Archive for June, 2016
Husby and I have our own little nature sanctuary (aka: back yard) that’s visited by red squirrels, grey squirrels, rabbits, deer, turtles, frogs, mice, chipmunks, butterflies, dragonflies, fireflies, and many types of birds such as robins, wrens, chickadees, finches, cardinals, bluejays, orioles, hummingbirds, bluebirds, crows, blackbirds, and every so often a hawk will drop by. The activity and entertainment are endless.
It’s always very exciting to see a little wren take up residence in the bird house Husby hangs every year. This year we were also happy to notice a robin building a nest on the top of the pergola over our deck, nestling it in among the vines. When we see the newly born bunnies hopping around, barely visible in the grass munching on fallen leaves and dandelions, the mama birds are still tending to their eggs.
When the eggs finally hatch there’s much more activity and noise in the back yard. Little cheeps are heard, and with close and careful inspection we can see tiny, fuzzy heads with open beaks peaking over the edge of the nest. Mama Robin is back and forth with bits of nourishment for her babies, and has come to know those enormous human beings sitting so close to her nest aren’t a threat.
Today I got to witness one of the little robins take his first flight from the nest to a very nearby tree branch. He isn’t so tiny anymore, and has feathers instead of fuzz, but it was very obvious he was nervous and unsteady even though his mother was close by on another branch of the same tree.
Being a neighbor of the Robin family has me thinking about how exhilarating it is to do something for the first time. First step, first time on a bike, first kiss, first home… When you get to be my age it seems like there aren’t too many firsts left in life, but they’re out there. Case in point – just recently Husby and I had our first zip line experience!
Nature is a lesson to us all. If we don’t poke our heads out of the frosty snow, we won’t become daffodils. If we don’t venture out we won’t know all the good things the world has to offer. If we don’t jump from the nest, we’ll never learn how to fly.
Peter and Cora. They were the reason we all gathered, once again. This time it was for the funeral of their youngest child, Earl, who was born in 1929.
Peter and Cora were my great grandparents, and I referred to them as Grandma and Grandpa Peter, and still do to this day. When I attended Earl’s funeral I saw all sorts of relatives who looked either like Grandpa Peter or Grandma Peter (aka Cora).
Heritage, ancestry and family trees are fascinating to me. Earl, the man whose funeral we attended, was the youngest of his family of origin. He had eight brothers and sisters, all whom have died before him. My grandpa (Joe) was the oldest sibling, Earl was the youngest.
Peter and Cora raised superior children. Each one of them was successful in all senses of the word. They married and stayed married until death did they part. They bore children, who were also superior. The family that stems from Peter and Cora is the nicest family conglomeration I’ve ever met in my life.
The best thing is, they’re MY family!
The last of Peter and Cora’s children has finally met his maker, and I’m pretty sure Peter and Cora, as well as all of Earl’s siblings, were happy to see him glide through the Pearly Gates.
I’ve been so fortunate to know so many of my relatives, all the way back to great grandparents. To Peter and Cora I propose a toast. You raised good, productive, wonderful children, who, in turn built families that are equally good, productive and wonderful. I hope all of us, when we cross the veil, will meet again and rejoice in the love that made us all a family.
Today marks the first day of the summertime season (even though it’s still technically spring) as I hung a couple of loads of laundry on the line. There’s an old-timey, soothing feeling to the practice of pinning garments and linens on a clothesline outside.
I’m dismayed that some neighborhoods ban hanging clothes on the line. It’s true, those neighborhoods actually exist! You’d think drying clothes by the natural means of sunlight and wind would be embraced as opposed to using the energy needed to dry things in a dryer, but no. Apparently it’s ghastly for neighbors to see t-shirts, jeans, and sheets flowing in the breeze.
There’s nothing like the fresh fragrance of clothes that have been hung outside to dry. And sheets? I like nothing better than crawling into a bed with sheets fresh off the line. In fact, there are candle fragrances out there that mimic the aroma of laundry fresh off the line. I’ve used one of those fragrances in my candles and they sell like mad. People love it, and could have it in their own closets and dressers if they’d only hang their laundry to dry outside.
I highly encourage people to hang clean laundry on a clothesline outside if at all possible. It saves energy and makes everything feel and smell fresh. I, for one, am very glad to be able to air my laundry in nature for the next few months. And I’ve never yet had a neighbor complain about this summertime practice of mine.