Friday, September 19, 2014

Fleeting Days of Summer/Childhood

 Summer is gone. We had good times. But it did fly by too quickly, as good times always do. I kept thinking that I was doing well at savoring. Used my camera a lot and spent as much time as possible with Lisl who is moving back to Thailand next week. We had the usual, regular patio suppers and Sunday afternoons of visiting and children refereeing.  But it is all kind of a blur.

                           It's a happy blur, of course.  Jube and Lisl planted my garden for Jube's education and Lisl and my enjoyment this spring before the wedding. The garden grew and produced and is tilled away already. Jube dug potatoes, gathered tomatoes and found cucumbers among the vines. So he truly had the education they wanted for him.
    We went camping. Elv took some of them fishing a couple of times.
   The heat of summer is past. The awesome color and coolness of fall is here. While we mourn the loss of summer we welcome fall with delight. These two are not dichotomous.
     Forward we go, facing the changes in life either to enjoy them or to dread them. Since God is in control we should not waste our energy mourning what is gone. Besides we do not want to miss out on the joys ahead by getting stuck in a rut of what is past. Cannot live in yesterday or tomorrow. Must do today with all that we are.
    There are four new babies on the way at church. More happy changes. God keeps us sufficiently supplied in responsibility and joys. And we are grateful to Him. 

Monday, September 8, 2014


Rain and more rain. Wind that knocks trees helter-skelter. Mugginess, then a cool wind and back to muggy a few times a day. Blue sky one minute, gray heavy clouds the next. Brad is filling the wood box with wood that has been thoroughly rained upon all morning, all week for that matter. This house feels damp and icky, chilly. A fire should dry things out temporarily. It's September and I'm afraid Indian summer will never get a chance.  We came into the month with very little fall color. At the moment there is a stiff breeze blowing. That should scuttle the clouds away.

A year ago I wrote in a post about grace and forgiveness being integral in our marriage and how good it is.  Still is good. Here I am needing to relearn, again. How frustratingly slow is my growing up!

I am always "preaching" about being kind to others no matter who they are or what they've done. And that everyone deserves kindness in the sense that none of us does, really. And we are instructed/beseeched to love one another by the Apostle John of the early church. The other thing I thought I had learned was to not let rumors and wrong impressions about us ruin our joy.
It seems God has been testing all those beliefs. Knowing what is the right thing to do and actually being able to DO the right thing are two different things. It has been a very daily duty of hard going fraught with yawning ditches of discouragement.

What if, what really happened never comes to light? Am I so insecure in my relationship/identity with Jesus that I must charge around trying to take care of my own reputation? But this is hard work. Each of us has his own "take" and to prove anything as more true than any other thing in this muddle is a mistake. Finally, we will each have to take our baggage to Jesus.

I don't have a clue about the song, but hearing "Let It Go" from the lips of a grandchild from the back seat about 15 times in a row did good things for me. I don't think Jube has a clue about the song either. God uses the strangest things sometimes, doesn't He?  I mean the song, not the boy.

And one more thing. Nobody is always right or always wrong. So the sooner we realize that we're all just people in need of a Savior, the sooner we can decide to trust Him and live, happy.

 I'm praying, "Here Jesus, You carry this thing for me, It's so heavy and I'm tired of it." Jesus invited his disciples to do this as His last word to their doubt about His validity. They kept asking, "Is this the One?"
It is the same question we're asking, really. All of our fears and elbowing are rooted in that question. Such folly, when we know the answer!

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day 2014


We took off right after church Sunday in Lance's pickup for the cabin: the dog, our overnight bags, a cooler of food, and the camera. Due to Amy's diligence and skillful home keeping we found the cabin "pretty" and nice.
We also spent the afternoon/evening with the Lattin family at their house while we were at it. Lovely visit time while the  young people and Elv played the new matching/sequence game of Quirkle.
Monday, we lolly-gagged with coffee and breakfast till midmorning.  Then Lance mowed the lawn, Brad did the weed-whacking, Elv installed a ceiling fan/light in the living room, Amy and I hung a wall of wallpaper in the master bedroom, and then we did up the dishes.
After all that we hiked up to the top of Buck Mt. We had sun and clouds but the air was very clear so that we could see Lake Superior nicely all the way to the other shore. It's an awesome view from three miles away.


 Susan has a new rasp of guineas. Watch dog, bug catcher, and homestead interest all rolled into one for you. I was out with her looking over the gardens, new apple trees and yard with the camera. The hens were all getting ready to roost for the night.

 68 degrees after our humid and warm weather here at home was a relief.  Sweater weather is the best.

The wallpaper looks crooked to me. I think I know now
why it was on sale. But I was excited about it because it is all about trees and logging. Maps and leaf sketches. Perfect for my logger man.

 I think it is going to look just fine once we get the room finished and furnished as per our dreams fulfilled.

Ceiling light and fan installed on an unfinished ceiling. But it makes lovely lighting and will distribute the stove heat wonderfully come winter. And it looks funny for now, but someday...
So we consider it accomplishment. The light and the fan can be operated off the inverter from the battery. In other words, you don't have to have the generator running (roaring and rumbling and ruining the quiet).

 Lake Superior, three miles distant. We always take pictures knowing they're completely inadequate. But we can't seem to stop trying.

There is a monkey in the tree there. He in the tops of a spruce tree to get a better . 

Some people play with worms, while others take pictures of the clouds. We sat up there on the rocky knob and sunned and rested for awhile. And climbed trees and threw rocks down Brad's boot tops, and took more pictures and speculated on the thunderclouds sailing over head if it would rain again or not. Which is to say we were on vacation for real and talked about nothing much or not at all.

Highbush cranberries hanging full up there along the trails.  Another year, sometime, I am going to harvest them for jelly.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Window Boxes


 Our acre is mostly sand, gravel and the old stone fortress. When we moved here the field stone pile they must have worked out of was still handy on the north side of the house piled where I envisioned thick green grass.
Thick green grass is a pipe dream around here. So is a productive garden. Unless you haul in something that will compost.  I like flowers, green grass, vegetable gardens, shrubbery, fruit trees,  berry patches, anything that grows something green on a stem. So we hauled.
We hauled in old hay, cow manure, rabbit manure, the fall leaves, cardboard, you name it, we put it on the garden for composting.
The first few years the weeds didn't even grow in the portion of our sandy patch that I had designated as the garden. Oh my, you know you're in trouble if the garden won't even grow weeds.
I have not complained about weeds ever since. So my first valuable lesson in gardening is: If you have weeds you can grow vegetables.
Living on a sand pile in the heat of summer is depressing and sandy. Sand came in on the shoes. I couldn't keep it out. We had no grass to speak of and the lane came right to the door. No grass, no shrubbery, and a very abbreviated sidewalk. Concrete steps, also constantly sandy and dirty. What a mess. I longed for a shady front yard, green grass and shrubbery.
I envisioned a patio lined with flowerpots spilling over with ivy and geranium. Outdoor furniture and fountains and a firepit. Why not order up a pergola while I'm at it. That all I wanted all summer, every summer. A cool, shady, comfortable, private place.
It's been almost thirty years now.  The garden grows flowers and vegetables. Not your heavily loaded vegetables on dark green leafed out bushes. And no root crops unless you want to wait until Thanksgiving to harvest them. But still, as long as we feed the soil with organic trash of some sort, we can grow tomatoes and cukes and green beans. And flowers.
 So window boxes was a perk I had only sort of half wished for. You can't very well imagine growing greenery virtually ON the stone fortress if you can't even get grass to grow at its feet, now can you? This summer we are growing green grass and flower boxes full of ivy and geranium. This is probably one of the most satisfying gardening projects we have tried to date. It's amazing what you can do with potting soil, Miracle Grow, and a few bedding plants. We have to water them a lot ( every week whether it rains or not and sometimes more).
We now have a shady front lawn, plenty of sidewalk up against which grows green grass and shady coolness outside our front door. On the patio is an outdoor cushioned love seat that Elv built for me. Dreams fulfilled plus. God is good.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer From Annie's Perspective

 I moved the motley collection of photos from phone to computer this week. The summer flew by so quickly so I'm glad for these glimpses of the life and times of the Grabers.

 The mosquitoes were rather numerous this spring so a screened tent was just the thing. It was great for tea times, reading, and visiting.
    We hadn't had it set up for several years...almost forgot we owned it. We found a few holes in the screening but gray tape soon took care of that.
   Our times with Jube and Halla have been greatly treasured. I think they like it, too.


 We took a load of who-knows- what- all, when we went to the cabin midsummer for Havilah's birthday party. Ruger enjoys our expeditions.

Who could resist picking the ditch flowers this summer. They were awesome. I caught this over by Peninsula Road. Lisl declared that this was for what she came home from Thailand this summer.


Jube and Halla stayed with us for a day when their parents went to a wedding up in Canada. Finally found the landing at Durphey Lake to be the only decent place to picnic and let the children play in the water.

Especially this summer I felt like the years scrunched themselves down into a little short span of time. Only a few days ago it was when our own children played in the water at this very spot.

Elv and I made a quick weekend trip to attend the open house for Francis and Josh.
Sometimes I think man's efforts at power and energy create a certain beauty in spite of ourselves.  But it makes me smile because only what God already made allows the possibility of our landing at any degree of wonder and beauty.

We tried to be at Lisl's house as often as propriety would allow while we had the chance. It'll be a few years until we can be in on their home life again.


    A sandbox for these two outside children came into being about midsummer.

Two huge successes in the garden department around here this year were the hollyhocks and the weathered wood window boxes. I really need to dedicate  a whole posting to the window boxes. They surpassed my fondest dreams and wishes for them. Elv instructed me that the wood I chose for them was well and truly rotten. To his mind that was a score in the wrong direction; but to mine it was exactly the thing for my purpose. He is impressed with them now, too.


White Alyssum against the rotten weathered wood. Makes me happy in my heart, as Amy would say.

We spent a Sunday morning in Mom Graber's garden just outside her door enjoying the scenery and the humming birds. Perfect way to begin a day of rest.

Here is the view from the top of Valley View Acres (Lewi and Marlene's estate). I must have another look no matter when we go. Mar says she feels like she owns it all standing up there. I say she does own the view so it is all the same as if she did own the landscape anyway.

Oh, here we are all the way to our camping already. This is all of our children and grandchildren seated for a breakfast of eggs, pancakes, and cold cereal by the fire on our first morning at camp. Oh yes, and bacon, too. It was dry and cozy indoors. The weather was perfect all the other days we camped, so this one rainy day was fine anyway.