Thursday, May 05, 2016

Heavy Loads and an Orchard Walk

On very sleepy mornings it is good to have a cup of coffee... Ha ha! It's always good to have a cup of coffee in the morning.

The impending arrival three small children drew me from my slumber this morning. I hopped in and out of the shower just in time. Children don't like to sit around, even if grandmothers do, so well before noon we pulled on our shoes and headed out into the orchard for a walk.

We didn't take a shortcut this time. We walked from the back yard through the Fox's orchard and into Mr. Orkbaker's. We looked for treasure along the way; rocks, beer bottles, and dandelions. I chose to collect photographs.

There was plenty of com- petition along the way, a bit of swash- buckling and a little yelling for me to "wait up!" I reminded them several times to stay out of the puddles, although a piece of me wanted to let them forge each one...

Two children collected dandelions on the way along with an empty bottle to carry them in. This was a rare sweet moment between 3 and 4 (grandchild numbers) who are typically in constant battle.

At the beginning of our walk number 2 picked up a big stone. He planned to paint an alligator on it and toted it along for a ways. I suggested he leave it along the road and pick it up on the way back, but he insisted on taking it along. About halfway into our walk he finally gave up and dropped. He picked it up when we circled back but since he had already lugged it a long distance on our way out, he had a long way to carry it back again.

We weren't too far from home when this child said to me, "This had been a frustrating and heavy walk."

"No wonder," I thought to myself, "You've been carrying a heavy and unnecessary load."

And isn't that just the way? Thankfully, he gave up on the piece of wood and lightened his load just a little bit before continuing on.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Hidden Gifts

I stopped down by the lake on my way home from my daughter's house on Saturday afternoon and stayed just long enough to snap a few pictures before the migraine I'd been fighting got the better of me and I gave up and headed home where I collapsed on the couch.

It was a beautiful afternoon and Webster Park was full of people eager to soak up some fair weather and sunshine. Sometimes a walk in the fresh air will shake the ache from my head, but that was not to be. Instead I ended up taking some sleepy medicine at about 8 o'clock and then I put myself to bed. Sometimes it's the only option.

The Cabinet Maker was still away on Sunday morning. We typically go to the 9 am service at church. I would have done the same alone if not for the unshakable headache. I decided to attend the 11 am service instead, hopeful that I might run into my son and his wife, or my "long lost" friend Lorrie.

I sat alone for the opening but it wasn't too long before my Lorrie came in, saw the empty seats, and sat beside me. I was blessed with a wonderful, long awaited hug. After church we decided to go out for a very late breakfast where we were able to catch up on some lost time. It's been far too long since we spent any real time together. In the end I decided that the awful headache I'd endured was really a gift intended to put two old friends in the same place at the same time. And what do you know? It wasn't long before the rest of  my  headache began to melt away.

Monday, May 02, 2016

And Here We Are Again

The Cabinet Maker has been away. He left last Tuesday morning and returned last night in time for the tail end of my weekend migraine. (Lucky guy.) When allergy season kicks in I always find myself wondering if these headaches have anything to do with my sinuses. We ran out of tissues so we too out a roll of toilet paper. The next best thing, yes?

Well, Spanky found the potty paper. I originally took it away, but then the Grandma Photographer kicked in and I gave it back.

He's a rather neat little mess maker. Dropped every piece he tore off into one pile. I like this kid!

Back to work tomorrow. This is my final regular week in this facility. At the end of May I'll start sitting with a new client one day a week. Closer to home and better hours. In the meantime I'm hoping to find a job in a daycare center watching children. I miss my "Flower Garden."

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The Barn Collective

Same barn as last week but new shots.

While the Cabinet Maker and I were out gallivanting last week we stopped by this old beauty again.

We stayed outside of this old structure. Not safe for venturing inside but there were lots of nooks, crannies, and windows to look through.

Join us at the Barn Collective with Tom.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fixer Upper

Where are Chip and Joanna when you need them?

On our way to the cemetery, Deb and I passed an abandoned, rundown house. We purposed to  stop and take a look around on the way back. (Don't worry, we stayed outside.)

View from the road

The front door. It wasn't until I got up close that I noticed the doorknob is on the door casing instead of on the door itself. I wondered who took the time to remove the knob and reattach it to the doorpost and why.

Upstairs window

My partner in crime.

The interior. Needs a little bit of work. Maybe a support beam or two.

Every old house needs a junk pile.

 Window treatments.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Entering the Twilight Zone

My friend Deborah and I traveled to the Twilight Zone this afternoon...

I left home not knowing exactly how the day would go so we decided, rather on the fly, to head south toward Interlaken, NY and look for the final resting place of Rod Serling. I'd had a heads up from Tom, the Backroads Traveller as to it's whereabouts, but hadn't looked up directions or anything ahead of time. (No, I don't have GPS on my phone.)

It's hard to get lost in upstate NY. We have a Great Lake on the north that stretches pretty much from one end to the other, and a set of really cool long lakes that run north and south between a volley of large hills which we call drumlins. They make pretty awesome landmarks and keep long time residents from ever wandering totally aimless. (But I digress, probably because I should be going to bed...)

I'd been in Ovid, NY just Sunday so my mind was refreshed on the direction to take. We found Interlaken and the Lake View (in this case Cayuga Lake) Cemetery rather effortlessly, but it was the grave of Rod Serling we had come to see and that took a bit of wandering. In our wandering we came upon a cemetery map posted on the back of a little information center. It listed last names and locations of plots. Had we not stumbled upon the map, we may have wandered for days.

Rod's marker is decorated somewhat differently today than it was when Tom made his visit. There was a small futuristic car, a little figurine, a metal lighter, stones, coins, pens, and a rock that said "Time enough at last." Deb left him a cough drop and I contributed a penny because I didn't have anything else very interesting in my pockets beside quarters.

I wondered later, along with the Cabinet Maker who is in North Carolina working on a job, what happens to all the little trinkets that decorate Rod's grave...

Deborah and I continued our cemetery wandering, taking pictures, and wondering at carvings and inscriptions. We took in life and loss, great sorrow and words of hope. There is much to be gleaned from a walk through the past and I'm thankful for a friend who will wander rows of slate and marble without making me feel foolish for being drawn there.

I was taken by surprise when I saw an urn smiling down at me from atop a granite marker and found myself smiling back. Who'd have imagined a bit of humor amidst the stones?

The Tulip Teacher

I am amazed at her beauty and resilience.

You would never guess how difficult things were for her just a few short years ago, how she struggled to survive. All I see  now is her elegance and grace.

Oh that I could be like her...

And look. She's no longer alone.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Annual Tulip Post

"Life can be challenging even for a tulip."

In 2009 I thought she would die. Stunted by abuse, she struggled to bloom. Although she did her best to put on a happy face, something was desperately wrong. She'd been kicked around and stepped on for too long. Without intervention she would shrivel up and die. I worried it might already be too late and lamented my own procrastination.

One spring morning, May 1, 2009, I took a small shovel and did the only thing that would save her. I dug her up and moved her to a new locale. She needed a new home where she could rest and recover, safe from the feet of children and the dog who liked to lay in the morning sunshine directly over her position.

The following year I didn't see her at all. As far as I know she didn't leaf out or bloom. I feared my efforts had been too little, too late, but deep in the ground where I couldn't see, a healing and transformation was taking place. She was making a miraculous recovery. Last year I wrote, "If God cares so much for flowers, He must love me too. The tulip I feared might never recover is beautiful again! Perhaps there is hope for me too. :)"

I'm still gleaning life lessons from the Teaching Tulip. Deep inside God is transforming me too. Progress might be slow and appear nonexistent, but God is at work. Who would have thought a small and delicate flower could teach me such valuable lessons?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday Treasures

Somewhere down in the Finger Lakes not too far from Naples, NY a friend and I found a rusty treasure. I'm not good with makes and models, all I know is that it's old and rusty and very cool. I like that it still had the license plate attached, but I'm undecided how I feel about the flowers under the hood.

Link up with Tuesday Treasures over at Tom's.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Small Cities

The Cabinet Maker went to look at a new job yesterday afternoon and I went along for the ride. We traveled through several small Finger Lakes cities; Canandaigua, PennYan, Geneva.... The clusters of small shops and businesses are reminders of a bustling yesteryear. I'm sure in years gone by the streets and yards would have been filled with adults and children enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon, but yesterday the yards and sidewalks were strangely silent, a reminder instead that the computer age has taken over and is holding us hostage in our very own homes... Well, that and we can not let our children out of eyeshot least they be seen by neighbors who will surely call CPS. I miss the days of Leave It to Beaver.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Barn Collective

I haven't been traveling far these days, so here is something close to home. All it needs is a cow or a few goats wandering about the yard.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Orchard Walk

I thought today was to be dark and dreary, but the sun peeked through here and there, and the air was warm. Well, it was warm some of the time. The wind played games and changed direction, randomly casting a cold lake breeze across the yard sending us looking for jackets, and then settling down again causing us to take them off again. An orchard walk was in order when my sister Rachel came over. We walked a small loop across the street with Sabrina and Spence, who decided to be carried, and then a big loop through the orchards behind the house.

One orchard melds into another with hardly a noticeable difference. We walked from the Fox's orchard into Orbaker's hardly telling one from another. In summer one can tell one orchard from another by the length of the grass growing beneath the apple trees, but all the grass short today.

The old apple trees are slowly disappearing, making way for younger, newer varieties. I still find the older trees most fascinating. I love them best, the uniformity in the way they're placed and how they grow. I find them enchanting.

A strip of woods separates one orchard property from another. We walked into almost unknown (to me) territory where remain some old and gnarly apple trees. Tall and reaching upward, once plentiful, they are now rare and endangered. I need to walk back again when the blossoms cover the spreading branches. All too soon this beauty may be gone...

Hooray for Number Nine!

Grandbaby number nine is on the way and expected to arrive at the end of October. I do not think this child will be blond or blue eyed. In fact, I am expecting a full head of dark hair and brown eyes.