"You have a beautiful family" he said turning all the way around in his seat to see us better.
We ate our deli sandwiches in a small corner of the store
completely absorbed in keeping 8 servings of turkey and tomato
from slipping out from between 16 halves of French Roll.
I adjusted Aloria nursing under a blanket in crook of my arm - the arm not occupied with my own lunch.
The dad of our family snatched a large bite while juggling between two toddlers:
A bite for you.
A bite for her.
A bite for me. a bite for you. a bite for her. a bite for me.
The performance was executed with the grace and ease of a trapeze artist.
He was the one working hard today, that man o' mine.
"Clay get me a napkin please." "Zack fill these cups with water." "Have a piece of chicken Sue?" "Olie chew with your mouth closed." "One more bite of potato?" "Did you finish your sandwich?" "How many have you had?" "Please wipe your mouth. And forehead. And not with your sleeve... please."
Then there were the cookies. The crowning glory to dinner-on-the-run with dad.
Pinwheels. Chocolate covered marshmallows and crumbs. At least that's a lot of what's left
when the frenzy is over. Crumbs. And chocolate covered fingers.
Even when I'm sitting right there, I'm never quite sure how chocolate ends up on the forehead?
I had to admit though, we were having a nice time and it was pretty peaceful.
For a circus.
And entertaining, I had to give the old gentleman that!
It was as complete a show as you could hope to have
without being charged admission.
He had come to that cozy deli in the corner for a bit of supper while his wife shopped for groceries
but he got his fill and then some.
I smiled to myself
"Yep..." he said.
"...it was the biggest mistake I ever made, not having more."
I planted a couple seeds yesterday. Zachary helped me hill the dirt; Carolina followed me and poked the seeds into the ground with a short stick.
Three hills of Amish Pumpkin, four hills with Goldenglo Watermelon, and four of zucchini which will probably be the most successful four hills and of which will bear the most wasted produce owing to only three of us liking zucchini.
Frankly I don't really care. I don't mind what grows as long as something grows, and I don't care if anyone eats its fruit because I will get nourishment
just from watching the process.
Dirt, seed, water, sun, water, sun, water, sun, sprout, water, sun, leaves, tendrils, water, sun, vine, blossom..... and on and on.
IF it will be even that ambitious.
We picnicked in the old garden yesterday.
Not the garden we fenced last year, but the remnants of somebodies work and love from an age gone by.
This particular garden is only some tangled Lilacs and a carpet of Lily of the Valley growing wild, most likely planted several generations ago when there was a sawmill and homestead down near the creek.
After our picnic I dug out a clump of Lily's and a piece of Lilac for Auntie Hannah.
Despite my desire to garden and very meager attempts, Hannah earns the title Green Thumb. I guess I can bear the title "Supplier of Green" or maybe "Green Thumb Facilitator" I'm known for liking green, it's just that I usually kill it.
Auntie Hannah promptly found a place to stick our green gift in the ground.
That Lilac will be happy in her yard.
In Weather talk, we had several days of bright sun teasing us between cloud-cover. Then yesterday a full day of sun warmed the air enough to make us believe it's actually summer! At twilight AJ was invited (by our neighbors) to tear into the dirt road with his excavator. The idea was to "fix" a bad spot attempting to make the road less of a jolting ride. Or maybe the idea was to appease the neighbors (It probably depends on who you ask).
Wouldn't you know it rained buckets later that night?
I bet the road isn't "fixed".
I wonder if the neighbors are appeased?
Of course the forecast is for perfect sunshiny days the next two weeks straight.
Oh! I want to tell you. Today I was standing over the stove making dinner and I had an epiphany: Convertible Sunroof on Kitchen.
That was it.
I'm so proud of myself; I had been feeling almost guilty for not having a want -
a real, big, out-of-reach... want.
But now I have one!
See, I'm often in the kitchen. Too often.
At least, it feels too often when it's still light outside and balmy. And everyone else is still playing or working on projects where the summer air tickles the senses. My senses aren't tickled by dinner chores these days.
So I was thinking, "Hm. I don't really want an outdoor kitchen because sometimes it rains. Or sometimes the mosquito's are too thick.
And I don't want to move all my cookery outside nosiree. What I need is a Sunroof on my INdoor kitchen! Then I could just push a button and zshhhhhhhhhh.... my roof folds up. Voila!
Summer air tickling the senses while I work in the familiarity of my own year-round kitchen!"
If I should need to cook a late dinner I could enjoy the stars, and I could close the roof if Lunch prep got too hot under the noonday sun. Also, if it started to rain I wouldn't have to run for shelter.
Yep. I'm thinking a Convertible Kitchen. It'll be the next big thing!
That's about it for today. I think I did pretty good to have thoughts besides what's for dinner (seems to be a theme lately). There was some good heart growth that went on while I exercised patience and endurance today in a department I won't elaborate on.
I WILL say that I am humbled when I slow down enough to realize just how much grace the Lord has for me.
All of a sudden it becomes easier to carry on, if you know what I mean.
He is good, and His favor great!
May His blessing be heaped up and overflowing in your moments today.
He saw just what he had in mind
It practically had his name on it!
He went home and broke the bank
stuck the cash in a safe place (my wallet)
and we went back to the store.
We made a beeline for the hunting department
and with no hesitation whatsoever
he eagerly lifted the box from its place on the shelf.
At the register he set his purchase on the counter
proudly handed the woman his money
and with several smiles and encouraging exclamations from onlookers
he left that store a taller man.
If that were the end it would have been a good story,
But it's not.
That was one 34 dollars to make the squirrel population tremble!
Put behind that a "serious" hunter and you have 3 silenced chatter boxes
in two days. So far ones been fried, ones been roasted on a spit, and
the third is promised to the Bar-BQ.
Daddy says he's about to outlaw hunting near the house or we'll never
see another squirrel without using binoculars!
It's pretty wonderful to see that smile though - worth 34 dollars
and every fuzzy little rodent he earns!
This picture resides on the top shelf of the black living room bookcase;.
it rests against the Audubon nature books, and behind some Geodes that Clay brought home from Kentucky.
My first fish - the one that made me catch "the fishing bug" - was this Rainbow Trout I caught with my daddy.
At least, he says I caught it. But he's never actually told me if the trout was already on the line
when he handed me the pole.
No matter. I was hooked. From that day Dad had himself a partner!
Most fishing expeditions required an ice chest with some fruit, crackers, a block of cheese and knife.
Sometimes we brought bate, sometimes Dad turned over rocks until he found something small and creepy
he thought the fish would love to eat!
Sometimes the fish bit. Sometimes they didn't, but looking back I'm pretty sure Dad just wanted
to be outdoors taking in the sounds, the sights, and even the smells of the river, the creek, the water and mud.
Our outings were really for the purpose of enjoying the beauty in God's creation
while reveling in good company.
It was an excuse to be together.
I remember those times as discovering times. Dad had an eye for critters, footprints, lost lures;
snakes, blackberries, and mosquitoes were often part of the package too. I loved it!
Those times are dear to my memory. I'm sure that much of my appreciation for all things wild and green
was instilled gently and over the course of my years by him.
In time I even learned to bate my own hook and and clean my own fish!
Truth is, fishing is in the blood. My dad learned from his, and my grampa was master of pole and bate. My dad's dad (as I remember it) rarely took his eye off the ripples or his fingers from the line.
He was ever ready to set the hook at first feeling of tension, the slightest tug.
My dad enjoyed those things too, but I believe he had a greater love for the adventure itself!
He never came home from those excursions without a story - even if it wasn't a fish story -
because he was paying attention to and looking for so many other things. So what if toes were numb from icy mountain runoff, so what if legs were scratched up by the berries growing at the rivers edge, so what if the mosquitoes got their fill for dinner!
And so what if there were no fish for dinner this time.
Look at that picture.
Does he look like a man who needed to catch fish in order
to be proud fit to bust?
I'm smiling as I write.
Dad, you did well. I loved it all. Every moment of muddy tennis shoes, scratched up legs, bug bites...
to be with you.
I had a lot of fun!
Now I cherish a lot of pretty unbeatable memories. Thanks!
When I thought of being a mom, I never dreamed of THIS! ~Five heart melting smiles ~never getting tired of midnight feedings ~having all the answers ~not minding dirty faces ~enjoying watching the boys eat! ~falling in love with pigtails ~appreciating overalls ~appreciating a washing machine! ~wanting to do everything better ~falling in love a million times