I know it’s summer…

As I plant my bare feet in the dark soil, the signal goes to my brain clearly, “It’s finally summer.” I love the feel of warm dirt under my feet and sifting it through my fingers comes second. It’s the child in me I hope never dies.

Gardening is something I have loved for years. More recently, I have had to rethink how I go about doing this so I don’t end up plopped down in the dirt. My balance plays tricks on me and my right leg has a tendency to not work as I will it to. MS can be dirty business at times but I refuse to give up and give in.

So as my husband placed the tomato plants, I weeded the dirt to give the plants a clean start. I generally use gardening gloves but I do have a nail file and use it often. Soap works wonders for getting that grime off my fingers.

Planting vegetables is the opposite of housework. We water and weed the plants and eventually we see the fruits of our labor–fresh food for our table. Housework has a short-term effect. You dust, vacuum and polish but in no time at all the dust and bits of dirt and paper end up on the furniture and floor all over again. It’s an endless cycle with a short-term reward.

Gardening begins in late spring and continues through the fall season with many rewards. The first bite into that tomato you pick is heaven-sent for sure. The Good Lord willing, if your garden is abundant, you have the pleasure of sharing your harvest. That is another joy in itself.

So I run the garden hose water over my dirty hands and feet and once I’m  cooled and clean and rest a bit, I tackle the next small job in the yard. I love this cycle and the change of seasons.

These days remind me of an old Girl Scout camp song:

“There’s a blue sky way up yonder, there’s a blue sky o’er my head.
There’s a blue sky way up yonder that’s a cover for my head.
So no matter where I wander and no matter where I roam,
There’s a blue sky way up yonder that’s calling me home.”

I just know in Heaven God will give me plenty of blue sky and, yes, green grass with dark, moist soil underneath for me to wiggle my toes in. But I’ll enjoy it here on earth for now and count my blessings I can still enjoy these small treasures, even if I don’t run the meadows. I watch my grandchildren do that.

Stay cool.

To everything, there is a season…

Winter seemed hard and long. But with a cold winter, spring seems all the more delightful. The sun feels warmer and every flower that breaks through the ground more beautiful.

When we lived in Arizona, grass was only important on the many golf courses. Coming by lush, green grass took a lot of water and effort. Our “lawn,” like most others, was decorated with colored stone. We had grass in the backyard out of habit, I think. Mowing took some thinking like, “Is it really growing? Do I really need to mow?” It was similar to whether or not we really need a haircut even if our hair looks fine but it’s uneven.

The ground in Arizona was hard as rock. It was amazing to see flowers and greenery break through the ground.

But Ohio is another matter for grass and mowing. It’s not whether it needs mowing but more like how often it needs mowing. It seems to grow as we watch it. But the lush, rich grass is nice to walk on with our bare feet. The dog loves to romp in it and rest in the shade of a tree when the sun bears down.

Water is not a problem this year as the sky has been relentless in its downpours. Flooding is a problem in parts of Ohio and in the southern states and much like wanting the snow to abate, we want the excess water to take its leave as well.

In due time, this will all happen. But again we are waiting for the weather to cooperate with our agenda when there is nothing we can do but prepare. Have our raincoats and umbrellas on the ready. Put gas in the mower for the sunny, drier days. Make sure our sump pump is operating. Turn on that dehumidifier in the basement, if you have one.

When all else fails, cozy up with a good book or The Good Book and catch up on your reading until the rains run off to the streams, rivers and lakes where they belong most of the time. Thank God for the blue sky, leafy trees and gorgeous flowers. (achoo!!)

We were able to plant onions, lettuce and beans during a respite from the rain. Now our wet garden has green sprouts contrasting the dark soil. We have harvesting to look forward to, and more planting.

That reminds me of the song from the 60s taken from Ecclesiastes. “To everything, turn, turn, turn; there is a season, turn, turn, turn…”

Ecclesiastes 3
English Standard Version

A Time for Everything

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Prayers for new Foster Parents Nick and Beth

Nick and Beth have chosen to follow God’s direction in their lives. They are in their 20’s and have chosen to become foster parents.  I don’t personally know this couple but my daughter asked me to pray for them. Which I am and will continue to do.

Opening your home to children you don’t know and may walk or be carried in your door at any time of day or night takes faith–and lots of prayer.

Are they ready? Their hearts are apparently ready and  that’s the most important factor when you consider the emotional needs of a child needing a home–albeit, temporarily.

My daughter is hosting a “baby” shower for the couple. Think about it–a baby has certain need whereas a toddler has others. An elementary-aged child has different needs, too. Clothing, bedding, toys; it all changes every year. The people attending this tea/shower has grown to 30 women all eager to help this couple prepare their home and to show their love and  support for their decision.

No matter what child or children are brought to Nick and Beth’s home, I have a strong feeling that the child will be welcomed, loved and cared for.

Think back on your own childhood. What was the most important element for you to feel safe and loved? I encourage you to pray for this couple to be able to provide that for the children they will care for. Whether it be a story read at bedtime, food in their bellies, shoes that fit so you can run and play, a hug when you wake in the morning and so much more. Most of what we desire costs nothing. Love. Comfort. Laughter and tears. A strong arm to hold you when you are weak. Someone to cheer you when you succeed, even if it’s learning to tie your shoes.

Nick and Beth, and their church and friend community, are going to open their hearts and home to do just that for children in need.

God bless them on their journey and let God’s strong arm comfort and support them. May their days be filled with joy and growth and their nights be filled with restful sleep.

Thank God for people like Nick and Beth who are willing to  listen to God’s voice and take steps to the unknown; not for their own benefit but to give hope and love to children who need it; children who did not ask for their situations and need to know there are people who care. In that way, they will learn that our Heavenly Father cares for them, no matter where they lay their tiny heads at night.

Finding a decent movie, or two

I love a good movie. Hunkering down with a bowl of popcorn — buttered, of course — and watching a good drama or comedy makes for a fun evening. The trick is to find a movie that isn’t filled with bad language, excessive violence and needless sexual encounters or innuendos. Tough to find but worth the search.

I’d love your suggestions since the well is running dry for me. More recently, I watched Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) and Extraordinary Measures (2010), both rated PG and based on true stories. I recommend both highly and you can watch them with your children or grandchildren.

I don’t want to fill my head with visions of violence that is called action and love scenes that show too much for comfort. I love a good mystery or love story but I like my imagination to be challenged, not bombarded with senseless actions that go nowhere and have no positive lasting effect.

Do you have any good movie suggestions? I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for listening.