Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Glass Half Full

"Ooooh," Benjamin (a.k.a. Eeyore) moaned from the couch, 
where he lay covered in cold compresses on multiple stings.
"Why does everything bad happen to me?"
"Everything bad?"  I asked.
He went on to mention half a dozen scrapes and owies he has sustained being the red neck kid he is,
not to mention the current itching wounds.

"Your glass must be half empty,"  I said, sitting down on the couch next to him.
   "but really," I went on,
 patting his skinny bare leg, 
noticing his grubby bare toes as I continued; 
"Your glass is half FULL! 
 Just think of all the good and beautiful things in your  life- just today!  
He had a hard time with this,
 so I started him off..... did you wake up this morning?  
Yes?  That is GOOD!
  Did you have a good meal to start your day?
  Yes?  That, too, is GOOD!  
Do you have parents who love you?  
Well, there is another one.
 You are already leaps ahead of most of the boys in the world your age.  
We went on until he could easily add to the list by himself. 
 Pretty soon, He pulled himself off the couch and went outside to play,
 his countenance much changed.

It is easy to let circumstances get us down. 
 The best antidote I know is to sit down and ponder the many, many blessings we do have.  
Literally counting our blessings. 

 Naming them one by one.  

Seeing What the Lord has done.

There are many to count here at Providence Lodge this week: 
 Grammy and Grampy have come for their end of summer visit, 
bringing with them their California garden produce. 
 We are enjoying yellow squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, cucumbers,
 tomatoes, peppers, Grammy's zucchini bread, pickles, 
and oh so many other wonderful things. 
 I love watching "The Grands" playing cards with the children,
 eating peanuts out of the shell on the porch, reading them books,
 and just being grand parents.  
The children adore having the grandparents here.
 It is a special celebratory time.

When else? they would say, would mama let us eat peanuts out of the shell?

The children are enjoying the last days of summer,
 knowing that mama is planning and organizing 
and that means schooling is just around the corner.

  Besides playing with Grampy and Grammy, 
there has been the usual swimming in the pond,
 lots of Cowboys and Indians with the little figurines that John played with when he was a tot,
 much playing in the dirt,
 getting dirty, 
and more dirty.  
Bad-mitten is popular here all of the sudden,
 as is a plethora of imaginary games, 
mostly involving guns.
The flowers and squash are still growing in our garden,
the goats are healthy and providing our family with good milk to drink,
God still loves us, and won't ever ever stop, 
and thus, 
our cup is definitely half full.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What Love Is This

 a song comes along that resonates so closely with my soul 
that I am moved to play and replay the song, 
soaking in it like weary body in a hot bath. 

 Six times at top volume, 
and it isn't enough. 

 I must  testify.

 I must share.

 and may you too, be blessed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Of Books, Uncles, and Dirt

 When Uncle Carl comes to visit, 
he wisely brings a pile of wonderful children's books of the finest quality.
The children soon learn that if Uncle Carl is sitting, they can climb aboard for a story,
 or two,
 or three...
or seven, as the case may be.

Captivated by a new story, 
they all listen rapturously.  
I caught even the older children peeking over his shoulder more than once.

Even Olivia would sit still for, well, several seconds, anyway, to listen.
  Then she would be off to toddle around and get into trouble, mostly,
 but back again shortly to listen for a minute more.
  I think Uncle Carl is more patient than I.

Joe and Jim were spellbound by a new book they had never seen before.  

Besides reading to the children, 
we enjoyed several walks and a late night hike with our house guest,
 he taking beautiful pictures all along the way.

Every once in a  great while, you may find a soul with whom your soul connects.  
One who understands you, and you understand them.
  This someone may seem to know you right off, and surprisingly,
 love you anyway.
These relationships are to be cherished.  
Every occasion to visit must be savored like a morsel of fine steak.
Such people quickly become "family" and nothing can change it.
Even when far away, or even far in between visits, these special souls are always near at heart, in thought, and the relationship quickly picks up right where it left off.
We are blessed to have these wondrous people in our lives, and in our homes, as was the case last week.
Tis a little bit of heaven on earth.

One of the things that keeps us smiling, laughing, and oft rolling our eyes here at the lodge with Carl is the endless dirt that permeates everything, everywhere....
especially short, bossy toddlers.
He thought it very picturesque apparently:

At this stage in our landscaping adventure, such is usually the way we find Olivia playing in the "yard."  
The grass seed is sitting on the porch awaiting planting,
 and I am optimistically dreaming of acres of green grass to replace the powdery clay dirt that has settled, less cutely, but just as thickly,
 on the logs inside our home.

In the meantime, we refer to her as "Pig Pen" from the Peanuts comic strip,
 and smile and laugh.
A toddler's life progresses so swiftly,
 soon  her little dirt magnet days will be a memory.
The Dirt Days will be a memory,
 one we share with a rare and beautiful soul we call Uncle.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

These Long Summer Days

These long summer days,
filled with pleasurable activities,
are each celebrated for the glorious memory making moment that they are;
whether shelling peas together on the porch,
partaking of a bountiful picnic in a park,
strolling through the grass on a lovely evening, 
having special "help" from Olivia with the baking,
 or admiring the beautiful Idaho countryside.

Some days are filled work work and sweat, 
as we work to improve our yard and landscape the old fashioned -by hand- way.
Even in our dirt covered efforts, 
there is something so satisfying and contented about summer. 
 It is time to do the random,
 to hold a loose pace, 
to linger in the fading sunlight even though the dishes and goats are waiting.
There is something so leisurely, so relaxed... making the long days welcome.

We are relishing in it.  Glorying in it.
Some days really productive, others quite lazy.
The busy season of harvest and schooling will soon be upon us,
 so for now, 
every moment of these summer days
 is to be enjoyed to the fullest.

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