Chapter sixteen: a memorial for Yola.

So there I was, the proud owner of a burrow in Bramblebury. It was just as cozy as my temporary home in Pinewarrens and with an equally stunning view of the Homestead. The people who live in Bramblebury are, no exception, most kind and friendly. And they all have known my mother Yola, ofcourse. They tell me stories about her and tell me how much I look like her. It always makes me feel both good and sad when they say that. Knowing that my mother was a respected and beloved member of the community makes me feel proud to be her daughter, but then, all reference to her always makes me feel sad for not having had the opportunity to have known her myself.

As a new inhabitant of Bramblebury I thought it would be decent to introduce myself to it's Deputy Mayor, so I wrote him a letter. In his answer, Master Byronbrand invited me to have a meeting and a conversation. When we met, he too, remarked the resemblance between me and my mother, although his referral to us both being a bit heavy around the hips made me blush a bit. But then he told me that he had never stopped searching for Yola. In fact he still is, even though I told him about my findings. And, yes, there are more people who find it very hard to belief that Yola has really gone. Like dear Yllisa, who would not hear of her demise. Others, that do believe, mourn with me the loss of a dear friend.

I plan to make this the last chapter of my story of the search for Yola. But I do not want to end it in a sad mood. After all, there are so many things that have happened recently that make me happy.

Shortly after I moved into Bramblebury, my Uncle Peppy was also given the opportunity to move in! And what is more: he now lives in my mother's former burrow! The previous owner had built a windmill on the premises and next door neighbour, Miss Akelay, begged him, the new owner, to keep the mill. She had been given the use of the mill to make the flour for her excellent catfish cakes. Uncle Peppy did not hesitate one moment and exclaimed: the mill will stay! No doubt he had tasted those catfish cakes already!

Then there is my own next door neighbour, Miss Lina, who is an excellent and famous musician. She is one of the Songburrow Strollers and makes sure the Green Dragon Fridays go in an orderly fashion. This is an important, but quite difficult job, I am sure.

One day, Uncle Peppy showed me around the offices of the Bramblebury Gazette, the newspaper that was initiated by my mother Yola. I was especially keen to browse through the archives containing the older editions and I spent many an afternoon going through them. Many of the articles found there were written by Yola and some of them related of events that she had attended.

My eye fell on an article about a concert that the Songburrow Strollers did in Buckland. It was a concert that I had attended myself with my Pa. He let me sit on his shoulders so I could have a better view. It was a wonderful performance! I can remember that, although I was still quite young. And from the Gazette I learned that Yola had been there as well! O, I cannot tell how that made me feel: Yola and I had almost met! We had been very close to one another! But ofcourse we did not know about each other. Remarkably, this did not make me sad. I did not see it as a missed opportunity. No, but it made (and makes) the Songburrow Strollers music so powerful and important to me. They brought us together, they were liked by both my mother and me. And now..each time the Strollers play and I have the opportunity to be present, I imagine Yola would have been there too.

In his new home, before owned by his sister, Uncle Peppy one day found an old trunk, hidden away in a dark corner of the burrow. It contained possessions of Yola, mostly clothing. He gave the entire trunk to me. I had to have them cleaned of the cobwebs and dust that had gathered on them over time, but then the dresses were just like new. I put the chest in my bedroom, a veritable treasure chest. And that is what I now call it: my Treasure Chest! Sometimes I put on one of my mother's beautiful dresses, but when I do, I must be prepared for even more exclamations of: Oh, you look just like your mother! But meanwhile this makes me less sad now. Most of all, it makes me proud, proud to be the daughter of Yola.

I kept my promise, the promise to help out the Rangers and the Free People's Army, like my mother had done too. I went out of bounds to support their cause, going on many an adventure. To my surprise, I met the person again who had interrogated me in the deepest cellar of the Michel Delving Town Hall. I shall refer to him only by his Rangers name: Strider. I met him in Bree, in the Prancing Pony and later again in Rivendell. After that I have lost all contact with him, but no doubt he is on an important covert mission and least said about it the better.

We hobbits, we rather don't think about going outside our beloved Shire. We want to be left alone, to live a simple and untroubled life. But to be honest, if that same Shire is in danger, hobbits will stand tall and come to it's rescue! Even if it means stepping out of bounds.. temporarily that is.. we hope.. But I am a warden, darn it! And I shall be vigilant!

And after such adventure it is so good to come back home again. “Home, Home Sweet Home!”, the Songburrow Strollers sing. Bramblebury is the home I share with my mother, my uncle and with many wonderful friends.

One evening Uncle Peppy and I sat together after one of many music rehearsals (His way of saying it. I call them music lessons) and we talked about many things, but also about Yola. And we both agreed we'd want something to remind everyone of this wonderful hobbit lass. Uncle Peppy had a clever idea and I was delighted! He announced he'd have a burrow warming party. But that was not all! We had decided to give a name to the mill on Uncle Peppy's premises. We agreed on a name, but kept it to ourselves until the night itself.

Many close friends gathered at the the burrow warming party. I joined the Bramblebury band, when they played some tunes to entertain the guests. And then Uncle Peppy announced the naming of the mill. He then gave the honour to me to make the name public. O dear! What should I say? I knew the name ofcourse, but.. what should I say? How? I am no poet, but right there at the spot, I improvised a kind of poem. I can't even remember the exact words anymore, but it mentioned a gentle giant, waving with four arms (the mill, ofcourse) and it now being the home of a sweet spirit (Yola's). And then without a tremble in my voice anymore, I announced the name: “You shall be known as.. the Plumblossom Mill!”

Two weeks later Deputy Mayor Byronbrand alerted Uncle Peppy that he could not read the brass plate properly. The plate next to the entrance, that reads: “Plumblossom Mill. Dedicated to the memory of Yola Plumblossom, Brambleburian.” Since that day, Uncle Peppy goes out to polish the plate every morning, between first and second breakfast. And if he is not at home for some reason, I do it.

And all say it is great to have a memorial dedicated to Yola Plumblossom.

With this, I'd like to close the book of the story of finding my “real” mother, Yola. More will happen to me, no doubt, and maybe I will find time to write it down. But the story of Yola has been told for as far as it is known. Many questions remain though. My search is not over until I find out more about my “real” father. I just hope, that one day I can write that I have found him..