My Dream Garden

     When I was a child, ours was not a family of “means.”  I was very aware that other kids in the neighborhood, and at school, seemed to have more than we did.  It still amazes me that I can say that not once did we go on a family vacation.  Nor did we ever eat in a restaurant.  Not once.  But what we didn’t have, and what we didn’t do, is not what this post is about.  It’s about what we did have.

A fence separated our back yard from the neighbors’.  Along that wire border grew lilac bushes which, every spring, filled the air with a fragrance that planted itself in my DNA. Also along that fence grew a few stray purple iris, and further down the fence, at the other end, stood a mulberry tree, perfect for climbing.

On the other side of our back yard, along the fence that protected us kids from our other neighbor’s ferocious (and I’m not kidding) chow, was another, smaller mulberry tree.  This one yielded berries every summer, and we joyously ate them.  We also delighted in sucking the nectar from the tips of columbine blossoms, which grew around the base of the tree. 

Because this fence was on the north side of the yard, and because of the tree, it provided the perfect spot for other shade-loving plants as well.  Such as fern; their unfurling fronds were endlessly fascinating.  Every spring, nestled in this same semi-shady area, bloomed exquisite “bleeding hearts.”

There wasn’t more than about five feet between our house and the brick four-plex to the north.  It was almost always shady along that side and lilies of the valley grew in great profusion.  We knew the chow was locked up when his owner was at work so we dared to edge into that small “alley” to pick stems of those little white bells.  We brought them to our mother who displayed the diminutive bouquets in a juice glass.

At the base of the steps from our back porch, hollyhocks bordered the sidewalk in vivid pinks, fucias, yellows and coral.  (This photo is not from that time.  These were grown from seeds three years ago – a gift from my sister who knows how much, to this day, I love hollyhocks.)  

Following the path around to the front of our house, framing our screened-in front porch, grew great bushes of, what we called, “bridal wreath.”  Their tiny, lacy white flowers bloomed for a time, and then the petals fell, coating the sidewalk and grass like snow. 

All of these gardening wonders appeared in our yard every spring and summer without my mother’s tending.  We children took them all for granted.  It is these memories which are so precious.  A part of my childhood that I long to re-create, it is these flowers I covet most for my Dream Garden.   

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Savoring Summer

 

 

 

It feels as if it’s been two years since we’ve had summer.  Last June ushered in devastating floods here in Iowa and the remainder of the summer was swallowed up in coping with crises.  Though Cedar Rapids is far from a full recovery, God has smiled on our area by granting lovely summer weather…perfect for growing corn. 

 

 

 

 

And perfect for those of us – like me – who savor summer.  I love summer!  The top photo is a shot of one of my favorite roads for walking at sunrise. 

 

Day’s end is equally captivating, with glittering fireflies and breathtaking sunsets.  

 

    

 

I cannot thank God enough for granting us these lovely days.  Every single one is a gift.  If  I could, I would hug summer.  I’m doing my best by cherishing every moment.  And tenderly touching summer’s beauty.

 

Oh Lord, thank you for thinking up Hollyhocks!

Oh Lord, thank you for thinking up Hollyhocks!

 

In a world so fraught with strife and pain, these are the things which center me. 

 

God is still with us.  He is still Love.  My prayer is that may you see Him today, too.

 

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Corona 1, Robins 2

 

Came home from NC and discovered three little robin heads peeking from the nest under our front porch eaves.

 

 

Yesterday one decided to try his wings…

 

Fledgling # 1

Fledgling # 1

 

…and became a victim to the neighbor’s cat last night. 😦  Hero tried to rescue it but, alas, the damage was done.

 

Darn you, Corona!  Yes, the cat's named after the beer.  I love our neighbors and the cat, but right now he's not my friend.

Darn you, Corona! Yes, the cat's named after the beer. I love our neighbors and the cat, but right now he's not my friend.

 

Just now I heard a clunk! on our front porch and, sure enough, a second fledgling is now sitting on the concrete looking helpless.  Oh, whew, it just made its way up to my potted pansies. 

Aren’t those little tufts on his head the cutest?

 

Meanwhile, baby robin number three calls forlornly from the nest… 

   

 And I declare to Corona that they are NOT your supper!

 

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Six-day Riddle

 

 

As I wrote in my last post, I’ll be traveling for the next several days.  So, I thought I’d leave you with a riddle to work on til I get back around the 2nd. 

 

I took this photo.  It’s untouched.  It’s the real deal.  Where is it?  What is it? 

 

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Finding My Marbles

 

 

 

I think some of my marbles are missing.  So I’m taking some time off to find them. 

 

You can still reach me by leaving comments.  I’ll be checking my email from time to time and will see them there.  

 

I know I’m going to miss you.  And I may post a photo or short line once in a while…to update you on Mama Robin’s progress…or something…

 

…but right now…I’m on a mission…

 

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Something to Smile About

 

Just when we think we can’t take another word of bad news, God puts something in front of us to make us smile.

 

                                                                                                                                                                  

I love serendipitous moments when I spot something that needs to be captured, and I just happen to have my camera in my purse.  The photo above was taken at a Cracker Barrel in North Carolina.  When I saw that gorgeous grandfather carrying his newborn granddaughter, I couldn’t not ask to take their photo.  I’m so glad they said yes.

 

 

It happened again when I watched this grandfather tending his granddaughter in a doctor’s waiting room.  Even I didn’t know if I’d have the nerve to ask if I could take their picture.  But you can see why I couldn’t resist.  Aren’t they precious? 

 

I hope they make you smile, too.