For many years, the first weekend in December meant one thing – a holiday photo shoot with my dogs. My goal was always the same – to capture the perfect photo for our annual Christmas card. A theme would be selected. Outfits and sometimes props would be organized. Some years I would take a group photo of the girls, and other years, individual shots would be taken. It was a weekend I looked forward to each year.

The long-standing tradition ended in 2020. Because it was the last December I would have all three girls still with me. The following summer Aspen passed away. I knew then that there would be no more holiday photo shoots. No more gathering the girls and dressing them in festive clothing or costumes. No more positioning them just right. No more taking photo after photo with tasty treats nearby to keep the girls focused on me. No more searching for the image that outshined the rest.

But I did have another project planned the first weekend of December in 2021. I planted flower seeds. When I received Aspen’s urn there was a tiny package of wildflower seeds included in the box. The instructions showed the best time for planting was late fall.

I wanted the flowers to grow in a very special area. One of Aspen’s favorite places in our home was the front windows of our living room. She would sit there for hours looking outside and waiting for something to happen. Under those windows was an empty flower bed. It was the perfect spot. I have no green thumb but did my best in following the directions.

Exactly six months later, the first flower appeared. It was the only one to bloom, but I was grateful to have it.

Last weekend, the first one in December, I had a new packet of seeds to plant. This time it would be in honor of Quest.

I planted her seeds in the same location as Aspen’s.

I hope to see flowers in the spring. Maybe I will see two blooms, instead of a single one.