Coming of age

And suddenly the next

She sits in her easy chair after an early morning run. Next to her rests the softest doodle dog she has ever known. The furry being warms her chilled legs as she sips her second creamed coffee.

Another sits in her rolling kitchen chair and scraps up the recent calamity from the floor. Almost doing a head stand she remembers the days when summersaults and touching toes was fun. Now the imagination takes her to a more difficult position. What if she were to sprawl on the floor and not beable to reach the phone? Perhaps she should just slide the mess into the dustpan and leave the rest for the sweeper.

And yet another rides in the back of the old wagon. She grips the sides with her miniature hands. The bumpy ride makes her blink and whence. Until she realizes that her feet can help hold her in the seat also. Eventually her lips smirk in pleasure. Her eyes twinkle with the thrill of each rough jolt. Gradually the joy of her freedom to sit unstrapped allows her to babble and blurt “bumpity, bumpity, bump, bump!” What joy as she comes of age.

Coming of age is a reflective statement. It tells the listener that someone has realized her own existence. It is a “now” experience. The one who comes has discovered what it means to be in the moment. In the now.

In today’s climate so many people are living such a virtual existence that every waking moment is interjected with the “projected” lives of people on social media. People who unleash from those inputs can find a real peace and serenity. There are few such holy moments in life. Weddings, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, and once in a while a celebration of sorts are great moments to unplug and experience life’s reality.

When we do finally take time to just listen, or go fishing, or breath the roses life is special.

Yet another woman comes of age as she holds a fish in mid air. Just the fact that she removed the hook from the fishes mouth makes her hand on to the moment a little while longer. She is brave. The smell of the water as the sun’s beams bounce off the surface has been burned into her memory. The way the water sprays into the air as the fish dives down into the murky water. There is life down there. There is life up here. On the dock, she feels that loose board squeak under foot. This is life. She has come of age.

And yet another offers up a knowing wink to her grandfather as they wait in the patient holding area. They have arrived at the appointment for her grandma nearly an hour early. The “silver hair gets in early” card may not work today. The doctor they are to see had an early surgery day and will be a few minutes late. He is working them into his schedule. But the young lady waits with her family patiently. She pulls out a game on her cellphone that does not require much though. That way she can listen to everyone’s conversation and interject her own comments as needed. She is glad to be of help. To be here to drive or just sit and wait with them. She, too, has come of age.

Coming of age…

Knowing the moment that is lived right now cannot be re-done. There is no going back. Only forward movement is possible. Life moves day by day, moment by moment. As suddenly the next year has come… Suddenly the next age is here. Like the little five year old going on six, forward motion continues.

The other day while riding through the local nature park, we watched a turkey hen try to dash into the underbrush. The forward drive of her head acted like a pendulum to get the rest of the body into motion. The turkey has such a regal pose, it was comical to watch the jerky motion of her strut. Understanding the pendulum motion of her forward strut, brought us to consider the forward motion of life. Like the pendulum that swings the hands of the clock ever around the face of time, coming of age propels each one towards the next.

Doily season

Too hot to shawl

One and two…

Then I second guess myself. The counting is all off on the one on the left. The rounds between the design were not symmetrical or growing in the proper ratio. No purple ribbon there. I have considered re-doing it. That would be winter. The thread is really small. The second one might be a blu ribbon I am much happier with it’s turnout.

Three…

Made out of some shiny no.5 thread, it was much easier on the eyes. But the fingers… Any time the thread or yar has some sheen to it, think slippery. My left hand would get sore. From gripping it too hard. Most of the time I work for no more than two hours a day on doily items. The fine thread, stitches, or thought process is just not as relaxing as the afternoon nap. That’s usually when I work on such things. No naps in my life. Just rest or down time

Four…

This pretty yellow doily was rather hard for me to pin to the ivory board. One of these days my husband will put the black marker on his grandfather’s carpenter compass and I will have some lines to go by. One of the round doilies I stretched turned out almost oval. This eyesight is getting to be a challenge.

Five…

This pretty little thing will have to be another tea doily. The thread was much smaller than I imagined it to be. Another doily of different thread turned twice this size.

I was not sure what pattern to pick and do next with the rest of the yellow ball of thread so I finished this gem.

Back to it…

I have always wanted to do this beautiful pattern. Known as the “Virus” shawl pattern, it looks like the rows are done with changing color skeins. Though this is an option, the one above is a variegated yarn by Red Heart. The color blend is called “Latte Stripe.” And since I loved creamed coffee, why not? Pretty sure I won’t allow myself to give this one away.

The bench outside is an old Recitation Bench from the country school in Iowa. We found them in the old granary shed. My grandmother talked about the benches from her school days in the early twentieth century. I have always felt like their nod to the past cannot be destroyed.

To place the shawl on this bench for the picture,the leaves from the tree had to be swept off. The poor tree is quite ill and we need to replace it. It sheds constantly. All year long it’s residue is left on the deck, bench, and chairs. From seed berries, to flower blossoms, to leaves that are simply too weak to hang on I am kept busy with a broom nearby. I wonder if that’s how I feel.

The tree has aged so much. It was a pair to the flowering crab from years gone by. Today it’s shade keeps the top half of the deck well shaded, so we put up with the mess. I cannot imagine how hot the deck or our kitchen would be without it blocking some of the suns rays.

So, from the doilies to the Latte Viral shawl, the summer is heading into fall allergy season. I have a few gifts out of the process of counting in sequence, And a warm shawl to get ready for fall. I have had my own anxious moments this summer, most of which were hormone related. Sometimes the thread of worry slips into life like the wrong spice in a mango salsa. Changing the topic won’t make worry go away. I am glad to have crochet to pass the time. I am also glad to leave it behind and go consider the flowers once in awhile. Labor and toil over thread all day would probably do some pretty bad damage to my wrist or my neck.

Matthew 8:27-28 “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not labor no do the spin thread.”

Clear blue skies

Getting past the weather

When the clear blue sky arrives in the mid-day, the hope is that it will stay all day. Days in which the weather is so beautiful that you cannot feel it. Whether I am cold, or hot, or the sun is full of glare or non-existent. Why do we preface so many conversations with the weather of the day? As if the weather was the catalyst for deep relational connections, we grasp at the clear blue sky.

What happens when there are no conversations that pass through the clearing? What happens when talk is shrouded with the clouds of unspoken feelings? How do I reconcile the loneliness and drudgery of daily life that has no conversation with others? The hermit life of acreage living has reached it’s desperate end. For one like me with no people interaction other than the radio or the reader of my book, the days seems as endless as the clear blue sky.

Quiet and peaceful has become empty and desolate. Becoming mum and numb to the loneliness has made me as relatable as a tree stump. So I have taken up the task of downsizing my belongings. Connections with others is all based on whether any of this junk of mine could become someone else’s treasure. What a bland weather day. The temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit and perfect for morning walking. It turns out to be 76 and quite pleasant most of the day.

So what is there to talk about when another hormone headache has me trying to drown it out with caffeine only to realize that’s not really the problem. The ibuprofen does not even work. Why did I have to be the sister that continues on with this visitor into my fifties? No one cares if I still disagree with my monthly guest. Not everyone gets to yank out body parts and end the cycle of hormonal havoc on my thought processes. Waking miles per day and week was suppose to help, I feel like a rotten host as I head out the door with my doodle. Running from my problems again. But it does not work. She reminds me that I really have no choice in the matter at all. What a beautiful shade of blue the sky is today.

In my readings through the past month I came across a quote that I liked. So I had to look of the quote and the owner just to find out more about him. Roger W. Babson was a twentieth century entrepreneur who died the year before I was born. He was the founder of several learning institutions. The one that gave me the most to chuckle about was Utopia University in Kansas. I immediately thought of the “wizard of oz” and his poor choice of this correlation. Then literally laughed aloud at the institutions failure and the quote that I had discovered.

“If things go wrong, do not go with them.”

Mr. Babson, I think I agree!

The clear blue sky often preludes the windy mid-day breezes. And my body being it’s sensitive self, does not care much for such gales. Walking against the stiff air often hurts both my skin and my eyes. By the time I return to the still air within the walls of the house, my nerves are on fire. So just because it looks like a beautiful day, looks can be deceiving. I check my weather app to make sure my cap will stay on to shade my eyes. I might be chasing away my own blues, but I am not chasing after my cap.

In the night not too many sleepless hours ago, this poem came to my thoughts while I lay counting the hours away. Insomnia might be another of my unwelcome guests during this time of life, but it will not win. Keeping my brain active with MP3 bible reading and prayer vigils has kept me sane. I think. So while things go wrong with my aging body, i refuse to let my brain go wrong with all those other things!

Wind Lends Wings

Wind lends wings

To seeds from trees

To flowers for bees

Wind lends wings

To cottonwood fuzz

To pollen, it does

Wind lends wings

To whispers in air

To secret love affair

Wind lends wings

To papers and caps

To smoke and ash

Wind lends wings

To aromas and smells

To fragrance that well

Stinging eyes and nose

Filling rooms and groves

Wind lends wings

To clouds and mist

To puppy’s flying disc

Wind lends wings

To leaves and wigs

To branches and twigs

Wind lends wings

To melody

To song

-pome written by Yvonne Annette, June 10, 2019

Resolve

In a minor key

Today I chose to resolve the minor key concerto. The instruments in their conservative style will play the piece in it’s minor chord progressions until at last after nearly an hour of development the key will resolve into it’s major key counterpart. The undertone of sad repose will finally resolve into a final note that no longer holds the grief and mourning that accompanies a downcast spirit. The sun is finally shining.

This lovely little doily measures only eleven inches in diameter. Thank goodness that making it with no. 10 thread is the smallest that I have done. The pattern is made with washcloth cotton and measure about 19 inches.

Perhaps a dozen of these doilies have made their way into wedding gifts. I never kept track of how many I made. And did not take pictures of each either. This one marks that Saturday is our 28th Anniversary.

And so many years ago, it was on a Saturday that we married in the era of church weddings and basement receptions. The day holds no regrets. Happy memories and the feeling of stiff cheeks from smiling all day. We were young, and in love, and with no thought for the morrow whether it be difficult or well traveled.

Today’s prayer requests: those saying goodbye to mothers, young mothers with difficult pregnancies, those saying goodbye to cousins, those fighting for the life of a spouse, and those cleaning up from flood waters-again. This day the continued need for prayer warriors greeted me with brotherly kindness. Having someone call me just for an immediate prayer need was special. Gratefulness to those who understand my hearts need to minister overwhelmed me.

This anniversary marks a new moment in our lives. Both of our children are married and both of them happen to be off the mainland USA at the same time. While an anniversary is not necessarily a day one thinks automatically of the children that came from such union, having both girls so far away at the same time, draws us back to the togetherness that we have both before them, and with them, and after them. Grateful that our children had the advantage of parents who stayed together, I hope we will continue to be an example for them throughout the years.

I John 4:7, “Beloved let us love one another, for love is of God, and everone wholoves is bornof God and knows God.”

I am eternally grateful for a husband who continues to teach me what God’s love is like. Throughout the years getting to know my beloved has helped me get to know God and His unconditional love to me. When the music of life rings true and the melody resolves itself into a major key, I am reminded that though life strikes chords of loneliness or mourning, having someone to play the tune with means that in the end the song resolves itself into a major key of happiness and joy. Though there might be seasons of sadness or discord, keep playing the piece. The instrument that marriage teaches us to play is the heart of love.

No, neither of us play the beautiful music that we had the joy of listening to all those years with our girls. But somehow, the duets that they played together were an echo to the love that their father and mother were sharing every day. I am grateful for our two daughters and the lives of those they now share with another family through marriage. May the love that we all show teach others about God’s love. Through this love may they know eternal love that is reborn every time it touches another heart.

From 114 to 112

But don’t ask my age

If you have ever watered a tree that does not grow or a flower that will not bloom, then this one is for you.

The geraniums barely weathered the winter. First they were in the greenhouse and almost to full bloom, and then the winter freeze arrived. We moved them to the garage to maintain through darkness and frigid timeps outside. Only to have them put on full bloom a few more times. Back to the greenhouse they went. Finally. But with the continuing wintery bluster, they nearly collapsed into nothingness and frozen tundra. i lost three of the eleven. Oh, well.

When the cold snap took the tulips back into dormancy, I decided to crochet this tulips in a row afghan garden. Of course, it is the first pattern study and I am using some old used up yarn. So the colors are a bit like the memory of our drab winter.

And now for the numbers. Winter in it’s harshness did not exist at my table. We have always had more than enough. Just giving away pounds though is not easy. And so for the first time in about half of my life ago, my weight soared up to an unacceptable high for me. They say it is just “the change.” Well, change doesn’t have much to do with it other than the fact that taking walks with winds at more than 12 mph is really quite uncomfortable, in fact it usually hurts my ears, or my eyes, or my face in some fashion. So my common from of keeping myself fit wind wherever the wind listeth! I am on my way down. I hope.

The shadow of things to come often means that I am about to collide with a tree, fencepost, or sidewalk sign. Using the walking mobility cane (my “moses”) crosses my mind some of the times. But around the place, having a dog by my side is better. I am usually carrying something and she does fine with a slip leash.

Some people say that crossing the half century line is difficult. I wonder how much of it really is psychological. This grand- parent thing came at a real good time, I tell you. She is quite the distraction.

My birthday came and went with not much pomp. Circumstance ruled the day as I nursed my hubby back to health. And washed dishes, laundry, floors, bedding, et cetera. Perhaps, I thought, if I did all the cleaning on my birthday, then I would not have to do any the rest of the year. Ha. Fat chance I told myself. Then I looked in the mirror and cried at my reflection. This poor old house is settling into the foundation something awful.

Spending time with our little Isabelle is the highlight of each week. We have watched her grow up into a little toddler and soon her little legs will carry her running to another room. This past week whe learned the actions for “So Big!” It is such a joy to watch her learn and discover. Now if only getting up so early to ride with my husband up to the big city where she lives would not throw my heart palpitations into such a tizzy. Coffee has been on the back burner for some time now. I don’t like the dull taste of caffeine free. Nor do I enjoy the fact that my little frame has gotten “so big!” Good for the little ones, not good for this old one.

The gardens are calling my name. The yarn projects are whispering to me. The food in the fridge- not so much. I’d still rather have a piece of cake. We will see if the new probiatic helps any of my ailments. While a friend of mine just recently got a pacemaker to help her aging heart, they felt mine did not need such an update last year. So a trudge on. More than likely I will just have to help myself. More water, more walks!

“Hey Pickles!” -really Honey?

The most absurd

This morning’s journal might be a little off the rocker. But since my dog’s constant company is all that exists while hubby is away on a business trip, I have no one else to amuse me. And amuse me she has…

A descant of videos awaits my listening ear, whilst I discover that my dog will answer to any human voice calling out any particular name to any dog of any kind. This morning she jumped to the command of “Hey Pickles!” Needless to say we just outfitted her with a fancy bowtie that has her name clearly printed in florescent pink lettering (Honey). What I thought. Will my dog really give up her loyalty so readily.

My husband can call all kinds of names to her. He’ll go through the best sellers list of most popular dog names and she will only pop her head to his sweet call of “Honey!” But my own female voice in it’s sing song fashion can say whatever it so pleases.

Hmmm… How far should I take this? I was really only listening to some bird calls on YouTube to find that one outside that ran so true. The frontage advertisement of some lady trying to find her silly little runaway dog calling out “Hey, Pickles! Were are you?” Was all it took for my absurd mutt to run to the screen.

My loyalties are just as strong. Really. There are cookies, donuts, cakes, and dried fruit calling to me every hour of the day. Really. I hear them. The winter vibes jiggle every time I rise, reminding me that spring salad and apples are far better for the slimming. But no, my stomach answers to the grains of wheat waving me into their larder fill. Uffdah. This will never do for fitting into those summer shorts.

“Hey Pickles!” Is going to be my new battle cry as I try to obey this exercise routine and find myself with more energy and a faster reaction pace. Perhaps my dog really did teach me something absurd and weird today.

Woolen linens

So done with winter

My mother asked me to crochet some woolen wraps. One, in fact. And after study of the yarn that she gave me, I added two more skeins so that I could play with a new pattern. I am so over winter. These days with the balmier weather, I ought to be outdoors. But the early spring tells me it’s not quite time to do certain things.

So this morning I popped in another book from the library and completed the last of the collection from these three colors of fisherman’s wool. Escape to another world in a book has been my answer to myself since I was a youth.

Then, I listened to a missionary story from the isle of Labrador Canada. Fance that. Tales of icy cold north easters and fisher men. If only the book knew what I was doing as I listened to the tales of Eskimo wares, and the missionary hospital there. Perhaps there is a chill. Maybe I should wear one of these things while I work. Wow. Suddenly, I felt oh, so cold and wet all over again. The power of suggestion was a might to strong. Do I hear wind and waves?

I am so done with winter! Can’t my book reader hear me?

Time for a salad and some sunshine!

Winter gives way to spring

New rainy day projects

The past two weeks were full of research for me. watching appropriate videos of poetry conferences, to news blurbs, to crochet patterns. Some of what I watched was memorable. Some a desperate wish to forget!

Lately my favorite past time is hats, mittens, and turtle scarves to perfection. The hat is a new stitch patter using the moss stitch or the single crochet beanie. There are nearly ten made already. The first few were made with leftover scraps. The set above was made with one skein of BrightStripes from my Grandmother’s favorite durable Red Heart brand. I had to borrow form another skein to complete the mitten thumb. The fingerless pattern is also another new pattern for me. The wrist is the sock stitch and the hand is with the knit stitch for crochet. I am pretty pleased with my ability to watch netflix at the same time as crochet.

Butterflies

My work on the new pattern study found me trying some new things with it. Now that the pattern is learned perhaps there will be another shawl in my future. This pattern study is in the spider stitch family. Because the body of the critter is gathered after a few passes of the hook and yarn. It does look rather odd until the body is made. I love it though. There are other versions: pineapple, ladybug, dragonfly, the spider of course and this butterfly.

First I tried some washcloths with the butterfly pattern and then got down to business and made some others. Talking to my sister and all of her flood problems, she teased that it would take an awful lot of dishcloths to sop up all the expected water. Thank goodness for me I do not have a basement and I could spend the storm days teaching the dog a new game.

Find tug!

Honey did pretty good with the mud, water, snow, sleet, stay on the high ground path that I tried to teach her. Three days apparently is her limit to good behavior. Today when the sun came out after three days cooped up in the house, she looks like muddy moe! What a mess. As soon as the laundry is all done, I’ll find the towels and give her a bath. No more find tug-of-war rope toy today. At least until that dog is cleaned up.

Another prayer shawl

With no home yet for the previous prayer shalw, guilt sinks in as I picked out the next yarns. Keeping the creative juices flowing is a must though, right? So here are a few of the projects that have been keeping me busy.

Winter lost to spring in our neck of the woods. The flooding has been pretty devastating in our area. I have a sister and brothers in the blizzard zone for the week. My mother and other sister in the flood zone. And my poor son-in-law was stranded in no travel zone and unable to work for a whole day., Weather can wreck havoc on all kinds of plans. My friend in another flood area went with the flow to practice her kayak moves! Sometimes it is hard to find the humor in such a mess, but we must.

A few of my conversations have led to good news on my “After” project. I hope to get another post prepared on that line soon. For now keeping up with the yarn stash is my plan as I listen to others memoirs, books based on the authors own experiences. These types of books are given me lots of inspiration right now.

So much for our blizzard we just got rain, lots of rain.

Prepare for the worst and all that remains is mud. The day it was a blizzard for half my family I prepared for an early come home day with my husband. But all that it did here was rain. He did not come home early. The roast was done at two in the afternoon and so I ate supper then. On top of the miserable rain and flooding for so many, my cat hitched a ride with him to work and so he had to stop and pick her up before coming home. Silly girl. I don’t know if she’ll ever learn to stay away from the heat of the warm engine. She is such a “car-pet.” Bother the silly thing.

So far spring brings me a hand full of facial tissues. My nose is in deep rebellion to the change of seasons. Is everyone allergic to the season that they are born into? Mine is spring and sorrow proceeds my birthday by many fashions. Most of my depressed mood is a result of my oppressed immune system. I love spring. I hate mold, rainy mildewy, sniffly air. Kachoo! Winter gives way to spring once again.

Now for that shower for my mutt.

Normalcy

No such thing

My initial thought to the above picture:

“It is the wrong time of year for cotton candy!”

Then my mind tells me- No, silly, that’s wool.

What is normal? Finding a new normal is just as challenging as trying to keep things normal. Maybe there is no such thing.

Today I spent several hours picking through some wool that I dyed the other day. That is not really a usual activity for me. Doing this chore during the summer time makes more sense. Having soaked it in vinegar before dying did help as the matter was easier to pick out and fell apart readily. Dirty jobs really are meant for outside. This chore is considered so for the back breading position I find myself in keeps me bent over even when the job is done.

It was just the thing for my dry hands though. The oil in the wool moistures the parched skin. So I think I will try another hour at it this afternoon. Let my back straighten up some first.

Nearly finished with the prayer shawls for my mother. She wanted them out of fishermen’s wool. The project is beautiful and made me think on the wool spinning that i have neglected for so long. Maybe this is the week to figure out that skill again. Finding the rhythm is the hardest part. If I could only remember whose concertos were the best for the long steady strides. It will probably be the cellist that is best.

The hour spent picking kept me from heading into the office. The room is so inviting now that it is all cleaned up. It is also much warmer than any other room as only the window wall has outside exposure. Nice reprieve from the wool sweaters that I have been wearing the last month. Will the cold ever leave us?

When will the normal temperatures return? we are below normal by nearly 30 degrees this time of year. The old normal was two weeks of a cold snap in January. This year the cold snap is more like a drum beat that won’t stop. Part of me wishes they would not tell us what the normal temps are then we wouldn’t be so tired of the cold.

The best anecdote to the cold for me is a wool garment. Wool socks. Wool sweaters. Wool mittens. Wool hats. For all those that can’t do the wool, my apologies. Try some fake fleece item. They are at lease soft.

March is just around the corner. Actually it is only days away. Normally all of my snomen display gets put away about now. Because there are afew snow globes with water in them, I cannot put them away until after the chance of freezing goes away. They normally get put back into the old house. There is no heat over there. So this year maybe I will stash them in the empty bedroom closet. Just because I am so tired of the cold, it is time for spring. Out with the snowmen, in with Easter!

There is no such thing as normalcy. While I may attempt to keep things a certain way in my life, capturing the usual just seems evasive this year. Haven’t even got to plant in the greenhouse yet. It is just too cold!

Foolish ideas for this time of year would be planting potatoes in the snow. Thank goodness Easter is two months aways yet. But since my mind thinks of things in terms of farming or gardening, this proverb did come to mind on this 26th day of February. Proverbs 26:1 “As snow in summer and rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool.” Spring has another month before it’s true arrival. So we will let winter continue on it’s snowy path. Normal days of winter might exist also.