree as I would be if it was mine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tree belongs to all of us in some ways. I think the tree was a momentous decision. A plant is one thing. A tree is more permanent somehow.

      Delete
  45. The tree is perfect, you are a survivor, and I still enjoy coming to your blog and reading what you are up to. It's been awhile but I'm recently back to blogging. Come visit me sometime.
    Susanne :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just over there after I saw your comment on another post. I will!

      Delete
  46. I love your new tree. Love it!
    Don't ever underestimate yourself.
    You can do anything!
    Monica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think women do underestimate ourselves a lot. Boys are raised to be more confident.

      Delete
    2. We are strong and more capable of so much that we sometimes don't give ourselves enough credit. You go girl! I'm looking forward to watching that beautiful tree grow and continue to be inspired by your beautiful garden and if I may say so your cute "quirky" apartment. I'll never get tired of seeing photos of Abi and Charlie. Have a wonderful Monday! Carol

      Delete
    3. Abi loves to have her photo taken.

      Delete
  47. I have a good feeling about this little tree, that it is going to grow and thrive under your care. xox

    ReplyDelete
  48. Once upon a time over 10+ yrs ago I had a ex who di me wrong and said I would never make it. I did and I have a hisband and life better than I ever imagined. Good things do come!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's just getting out the door and moving on that's so hard initially.

      Delete

I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time.

Please be kind with your comments. We all need kindness in this world. That's not to say you can't state your opinion! Everyone should be able to state their own opinion in a kind and thoughtful manner.

I appreciate each and every one of you!