Warmed Twice

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We seem to be running behind this season. The harvest is running late due to rain….the grandson came two weeks after his due date and we are cutting wood for the winter season way later than is normal for us.

Usually we try to have wood cutting done in the spring so we can just check that off our list of things to do. This year, due to surgeries, that did not happen. By the time we had both recovered from those surgeries we were full tilt into summer stuff to do.

Things like lawn mowing, gardening, weeding, lawn mowing, walking beans, lawn mowing etc. just seemed to need doing more than wood needed cutting. We are now at that point in time where we can no longer put it off.

We are in that season where the weather can change from one day to the next….sunny one day and snowing the next. We have had our first hard freeze so we know it will really not be long before we do hit the winter season.

We have also had several cold rainy days where we were scrounging around for wood to put in the wood stove to take the chill out of the house. The last couple days we have had a break in the rain so it became time to go cut wood.

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Wood cutting was chilly and wet this morning and I was feeling a little cold and miserable. My husband had to remind me that heating your house with wood warms you twice. I think he is right because as you are cutting and hauling wood it warms you and once you put it in the wood stove and light it up, you are warmed once again.

I must say that there is something wonderful about seeing that fire in the stove and feeling the warmth it produces. I am quite sure, by the end of the heating season, I will not feel quite the same way. I will be sick of sweeping up bits of twigs, bark and ashes. I will be ready for the warmth of spring and summer.

After re-reading that last paragraph I am beginning to see why time goes faster the older I get. It seems I am wishing my seasons away. That might be a lesson for me to slow down and just enjoy the season I am presently in.

Even though there are uncomfortable parts of those seasons, I guess I should really relish the good parts. There are exceptional parts to each season and I may have to stop and look for those parts.

Changing seasons are so much like life. Good and bad all rolled into one.  The choice is to decide what we are going to focus on…the good or the bad.

I think I will choose to enjoy the damp mornings that smell of fallen leaves melting into the grass….mornings cloaked in that peculiar stillness that is the season of autumn.

My choice will be to stand, at night, on my porch and listen to the sound of the combines in the fields and dryers running to dry corn in the bins.

It will be a good thing to see the fog roll up from the river on a frosty morning and hear the lonesome sound of geese as they fly….following instincts that take them to warmer places for the winter.

I will choose to delight in the cool nights where I can sit by the warm wood stove and drink my tea. I will try to remember the joy of being “warmed twice”……and I will close my eyes, sip my tea, and be grateful.

“One can enjoy a wood fire worthily
only when he warms his thoughts by it as well as his hands and feet.”
Odell Shepherd

 

Lessons From Geese

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The past few days have been unusual with our very warm weather. It has been a wonderful reprieve from the cold days that we had in January. The last few days we have even heard flocks of geese as they fly over our farm on their journey north.

It is hard to believe that the geese are already migrating. This is really early for them to be moving that direction again. It makes me wonder how long it will be before they are thinking they may have left those warmer areas a little too fast.

I love the wild sound of those flocks as they fly overhead. It is usually that wild cry that alerts us to their presence. Once you hear it, you start looking up till you finally locate them. Sometimes they are just small groups of a dozen or so. At times they are so large they have several V formations within V formations.

I am amazed at the instinct these birds have in knowing when it is time to hit the migration trail. Year after year, they unfailingly take wing and go when the time is right. Year after year they follow that age-old path to get to the same location as they were the year before.  Against all odds they  manage to make that same trek over and over.

There is a great comfort in the constancy of the geese as they migrate. It is wonderful to know that even though this world may be in an uproar…..the geese still fly when it is time to go.  They do not take their cues from man-made circumstances. They go when it is time….no matter what; because that is what geese were made to do.

There is a lot to be learned from geese I think. They are not swayed by circumstances and opinions. They do not try to be something they are not. They stick together so their journey is easier.  Just think if we were not swayed by the opinions of people who care nothing for us. What would happen if we did not worry about being good enough? What would this world look like if we stuck together and loved each other enough to help each other through this journey called life?

What if…..against all odds….we stayed true to being who God made us to be and we stayed focused on the business that He has given us to do? I cannot speak for anyone else….but I am thinking that would be a mighty fine thing.

May you have a blessed weekend and enjoy the things that God has put in your path . May you find something to marvel at in the days ahead. I pray that someone is placed before you and you are given an opportunity to love, serve and help…… and may your life be filled with simple pleasures like geese flying overhead.

 Morrie Schwartz quotes 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/against-the-odds/

The Winter Season

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The last days have suddenly made the month of December real….weather-wise. We had been having unseasonably warm temperatures (and I was good with that). We are now having cooler than normal temps for this time of year. (Things change quickly!)

Our children had snow where they live so we know winter is on it’s way. My heart and mind are ready for the festive part of this season…..my mind and body are not ready for the weather that accompanies it.

In protest of the sudden drop into the deep freeze I am posting a couple of my favorite summer photos. They were taken in a city park not far from here. It is one of my favorite places to go and just walk around.  When our sons were small we used to take them there to go fishing.

I digress…..back to the reality that is……cold Iowa weather. There is a small comfort that we are only getting wind…it could be snow with wind this time of year…or worse yet….ice.

My husband had been to a consignment auction the beginning of this week.  That day the weather was not too bad. Today when we went to go pick up his lone purchase the wind was a lazy wind….the kind that blows right through you rather than around you. The consignment auction site is basically an alfalfa field. There are no trees to stop the vicious wind and the corn stubble in the next field is no help at all.

The one consolation with the cold wind was seeing the flocks of geese that finally decided it was time to go south. The last two days have seen large flocks of Canadians, snows and blues flying in big V’s over our place.  This brought to mind one of my dad’s favorite questions regarding geese and one you can ask your kids and grandkids. (I would be surprised if they knew the answer.)

Question: When geese are flying in a V formation why is one line always longer than the other?
Answer:   Because there are more geese in it.
(This joke, years ago, actually got one of my sons out of taking a science test in high school.  The teacher challenged them to ask her a science type question that she couldn’t answer….it worked!)

I think I love the geese flying over because they sometimes go right over our house. When they are flying low you can even hear them honking.  I wonder what they are saying as they hurry by, anxious to get to their destination. Some days the wind seems to be blowing them along and other days I wonder how they manage to make any headway against it.

Some days are like that….going with the wind and others feel like a struggle as things just seem to push you back to where you started. I guess a lesson from the geese could be learned…..keep flying and focusing on where you are going. Some days may take you longer…but you will get there.

Their honking has a lonesome wild sound to it that touches someplace deep inside. I am not sure if that sound hits me because it sounds so wild or if it sounds like a promise. It tells me that the seasons are running according to the order set in place at the beginning of this earth. It speaks of the constancy of certain things in life.

So many things can change and spin around in this world and turn life upside down; but the geese will still fly south when the weather turns wintry and they will return in the spring. They are as constant as grass turning green, wind blowing in Iowa and snow melting in the spring.

I love the promise that comes with the seasons. I love the order God built into this ball called Earth. I do know I appreciate spring and summer a lot more because of going through a cold winter season and maybe that is why we go through those seasons.

I also know that once the geese are done flying for this migration;  I will be scanning the sky when the spring thaw comes and I will be looking for their return. Such is the blessing of hope.

 

You have established all the boundaries of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.
Psalm 74:17