Sunday, May 24, 2009

Reflections in the Rain, and More

Last week we had day after day of rain. I admit that it grew tiresome, but one day I decided to just look and enjoy it. I saw reflections in the wet sidewalk and that caused me to stop and reflect a bit. In the picture there is a rather sizable puddle in the front yard, not far from the street. When the children were little they loved that puddle. It would form every year when we had enough rain. They used to slosh around in it, but one year they had some unusual fun. Peter and Betsey found a big rock, put it out in the puddle and set a rubber lizard on top of it. This is a great area for people to walk in the evening, so we knew there would be some people walking by. We peeked from the window to watch. More than one person did a double-take as they walked by. It was just fun!!

And then there's the tree. "She" is a Norway maple that Peter planted as a cub scout project. I think he was ten at the time. I remember that we took some pictures of him scrunching down in the hole that he dug. That was fun too. We named the tree "Judy" after a girl who stayed with us for awhile. She once lived in Norway for awhile when her dad was stationed there, and this was a Norway maple, so the name seemed appropriate. Fun memories…
As I write this I am getting really excited because in a little over a week our children start arriving with their spouses and children. Our family was blessed to have three babies in 2008, so they all wanted to get those babies together. They will all be together from June 10-16, with one family arriving a week early, and another family staying a week later. SO we'll be busy from June 2-June 24.

The picture below adds to my reflections: Same tree, same front yard. I don't know what year this was, but Helena was the only one married. Here are Peter, Barbie, Betsey, Helena and her husband Doug. They were playing a snapping/clapping game called "The Minister's Cat." Seeing this brings back memories, and also makes me anticipate June even more. Since this picture was taken this group has added 6 people--2 spouses and 4 children. What a blessing!
Our oldest "granddaughter" is a funny little yellow dog named Angie, who had her 15th birthday on May 12. Betsey, her "mommy" helped her celebrate by giving her some canned dog food complete with a free-standing dog biscuit. Angie was SO excited that Betsey almost couldn't contain her for me to get the picture.
At last! Yum! Happy Birthday Angie.
We have some really funny cats at our house. They love to bring us presents, as all cats do, but they specialize in one particular item that most cats wouldn't bother with. Some years ago they started rooting around in my gardening materials and "catching" garden gloves. Usually we would find various gloves strewn about the front yard with the cats looking very nonchalant as if to say "Who me? I would never do that!" Well, the other day I heard Petercat just yowling outside our front window. It was a "Come Quick! See what I caught!" kind of yowl. I peeked out of the window and saw her with her catch of the day--one yellow garden glove. She seemed very proud of herself. (Yes, Peter is a female. Her mother gave birth to 4 kittens, which I named Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter, not realizing that they were all girls. We kept Peter because she had the nicest personality. Our son Peter enjoyed sharing the name with a beloved kitty. She is about 14 years old now.)In April, Jim and Kirsten took me to Nashville to attend a Healing Codes seminar called LT3. (What are The Healing Codes? Click here.) On the way there he took us to see the Grand Ole Opry Hotel and Convention Center

I had never seen anything like it, and we didn't even see it all. The hotel itself has over 2,800 rooms, 6 restaurants, ballrooms, and I don't know what all. Jim took us on a tour of some of the garden rooms. There are ponds, and fountains and waterfalls and lots and lots of plants. My friend Wendy said it's one of her favorite places to go. She said that one of the paths actually goes behind one of the waterfalls. One time she took a book and sat on a bench under the waterfall and read for awhile.

The place is so huge there is even a quarter-mile long river, complete with boat rides. We didn't take the time to do that, but I think it would be fun. The place is truly amazing.
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Quite a few years ago our church (pictured in the background in the picture below) was remodeled. Modifications were made to the entryways which required the addition of some brick structures. I had a bright idea of collecting left-over or rejected bricks to use in some way in our landscaping. By the time the church project was finished, we ended up with quite a pile of bricks. Well, over the years they sat there, and sat there and sat… Finally we decided to pass them on to someone who could use them because we obviously weren't. I thought it would be most fun to give them to someone from the church.

The Dunn family in our ward (congregation) recently bought a house in the country, so we asked them if they would like the bricks. Last week, Eric and his 4-year-old son, Wayne, came to pick them up. Eric carried them to the truck…And Wayne stacked them and stacked them, and…stacked them. I had the impression that he was having a great time. I enjoyed just hanging out, watching them work, and visiting with Wayne. I decided that I needed to take some pictures and send them to the Dunns. I hope they save them for Wayne so he can remember the Great Brick Adventure that he had one fine spring morning with his dad. I'd like to show you what a treat I get to enjoy as I look out my window in the early morning. I dearly love this next picture. I quite enjoy textures, and I especially enjoy the effects created by dappled shade. Combining the two is fantastic in my book. Many years ago the neighbors behind us planted a row of evergreen trees which created a lovely screen at the back of our yard. The Colorado Blue Spruce, little bits of which show on the right, is actually up near the house but in the picture everything looks close together. The swing house and the other trees are actually in the "back 40." I think it makes a cool picture to do it this way. We get this effect as the sun creeps up over our house in the early morning and peeks through the maple trees to cast playful shadows on the greenery beyond. It's pure eye candy for me.The clematis have also been spectacular this year. Actually they've bloomed much more than is shown in the pictures here. The lower clematis has been COVERED with flowers as never before. In the picture it looks like the two groups of flowers are one on top of the other in the same place, but actually the top one is about 10 feet behind the bottom one in the yard. It's a fun illusion, and sure looks great from my window. Well, that's it for right now. My heart is full as I look out on all the beauties and bounties of nature, and as I anticipate all our children coming to visit. Good things are happening indeed.