Change of Seasons

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The calendar tells me it is the first day of fall……the temperature tells me we are stuck in the middle of summer!  We had temperatures in the 90’s today with humidity that literally sucked the energy right out of your body. I am in full agreement with whoever came up with the phrase, “It’s not the heat….it’s the humidity.”

It is easy to tell that we are in the middle of September when you look at the trees. When my husband and I were sitting on the porch yesterday we felt like we were being rained on….by locust leaves. The little yellow leaves just kept floating down onto the porch, the ground and it didn’t take long and we would have a leaf landing on us.

If you listen closely you can hear the rustle of dry leaves from the trees in the gully and from the corn and soybeans in the field. It is a sound distinctive to fall.

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About the only green thing around here would be the weeds and the lawn. It is hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago our lawn was brown and crispy. I was sure it was dead and that we were done mowing for the season….and then it started to rain.

I must confess I do like to see the green again. I am not quite ready to give up summer for what I know will be the cold of winter. We did end up mowing again this week.

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I told my husband that when you can rake windrows in your lawn after mowing, it was high time to mow it! I spent some time gathering up the dry grass to feed to the chickens later this year…when the lawn is actually dead. They love to feast on the fine blades of grass and it will be a wonderful treat when snow is on the ground.

It seems this time of year is spent preparing for the coming winter. Waterways get baled, grass gets stored for chicken feed, garden produce is put up and preserved for future meals, and soon we will hear the sound of combines in the fields and corn dryers running.

It seems like a frantic pace during this season. Perhaps it is because we know time is getting short to get all those tasks done.  It sometimes feels like there are not enough hours in a day…but I am glad when night comes because I am tired!

It has been so busy lately that we didn’t really notice exactly when the birds all disappeared. One morning we were sitting outdoors and noticed how quiet it was. No longer were the swallows swooping about snatching bugs from midair. The robin nests were empty and there wasn’t a wren to be heard.

The birds, or lack of them, are a pretty good indicator of the seasons.  The loud choir of birds in the morning has changed to the quiet rustling of drying leaves. The lushness of summer is quickly giving way to the golds and browns of fall.

Our lives tend to mirror the changing seasons. Some days feel like we are in the midst of the busyness of fall. Other times we feel like we are in the lazy days of summer. And then there are those times in our lives that we feel the sting of those cold days of winter. There is a beauty to each season and it is good to keep our eyes and hearts open to that beauty.

May you take time to enjoy the beauty of this fall season. May you be blessed whatever season of life you are in. And may you be comforted with the thought that if you are in a difficult season….it will change.

The question, “Which is the happiest season of life?”
was asked of an aged man.

And he replied: “When spring comes, and in the soft air the buds are breaking
on the trees, and they are covered with blossoms,
I think, ‘How beautiful is spring’;

and when summer comes and covers the trees with its heavy foliage,
and singing birds 
are among the branches,
I think, ‘How beautiful is summer.’
When autumn loads them

with golden fruit, and their leaves bear the gorgeous tint of frost,
I think, ‘How 
beautiful is autumn.’
And when it is severe winter, and there is neither foliage nor

fruit, then I look up through the leafless branches as I never could
until now, and see the stars shine in God’s home.

unattributed

 

The seasons are what a symphony ought to be:
four perfect movements in harmony with each other.

Artur Rubenstein

Wonderful Weekends and Road Trips

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Some days just start off with odd things happening. This morning I made some delicious fruit smoothies for my husband and me to have for breakfast. It was early morning and beautiful weather out, so we sat on the porch to enjoy them.

As we sat there, enjoying the quiet of the morning, I saw something drop just as a bird flew past. When I looked in my cup there was a whitish streak inside my cup! That bird had made a deposit in my smoothie! It did make me wonder what the rest of the day would turn out to be. Fortunately, it did not turn out like it started.

The day did turn out hot and muggy; and I commented to my husband that I was grateful that last weekend had been cooler. Last weekend we had the joy of taking a road trip to see our grandson graduate from pre-school.

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“If Only I Could Stick My Finger in This Frosting!”

We decided to take the scenic route on our way south for our visit. I figured I would just share. with you, a few of the sights that we saw on our way.

We found a hard surface road that twined through the country side and had some beautiful scenery…..we did choose it because the map had all the little dots telling us that it was a scenic route. The map did not lie…..it was beautiful.

This little town was a perfect spot to get out and stretch our legs. It was also a wonderful place to just drink in the view and listen to the water that rushed over the rocks. It will be fun to trace this road trip on the map later on and remember all these little back roads.

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We arrived at our destination….the graduation….with time to spare. It was so much fun to spend time with the kids and grandkids. We had such a good time going to the Des Moines Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning.

The Grandkids!

A Bridge in Des Moines

When I think back to last weekend the thing that really stands out is the joy on the faces of our grandkids. They were so excited because they got to have both sets of grandparents at their house at the same time!

Wandering through the farmers market with them, finding the balloon man and eating some popcorn…..okay…….a lot of popcorn….made for some great memories.  I hope they remember that time with as much joy as their grandparents do.

The road trips was great, the scenery was wonderful….but the kids and grandkids…..now there is a treasure without compare!

The love of a family is life’s greatest blessing
 Unknown quotes 

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A Beautiful Day & Changing Seasons

Barn Swallows with Verse

Yesterday afternoon my in-laws stopped in to visit. As we sat on the porch sipping our iced tea on a hot muggy day we noticed there were flocks and flocks of swallows swooping and soaring over the yard. The sky was full of them……everywhere.

Every fall, like clockwork,  we have cliff swallows migrate through as the weather starts to change. Living by a small river we get to see a lot of different birds on their migration paths in the spring and in the fall. It is one of the most rewarding things about living where we do.

I went out this afternoon hoping to snap a picture of a line full of swallows. They were nowhere to be seen. All that was left sitting on those lines were four of our resident barn swallows. I was grateful they were at least still there, ready to be photographed. I do think I should have taken the camera out yesterday.

I mentioned to my husband that it seemed some of our other summer birds were starting to disappear. I was not even sure when I had last seen a robin. I am guessing a few might show up again this fall but for now they seem to be pretty scarce around here.

It does not seem that long ago that those first swallows and robins showed up to signal the start to summer. I never used to believe my grandparents and later my parents; when they would tell me that the older you get the faster time seems to go. I used to laugh and suggest that maybe the older they got, the slower they moved, so time seemed to go faster. I am going to have to remember to NOT mention the swifter passing of time to my kids. I have no need of being reminded that I am getting older.

There is a comfort in the constancy of the changing seasons. The birds show up in the spring, nest, raise families and then leave in the fall. They don’t worry about what is happening in this world. They just do what birds do. And they seem to do that with great joy.

Perhaps there is a lesson in that constancy for us.( I know there is something I can learn from it.)  Perhaps we are not to worry about what the weather will do. Perhaps we are not to worry about who the next president will be. Perhaps we are not to worry about what direction our job is taking. Maybe we are not called to worry if our kids are making good choices.  And the list goes on you fill in the blank with your favorite worry.

Maybe, instead, we are supposed to tend our fields and let God take care of the weather, Maybe we are supposed to get out and vote and let God take care of the character of the next president and the decisions they will be called to make. Maybe we are to do the best we can at our job and let God handle how the boss or our co- workers react. Maybe we are called to be the best parents we can be, raise our kids and pray for them and let God take care of the rest as those kids make their life choices. Maybe, just maybe, we are supposed to let God be God.

There is a comfort in that. The comfort of not always having to have it all under control. That can be exhausting. Maybe that is why the birds can sing so joyously in the morning…..they are not burdened with trying to be something they are not, or trying to control something that is not theirs to control.

There is a comfort in knowing that life is like the seasons. The season might change from spring to summer to fall to winter …. but spring will come again and those summer birds will arrive on time.

For some reason this post did not take the path I thought it would when I started it. I have that more often when blogging. Sometimes thoughts I didn’t even know I had  seem to come out of my fingertips and end up as the words of my posts.(My husband is always a great help with prying those thoughts loose.)

I am learning to go with the thoughts and just type the words that are swirling in my head…..maybe I am learning to have some bird-like qualities!

Faith is the bird
that feels the light
when the dawn is still dark.
Rabindranath Tagore

Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/bird.html