Wednesday, September 2, 2015

In Reply To "Savor"

     Lisl's Post for today is great. Go over there and read that first if you want to know for yourself. She is a great, organized writer and I'm proud of her. after I read it, I hit comment and started writing. And then thought I should blog my comments here. So go over there and see what she says.


  My Comment:  Hey, what a good idea. I'm home all day today, well, until six this evening anyway, and I'm guarding THAT jealously. All I had in mind was to get the laundry done, complete, finished! And to have all the dishes put away, the kitchen and porch and "pile-it" places cleared and clean and sparkling. Now you come along with this good idea. Remember that pumpkin candle holder one of you gave to me last fall? Hmmm, what else is there. My table is sporting a vase of wilted and wasted zinnia, an undone puzzle, someone's folded piece of music with notes on the back, and a basket of oranges and apples. Oh, and a dirty table runner laying sideways across the table. It's all in disarray.  It must be time to give it some thought again.

                                                           Fall Management
    I feel like I have been too busy to pay attention to details like the family table centerpiece. And that is too busy!  There are freshly rained upon zinnia blooming in the garden just waiting to be gathered into vases. Lisl is using books and cookie cutters and birds. The candle and flower give the whole thing warmth and attraction. Autumn themes already!
    Fall is our favorite time of year around here. It's time again to get new portraits of the individual adult children living here at home. It's time to gather up the latest couple/family pictures of each the children and get them framed and hung in place. It's time to redecorate our bedroom for fall: warmth, lights, and something pretty.
    And it's time to go through the freezer. I have no idea what all is down there in the depths. And if we aren't eating it, what's the point of letting it pile up in there. That's been my freezer dilemma all my life. Most other good Menno moms have two or three freezers well stocked with what? I'm mystified by this. We don't get to the bottom of our little half sized unit in a year's time. I guess its a management issue.  And I'm a poor one. I have always wanted to know. Do you with two full freezers even know what's at the bottom? Really? It's an honest question.
    That's my scattered stuff for now. Work hard, be happy, and don't fuss about the inevitable in your life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Of Orchids Unaware and Other Serendipitous Moments



Alpine Lake is hidden away along the Nordic Ski Trail just waiting to share its splendors for the honest quiet seeker/watcher of God's awesome creation. Elv and I had Saturday evening to ourselves, so we decided to hike the trail to see the little lake. We were there several years ago on one of our "explorings". This time it is at "full pool".
    I sat down at the very edge to watch and see whatever there was. The more you look, in this kind of setting, the more you will see. Elv stood behind me and waited, too. We each had our phone cameras in hand.
    Right at my toes I found these little beauties. The perfection of a wild swamp flower amazes me. This is a arrowhead plant. You can see most of the leaf there (missing the point of the arrow on this picture). There were tiny black ants crawling around on the leaves and flowers.

               




There were fish jumping out there... trout, we read, on the information board on our way out later. The blue jays had a discussion under way beyond the northwest shore of the lake. We never did find out what it was there were making such a racket about.
   I always hope we will see a bear or some deer emerge from the woods on the other side of the lake to drink. Only once have we seen this, many years ago up on Cheney Lake.


    On the way home I spotted a reptilian looking plant growing in the dead leaves along the trail. A tiny piece of it came home with me. I found out the next day that I had just filched an orchid from the wild. Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid to be exact. It is beautiful.          
The DNR officer that we met when we got back to our car was a lot more concerned about the mysterious pile of a child's possessions: car seat, life jacket, toys and other things pertaining left lying in the parking lot there by the woods. A lot more concerned, than about my ignorant orchid gathering.
        Another untold story that. My mind goes all kinds of places that I wish it wouldn't go when I see such things dumped in the wrong spot and abandoned. Where's the child? What the story? And then I realize I don't even really want to know. I want to know that the situation is being "taken care of" by the right people. That's all. So then I think of my one way of helping. I can pray. God knows all. He cares perfectly. He can. Possibly by my intercession alone, an angel of some sort can effect a rescue. I must never forget to pray. It could make all the difference.
    Do you believe that our whole day was orchestrated: our work, our free evening, our walk, all of it could have been by God just for our concern to come before Him for this? How big is your God?


    Brad has been yearning for a little workshop of his very own. He has worked hard all summer and saved his earnings. So last week he was ready. He still waits for his driver's license so I took him to the lumber yard in Stone Lake for materials. We took time to brainstorm and make a list first. I'll admit that I pushed him to do it right for a couple of reasons, appearances being one of them. What's worse looking than a thrown together shack of this and that?! So with the help of CLP's fat, carpentry text book and his own ideas, he began. This picture was a week ago. He's been working his two other very part time jobs between and taking time to play on the weekend and as of this writing four walls are up and door framed in and the rafters soon to be.


           More about stories again now. We are so very, very blessed. A little old Native American lady told me her stories last night and this morning sitting at my dining room table. Elv cooked for the two of us while she prepared to be taken to the clinic for her next stopping place and then we sat down to breakfast. She put honey and creamer in her coffee and stirred it vigorously while she talked. I sipped my coffee and listened silently. I honestly couldn't tell what part of the things she told me were true or what things were only a part of her unrealities, which seem very real to her. I honestly don't know what to think at all. What part of what I did for her even came off as the love of Jesus to her? She thanked both Elv and I profusely for all we had done for her. She claims to love Jesus in one breath and talks about Hollywood in the next. She has lived a hard life. She is not able to think straight. She has a well worn Bible.
     In the end, I have to believe that part of her time here was about how I would do with it all. It was my test. I guess I don't have to figure out which box she fits into, do I? She is a lonely old soul and Jesus loves her as much as He loves me. My story reads far different from hers, but I have to say, if she ends up next door on Mansion Street, I won't mind at all.







Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Thankful For What We Have


Like one, very old computer. Brad has been the only person using this computer for his school work and study and "The hunting game".  That is, until last night when we decided to see if it would actually still send a command to the printer and create a successful copy. Driven by sheer need and too much pride to ask one of our better equipped children to help, we gave it a try.  I even got Word to work. And the printer even had enough ink in it to make seventeen copies of our needed document. Wow! The computer is an old laptop using Windows XP? Really? I don't know, I think so. Amazing. The whole keyboard is functional. But we have it ponied to a newer screen on the side because the laptop screen is cracked or smudged. That's one of the things I am deciding to be thankful for. 

I took these pictures with my new Android and loaded them to a new post from there and saved it. Then I came over here to the old computer and logged into blogspot and found the draft.  Lo and behold I can edit/write/post.  Thankful for that, too.

And for the rain. It's the middle of August and the lawn and garden are lovely, green and beautiful.

   

This picture does not really show off this row of flowers properly. I am inordinately proud of this but I have to give the credit to where it is due. Many years ago we were at Lester and Katie's house to Sunday lunch and she had a row of foundation flowers done exactly like this with the red mulch and the same variety of flowers. I have never forgotten how elegant they were. These are a perfect, too.
  



Contentment had completely eluded me the last couple of days. Our basement bedroom bugs me. We can hardly keep it decently dry and the spiders love that. Looking up cottage master bedrooms on Pinterest wasn't helping much. Imagine that! But I did see one picture that inspired me to go down there and take my cleaning stuff and vacuum sweeper along. You never know what a good cleaning will do besides reduce the spider population. One thing led to another and I soon had clean surfaces, fresh dresser scarves and tidy-ness. Except that rusting, dusty stove looked terrible. I don't know why it has taken me so long to realize that a little stove blacking and a lot of elbow grease would restore our beautiful fireplace to loveliness again. It's the old discontentment problem. And I believe I have found the cure for it. Oh sure, I would still love to have a new, north-woodsy, decorated master bedroom with floor to ceiling windows and white carpet and a huge stone fireplace with a carefully appointed bathroom attached. But the truth is, even then I'd have to decide when enough is enough and be content. I can save Elv a lot of money and headache just by getting straight to the point, today. It's not half bad anyway, after it's been cleaned and rejuvenated. 


                                          Church picnic on the patio at our house. It was great fun.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Everyone Has A Story

Yours truly in Glacier Park. We never get enough of it, but I have this picture to prove we drove through, anyway. And stopped for ten minutes.


Home from Idaho (the Kauffman family reunion) as of Tuesday evening. Only ninety-three of the four hundred of us were in attendance. Even so, we had amazing talk times and fun.
  Kauffmans laugh a lot. Especially the old Aunts and Uncles show us how to laugh at ourselves.

  Elv and I are listening for stories everywhere we go. I suppose that is because of our growing awareness that everyone has one. Especially riveting are the lessons shared by people in our own family who have had experiences similar to ours and have "lived to tell the story".
    Back at our cabin at night we would compare our collections. We found out that there is no temptation but such as is common to man, and that we have all been provided a way of escape. I especially appreciate the realness (honesty) of our K family. That same forthright-ness gets us into trouble too at times. I am not saying we are always nice, if you know what I mean.
  Tears and triumphs are what good stories are made of. Thanks especially, Dean, Michelle, Valora, Wayne, Samantha, Amy, Shilah, and all of you for your encouragement. And Aunt Nita, I hope that when I am your age that I can be as cheerful and fun as you are to all of us nieces and nephews. You give me courage and I love you for it.


Afterward, Elv and I delighted in climbing the mountain behind April and Jay's with them. Route 2 runs over that bridge you see there.  We all talked fast between Elv and I gasping for enough of that thin air, to tell each other's stories while we climbed.




Saturday, August 1, 2015

Date Night


 We went on a date. Just the two of us. Life after weddings is fabulous. There's time for play. And I am reading a novel this week; something I haven't done in ages.
There's time to play with my phone camera. And brain space to consider some fall perennial planting. Jung's catalogue came in the mail last week right in the middle of our wedding hub-bub. Having tucked it away for later; I thought of it it when we found these beauties growing by the shelter at a park near Hayward.
 This picture is much darker because I discovered the iso setting on my camera in an effort to capture the color, better. Imagine my delight in learning something new and nice. I really wonder sometimes if the camera geeks in our family realize how ignorant I am.
Elv was snapping pictures, too.


Friday, July 31, 2015

   The garden flowers are blooming now. Finally. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Small Post

The Wedding was beautiful. Lance and Kristine are happily married.
If I had a computer,I would try to write something meaningful about preparation and expectation and creating a perfect wedding celebration.
And about having three small baby girls in the family all at once. And about understanding life after life-changing events. And the hollow quiet within these old stone cottage walls after they all go home to their own worlds. And about finding another new normal.
Since I am having to Swype type to write; I will be posting less often until we get a new computer. With traveling, saving the money, and shopping this will take me several months, I suppose.
To my sisters, I still have a phone.