Five Minute Friday — Have
Sharing this post with the Five Minute Friday writing community – today’s word prompt is HAVE.
Coffee in hand, I have been sitting in my favorite chair taking a break from today’s gardening endeavors. The knees of my blue jeans are wet and a bit muddied because I should have made an extra trip to the garage to retrieve my knee cushion (but didn’t). My cushion is an old seat cushion from my brother’s wheelchair and has served me well for several years now. It’s nice and cushy for my aging knees, and big enough to provide a dry place for me to sit when the grass is wet with morning dew. [I am making a mental note to grab it when I go back outside in a few minutes.]
I chose the east side of my house as my focus for today’s weeding and cleanup endeavors. In years past, it has been the side of the house which few people see. However, this year we took down two unhealthy spruce trees in our front yard, giving passersby an unobstructed view of a flowerbed which had previously been fairly well hidden. I have decided to put a little extra effort into this garden space and see if I can make something special out of it–something which my neighbors can enjoy.
But now, at this moment, it’s overgrown with lamium (a noxious weed disguised as a plant), and many weeds and over-wintered, water-soaked hosta leaves. As I pull my hand rake through the tangled bed of yuck, the green shoots of this year’s floral promise are slowly uncovered.
There, under last season’s detritus, are the green tips of an emerging hosta, alongside the peony my dad dug for me from his garden a few decades ago.
As I cleared away last year’s fallen leaves, I found this lovely patch of pulmonaria bedazzled with pink and blue little bells. Even when the flowering finishes, I just love the fuzzy, bespeckled leaves. [Take a gander here if you’d like more photos and info about the pros and cons of this lovely plant.]
April weather is absolutely crazy in Wisconsin. Spring? Summer? Winter? It can’t make up its mind! One day I’m working barefoot in my garden–the next day snow squalls are springing up here and there, or hail is pelting the house. Our crazy weather reminds me that life is unpredictably subject to change without advance notice. In this earthly body, I have this moment and this breath–and have no guarantee of the next. This thought encourages me to make every moment and every breath that I can a beautiful one and to make sure my heart is ready for that first breath of heaven.
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. ~ 2 Cor. 5:1 (ESV)
Psalms and Peonies
“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for I trust in you. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”Psalm 143:8
“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”Psalm 145:8
“Prove me, O Lord, and try me, test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.”Psalm 26:2-3
“But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.”Psalm 59:16a
“O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”Psalm 59:17
“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.”Psalm 63:3-4
“I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me….”Psalm 86:12, 13a
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the work of your hands I sing for joy.”Psalm 92:1-4
“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”Psalm 33:20-22
“For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.”Psalm 33:4-5
“When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”Psalm 94:18-19
“For the Lord is good, his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”Psalm 100:5
Growing Old Together
It’s a beautiful summer Saturday, so my husband and I decided to enjoy our lunch outdoors on our backyard deck. It’s a lovely place to sit and enjoy the various late spring peony and iris show and watch birds splash in our birdbaths.
Between bites, I shared with Wayne that I saw my first swallowtail butterfly today. It had fluttered about some flowers, then stopped on the edge of a birdbath to enjoy a little sip of cool water. He said that he had also seen one while fishing with a friend yesterday.
Between bites I pointed at the birdbath nearest us and proffered the thought that maybe I should put some stones in the middle of that birdbath to give visiting bees and butterflies a landing place where they can sip water more easily. The words were barely out of my mouth before my husband of nearly 45 years put his sandwich down and set about fetching a few rocks from our garden’s edge. He then carefully piled three bits of flagstone in the center of the birdbath in immediate fulfillment of my simple wish.
“Perfect!” said I with a smile, knowing just a little bit more of why I want to grow old together with this man I love.
As we finished munching our sandwiches, Wayne spied our caddy-corner backyard neighbor in her yard a few doors down. She is a long ago transplanted southern lady who enjoys spending time in her own backyard feeding the birds. Even in the bitter cold of our Wisconsin winters, we see her zipped up in her royal blue parka faithfully trekking through the snow armed with birdseed for her feeders and pails of fresh water to fill a birdbath we cannot see from our vantage point. More than 20 years have passed since we first met her and today Wayne notes out loud that she looks old. It caused us to both wonder how old she was, so my husband pulls out his phone and finds that information on the web (crazy and kinda creepy what information there is about us there).
“She’s 72,” says Wayne matter-of-factly.
With Wayne being 70 and me at the ripe old age of almost 64, funny how that suddenly didn’t seem so very old. As we watched her walk about in her backyard, there was no denying the fact she had grown older. I know that age is no respecter of person, causing me to ponder whether the neighbors who see me out and about in my yard think the same thing about me. I’ve been feeling more of the aches and pains of getting older lately – a bum shoulder, arthritis in my hands, cataracts brewing, and a general “hitch in my giddy-up,” as dad would say. My hair has definitely grown grayer, my smile lines are now better classified as wrinkles, my step is slower and less sure, and I’m no longer hoisting 40-lb bags of topsoil and composted manure around with relative ease.
My own thoughts about aging caused me to recall the “old-people humor” in Mitch Teemley’s recent blog post. While many things about aging are no picnic, thankfully, I can still see the humor associated with the aging process. I thought some of my readers might enjoy it too, so will share Mitch’s post in the link below and then get back out to working in my garden before I am totally lacking the “zippity” part of my “do dah day” and need another nap.
All Things Bright and Beautiful
Peonies and Iris have a way of pointing my heart to the Creator of all that beauty. Let me share a few verses of a hymn that came to mind, along with a tiny bit of my little plot in God’s Creation
“All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.”
“Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.”
“He gave us eyes to see them,All Things Bright and Beautiful, hymn by Cecil F. Alexander
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.”
If you’re not familiar with this wonderful hymn, you may want to give this beautiful rendition by Julie Gaulke a listen.
Six on Saturday: Spring Exits and Summer Begins
Hello to my Six on Saturday friends and all of those who follow my Barefoot Lily Lady blog. I’ve been busy dealing with the details related to my sweet mom’s departure for heaven on May 24th, so haven’t kept up with my blog as much. Life is finding a comforting rhythm once again as I adjust time formerly spent with my mom to time spent creating a new routine – including more time in the garden.
With our warmer weather, I find myself barefoot gardening more often. My feet are once again irretrievably dirty as my somewhat neglected flowerbeds are slowly weeded and tended.
As my dear mom went through her final weeks of her battle with Alzheimer’s my garden went through its lovely iris and peony stage. I didn’t take time to show you those photos, so created this little collage photo (cheating, perhaps?) to give you a taste while keeping my photo max within my six.
Now, for this week’s Six…
- When I sold my mom’s home several years ago, I took divisions of a few of her pretty perennials and transplanted them in my garden. This iris is from her garden and this is the first year it bloomed. Serendipity? Or a blessing to remember her by? (And it’s in her favorite color…purple)
2) The lovely Clematis ‘Princess Diana’ is scrambling up my arbor entrance to the backyard gardens. Its tulip-shaped bells are a lovely fuchsia pink (one of my favorite garden colors).
3. During this time of COVID-19 “Safer at Home” reclusiveness, I have made it a goal to actually try my hand at making some of my crafty Pinterest pins. My husband Wayne helped me earlier this month by building a birdhouse for me to paint, adding an “as seen on Pinterest” roof made with one of our old license plates. While our son Matt was here for a visit, he helped by cutting down a volunteer cottonwood tree (without anyone getting hurt) and leaving a stump tall enough to serve as a post for this new birdhouse. I’m pretty sure that there are new residents, but haven’t caught them coming or going yet.
4. I kinda love it when I plant something and forget what color it will be. It’s like watching a surprise gift slowly open before your eyes. I sort of remember planting an Asiatic lily in one of my daylily beds last fall. Anyone want to venture a guess as to what color it will be?
5. I’m a big fan of cranesbill. It grows in soft little mounds, but I love how it gently winds its way in and around the shade provided by other flowers in the garden, adding darling blue, purple, or pink five-petaled flowers here and there all summer long.
6. This is another clematis (cultivar unknown) which I dug up from my mom’s garden before putting her house up for sale. It is inching its way up the other side of the garden entry and will hopefully meet up with ‘Princess Diana’ this summer for a sweet pink and purple combination.
Oops! I guess that’s 7!
Are you wondering what this “Six on Saturday” thing is all about? Simple. Gardeners all around the world post photos (words optional) of six things in the garden on a Saturday. Let me tip my hat to The Propagator, the creator of Six on Saturday, who provides the forum for gardeners to virtually traipse through one another’s gardens every week. It’s a lovely way to show off our gardens (both the pretty and the yummy), share knowledge, and even glean some advice for how to deal with our garden failures. I hope you’ll join us next Saturday.