Day in the Garden

I woke to not only a day off today, but a beautiful spring day! I decided today was the day to get my dahlia tubers planted.  Then I remembered  I hadn’t gone to see mom in a  few days.  I knew she would love to go have some fun after being alone in her assisted living apartment for several days.  I decided to call her and see if she wanted to  just sit in the garden and watch me work.  It didn’t sound like much fun to me, but mom thought it was a wonderful idea. After picking her up, I moved a comfortable wicker chair into the garden. Mom eased her 82 year achy body into the chair,  turned her face into the sun and closed her eyes.  Soon she was sound asleep.  Oh well, I thought, she is asleep but not alone.  Later she woke up, looked around and watched the birds, occasionally asking me the names of different flowers.  As I worked she told me how my grandmother loved flowers also and in those days everyone got starts from other gardeners.  I didn’t know my grandmother loved flowers.  She passed away when I was young and I really never knew her well. As I pulled weeds, I thought about how interesting it was that we both share a love for gardens.

Several hours later after all the dahlia’s  were planted,  I made lemonade.  Mom and I sat on the porch watching the breeze blow the trees, and the birds fly through the blue spring sky.  “This has just been the best day” mom sighed.  I thought to myself sometimes I think I have to do something wonderful to show someone a good time.  But really, it’s the little things that make us happy.  Being included, sitting in the garden on a warm spring day, having a cool glass of lemonade.  And after mom is gone, I know these will be the days I will remember.

Sharing today’s simple pleasure with A Collection of This and That.  What was a lovely simple pleasure for you today?


Forget-Me-Not Memory

The forget-me-not’s are blooming at The Old Parsonage now.   On each side of the stone walkway tiny delicate blue flowers are growing wild among the tulips.  Often I hear someone say they are a bothersome weed and tear them out.  (I always wonder at their appreciation of beauty, and silently question their taste!)  I let them spring up where they will and delight in each wild flower. When summer sun fades their blooms, then I pull them up; shaking them as I pull.  The seeds scatter and  I know I can look forward to another spring with delicate blue flowers covering my garden.

This year I have a new reason to adore this flower…our little granddaughter had her picture taken with them.  My daughter has a home photography business, and I think these are just about the sweetest pictures she has taken.  I’m not  partial of course! 🙂

Many years from now when the forget-me-not’s bloom, I will think of our Addie. Her eyes are the color of the flowers, her tiny hands studying and holding the petals, her little face as delicate as a blossom, and looking sweeter than a field of spring wildflowers.

Linking with Ann at A Holy Experience as we share one of the thousands of  sweet gifts straight from the Father’s heart.

Loosing Cecile Brunner

About 12 years ago, just after we built the picket fence, my husband built an arbor for me to grow roses over.   Soon I was researching antique climbing roses and decided on one called Cecile Brunner.  She was an old rose, with tiny pink roses that bloomed in spring.  I planted one on each side of the arbor and soon they met and begin to get thicker and thicker.  We trimmed her, and she would pop right back, healthy and beautiful.  Soon pink roses covered the arbor and in May she became a traffic stopper.  People would refer to our house as the one with the rose arbor and often we would see someone stop to take pictures.  We even had a television movie shot at our house when the roses bloomed.  OK… so maybe the movie wasn’t that great, but the roses and the house were lovely.   She made our home magical in May; like a story book cottage out of a fairy tale.

This winter was a strange one in the northwest.  Bitter cold days, non stop rain and wind, and the coldest April on record.  This May, Cecile Brunner not only didn’t bloom, but didn’t have one green leaf.  I had to finally admit it, we lost her this winter. Despite this being such a cold, rainy spring, it is still the season of life and hope.  I will plant again.

Linking with My Romantic Home this weekend as we share our stories, photos, the sweet things of life with each other.

Mothering Memories

“The older we grow the more precious become the recollections of childhood’s days, especially our memories of mother.  Her love and care halo her memory with a brighter radiance,  for we have discovered that nowhere else in the world is such loving self-sacrifice to be found.”- Laura Ingalls Wilder

I adore this picture of my little granddaughter hugging her mother.  Her expression is sweet happiness in the love of her mother’s arms.  May we remember the love of our mother’s arms today; the happiness of being a child and knowing as long as mother is near, the world is a safe place.  I think one of the closest things to God’s love, is the radiant love of a mother.  Self-sacrificing, unconditional, all protecting…a mother’s love.

Wishing each of you a wonderful Mother’s Day, and linking with Spiritual Sunday this weekend.

Glorious Day

“There in the ground His body lay, light of the world by darkness slain.  Then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again. And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me.  For I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.” Lyrics to the hymn In Christ Alone

Last week I was stunned when one of my students stated she was terrified of dying.   Then several more spoke up and said they were also afraid.  I was surprised so many were afraid of dying, although I felt honored that they found the classroom a safe place to openly talk of their fears. I’m not rushing into wanting to die, but nor am I afraid of it.  As we celebrate Easter, it is a celebration of much more than Christ’s resurrection. It is  a day where we remember that death has lost its grip on us.  Our body can and will die. However our spirit will live on, and go on; never separated from  the One who loves us.  We have been bought with a price, let us celebrate this glorious day when sin and death loose its grip on us.  For we are His, and He is ours, bought with the precious blood of Christ.   Wishing each of you a blessed Easter.

Linking with Spiritual Sunday this Easter.

Pink Memories

We have been stuck in a rainy weather pattern for the last few days.  The skies are gray, the rivers are rushing fast and flooding, and our yard has standing water.  But when I look outside my window, this is what I see…pink blooms cascading down. Pink flowers blowing in the wind and rain. I planted this cherry tree a few weeks after my dad passed away in memory of him.  He was raised in Arkansas where they tend to have white dogwood in the spring instead of cherry trees. He came for a visit one spring and was amazed at trees covered with pink blooms!

Every year I look forward to the cherry trees blooming.  I smile as I remember the quiet outdoors-man that I was lucky enough to call Dad.

Linking with A Collection of This and That as we share simple pleasures.

The Path

“But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” I’ve been thinking a lot lately about serving.  One reason is because I am a caregiver for my mother who has Alzheimer’s Disease.  I have been doing this for two years, and it is one of the hardest jobs I have ever done.  Another reason is my profession.  I work part-time teaching home-care aids the fundamentals of nursing care.  If ever there is a profession of service, it is nursing!   One thing students quickly learn is that it is not an easy profession.  Babies are beautiful. We love to touch them and they smell like they are fresh from heaven.  They are a joy to hold and take care of.   But the elderly woman who is incontinent, the 40-year-old with a developmental disability, the father with dementia who is often angry; these situations can try even the most faithful and loving hearts.  To serve another person is not always an easy thing.

“He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples feet.” Last week I was teaching how to put on pressure stockings.  Because we needed a model, I reluctantly took off my shoes and socks and had them try to put the stocking on my feet.  I confess I was a little hesitant to have someone handle my feet. I had not had a pedicure since last summer, my toenails needing painting, and well…it was  my feet!  As a young student  from India was gently putting the stockings on, she told me that in her country to touch an elder’s feet is a sign of great respect.  In our culture it often a job no one wants to do. 

No said Peter, you shall never wash my feet.” I never really thought much about how hard it would be to have to ask another person to help us.  To have another person help us wash our most intimate and unclean parts, to see us stripped raw in our humanity. That can not be easy for anyone.

Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” In everyone’s life we have the difficult  jobs we would rather not do.  I have mine as well. I hope you will give me grace when I admit that my spirit often fights against it.  Sometimes I am angry that this is my role.  I never thought of how hard it is to be the one needing to have my feet washed, to need to be helped, to be cleansed.

“You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Maybe this is the path of learning for our soul.  The path that leads us to humility and a spirit that is refined.  It reminds me of the chorus we often sing in worship, “Refiner’s fire, my hearts one desire, is to be holy.  Set apart for you my master, ready to do your will.” It is a lovely chorus to sing, it is a often not the easiest  path to walk.  May God grant us  the grace and strength to be faithful and allow our spirit to be refined on the path He has put us on. 

I am excited to enter this post in a scholarship writing contest for SheSpeaks. Visit A Holy Experience and read the entries and maybe even enter your own!