Children playing and gardening - Grattan School mural

Children playing and gardening – Grattan School mural

Chey, Ruby, and I, of course, stayed with Balboa and her fathers. We had a lot of catching up to do. And oh my goodness, you should have seen Ruby with Beryl’s father!

Ruby had flown in the week before to help Balboa and Packer find just the right greens and flowers to decorate the hall. (I’m sure she wore the grandchildren out, traipsing over the hills like a mad woman, exclaiming over every unfamiliar variety of shrub and tree.)

Turns out James, Beryl’s dad, now a widower, is himself a gardener extraordinaire, his knowledge of native plants and animals legendary far beyond Jasper. By the time we arrived, he and Ruby pattered about arm in arm, laughing giddily at odd bits of conversation, twitching and twittering at the least provocation. You would have thought they were the bride and groom.

No one was surprised when Ruby extended her stay after the wedding. She said she needed to learn more about the flora and fauna in the north country.

Selfishly, I hope I haven’t lost my mom to Jasper, along with my daughter, but I have to say I smile every time I think of my big-boned, no-nonsense mama acting like some kind of addlepated, heart-thumping teenager.

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