Zephirine Drouhin and my childhood home

zeffyrose_pa6b7(6b7)September 10, 2011

A little story that touched my heart----

I grew up on a lake over in N.J.-in a little bungalow built by my parents--and hung on to during the depression even though my father never walked (he had polio when he was 9 months old and crawled till he was 18 and then walked on crutches) he always provided for his family (but that is another whole amazing story)

when my parents passed away the little house was sold (which broke my heart) and subsequently had a few owners--- the most recent owner is a single lady and it looked like she really loved the house---then she planted a cottage garden with a lovely white arbor

Finally I got up the nerve to knock on her door----she invited me in and I was thrilled with how much she loves the house--it was in the colder months so the roses were not in bloom but much to my delight she told me the two roses on the arbor are ZEPHIRINE DROUHIN----she gave me a picture and they are beautiful--

I was thrilled---imagine of all the roses she could have picked she preferred Zeffy----

We have become friends and it does my heart good to know she loves the house so much ---Just a little envious ---I never wanted to part with the house----my roots and my father's roots go very deep in that area----I still wish I had stayed in that area except that a huge highway has been built right in the backyard

Just wanted to share this little story about ZD---


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plantloverkat north Houston(zone 9a)


Thanks for sharing such a lovely story with us.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 8:21PM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

And it touched my heart as well, Florence. It's the rare occasion that anyone can "go home again" and find happiness there. This is a wonderful story and I thank you for sharing!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 9:33PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

What a very poignant story, Florence. Your father must have been a truly amazing man. I'm so glad you were able to reconnect with your past with your favorite rose to welcome you.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 10:19PM
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le_jardin_of_roses(zone 10)

I enjoyed reading about your childhood home and your father, Florence. Your father seems like he was a wonderful man and he had a wonderful daughter, in you. It made me so happy to hear the new owner is taking good care of your parents former home and that your favorite rose is growing there. Florence, you are one of the most special people on this forum and I love when people share these kind of experiences on this site. It's people like you, dear Florence and Ingrid that make this forum more personal and touching with what you share.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 10:51PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

le_jardin says it perfectly.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 12:55AM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Florence, How wonderful!
They say never go back. But your experience shows that it can be joyful.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 4:54AM
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I know that your visit made just as big an impression on the new owner of your childhood home as it did on you. The fact that she chose to add Zeffy, the rose, to her garden is fate.

We have an old house, and descendants some of the families who once lived here are still in the area. From time to time, I get a knock on the door, or an email, and I meet someone else who has a connection to this place. These acquaintances enrich me more than they know, and they provide a personal bit of history to this old pile of bricks.

It must feel wonderful to know that the home you cherish is loved and cared for so well.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 7:17AM
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Thank you,Florence, for sharing your story about your father and your beloved home.

That's wonderful that she grows Zephirine....brings a special garden touch to a cherished place.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 2:51PM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

Florence, what a wonderful story. I'm amazed that she planted Zephirine. I miss my childhood home too. My Dad built our house too. I never wanted to leave it. It's like here in some ways, a beautiful hillside setting, a feeling of isolation. I spent many days alone in the hills and garden just as I do now.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 6:12PM
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What wonderful memories - thanks so much for sharing them! I know exactly what you mean about never wanting to part with your parent's house but so great that you met the new owner and just to know she is caring for the house is a good feeling. Ruth

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 9:21AM
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Florence, it must make you very happy to know that a house that you love with so many memories has Zeffy in its garden. It is as if a part of you still lives there.

Thank you for telling us that story; I really loved reading it. Gean

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 12:23PM
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What a nice story. It is amazing that the new owner planted Zeffy! Where did you grow up in NJ? Florence? Did you get any flooding during all of this nasty weather? Take care!!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 12:58PM
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lou_texas(8a N Central TX)

Florence, your story touched me. I'll think of you when I look at my Zeffy. Lou

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 1:31PM
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Florence, that is just a lovely story. There is a great pleasure in a happy coincidence!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 5:31PM
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What a touching story. There's such an emotional component to roses... how nice that you introduced yourself and had a chance to see the house today.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 5:55PM
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JessicaBe(5-6 Central Ohio)

Your story hit home to me too but my parents lost their house in bankruptcy maybe 4 years ago and they made a concret porch and me and my sister put our hand prints in it and I have been wanting to go and get a mold of it but to scared that I will start crying... I know the people who bought it but its MY home and I want it back :'(

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 6:07PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Florence, that little story is, for me, the essence of why many of us grow older roses. They are a living link to the past -- ours, and those who went before us.

It ACHES to be printed in the HRG "Rose Letter," and I hope you'll consider doing that.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 7:27PM
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jerome(z9 CA)

Florence - you are great. Love you lots.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 7:45PM
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Thank you so much for all your kind remarks---Jeri---my father's life would make a very inspiring story--he accomplished more than many people with two good legs--He learned to drive a truck with a special attachment which he invented-had a successful trucking business --he taught himself to play the drums and then had an orchestra to help support his family---very active in local politics an amazing man much admired by all who knew him notice the heavy braces which he had to use all his life----I never heard him complain.

His little orchestra from 1930's-----he is sitting in the middle

notice the leather pads on his knees so he could crawl---

You can see why I'm so proud of him and miss him terribly---

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 2:54PM
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Oh, my, what a story! That definitely WAS the greatest generation, wasn't it! My father was born with a deformed foot, walked with a limp and was in pain most of his life; he ended up as a road contractor in Montana, and had to walk a lot in rough terrain and wilderness areas to look at jobs. I never heard him complain, either...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 3:24PM
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Oh Florence thank you so much for sharing this heart warming story of your childhood home and your awe inspiring Dad.
You surely remember that pictures you posted of Zephie is what inspired me to give her a try. She is going into her second year here and is 6' tall by 4-5' wide. Sme smells so good. Wish she were blooming right this minute. Cant wait...thank you so much for all you contribute to this forum.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 6:17PM
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altoraMA(5/6 MA)

Lovely story. Amazing that out of all the roses to plant, she planted that one. I never can hear the name of that rose without thinking of you and that picture where we can barely see you because Zeffy is so big!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 11:38AM
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Alida----I have a friend who lives near my old home and several times she told me "I think the lady in your mom's home planted Zeffy on her new arbor---Imagine my shock when that was confirmed-----Igot a big lump in my throat----there are other roses with the same color and to think she picked Zeffy before she even knew me----as Humphrey Bogart would say--" of all the gin joints in the world she walked into mine"-----in case you are too young, that is a quote from Casablanca that just keeps jumping into my brain----
I have a lovely picture she sent me of the roses and house--but I haven't figured out how to transfer it to the Forum----Florence

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Zeffy, I love all your stories but this one is the best yet. Your father sounds like a genuinely remarkable man. And the universe must agree, inspiring that nice woman to love the rose ZD and plant it in her garden. The past does echo down to us, doesn't it?

We are fools if we do not live in the present but paupers if we ignore the past.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 12:06PM
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Rosefolly - may I use that fools/paupers quotation? If you are quoting some other source - do you know it? It has given me an idea for a multi-generational service at my church.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 12:21PM
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altoraMA(5/6 MA)

Florence-can you email the pic? If you want, you can email it to me and I'd be happy to post it for you. (alray1028@gmail.com)
I would have gotten a lump in my throat too..

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 6:15PM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

Florence dear, your story touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I can't believe that she planted Zephirine almost as though she knew. When my Dad died my mother sold our home on the hill. He built it himself during the depression. I loved that place more than I can tell and never wanted to leave. That was in 1970. I was 19. Now again I live in the beautiful countryside.
Here's another coencidence: My mother's grandfather had an orchestra. He played the violin.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:55PM
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Alida----I think the computer ate my picture--I just requested another copy --I would appreciate it if you could post it----
ogrose---You father also rose above his handicap---you must be so proud----
Jeannie---I'm happy Zeffy is doing so well for you--the fragrance is delicious---
Pam---Only someone who lost a home they loved can understand the feeling----I found a notebook my mother kept---they built the home 1927---lost it in 1929------ they paid rent for a year and then they were to be evicted --- a law was passed to enable them to borrow the money to buy it back (cheaper than when it was built)but My father had to prove he would be able to pay it back -he was walking on crutches at this time----I have the letter he wrote explaining about his truck and his orchestra--(they used to call him the sleeping drummer because he was working two jobs)---no help for the handicapped back in those days--
Pam--I love the violin--it is a beautiful instrument-----I have so many stories about my father---wish I could find a writer who could put it all together--

Thanks for your interest--


    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 8:39PM
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Florence, thanks so much for sharing the story of your wonderful father. I love the photos, really lovely.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 9:10AM
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Sunnysideup, I think I made it up on the spot, but it is possible I heard it somewhere in the past and it stayed in the back of my mind. There is very little that is truly original. In any case, please use it with my blessing.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 12:35AM
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seil zone 6b MI

What wonderful stories, Florence! Thank you for sharing a part of your past with us. When those Zeffys bloom please post a picture!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 11:26AM
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