The Iris’

My iris’ along the house are in bloom.  Iris’ have long been one of my favorite flowers.  I don’t know if it’s a spring thing or the unusual shape of the flowers- whatever it is- I like them.

My mom had iris.  I think I like them because they are old fashioned and I get a little nostalgic about them.  Mom had them along the south side of the house.  I remember every year towards the end of the school year they’d be blooming and I’d pick some, with mom’s help, and bring some to the school teacher.

Mom had yellows and purples…

Mine are light purple.

This year I think I am more nostalgic about them than ever as these were given to me by Kramer.  About 25 years ago we were living in town in Lawler.  Kramer was working for the farmer he worked for right up until he quit working.  His boss owned a farm that was once his uncle’s.  It was a busy spring as always and Kramer spent lots of time in the tractor in the fields and driving the roads at the farm as they put in the crop.

One day he came home and asked it I wanted to go on a “road trip”.  Well in our lives a road trip was a drive to check crops…not a quick carefree trip with the top rolled down to California.  I’ve never minded “crop checking”.  It typically ended with an ice cream at the local convenience store.

As we hopped in the truck I noticed that he was putting a shovel in the back of the truck.  I never have known with him so I didn’t think anything of it.  Off we went.

We got near one of the farm places his boss owned and Kramer pulled over in the middle of the road and jumped out.  He came around to my side and said, “Look”.  There in the ditch was a big cluster of blooming iris’.  He wanted to dig them for me and transplant them at our house.  What a sweetie!!

I told him they were blooming and it was best to transplant then when they weren’t and that’s what we did that fall.

Then we lived at the old convent in Lawler.  From there I transplanted the flowers to the house at the farm.  Of course the flowers had multiplied from that small bunch into a larger bunch.

Through the years at the farm they continued to grow.  When it same time to move to the house we now live it, Kramer and I wanted simple landscape…we wanted something that was reminiscent of an established house.  Iris’ immediately came to mind so I dug up those “ditch iris'” and pulled them apart.
I planted them all along the south side of the house.  It was a little reminiscent of my years growing up with my mom and also reminiscent of that “road trip” with Kramer all those years ago when he first took me to find the ditch iris’.  It’s wonderful that they are blooming now to remind me of some of the good times we’ve had along our way.

61 thoughts on “The Iris’

  1. Lisa B

    Sweet memories. I love the color of yours and the whole row the same color. Thanks for sharing. Prayers and hugs.

  2. Judith Fairchild

    You are so blessed with good memories! Your husband was one very special man. I’m glad for you in that.. God bless and keep you in these days

  3. Donna Pheneger

    The flowers are beautiful and a sweet reminder of how much Kramer loved you to think of the ditch iris for you and how he loved his home and family.
    Prayers for your sweet family.

  4. Toni Vitrano

    My deepest sympathy on the loss of your beloved Kramer. I am happy that you have such a beautiful, tangible memory of him and the love you shared. Hugs, thoughts and prayers

  5. Missy Reynolds

    What a precious memory and a true blessing to have those blooms to bring you the sense that he is hugging you today. May it bring you peace and strength for today.

  6. PattiLynn

    What a sweet memory!

    The Iris are beautiful! My favorites are the purple ones, and they are especially beautiful against the gray of your home.

  7. Myrna

    A beautiful memory that will bloom every year with the irises. I’m married to a farmer too, and our road trips are often like yours and Kramer’s…some of the best kind. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  8. sharon

    I love this simple story about how that sweet moment of love where Kramer wanted to dig up the ditch iris has now multiplied and spread that love throughout your years together. They will be a constant spring reminder that love is forever. I’m a farmer’s daughter. Dad passed two years ago, but I am always reminded of what was the most import in his life…faith, family and farming. Sending love and light to you and to your family.

  9. Tina in NJ

    Jo, my condolences on your loss. The irises and the memories they hold are beautiful. The pictures are stunning. Much love.

  10. J P

    My condolences to the whole family. In my farm family male visitors always went on a road trip through the fields/crops and women through the flower garden. Only after the trips, did visitors come into the house. I have the iris of my husbands’ grandmother, rescued from the farm where he grew up before it was lost to “development”

  11. Linda L

    God gave us plants. I appreciate the memories, smells and beauty of them as a reminder of His love. May you find some peace in the days ahead.

  12. Joanne

    Such a sweet story and memory of such a special man. Don’t know how you can hold it all together. You are an amazing woman. Another year when the iris are blooming and the pain is less raw, I’d love to hear how to take care of them so that you get so many flowers. I have a row of them (18′ maybe?) and only have 2 flowers this year. Lots of leaves but only 2 flowers.

  13. Kathy D

    I love the spicy smell of iris. We have plantings from the farm my husband grew up on. Ours are mostly of the orange variety. It is amazing how the smell of something brings back memories. Cherish the ones you have and make new ones with the kids and grandkids.

  14. Janine Baker

    They are beautiful as is your memory. Bless you for thinking of us at this time in your life! Not sure that I could be as loving and thoughtful as you are. Just know how much love we are sending you & your family. Hugs, Janine

  15. LaNan Eldridge

    my mom loved irises too and had many colors. Your memories will comfort you now and in the days ahead. I continue to offer prayers for you all.

  16. Mary Ann Mettler

    The Iris’ are so pretty – may many many memories come to mind of your lives together. This is indeed a sweet and beautiful one.

  17. Stephani in N. TX

    Beautiful irises, beautiful thoughts. Remember them in Winter whether it’s “true” Winter or a winter day in your heart that needs the beauty.

  18. Sally

    What wonderful memories the Iris hold for you…both of your mother and sweet Kramer! I am betting that all of your children will be wanting a few of your Iris bulbs for their yards. Take care.

  19. Marilyn

    Beautiful iris and all the memories that go along with them. Something to cherish every spring.

  20. Carolyn

    What a wonderful memory! It will return year after year with a smile. May all your good memories wrap warmly around you the same way the prayers have calmed you and your family.

  21. Bergere

    I have been so sad since Kramer passed and I read the post and obituary. And again, through this post, you are showing me how to live; how to look up and see beauty and see things that give meaning.

  22. Joni

    What a wonderful memory to share. This story is so dang sweet and any farmer’s wife (including me) totally understand what “wanna go for a ride” is. Special moments to hold close to your heart. Irises are such graceful flowers. Sending your family prayers and hugs all around.

  23. Linda White

    I too love iris and their stately and graceful blooms. My mother also loved iris and I have moved some of mine from house to house as you did. It’s a wonderful connection to the past and offers sweet memories for the future. Hugs and condolences to your family and friends on the loss of a good man.

  24. Felicia Hamlin

    Your husband has left you reminders of his love for you and his family all over. All these things will help you to bring you comfort and joy.

  25. Mary A Crowther

    My mom called them Flags! I have some light purple ones I put in the Memorial day bouquet. My prayers are with you as the memories flood. What a sweet gesture he made that day. A memory forever. Roses are my hubby’s memorable, unforgetable gift to me.

  26. Janet R

    I, too, love irises. My grandparents ran a greenhouse and there were rows and rows of irises and tiger lilies planted over the property. So in sharing your memory, you brought back one of mine. How sweet of you to share.

  27. Roxanne

    It makes me happy to read this story of you and your farmer hubby. Even through the grief you have such grace in your wisdom. ❤️

  28. Sheila

    Oh, Jo! What a beautiful memory! Thanks so much for sharing! Prayers that more fun memories will keep popping up in the next days and weeks.

  29. Paula S.

    Jo, I love iris’ too. I think of my grandmother who had them on the south side of her house. They were pinkish and so thick even though she thinned them out every year. Thanks for that memory.

  30. Micki Clemens

    I have thought of you every day since Kramer passed and only wish there were words to ease your family’s pain. Those lovely life’s will be a lovely reminder.

  31. quiltmom Anna

    I also love Irises- my grandmother and my father have had them in their flower beds over the years. I had some of my grans in my other house but I have no room for perennials at our current house. Hers were the dark purple ones . My dad collected Iris and we often would look for a new Iris to plant in his garden for his birthday or Father’s Day. Unfortunately now, His perennial bed is full of quack grass so not much else grows there but occasionally you will see the odd Iris pop up there. He is not able to dig it up anymore at 88 but he got a lot of joy over the years from those irises- he even had a black one and deep burgundy one.
    I loved your story about getting the Irises with Kramer. May these current blooms fill your heart with love . My sincere condolences to you and your loved ones in his passing. May you find yourselves surrounded by the kindness and caring of others during this time . Warmest regards, Anna

  32. Elizabeth Rodgers

    I always thought beautiful memories was God’s way of hugging us, blessings to you and your family.

  33. Ellie

    Thanks for the sweet story. So glad you have such wonderful memories to comfort you now.

  34. Janet

    What a sweet story and wonderful memory of your beloved Kramer. So very sorry for your loss. I have my grandma’s peonies in my yard. My mom dug them before they sold my grandma’s house. She planted them in her yard to enjoy and remember her mother. Sadly my mom died only 5 years after my grandma. I dug them and brought them home with me and they are about to bloom. I cut and bring them in every spring and remember them both. Watch for all those little signs of Kramer as you grieve and go on. He’s with you and you will see him in so much and get little messages if you watch and listen carefully. Especially pennies from heaven. I find them all the time in the strangest places since my mom passed. It’s so unbelievable but comforting at the same time ;c)

  35. Jeanie S

    Thank you for sharing your sweet Iris story, Jo. I offer my most sincere condolences. Hugs and Prayers.

  36. Penny

    Such a beautiful post with precious memories, Jo! May you always hold near & dear more memories of Kramer! Sending my love, hugs & prayers to the entire Kramer strong family!

  37. Darlynn Venne

    What a grand story Jo. Thank you for sharing!
    I grew up in Spring Valley, MN. Graduated in 1977. I have no doubt Kramer and my paths crossed.
    If only I had known~
    My husband died 15 years ago.
    The boys and I still relive stories of when..
    What a treasure of memories you have to share with your children.

  38. Nell

    Iris are my favorite also. I remember the beds of them at my great grandma’s house. I have two beds now. My grandpa’s favorite flower was the moss rose, so every Mother’s Day, my husband and sons put a wagon full of those in the front bed. So I have the reminders of my grandpa and his mother in the same flower bed. How sweet of Kramer to dig them for you. Sending love your way.

  39. Shirley S.

    What a sweet story. My grandmother had several Iris beds all different colors. The yellow ones were my favorite.

  40. mpv61

    What lovely memories of your life with Kramer. Irises will always hold a special place in your heart!

  41. Kim LeMere

    Iris are a simple flower with a strong straight stem, they fit with the Kramer Strong slogan. Thinking of you and your family.

  42. Virginia Grenier

    May you have MANY good memories come to mind as you go forward. I have iris as well (along with rhubarb). They started off at a friend’s house in Forest Lake, MN and were transplanted to our house in Forest Lake. Then I moved to Blaine, MN – they came with me. They are still with me here in Clearbrook, Minnesota. I love their aroma – grapes!

  43. Cheri

    What a lovely memory and so special that they are blooming now. My heart aches for you and your’s. My heartfelt condolences.

  44. Virginia A. Marien

    Many prayers and hugs as you go over your beautiful memories. Thank you for sharing this one.

  45. Helen

    My Grandma always called them “flags.” Never knew why until I recently learned they usually bloom near Flag Day – June 14th.

  46. Susan the Farm Quilter

    My very favorite flower!!! So many beautiful flowers from that one little bunch! Rather reminds me of your family…started small with just you and Kramer, now look at how beautifully it has grown. What a lovely reminder of Kramer’s love for you. Now I will say a prayer for you and your family to keep blooming every time I see an iris!

  47. Helen

    Beautiful flowers & Beautiful post. Thank you and may God’s strength uphold you and your family.

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