Wonderful Busy Days

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I had really intended to write a blog post this past Monday…and when that day passed I thought sure Tuesday would produce a piece of writing….nope. Then came Wednesday and now it is Thursday and time to actually sit down and get this done!

My only excuse for taking this long is that last week was really busy due to son #2 getting married Saturday night. It is also due to the fact that my husband declared Monday to be a day of “sloth”. (You have no idea how I enjoyed that day of sloth!!)

I confess we “slothed” like the best of them. Other than returning tuxes and a roaster we did absolutely nothing……and it was wonderful.

Last week we kind of hit the ground running. Tuesday was spent retrieving the cupcakes that I had baked a few weeks earlier and stored in a large walk in freezer that a friend offered. (She is a gem!) I also went to the grocery store to get those last minute groceries that I needed to have for the rehearsal supper Friday night.

Wednesday, with help, 400 cupcakes were decorated and stored in 11 tubs. Of course we had to sample the various frostings that were used and also the extra cupcakes that we ended up with. We had 5 varieties: Lemon Gluten Free, Red Velvet, White Almond Raspberry Filled and some unfilled, Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. No one became ill and they were declared a success.

 

Thursday was spent delivering cupcakes and several rustic crates for decoration, to the event center. We also loaded our pickup with chairs, a gas grill, paper products, condiments and so on to take to a brand new shed on the home place of the bride’s sister. (This was in preparation for the rehearsal supper).  Time was also spent setting up and a bit of decorating was done there.

I found out later that our new daughter–in-law had texted our son, her groom, commenting on our loaded pickup…..yes….we resembled a cross between hoarders and the Beverly Hillbillies minus grandma sitting on a rocking chair on the top. In our defense it was a 40 minute trip one way from our house to our destination, and we wanted to make that trip count……we have become master packers!

The Friday schedule included decorating the church and the event center. Then it was 20180713_141636.jpgtime to get our nails done. It was a lot of fun spending time with the bride, bridesmaids, flowergirls, personal attendants and the moms. I then headed back home to get the baked potatoes in the oven for the rehearsal supper, pack the food and get ready for rehearsal and the supper to follow. I am eternally grateful for siblings who came and helped us as we hosted the supper. They grilled, set out food and kept things running smoothly.

Saturday dawned cooler and clear…..a perfect day for a wedding. Hair appointments were first thing in the morning, then helping with the children (all the nieces and nephews of the bride and groom) who would be ring bearers and flower girls. Photos were taken and before we knew it; it was time for the main event….the wedding and reception that followed.

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It was a sweet time of gathering and celebrating. There was so much packed into that week that we are still processing all the details. It would seem that it would be hard to take it all in, but we found if we took an hour at a time we really had time to enjoy every part of the week.

I will be posting more and reflecting on that oh so sweet time……once I do a bit more “slothing” and get those thoughts in order.

(Oh….I also need to let you know that I did not take many of these photos. They were taken by various people who attended….I was much too busy being mom of the groom!)

“For some reason when you are busy…
you are never long enough where you are…
and never arrive soon enough at where you need to be.”
~Faye~CG~

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Changing Landscape

Lakefront Property???

 

There are some days that feel like you are a passenger on a train that seems to be gaining speed. Lately I think I have somehow managed to jump on that train and am just trying to catch my breath!

In a few weeks my middle son will be getting married. I have an entire list of things that need to get done before that day. My husband has a list of things he needs to do. For some reason I am in charge of both lists…I think that just might be the way it works in a marriage.

Trying to get those things done the last week has been difficult due to our very rainy weather. We have had a lot of flooding in our area of the country and have watched our fields covered by water, watched them uncovered only to be covered again with the rain last night and today.

Add in to that; the fact that our land line has been out since Saturday as the phone boxes down the road were covered by water. If I understand it right, anyone in our neighborhood with a land line has the same issue. I will admit it does make it quiet around the house! I am, however, grateful for a cell phone.

The road that takes us to town was covered by the river. No one around here ever remembers that happening before. We also saw three carp swim over the blacktop road….another thing we have never seen before!

We found out the other day that the motor in our well has decided to go on the fritz. I discovered this when our faucet seemed to be running really slow when I wanted a glassful of water.

Since that time we have been camping in our house. My husband has been pumping drinking water from our well with a Dempster hand pump that he and my dad installed this past spring. I am SO grateful they put that thing in!

We have also found our camping solar shower bag to be a very useful item. Living a few days with no running water in the house has been….interesting. I will not go so far as to say exciting……… so will just stick with the word……interesting.

A corner a couple miles from our home

 

I have decided that our problems are fairly minor when I think of the town just down the road that has derailed train cars leaking oil into the river! Yes our little town of Doon has made the national news with that one.

My husband and I have decided it can always be worse. It is amazing to me how single drops of water can band together and become a force of nature. Those single drops are a force that can change the landscape in less than a day.

It is a good lesson for me, that many people…acting with a common purpose can indeed change the world around them. We can be those drops of water that make an impact.

I have also learned that faith is a wonderful thing…keeping busy is a great way to keep your mind off what you cannot control and that it also helps accomplish something..

Bad weather always looks worse through a window.
Tom Lehrer
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/tom_lehrer_120717?src=t_bad_weather

It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it. Amelia Barr
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/amelia_barr_202842?src=t_bad_weather

I’ll See You When I See You…

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The other day my husband was out planting soybeans in the field around the section. I had to take the pickup out there with more seed beans for him. Before I left I told him what I always say when he is out doing fieldwork and has no idea when he will be back…”I’ll see you when I see you….”

As I drove home I started thinking about that farewell saying. I thought about it in connection with the upcoming holiday of Memorial Day or Decoration Day as my Grandma always called it.

I wondered if any moms, dads, sweethearts, wives, sons, daughters and so on used those same words of farewell when sending a loved one off to the military? When they sent those loved ones off in times of war they had no idea when they would see them next, or if they would see them again this side of heaven.

A couple years back my sister and I had the privilege of going to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. We were able to visit the grave of our cousin’s son, Julian, who gave his life for this country.

Not everyone, serving in the military comes back in a flag draped casket. But many do….and my heart hurts for those families who do have to deal with that loss. I pray they know how very grateful this nation and this farm wife is to those who serve and give all.

I also hope that our military men and women know how deeply grateful we are for all who serve and protect us and our values. Their sacrifices, being away from their loved ones, going through hardships for us, humbles me and puts a lump in my throat when I think about it. They are the core of what makes this nation great.

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When my youngest son was in grade school, (many years ago) they held a day to honor the veterans in our community. The photo that was taken that day remains one of my all time favorite photos…..my son with his Grandpa who served in the medic group in the 50’s. He was stationed in Germany and is still so very proud of his service to his country.

I am grateful to the men and women who serve and allow us to not worry. Their service allows us to get up each day and go about daily tasks without fear. Their service lets me ponder on a simple farewell as I leave my husband in the freshly disked soybean field.

For those families who spend Memorial Day at the cemetery putting flowers on the grave of the one who did not come back….you are not forgotten and neither is your loved one. And for those of us who do not stand at a graveside tomorrow and shed tears while the hole in our hearts still bleeds with sorrow….let us not forget….let us remember to say thank you.

Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 KJV

 

I’ll see you when I see you…..
Chicken Grandma

Raining Petals

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The other day I drove past my in-laws home. I should have stopped and taken a picture of their flowering crab tree; but I was in a hurry. The tree was absolutely beautiful that day and loaded with rose-colored flowers……overloaded actually. I made the assumption that I could take a photo when I went to town the next day and had more time…..so I kept driving.

When I stopped the next day; I found the next day was too late. The wind had picked up during the night and many of the flower petals had blown off and lay in drifts on the driveway. The slight breeze was still making it rain petals and we stood and watched as the petals twisted and drifted on the wind, then dropped to join the drift on the driveway.

The day of the “petal drift” was spent with my husband’s siblings; sorting and dividing the lifetime of memories in their parent’s house. There was much laughter and lots of stories told. The good times were discussed and the not so good times were discussed.

We reminisced and also caught up on each other’s lives; as siblings came from other places and other states to help out. It was also heart-warming to see that treasured pieces were going to kids and grandchildren who would also treasure them, and the memories they held.

Much of that day was like the drift of the petals of that flowering crab. The time was taken to enjoy the relationship of family before the wind would blow us too far to be gathered up again.

There are things to be learned from that rose colored petal drift…..life does not stay the same. Overnight things can change and life looks totally different…..not always bad…but different.

There was a beauty to be found in that drift of petals. Like life, it was just a different kind of beauty. Life changes and it is good to look for the “different” beauty to be grasped. Usually that new beauty is not of our own choosing, but is still okay.

There is also the lesson, for me, that I should not always assume that life will not change. There are times when the wind will take what you know and blow it into a totally different shape when you least expect it. That new shape is not always bad…it is just sometimes uncomfortable. For me, it makes me rely on God more than I would if life were going smooth.

In visiting my in-laws in their new apartment in assisted living; I am learning that change can be handled with grace. I am learning that each new place has a joy of it’s own and there is always something new to be learned.

We may drift and we may twist like rose-colored petals in the wind. We may not be sure of where we will land once the breeze lets us go….but we can be sure, we have the choice to enjoy where we land…..and that is a good thing.

For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven: 

Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

Spring Will Arrive…..Sometime

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You know it is windy when there are whitecaps on the water in the birdbath! Our area of the country has been warned that we are to receive a major winter blizzard this weekend……yes, you read right….this weekend.

They have been warning us for the entire week and so we have been in a bit of a rush to get prepared for this event. Things that needed to be put under cover have all been moved. Things that had been ordered and needed picking up have been picked up.

We have even got our emergency jars filled with water just in case the electricity goes out. This is a distinct possibility as they predict rain changing to snow. During that transition time the electric lines tend to ice up and bounce around in the wind. That leads to downed lines and zip for electricity.

We use a well for our water supply; and without electricity there is no pumping of water to be had. There is also no furnace running should that happen, so my husband has made sure we are adequately supplied with wood for the woodstove.

Storm events have a way of disrupting the normal flow of our lives. They also have a way of making us appreciate when things seem to run smoothly. Perhaps this latest winter storm is a reminder to appreciate those “normal” days.

When we have a snow event this late in the season there is always that glimmer of hope that the snow will not stick around long. In fact it is much more than a glimmer…it is a sure fact. We know that it will not be long and it will have all melted and Spring will actually be here to stay.

Spring has never failed to show up. The seasons are faithful that way. They may throw us a bit of a curve but inevitably the season will be what it is supposed to be….It cannot be anything else and that is a comfort.

I love the way the seasons mirror God. He is faithful. He never fails to show up….even when life is filled with unexpected events….He is still there through it all. And that is the biggest comfort of all!

May this weekend find you comforted by faithfulness. May you be safe, warm and content with where you find yourself in this season of life. And if you are not in a comfortable season; may you have the assurance that life will straighten out and the “normal” season will return.

“Every new season of you life will be an opportunity for you to learn and grow. Don’t celebrate the good without celebrating the bad because they both work together to prepare you for the next season of your life.” 
― Theresa Lewis

“To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
— Ecclesiastes

Spring?????

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I looked out my window this morning and once again stood in amazement. My mind just cannot believe it is really spring; because what I keep seeing is winter just laying around….all over the ground.

This past Monday night we, once again, had a snowstorm…..a blizzard actually. It snowed so much, they did not have classes at the local schools on Tuesday.  Once again, the weatherman predicted an inch. As the storm came closer the only thing “inch” about this storm was that they kept on “inching” up on the snow amount predictions.

Once the storm had blown through and was done, the yard was white, the deck had over a foot of snow on it and my husband had to get out the loader tractor for us to even think about getting out of the garage and off the yard.

By the time I took the photo (above) it was afternoon today and it had started melting….a lot! One of my friends made the comment that this season feels rather like the movie Ground Hog Day…we just keep repeating the same weekend snowstorms over and over. Each weekend is starting to be identical to the once before.  Sadly, they are also predicting another snowstorm this coming weekend. So far they are not giving any snowfall amounts…probably a wise choice on their part!

I have to keep reminding myself that I should be looking for the good in this.  My good friend Mrs. Cobs over at Cobweboriumemporium mentioned the book Pollyanna in one of her recent posts. So like Pollyanna I will intentionally look for silver linings to this snow.

We can use the moisture in our area…the last years have had us in a drought zone so all this heavy wet snow melting into the ground and making mud is actually a wonderful thing. Once we get into our gardens and fields it will be a blessing to have had this snow.

I do feel kind of bad about not having my potatoes planted on Good Friday this year.  My husband and I have always had them in the ground by Easter. Some years they did get snowed on but they always did well. This year I guess it is good it snowed because we did not even have the seed potatoes in the house to plant.

The snow also does cover up the mud for a time….a very short space of time before it makes more mud…..which I guess will be good once those barn swallows return as they will need that mud for repairing and making new nests.

Speaking of birds…I do feel a bit sorry for those summer birds that have returned and now have to deal with the snowfall. The robins, killdeer and meadowlark seem to just be hunkering down and waiting it out.

Perhaps that is the lesson I also need to learn from these repeat storms. I need to be patient, just hunker down and wait it out. Maybe it is a good lesson to slow down, enjoy what the day brings and always find something good in that day. Yes…there is definitely a lesson in contentment to be found on a Spring day that is filled with snow.

 

 

On a positive note….
I haven’t seen any mosquitoes in weeks!
Unknown

 

Music in the Silence

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In our backyard stand two metal chairs….in the snow. For some reason they did not get put away for the season and just stayed out there like sturdy sentinels of the backyard fire-pit. (Yes there is a fire-pit buried under the snow.)

I took my backyard photos in the silence of a sunlit winter afternoon. After pondering a bit I decided that silence can be slightly deceptive. It looks so quiet and white back there in the wintertime. What you don’t see is the dormant grass under the snow just waiting for warmth and sunlight to melt the snow so it can spring up into a lush green carpet.

The flowers in the flower patch are waiting patiently for their time to break free of cold frozen soil and once again grow and bloom gloriously this coming summer. The evergreen trees stand quietly, preparing for families of robins, mornings doves and blue-jays that will nest in their branches.

What you don’t hear are the rustlings of the little creatures that burrow in tunnels beneath the snow. You also don’t hear the echos of the summers’ past. Those humid days where bees fly lazily past in search of the next brightly colored flower….the crackle of logs burning in the fire-pit with flames leaping into the sky.

You don’t smell the the smoke from that fire or taste the charred marshmallows toasted over it’s flickering flames. If you close your eyes, to the whiteness of the snow, you can almost conjure up visions of last summer and hear and see it all again.

I think it might be the same for so many things. What we perceive, when just looking at a person, is probably totally different from the reality of that person. We have no idea of the roads they have traveled, the places they have visited or the feelings locked away in the depths of their hearts and minds.

When faced with situations that seem beyond our control it is good to listen…. to be still and know…to listen to the silence and the song it is singing. Underneath the silence runs a melody that is filled with life and hope. It is giving a chance to breathe in and breathe out and know that life, like the dormant grass, is waiting to come back lush, green and vibrant.

For now….those two metal chairs sitting in the snow by a buried fire-pit are a reminder….silence may not be so silent after all if you just listen closely. Things are not always as they appear on the surface.  There are so many layers that are not obvious at first glance and first listening.

If you want to truly know something….listen with more than your ears….look with more than your eyes.  Listen and look with your heart and your memories to find the music that silence is singing.

 

 

I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.
Chaim Potok

 

We need to pay heed to the many silences in our lives….
each silence has a character of its own.
~Kent Nerburn,
“The Eloquence of Silence,” Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life, 1998