Yesterday, On The Way To The Barn

Yesterday, on the way to the barn, I had the pleasure of witnessing the still and quiet of the morning. Early morning mist was still clinging low to the ground. The sun was able to shine through, causing a golden glow. Flying over the mist were a group of Canadian geese, their instincts drawing them to the wetland across the road. 102_3529

The sunflowers I had planted months ago, at the side of the barn, were standing tall, faces to the sun.

I heard a meow, but where was the cat? Hiding in the weeds? Stalking her prey, as if she were a big cat in the savannah? Then I spotted her, trotting down the driveway. A drifter, as are so many barn cats, in the country.

I pet Jazz on the neck, her soft fur and her coarse mane. She tolerates my admiration, as she chows down on the breakfast I just served. She is a pretty horse, even as she is aging. I wonder if she considers or even remembers her days as a barrel racer?

The farmer has started harvesting the corn behind our house. Hard to believe that, that time is already here. Later in the day, I could hear the tractor chugging and see the thin wisp of smoke as the tractor made its way through the field. Ace barked hard at the intruder. What was this loud monster, eating up the field?

We are right on the cusp of my favorite season. Oh, how that makes me happy.

Thankful.

Thankful for another day.

Another chance.

Another opportunity.

 

 

 

Fall

 

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you
need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them
in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And
the heart of this community.
.

OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::

Fall…

 

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When I first saw this word, my mind immediately went to my favorite season of the year.

I thought of sweaters and cozy socks, high school and college football, soccer practices, hot chocolate, harvest, warm oranges and burnt reds, a chill in the air, pumpkins and spice, corn mazes and candles, bonfires and the smell of wood smoke, shorter days and long drives in the country.

I just love this season, and love that the season ends with Thanksgiving….and thanks giving.

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…  Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

 

English: Smoke in Wappenbury Wood Looking sout...

The New Year

A school bus photographed in New York, New Yor...

I feel like I am on the cusp of something.

Maybe it is because it is “that time of year”.

As a teacher, August/September always seems like New Years to me….more so than January.

School supplies, and school buses, homework and soccer games.

The beginning of school is the beginning of a new year.

This is the time that I check and double check my appointment book, begin juggling my schedule, and start to look for those first signs of Fall.
It is a good time of year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking The Joy Dare…It Might Never Have Been

English: Fall foliage - Berlin, New Hampshire ...

Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts, has challenged her readers to participate in the Joy Dare. I’ve decided to do it. I’m sure there will be days where I forget, am overwhelmed, or aggravated. Days when joy feels far from me….and yet, through it all, I continue the discipline.

Today’s challenge is: Giving thanks for three gifts that might never have been...

*** I met him for the first time, completely by chance. It just so happened that we, two 17 year old’s, were filling out applications for summer camp at the same time. Two soon-to-be counselors, writing out our basic information to our prospective employer. I noticed his brown hair, and striking blue eyes first. I was the first to say “hi” as he looked up from where he was seated and gave me a smile. As he left he said, “I guess I will be seeing you at camp?” I shook my head, yes.

That was the beginning of a decade(s) long friendship. Back and forth we would write and call, long before the simplicity of emails and Skype. Late nights of talking about everything and nothing, visits to see each other across the miles, and knowing that the other one would always be there to listen. Many happy memories are wound through the years of this friendship. I think about this man whenever I hear someone talking of lacrosse, New England in the Fall, books of poetry, or surprise trips to college graduations. How precious and valued time was back then.

As is often the way, time and distance drew us apart and we went our separate ways. The thoughts of those days, and the joy that they brought me, still linger. I’m thankful for that time in my life because I realize it might never have been…and I would have missed out on so much. Thanking God for paths that cross in the most ordinary of circumstances, that can change a person…… forever.

***I have an auto-immune disease of the thyroid. I was diagnosed with it when I was just 14 years old, so I’ve lived with it, and the frustrations of having a not so healthy thyroid, for most of my life. I remember when the doctor told me it might be difficult for me to get pregnant because of it. It scared me, because I always wanted and expected that I would be a mother some day.

The day I saw the plus sign on the stick, I nearly passed out. I was overjoyed to say the least. God, in His infinite mercy, gave me my desire and several months later my husband and I welcomed our little boy into the world. I always enjoyed being a mommy, from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I might have been exhausted, but I was content. When our baby was a toddler we decided to try for a baby brother or sister. Months became years… I didn’t understand. When our son was 4, his daddy was diagnosed with a chronic heart disease. My son was fatherless at the sweet age of 5.

I look back at that time and I mourn the loss of my husband, but also mourn the death of a dream. The dream of having more children. I was widowed at 32 and at that point I knew I probably wouldn’t have anymore. It was a sad time. As the years of widowhood went on, I came to realize that God’s ways are not my ways, His thoughts are not my own. In all honesty, it was much easier raising one child alone, then it would have been, had I had two or three, or four. God knew that. He knew me. My heart learned to lean on Him, and know contentment with my circumstance. I am thankful for my son, because I realize that he might never have been, had it not been for God’s grace and mercy shown to me. He knew my heart, and he gifted me with a son.

***In my late 30’s I filled out an application for an internet dating site. What possessed me to do that, I still don’t know. I’m glad I did. It was through that whim that I found my second husband. A man, who understood what it was to be widowed. A man who shared my faith and values, and looked to God in his daily life. I have no doubt that God can, and does, work in mysterious ways. He can even use the internet to bring two souls together across hundreds of miles. Individuals that would never have met in person, drawn together by common circumstances, and intertwined by the Master’s hand. When I married for the second time, God gave me, not only a husband to share life with, but more children too! God is good. All the time.  I am thankful for my new family because I realize that it might never have been. My signing up for an online dating service, turned into a real life relationship, in the hands of the One who knows hearts.

Can you look back at your life and see divine appointments amongst the day to day? Are you aware of God’s providence? Aware of things that might never have been…but, looking back, you are so grateful…because they did!

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For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8  NIV

Weekend Wandering

I love the flag. I love flying it.

My daughter took this picture from our front porch.

I enjoy this view from our front yard. The corn is turning brown….

Almost time for harvest. The trees in the background will be turning

golden in the next couple of weeks. It is quite a beautiful sight.

I snapped this picture, one afternoon this week. Our neighbor was

out harvesting his corn. I saw the tractor coming over the hill and knew

I needed to catch the moment.

This is the far yard. Even the weeds are beautiful.

Living in the country has its perks. Sunsets are one of those perks.

I cannot describe how beautiful the sky is around here.

This is Ace. He is an American Working Farm Collie.

He keeps us safe, and expects lots of pets for his hard work.

This is Joe. He is our senior cat. He prefers laying on the bed. He was

in the process of reading a school paper when interrupted for this

photo shoot.

This is the view I get when I go out to get the mail.

Life is  good.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”                   James 1:17  NIV

First Day Of Fall

Autumn trees and clouds

Image by rkramer62 via Flickr

Early morning darkness.

I hear the steady drum of the rain on the roof. The rivulets of water stream down the windows.

I flip the switch, and flood the room with the golden light of a new morning.

Looking out the kitchen window, even on this gray day, I see a world drenched in color.

The rain makes the grass look greener, the sky more like slate, the trees just beginning to burn with color.

There is a chill in the air.

The morning is turning towards Autumn.

Wrapped in a wet, new day.

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Happy first day of Fall,  my friends.

 

 

 

 

The Best Is Yet To Come

Pumpkin pie, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...

Image via Wikipedia

Reflect on your journey of faith as you enter into the fall season.

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Everyone that knows me, knows that Fall is my favorite season. I love everything about it.

The beautiful colors. The striking vividness of it all.

The tastes of hot chocolate and pumpkin pie.

The smell of wood smoke or cinnamon spice candles.

The feeling of being wrapped up in warm sweaters, to fend off the chilly air.

The sound of geese flying in a V, over head.

It’s all good…and I enjoy it.

Fall encompasses all my senses.

But, as much as I love Fall and all it has to offer…

Fall is also about what is coming.

All of nature has one last color infused celebration before dying.

For a season. Only for a season.

I think most people can agree with me, that in each of our journeys there is “a Fall”.

A time of reflection. A time to slow down. A time to recoup. A time to enjoy. And a time…

to get ready for winter.

Fall brings with it the desire to stay close to home, to “nest”, to be with family, to give Thanksgiving.

And, to prepare for the dead of winter.

The cold times. The hard times. The isolated times.

But, it’s for a season…..only for a season.

Death always gives way to something new.

Much like a bulb (or seed) that is planted in the Fall…that lays dormant in the darkness of soil…it waits.

Waits for the sun and the warmth of new life.

A seed must die, before it can ever bloom and become what it is supposed to be.

So, to me, Fall is that “in between” time.

The best of what was, waiting for what will be.

And from what I understand…the best is yet to come.

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Feathering The Nest

Pumpkins, photographed in Canada.

Image via Wikipedia

Okay people….I know it is only August 30th. I also know that regardless of the ACTUAL beginning day of Fall on the calendar, I consider Labor Day the time to begin decorating. The night temperature actually got down to 57 degrees here. This means that Fall is right around the corner. It had better be! After a long, hot summer, I am more than ready for the days ahead.

I’m ready to pull out blankets and fluff pillows.

Get out all my apple spice, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie scented candles.

I will begin dreaming of pumpkins and gourds.

Warm sweaters.

Cozy socks.

Cool days and chilly nights.

Harvest moon.

The sound of tractors as they move through the fields.

Corn shocks put up the old fashioned way by the Amish.

Meandering drives through back country roads.

Apple butter.

Bonfires.

The smell of wood smoke.

Walks through the woods.

Leaves in fiery shades of orange, red, and yellow.

Football games.

Hot chocolate or mocha lattes.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

 

Fall Is In The Air At Home

Last night I was out with my husband and I saw my first tree with leaves changing color. I cannot tell you the excitement that I felt. The long, hot days of summer are beginning to wane…

Last night’s moon was beautiful. Large and golden. This picture does not do it justice. I need to get some fancy gizmos for my camera so I can take better pictures. And yes, it reminded me of Fall.

Here are my candle jar luminaries. I finished them last week.

They look pretty, with their glowing  messages.

The chalkboard with frame is complete. I need to buy one of those metal things and attach it to the back so I can hang it.

Here is the chippy child’s school chair I bought at an estate sale this past Saturday. Perfect for my bear.

I am a lover of bears…

I bought this quite a while ago. Those are heavy, old, door knobs. I love how the person made a pegboard using door knobs. Repurposed. Love it!

My Moravian star. I was looking through a Pottery Barn catalog a couple of days ago. I saw a similar star for around $100. I got this at a yard sale in Knoxville, TN. for $5.

Ready to use my lamps, when the evenings get cooler.

Love this mirror. I caught my son in the reflection.

A piece of architectural salvage as art.

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What interesting pieces do you have at your house? Are you working on some projects right now?

If you have any suggestions/ideas for some other simple DIY projects let me know.