Time passes…

Each morning I wake up. The sun has illuminated the sky from behind the horizon. It will rise soon, an hour earlier (according to timekeeping devices only) starting tomorrow (yuck!) . I lay in bed and thank Yahuah/Yahweh/the LORD/the Creator, that I am alive and have another day to bring joy to him, to hopefully make a difference in the lives I come into contact with throughout the day. I pet the cats, get dressed, fill water bottles for the day, read the newspaper comics section while I eat, then start my day.

Pandemic or no, life has continued with minor changes. I wake up, I do what I do, I go to bed, and start the process the next day after (hopefully) a good night of sleep. My hair continues to get grayer… and thinner… and straighter. I continue to have days when I am happy with my hair, and days when I think it looks old, I should do something different. I just don’t have the mental energy to find a new look, or figure out how to get my old look with new hair. Or, maybe it’s not lack of energy, but a lack of motivation? After all, working in our dusty garage organizing, or out in the garden, my long hair is usually pulled up and out of my face and off my neck for comfort. It’s rare that I have an occasion to look nice. But then, I feel bad that my husband has to see the grungy or freshly showered with wet hair me when he gets home every night. Last night I used a lot of hairspray and curled my tresses for him.

Our grandchildren continued to grow and mature during these unprecedented times too. Yikes! Our oldest is almost my full 5’8” height at 13 years old! What a strange feeling. I don’t remember feeling that weird when our son passed my height. Didn’t have to with our daughter, she is a couple inches shorter than I am. Will they all pass me up in height? Maybe just my sons two oldest? Genetics fascinate me.

Plants continued to grow this year too. Voles continued to create dirt mounds in the lawn area. They even decided to eat the roots of one of my young apple trees this winter. Sad, but true. I found it laying on the ground after some wind. I know it wasn’t the wind, because it wasn’t uprooted, and there were the tell tale mounds of dirt at the base of the tree. Yah willing, they won’t get find the other three tree’s roots as tasty. Maybe I should plant insects in the ground for them so they leave the plants alone. Sigh.

Babies were born last year and are now crawling or walking, eating mush and gooing and cooing to imitate talk. Just like in the past. Cars racked up miles as they were driven. Just like in the past. Businesses stayed open, some closed, some new ones opened. Just like in the past. Trees produced flowers, then pollen (gesundheit!), then leaves, provided shade, the leaves turned colors then fell to the earth. Just like in the past.

Time has passed, and continues to pass. At my age, 55, it sometimes seems to be an alarming rate. I almost feel like 2020 didn’t really happen, but all the signs show it did. Yes, many things changed, masks were worn, telecommuting become common for way more people, less people traveled, etc. But, time continued, each day happened, the changes were just a little more dramatic than we are used to.

I want to be sure not to let the things that did change be my focus. The details of life are always in flux, changing from day to day. Governments change, ways of life change, people change. But, time continues to pass, life continues. As humans, we need hope, something to look forward to. I can be sad because I can’t travel to where part of my family is, or I can be thankful for video calls with said family. I can be angry with governmental changes I don’t agree with, or I can be thankful I don’t live in a war torn nation in Africa. I can be bummed that food prices seem to have doubled overnight, or be thankful I have food and pray for those who don’t. It’s all about perspective.

A card I recently bought.

I wish for this world, an attitude of gratitude. That people could learn to be content with life, with the sun rising and setting each day. To be able to look past the struggle and find something, no matter how small, to be thankful for. Maybe if we all practiced this, this world would be a better place. Maybe.


A beautiful day…

It snowed last night. It’s only the first week of October and there was snow on the ground when I woke up!!! Too early in my book.

I spent the day driving people from one place to another, and am now sitting at my hubby’s office waiting for him to be ready to go home. I drove him there earlier after we had a joint appointment.

From where I am sitting, I can look out a window. The sky is a stunning blue, and there are two layers of trees silhouetted against it. The taller evergreens, and below them a row of leafy trees that are clothed in orange and rust colored leaves. The combination leaves me breathless as I reflect on the events of the last two days, and begin to daydream about what it will be like to live in the new home we are building. It is a welcome moment of refuge for my exhausted emotions.

May you find beauty to refresh your soul when you have the chance to look out a window today.

Pondering plums…

We have plums coming out our ears right now! What a silly idiom, but wait, I digress. We have more plums than we could ever eat. We give away most of them, I try to use them fresh in recipes, and I will be freezing some also.

This past week, I made a recipe for a plum crumb cake. Pretty standard, but too sweet for my liking. Yesterday morning, I sliced a bunch of plums, eighteen to be exact, added two drops of wild orange essential oil and two drops of cardamom essential oil. I stirred it up to mix the flavors, buttered a baking dish, and poured them in. On top of that I poured a batch of Dutch Baby batter, then cooked it. That was delicious! No sugar added to the plums and none in the batter. It was like a soft crust pie. The purple skin made for a beautiful colored thick juice that bubbles up through cracks in the batter, and the flesh turned a gorgeous orange color.

My pondering started after the first bite. Why do we always have to add sugar to fruit recipes? Is there a reason? Or do we just do it because that is what our forefathers did and it has become the norm?

I know that fruit straight from the tree takes way better than store bought fruit. So, I understand having to add sugar to it. Maybe, back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth (she said for the sake of her grandkids who are reading this), maybe pioneers had to use fruit hat wasn’t quite ripe if the weather turned too early, and sugar was their way of helping he flavor while not letting anything go to waste.

Whatever the reason, I want to learn to cook without all the added sugar. It’s better for me. I am grateful for the trees we have on our current neighborhood lot. One tree can bless so many hungry people. The miracle of a tree producing fruit always fosters a heart of gratitude towards the Creator.

I hope you see the little miracles in life today, and that they bring a smile to your face, and refresh your soul. A smile, a baby, a flower, a cloud. Find your miracle today and be glad!!

A morning walk…

Realizing that I need to take better care of myself, I am trying to get into the habit of a morning walk. For some reason, the weather during the spring is always best first thing in the morning. Although the average person would probably wear a medium weight jacket his morning, I found the wind a bit much for my ears and exposed hands. I put my wool cap on, and covered that with a sweatshirt hoodie. To top it off was my heavy down utility jacket and some gloves. I am sure I gave the joggers I passed, who were in spandex, something to giggle at. And I have to admit, I felt extremely wimpy when I lapped the elderly English woman out for her daily stroll, who was wearing lightweight sweats. Seeing her made me remember the elderly, crippled Asian lady who walked daily around the neighborhood. One leg was in a brace and never bent. She walked slow and deliberately. That ended the day she took a spill near my house. It blessed me to see neighbors trying to help. She didn’t seem injured, and her husband was soon there to pick her up. But it is sad to think that she had to give that up.

When I walk, many times I find myself praying and thanking Yahweh my God for creating such a beautiful world for us to enjoy. One with multiple colors, sounds, smells. I find myself marveling at the birds, the trees, everything. It is amazing to see the different trees getting ready for their big reveal. The Maples had red fuzzy flower clusters at the end of each little branch. They looked like poodle tails. Many of the Oaks were still adorned with the brown, crunchy leaves of last fall, with no evidence of life, yet. One cool trees branches had turned a pale yellow green, and the soon to be leaves looked like thorns along the branches, as opposed to the furry cream buds on the dark wooded tree at the next house. Although I have walked this same path for weeks now, today was the first time I noticed two very tall trees that were still sporting round seed pods at the top. Maybe that’s where the walnuts are coming from that the crows like to drop on our roof to crack open. My favorite tree though, was the small, horribly pruned tree in the middle of a front yard still decorated in the red chili pepper Christmas lights from December.

Another unusual thing I have never noticed in past years was that every so often, the soft stuff between the slabs of sidewalk concrete had been dug our leaving a mess on the path. At first I wondered if kids were being kids, but then I realized that I started seeing it right after our worm rain. I bet that a bird of some sort had been pecking through to get to worms or bugs. That was actually confirmed a few blocks away when I saw a small woodpecker doing that very thing!

Woodpeckers are rare to see in our neighborhood. More common are doves, robins, crows and starlings. Sometimes mockingbirds, which I believe are akin to blue jays. They are spectacular birds to watch. They caw similarly to crows and jays, they are large with dark blue feathers and a wide stripe of white on their wings. I really enjoy when they are all talking one to another. The coping of the doves, the chatter of the robins, the songs of the starlings. Every now and then, a pheasant will chime in too. I hope we will have lots of birds out at our property.

As I walked past a flowering forsythia bush, I remembered that that is my signal to do my first lawn feeding. Maybe if the weather holds today, meaning no rain, I can get that done later today. Along the way were flowering primroses, beautiful pink heather, some bush with dainty little white flowers just beginning to bloom, and the remains of the earliest blooming crocuses.

Halfway through my walk, I was startled to hear the sounds of steps behind me. When I turned back, I was amused to see a sturdy, dead leaf from autumn skipping up behind me on the breeze.

There were also an abundance of flags flapping in the breeze this morning. Several American flags floated proudly, one simple black flag with the words US Army, a tattered yellow flag with a coiled rattle snake and the words Don’t Tread On Me, and one decorative Welcome Friends flag on a porch. I certainly felt welcome in my neighborhood. Especially after walking past the corner house with a long vertical wood sign proposed in the doorway that said welcome. But the one that will linger in my memory for a while is the brightly colored porch sign that said BLOOM. I wish I had brought my phone along to photograph it, but that is one of my rules, no phone on my walks. I want to BE in the moment, not be looking for pictures, and miss out on something that I wasn’t focused on. Was BLOOM a proclamation? A command? A recommendation? Or just a hope for the future, as the land comes alive again after its long winter sleep once again.

Bloom. I think I will try to do that.