Fishing Fun!

Mr. Dolan’s watershed lake is a favorite fishing spot. He free-heartedly allows us to come and bring friends to fish there. It is a shady peaceful spot. The Parks family visited us last weekend and we all went down to fish. 
The crappie and the white perch were biting. Everything went along fine. It was hot that day. Peaceful and quiet and hot. And then it happened. A terrible tragedy!

 

            
This is the story I got from the children. They all accidentally fell in. All eight of them! It was a large frightful accident! A big monster came and threw them all in. He looked like this. Yeah! Uglier! He did it! She did it! And someone got a splinter. It was tragic, unbelievable, horrid, wretched!!!!
Oh, it was just awful!
We just barely survived. You believe us, don’t you?
I didn’t even realize that the water was so wet and muddy. Sorry.
Really sorry!
We are mostly innocent and not too wet.
It was fun. We’re hungry. Is supper ready? Can we ride home in the van?
The water looked so inviting!
Can we all pile in?

 
Please. We’ll be good!!!
Not a chance. Ready kids? Start walking!

Fishing Fun!

Mr. Dolan’s watershed lake is a favorite fishing spot. He free-heartedly allows us to come and bring friends to fish there. It is a shady peaceful spot. The Parks family visited us last weekend and we all went down to fish. 
The crappie and the white perch were biting. Everything went along fine. It was hot that day. Peaceful and quiet and hot. And then it happened. A terrible tragedy!

 

            
This is the story I got from the children. They all accidentally fell in. All eight of them! It was a large frightful accident! A big monster came and threw them all in. He looked like this. Yeah! Uglier! He did it! She did it! And someone got a splinter. It was tragic, unbelievable, horrid, wretched!!!!
Oh, it was just awful!
We just barely survived. You believe us, don’t you?
I didn’t even realize that the water was so wet and muddy. Sorry.
Really sorry!
We are mostly innocent and not too wet.
It was fun. We’re hungry. Is supper ready? Can we ride home in the van?
The water looked so inviting!
Can we all pile in?

 
Please. We’ll be good!!!
Not a chance. Ready kids? Start walking!

Don’t Fence Me In

This little donkey stood watching me pass and she seemed to be considering how she might escape her pasture. I don’t know, maybe she felt safe inside and  only wondered where all of us fools were headed when there was security, sunshine and plenty of green grass.

I love to ride through the country and see the fields and meadows, looking for wildflowers and hawks soaring, and watching the world wake up with spring. I pull my van off routinely to get a better look at something. As exciting as the activity in a big city may be, there are life and events of interest to my heart in the country.

I wish I could have seen these fields before there were so many fences.

Even our farm now has fencing everywhere. Mowing and cleaning up the property exposed fences in all stages of demise. Pieces of old barbed wire have had to be cleared from brush hog and mower blade shafts.  We have discovered wire that tree trunks have grown over and incorporated into their bark. Fences around the barn protected chickens for the Howard family. Cows and horses, and turkeys have resided in pens that kept them safe from coyotes, passing vehicles, and hawk talons. Now our own fences guard our pecan orchard, our fruit tress, Brenna’s herd of donkeys and her farm animals, the garden, and our buildings.

In some places, fences had been left standing, but new fences were built close beside them. Brush and trees and briars had grown through and forced apart the wire and posts. Wire has been trampled into the dirt and prairie has grown over it.Gates and new sorts of fencing, like chain link and pipe fences enclose farms now, and yet the barbed wire is still the cheapest and used for cattle pastures.

I try to envision travelers who saw this land when there were few houses, no paved roads, no electric poles or wires, and certainly not much in the way of fencing. How different, how large, how thrilling, how fearful it must have been. When there were no boundaries other than those made naturally by creeks that snaked across the land, by rivers, by the trees that grew along their banks; where the grass grew so tall and unbroken that little children like Laura and her sisters could become lost in it within a few hundred yards of their father.

When I say don’t fence me in, I really mean “unfence” me. Is that relly what I want or is fencing what protects me? Is fencing what I need to feel secure and tamed. Doesn’t a fence keep others out as much as it holds me in? Like the boundaries we moms set for our children, aren’t fences for our ultimate good?

A fence we can see through may have covinced us that there is greener grass on the other side. Yet, there is sweet grass inside too and and open blue sky above. The sky gives us our greatest freedom. And the sky will never be sectioned off by barbed wire.

Don’t Fence Me In

This little donkey stood watching me pass and she seemed to be considering how she might escape her pasture. I don’t know, maybe she felt safe inside and  only wondered where all of us fools were headed when there was security, sunshine and plenty of green grass.

I love to ride through the country and see the fields and meadows, looking for wildflowers and hawks soaring, and watching the world wake up with spring. I pull my van off routinely to get a better look at something. As exciting as the activity in a big city may be, there are life and events of interest to my heart in the country.

I wish I could have seen these fields before there were so many fences.

Even our farm now has fencing everywhere. Mowing and cleaning up the property exposed fences in all stages of demise. Pieces of old barbed wire have had to be cleared from brush hog and mower blade shafts.  We have discovered wire that tree trunks have grown over and incorporated into their bark. Fences around the barn protected chickens for the Howard family. Cows and horses, and turkeys have resided in pens that kept them safe from coyotes, passing vehicles, and hawk talons. Now our own fences guard our pecan orchard, our fruit tress, Brenna’s herd of donkeys and her farm animals, the garden, and our buildings.

In some places, fences had been left standing, but new fences were built close beside them. Brush and trees and briars had grown through and forced apart the wire and posts. Wire has been trampled into the dirt and prairie has grown over it.Gates and new sorts of fencing, like chain link and pipe fences enclose farms now, and yet the barbed wire is still the cheapest and used for cattle pastures.

I try to envision travelers who saw this land when there were few houses, no paved roads, no electric poles or wires, and certainly not much in the way of fencing. How different, how large, how thrilling, how fearful it must have been. When there were no boundaries other than those made naturally by creeks that snaked across the land, by rivers, by the trees that grew along their banks; where the grass grew so tall and unbroken that little children like Laura and her sisters could become lost in it within a few hundred yards of their father.

When I say don’t fence me in, I really mean “unfence” me. Is that relly what I want or is fencing what protects me? Is fencing what I need to feel secure and tamed. Doesn’t a fence keep others out as much as it holds me in? Like the boundaries we moms set for our children, aren’t fences for our ultimate good?

A fence we can see through may have covinced us that there is greener grass on the other side. Yet, there is sweet grass inside too and and open blue sky above. The sky gives us our greatest freedom. And the sky will never be sectioned off by barbed wire.

Snow Bell

The Noble Snowbell

The farm bell froze in place during the last winter storm. Ice coated the pull rope and snow formed a dome on the housing. Icicles hung from the rim. The bell would not ring.

The grandchildren love our farm bell. We let them have a chance to sound it to call Grandpa in from the orchard or the older kids from the creek. Some of them can’t reach the pull rope yet so we hold them up or have them stand on a lawn chair. The sound often startles them; they never expect such a BIG sound. But the word bell comes from the word bellow and we moms have all heard one or two of those.

Perhaps we have been the ones bellowing!
The frozen snow bell didn’t make a sound. It was stuck like a writer with writer’s block. It was stuck like a mom who can’t tell what to cook for supper. It was stuck like an artist facing an empty canvas; like any human trying to be creative can become stiffled.
Then the sun came out after the storm passed. Soon the icicles fell and the heap of snow slid off the wrought iron. The ice on the rope dripped and dribbled down to the base of the pole. The bell was free and sat waiting for a tug to make it sound again. Its call of “Come in for supper,” and “Come back to the house,” and “someone’s waiting for you,” rang sweetly again!
The cold places in our lives can often leave us feeling ignoble (common or low) rather than the noble persons God called us to be. The warmth of God’s grace and mercy comes though, like the sun on the bell, when we pray and seek him. It thaws us and melts away the cold that surrounds us and stops us. God frees us from the aching cold of our own selfishness and allows us to be useful again.

Let the bell ring sweet and loud!