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Monday, August 28, 2017

Thoughts & Pictures

This is a picture of my daughter with frosting on her hand at her 25th birthday this week. I love this one because it captures the joy she got from the cake. My friend works at one of our local supermarkets as a cake decorator, and she made a truly beautiful cake for Hillary. We don't often get pictures of Hillary smiling or excited, those shows of emotion are fleeting and it's tough to capture them.
This is the cake my friend made. So beautiful! It was yellow cake with chocolate pudding filling and it was delicious!

This is a picture of my eldest brother's wife, Allison, who left us so young a year ago as of August 27. This picture was taken at her bridal shower. Her life was not easy, as she battled a painful and debilitating bone disease, yet I remember her smile, sense of humor, and pride in her children, her husband, her nursing degree and the time she spent practicing the profession she loved, as well as her love for my children and my brother. 
This is another picture from Allison's bridal shower which shows how she loved my girls, who were around 5 and 2 at the time. To me it shows family love.

I visited our town park one day toward the end of August to walk and take some pictures. This one stands out to me because it shows what a gorgeous day it was, how beautiful our park is, and part of the all veterans war memorial there. This is the memorial to service animals who gave their lives in service to our country. There is also a 9/11 memorial, flags from every branch of the service, names of local service people who gave their lives throughout the years, and a special seating area for Gold Star families. I like that these memorials are at the front of our park where all who come here to use the playing fields, playground, splash pad in summer, dog park and walking trails see it.

This is a picture of the retention pond which is across from the memorial area at the park. I've seen ducks, geese, and a blue heron there at different times over the years.

These are pictures from daily life, and it's moments like these that, when strung together over the course of years, make up our lives. If happy, pleasant moments are pearls on a necklace, the less pleasant ones are knots between them, keeping the beautiful ones in place.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Going Fast!

How can August be halfway through?
I still have so much summer to do!

The sun is out,
It's heating up,
Humidity is high,
August's steamy,
Sultry ways,
Will soon go
Bye, bye, bye.

The summer months always seem to fly by. I feel like it was just the middle of June yesterday and here we are in the middle of August already! Every year when the school year ends, I hang up my lunch lady hat and apron for the summer and make plans for things I want to do during my time off. I have a stack of books, writing goals, closets I want to clean out, storage boxes I want to sort through, and people I want to catch up with over lunch.  So far this year I've only read a couple of books, made one trip to drop off donations at the Salvation Army store, and gone to lunch twice. My writing goals are faring a but better, but are not close to being realized. I don't know where the time has gone! Maybe I've spent more time admiring the flowers we planted in pots, like the pink begonias our neighbor gave us in exchange for a couple tomato plants. Perhaps I've spent more time watching clouds float by and gazing at the colors of sunsets, or musing over the bees gathering pollen from flowers. Whatever it is that I've been doing instead of what I planned, it's been pleasant. The point of time off work is to relax and refresh, so I guess I've done that but would enjoy having more time to do it!

These are pink begonias our neighbor gave us. They've done well and are so pretty!

My husband trimmed the Wisteria so it is no longer eating the deck. Yay!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

When Things Grow

I think my wisteria is eating my deck,
The heat and the rain made it grow,
I didn't get out there to trim it quite yet,
But I just did it not too long ago!

This summer has been really great for growing plants!  Our flowers are beautiful, tomato plants producing tomatoes (they're still green, but should be ripening up in the next week or so), and on the down side there's a bumper crop of weeds where I don't want them.  I can't seem to keep up with the growth of things and most notably the Wisteria.  I planted this Wisteria the year after my mother passed away, as a reminder to me of all the flowers she planted around her yard and in flower beds.  On the side of the house between us and the next door neighbor she had Rose of Sharon, Peony, Forsythia, Mock Orange, and Wisteria. I spent many summer afternoons there laying on a beach towel listening to music and reading trashy novels and teen magazines.  It was a nice private spot with a  pleasant mixture of shade and sun. Her Wisteria had beautiful lavender colored flowers on it.  Mine has never flowered, but grows well and gives a little bit of shade to part of the back yard in the late afternoon when the sun is at its hottest in July and August. When it was first planted we had only the deck, the  paver patio and ramp to the back yard were added later when I needed a way to get Hillary down into the yard without the wheelchair wheels sinking into the soft ground in the spring.  As she grew and became heavier it has become more challenging for me to push her on soft surfaces, in fact now I can't push her across the grass by myself.  I need help getting her back up the  ramp from the yard, so I usually only take her on the patio or onto the deck.  But now, since we've had lots of heat and afternoon/evening thunderstorms with copious amounts of rain, the Wisteria has taken over and I need to trim it.  I don't think about it when I actually have time to do it, only when I'm on my way out or have just returned home and I see it when I'm in the van.  At least it's the back deck that's blocked and not the front.  However, there is the potential for a plant to take over the front deck. That would be the clematis which earlier in the summer was loaded with blooms, as the picture below shows. I had the joy of seeing that show of color every time I walked out my front door, but what you can't see in the picture is that it spilled over the top of the hand rail and sent out tendrils trying to attach to the other side.  I didn't have the heart to trim it so it's been a running thing to gently bend the feelers back over the deck rail to intertwine with the rest of the plant on the other side.  I think it will bloom again once the days are a little shorter .  Sometimes, if we have a mild Autumn, there will still be a flower or two near the bottom on Thanksgiving.  It always seems like such a treat when there is still a colorful blossom or two just when we're hearing about coming snow, it almost feels like a miracle.  It just goes to show that things that want to grow, will grow even when conditions don't favor them.  I think we are like that, we humans, if we want to grow we will.  We may be facing harsh conditions, or just things that don't favor growth but we can do it and we do, do it.  Sometimes we go into a bit of a dormancy period, but we are always looking for that chance to get better than we were yesterday, send out a new shoot, and maybe even put forth a blossom or two.