Despite the fact that Nathan had a snow day from school in the first week of April, it is beginning to be garden time here. While I was in Houston, Than worked hard to surprise me with a garden freshly tilled, beefed up with new soil and compost, and nicely lined with paths. It looked great!
Katya and I have planted beets, peas, and kale so far. More plants to come, but we are on our way…
One of the pre-Thanksgiving chores around our house is getting the leaves cleaned up before the heavy snow comes. The task fell more in my lap this year, since Than ended up using the day we set aside for that to procure a new basement freezer instead!! (A whole different story there, but anyway…)
As I started the job with my two kids in tow, I saw a bunch of dead leaves carpeting the yard. I heard whining and complaining from my helpers and felt the cold wind cut through my coat. Not a great beginning. But as we worked and I reflected, I realized I was surrounded by beauty. Katya started it by discovering these, huge and brilliant, buried under all the rest…
Once I began to look, the list grew rapidly…
…the outfits of my work force, very unique choices for the job ahead.
…the roar of military planes overhead, flying in observance and ceremony rather than conflict and fear.
…bright red against the brown.
…bright orange too.
…progress, both in lawn cleared and in attitudes changed.
…peace and quiet on a perfectly still street, kids inside cleaning and me outside with a chance to think and listen.
…grey clouds giving a still hush and sending much needed moisture (but kindly waiting until we were nearly done.)
…bright beauty to bring inside long after the rest of the flowers are gone.
God has surrounded me with His beauty. I’m so glad when I see it!
August into September is my FAVORITE time of year at the Botanic Gardens, and we’ve ended up visiting them almost weekly lately! I will use Than’s gorgeous flower images throughout the winter for my quote posts, but here are a few overview shots just to give a taste of the overall effect. We’d love to take you there sometime!!
(Some of the shots were also taken by a friend of mine. We enjoyed a garden picnic together with the kids before school started.)
We enjoyed two nights camping in mom and dad’s tent trailer. We got the last spot in the campground, just across from the river.
Mom and dad taught Nathan and Katya how to “fish” using pinecones tied to their fishing lines. Katya gave up once she realized she wouldn’t actually catch a live fish on her first try, but Nathan stuck with it and practiced on and on.
We had a delightful float down the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River in two canoes. We explored several little side streams and even went past a moose wading in the water.
(Katya fell asleep on the way back…)
Of course there was plenty of fun with the fire, including hot dogs and smores and lots of poking and prodding.
Games, short hikes, firewood-gathering expeditions, wading across the river, the discovery of an enormous anthill, and various other small adventures filled our time.
We are grateful for all the work Mom and Dad did to make it possible to go, and so glad that Uncle Nate got to come too.
“Growing time” is over now, so here’s a look back at our garden this year. I promise, no more garden posts now until spring, honest!!
To keep Nathan motivated on our Evergreen Mountain hike, I put him in charge of the camera. Any time he got tired, he and I paused, he took a picture, and then we started onward again. It worked great, and he actually took some interesting photos! Of course there were plenty of blurry ones too, but here are a few that I liked…
With a wet, cool spring, the flowers are taking their time in blooming. I am greatly enjoying the slower progression, since it gives me more time to enjoy each cycle, but at the moment there isn’t a whole lot to cut and bring indoors. As I was wandering around the yard in search of color, I realized that there is lots of my favorite color everywhere–green! I cut my way around our property, filling my arms with the textures and shades of life and growth.
I put on a favorite hymn CD, checked to make sure the kids were OK outdoors, and immersed myself in the peace and quiet of arranging the new growth, listening to familiar words, and reflecting on how God causes life and growth not just in my garden, but in my heart. I am grateful.