Summer’s Many Memories

Summer on the farm means bouquets of wildflowers.

Summer means a vegetable garden.

Canning tomatoes on a hot afternoon.

Cows seeking shaded places.

Summer means a trip to Porter for fresh Glohaven peaches.

Summer means roses and butterflies on zinnias.

Summer is waterlilies on the pond.

It’s farmer’s market flowers.

It’s grandkids coming to swim.

Summer is dripping sweet ice cold watermelon, and flags flying high on the Fourth of July. It’s geese at the park, brown-eyed Susan’s, bright sunshine, a feast of color, and roadside flowers.

It’s the sound of laughter, fireworks popping, cicadas and leafhoppers making their music, the happy sound of children shouting and laughing at the swim pool, and the constant rumbling sound of farmer’s on their tractors making hay.

It’s the sight of green garden rows, roses, herons gracefully stalking their prey in the shallows, dogs napping on shady porches, and little girls in brightly colored sundresses.

It’s the vinegary smell of pickles boiling, the scent of lilacs and crepe myrtle, the musty smell of wet swim towels on the clothesline, the smell of a peach cobbler baking, and the unmistakable scent of suntan lotion and bug spray.

It’s the flavor of that first sliced garden tomato, the salty buttery taste of corn on the cob, the sweet of sugary watermelon. It’s the smoky flavor of hamburgers on the grill, the mustard and sweet relish on a hotdog and the delight of blueberry ice cream churned by hand.

Summer is the heat of sunshine streaming on your neck and shoulders, the soothing movement of a porch swing or Grandma’s glider. It’s the cooling rush of plunging into the swimming hole water, the refreshing rush of cold lemonade inside your chest, and the surprising touch of a butterfly landing on your sleeve or a firefly captured in your hand.

Summer is a season and loving, laughing, and living!

Bloom Where You’re Planted

          What are the conditions we humans need to blossom?  To me, it seems as if there should be many blossoming moments in our lives, when the conditions are right for us to burst from our tight buds and become our best beautiful selves. And so it is in the garden.

Maria Rodale

_DSC6910_DSC6903DSC_0692img_1693DSC_0537_DSC6915img_3443

I suppose we try to bloom where we wish we were planted or we  hoped to grow. So we struggle. We find ourselves in situations which are not where we want to grow.

Wouldn’t every thing in our lives be brighter, sweeter, and more fun if we chose to be content? If we decided to take what opportunities and circumstances we were dealt in life and make the best of it? And if we went beyond that even to bloom awesomely where noone expected us to thrive?

If we would bloom even in the hard places, the dry days, the harsh conditions, we could bring happiness there to ourselves and to others. Then there would be blossoms in alleys, in ditches, in sidewalk cracks, even on rooftops and in isolated spots. In those places where nothing good can be, there would be us, there would be me, glowing with vitality and beauty and all the world would be brighter and the world would grow larger too.

I have found flowers growing in watery drainage ditches, in dry spots beside the highway, in crevices in rocks, on eroded hillsides, in pastures where animals graze, in weed-chocked meadows, in among old rusted vehicles in junkyards, in overworked fields, in the woods, in the sand along a shore, on top of trash heaps, in manicured closely-mown lawns, in hot dry dessert places, on worn pathways, beside concrete parking lots.

Life goes on even in the restricted and untended places. Better it should go on in joy.

We all come to those places:  jobs we don’t enjoy, unhappy marriages, costly homes, houses in disrepair, difficult family members, nonprogressive schools, untenable neighborhoods, dreadful diagnoses, or other situations where nothing should grow—much less bloom. I want to face off with those spots and come out the best beautiful bloom possible.

To do so I will need God’s grace and God’s help. Because what seed can grow without a hand to plant it and soil and light and rain? And what flower can bloom without God’s blessing?

 

img_5034img_5044e4252-okraflowersandcactus04344698-texastripone029ccdbd-donna

Barefoot in the Prairie Grasses

45b1c-sunflowersfallorchidspink101e269a-cows080f20c5-360pictures302922da-daylilies024

Coneflower Prairie Squaredance

8f23a-rose27spicnic005ee201-pecanorchard07603feb-peachesandflowersfield08886167-rose27spicnic003Impressions of an Old Farm

Pink Prairie Posies

Taming the Wild Prairie

Little Rose Bush on the Prairie

Rock Creek Buffalo Ranch

img_2352

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Life on the Farm

Summer–the season of growing–the season when everything renewed with spring finds time to settle in and push down roots. Have I ever stopped to note the miracle that the seasons are perfectly arranged with the birthing, growing, maturing, and aging, death and birth cycle of our own lives?

The trees put on rapid new growth, leaves and limbs surge out and upward reaching for the hot blue sky. Leaves wave at the birds that fly over their heads or nest in their branches.

Summer is flowers blooming from the buds of spring and with the warm days and the bumblebees. Of bud vases and old glass salt cellars of roses lining the kitchen windowsill. Of crockery pitchers, milk bottles, and other odd vases of wildflower bouquets from the pasture and the roadside.

It’s thunderstorms crashing and romping and stomping and fading to rumbly-bumbly steady feeding rains that let you float in fluttery half-sleep places of lemon-poppyseed-bread dreams.

Summer is horses grazing in shady spots in wide sunny pastures, their tails flicking constantly at pesky flies. It is porch swing sitting after a swim. It is the scent of mud, as strong but not as pleasing as the soil turned up with tilling and planting the spring garden.

The squish of mud between your toes is a special delight that my plants seem to love as warm days have settled their roots and stems safety in. They are like five-year-olds that discover food is good after all and start devouring nutrients that they refused earlier. Suddenly the grass the trees, the shrubs, the plants, peonies, roses, and hydrangeas, the things that you thought would never grow take off like rockets.

Summer is crickets chirping, full moons, fireflies blinking in the dark, starry, starry nights and warm quiet mornings–stiller than dusty old churches on weekdays.

That’s summer with its longer hours of sunshine, with heat and evening rains. How I love the sounds of tree frogs singing in the wetter places by the willows where the pasture slopes down to the creek and those lazy afternoons when cicadas in the oak tree whine and drone on and on in a rising and falling pattern like a piano student practicing his scales.