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

Thistles and Rain

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It has been a little wet around here lately. The old saying, “When it rains…it pours” is pretty true in this part of the country lately. After waiting…for what seemed like a long time and wishing for rain…it now seems easy to come by.

I wandered around the other morning with my camera in hand as I couldn’t get in my garden (due to rain) and I couldn’t mow (also due to rain). It seemed a logical choice to go and see if I could capture some of the beauty left by the rain.

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It was fun to try get a photo of the raindrops  dripping from the flowers and leaves.

To be very honest it was also a great opportunity for a blog post as the idea well seems a bit drier than the weather for this Chicken Grandma!

Later that afternoon my husband called for me to join him behind the machine shed. There is a patch of thistles growing back there that really should be taken care of as they do tend to spread.

We discovered, however, that those thistles might be weeds, but the butterflies and bees sure seemed to be enjoying them.

Seeing those thistles in a different light made me reflect on the fact that there are definitely two sides to most things in life. Something might seem to be a weed in your field or a weed in your life….when you look closer and really have a chance to study on it…you may just find that “weed” serves a purpose you had never thought of.

It was good to realize that truth. Life has been busy and somewhat stressful lately. There have seemed to be a lot of “weeds” springing up and flourishing, where I would rather not have them.

Maybe I need to be patient….maybe I need to open my eyes, my ears and my heart to really see, hear and know what those “weeds” actually are doing in my life. Maybe I just need to let God have those “weeds” and let Him take care of them in His own time.

That is a hard lesson for me….I love to fix things and I really want to fix things now instead of later. I guess it is a good time to sit back, watch the rain, and enjoy the lessons the thistles are teaching.

 

“Some of the most beautiful things worth having in your life
come wrapped in a crown of thorns.”

Shannon L. Alder

 

 

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

First Day of Summer

IMG_3676 Red Sky in the Morning..

Today is officially the first day of summer.  It is also the longest day of the year… at least that is what they tell us. We woke up to a sky that looked like it was on fire with the reds and oranges. I attempted to take a picture through the window that had a screen on it as I didn’t feel like standing out in the rain.

Once the rain had quit, I let the girls out of the coop for the day and took my camera with me on a little tour. Everything looked freshly washed……. the grass greener, the sky bluer and the clouds whiter. It smelled wonderful too!

The flowers were beautiful with the raindrops still fresh on their petals. The blossoms of reds, purples and yellows were so vibrant they begged to be photographed and shared.

Even the mud on the driveway had the neatest texture to it and made me stop and pause just to look. There was an odd beauty to it and the stones were wet with the morning rain.

IMG_3683 After the Rain

It was a great start to a day….it was cool and beautiful but the cool was only temporary and transient. Then the day must have realized we were still in Iowa and it was the first day of summer. Once the sun was fully up it quickly became steamy with warm temperatures and lots of humidity. I guess I should not have been surprised.

As the wind blew today it felt like liquid air flowing over my skin. It was thick, heavy and felt like you should be able to reach out and touch it. I have a feeling it is good preparation for the summer days to come.

I am in awe of the variety of weather we have here in the Midwest.( Some weather I like better than others). I am also in awe of the beauty that is there for the seeing. The colors of the sky, the grass, and the flowers.

It is like a love letter from the Father to all of us here on earth. A letter that tells us that we are His. It tells us He loves us enough to create and surround us with beautiful things. It is a letter of faithfulness. And it is a letter of grace.

May you be surrounded by His love letter and may your eyes and heart be open to read it.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

Psalm 96:11-12