Garden for Joy

The best, absolute best, thing that you can do for your peace of mind right now is to go  plant some seeds.

I can absolutely testify to this; vitamin D is necessary to your physical health and your emotional well being.

Cut your long winter fingernails and stick your hands in the dirt.

Sunflower seeds that were missed by the birds, sprouted, and got transplanted into a straight line in the sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gardening is hope for the future.

Is it too early for peach blossoms? I hope not.

 

Gardening is planting seeds of joy.

Future spot of spinach, mixed lettuces, and beets…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And gardening in pots on your back porch, side porch, front porch counts too… This is the year to plant those seeds of hope.

I’m adding a link for those of you who might be new to sticking your hands in the dirt. It’s a great resource. Victory gardens 2020!

 

Grateful on February 20th

The country world is a mess; governments are failing in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti, Syria, United States; there are wars and rumors of wars everywhere; Australia is burning; there are diseases and rumors of diseases everywhere; and the potus has not yet been banned from Twitter. Sometimes it seems like a world gone mad, and it can get a person down in the gray winter dumps…

Here are some things to be grateful for…

 

  1. If you are reading this, you have survived the grayest winter ever — 0 sunny days in January; 3.5 sunny days so far in February… (statistics are from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
  2. Though there wasn’t much sun, neither did you have to touch your snow blower or snow shovel (This is specific to Southwest PA…);
  3. You probably have not contracted the Corona Virus;
  4. There are 28 days left until spring — (Dandelions are sprouting in my yard. In February! And the daffodil buds are fat.)
  5. We have spring gardening, summer vacations, and fall harvests to look forward to in 2020;
  6. Writing the date 02/20/2020 is very symmetrical and pleasurable;
  7. According to Ballotpedia there are 1,047 candidates who have filed to run for president in 2020, including:
    • 309 Democratic candidates
    • 156 Republican candidates
    • 64 Libertarian candidates
    • 22 Green candidates
    • 1,045 of them are probably better than Donny Johnny Rump or Grumpy Grampy Bernie;
  8. You have 256 days left to decide — Nov. 3, 2020…
  9. the courage of Col. Alexander Vindman, Ambassador Bill Taylor, Dr. Fiona Hill,  Marie Yovanovitch, and Mitt Romney;
  10. This is a Leap Year and you have a free day on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Celebrate it.
  11. the joy of getting a new book and having time to read it. (Currently reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke; just finished Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.)
  12. You are still here, most likely sitting in a warm place on this beautiful blue planet, in this candy bar galaxy, in the Lord’s world. We are here for a purpose. What will you do about it?

 

20 for 2020

It’s a new year; it’s a new decade.

Can I get a Hallelujah?

A few months ago (actually many months ago) a friend reminded me that I had not written a post since February 13. “Yes, I know,” I replied. “I think about it almost every day.” The true question was, “Am I done blogging?” It seems so out of date and self-serving. Can I just say that this world does not need any more self-absorption?

I wrote at least five drafts that bored even me. Then, every time I would sit down to write, the egomaniac who is the current president would do something so ridiculous, so awful, that I would start to rant. And  I didn’t need to add to the clamor, the din, the tumult… But that might be just a weak excuse.

Like all years, this past one had its ups and downs, goods and bads: I lost 25 pounds; our  beloved Henry the cat died; I planted sweet potatoes and peas for the first time and they did great; the staples of tomatoes and peppers did poorly. We had tons of cherries and pears; we had almost no apples. I retired and had plenty to do; I retired and sometimes felt at loose ends. I read a lot of great books; I stopped writing almost entirely. We finished the beautiful back porch and the lower side of the house; the bathroom is still unfinished and ugly. I read and studied my journaling Bible every day, but truth be told, this year God has often seemed distant. I get depressed reading the New York Times and watching World News Tonight; my faith tells me I must have hope.

So last night just as I was deciding to give it up entirely and not even do a New Year’s post, WordPress sent me a notice that my stats were booming.

An unknown person across the internet somewhere far away was reading my blog posts in order — they had started with all the early posts about the cottage and then read at least forty-five of my 245 posts.  And that one little thing changed my mind. So here is my post for the New Decade. It might be the one and only, the first and the last; I’ve no guarantees. After all, I’m retired…

This morning I was reading an article written by James Hatch, a 52-year old former Navy SEAL who is a freshman at Yale. He wrote: “I challenge any of you hyper-opinionated zealots out there to actually sit down with a group of people who disagree with you and be open to having your mind changed… To me there is no dishonor in being wrong and learning. There is dishonor in willful ignorance and there is dishonor in disrespect.” Amen, brother. Let’s stop disrespecting each other. Starting today.

There are two kinds of people in the world:

1. those who would go to Times Square for New Year’s Eve, and those who couldn’t be paid enough to go…

Sunrise from our bedroom windows

2. those who go out for New Year’s Eve, and those who stay home…

3. those who would rehab an old vacant house, and those who would look for a new one instead…

boards

4. Cat-lovers and Dog-lovers…

Cat in the Christmas tree

5. Savers and Pitchers…
pitchers

6. Dreamers and Doers…

7. those who believe and those who scoff…

Micah 6:*

8. those who stay, and those who go…

9. those who love snow, and those who don’t…

10. those who take naps, and those who feel superior to those who take naps…

Cat nap

11. those who love city streets, and those who love country roads…

12. those who look up and those who look down…

13. those who eat their fruits and vegetables, and those who eat their meat’n potatoes…

green tomato salsa

14. those whose glass is half-empty and those whose glass is half-full…

Stag's Leap winery

15. those who work for pay and those who work for love; and those who are blessed to do both at the same time…

Mr. H.C's truck

16. those who believe santa is a democrat, those who believe santa is a  republican, and those who believe santa should just start a third party for the rest of us — the Dempublicans? The Republicrats? (Surely he would get more than just my vote…)

17. Those who love to go shopping and those who would rather eat worms than go to a Walmart.

18. Flitterers and Plodders…

19. Readers and TV watchers

 

20. Right and Wrong (please God, give us grace for both…)

At different times in our lives, we can be any of these. (Well, probably not too many of us would admit to being that turtle…)
Me? I have been all these — a city lover, a country girl; a scoffer, a believer; an optimist, a pessimist; a cat-lover, a dog-lover; a dreamer, a doer; a shopper and a worm-eater; right and wrong…(Though I would have to be paid a lot of cash to go to Times Square on New Year’s Eve.)
Can we remember this?
Can we remember that our differences make this beautiful world what it is?
Can we let go of our prejudices, our prides, our preconceptions, our disrespect… and just love each other?

May grace, peace, and joy be yours in abundance in 2020.

Christmas angel