April Showers

April is a fickle month in MN.  One never knows one day to the next if it will rain, shine, sleet, (sometimes snow), be warm, cold, or in between; Unless of course you read the weather report, then you may have some idea.  I generally prefer to step outside and take a look around each morning.  Life should have some wonder and surprise, and a sunrise and weather are always a wonder.

April also has a few special days in it.  Forget April Fools Day – I hate that one. I like having fun, but I tend to shy away from doing so at another’s expense.  Seems like practical jokes come back to bite.

Lillian and Kim have birthdays this month, but it seems like quite a few of their friends do also, which is kind of fun.  Thomas Jefferson’s birthday is on the 13th.  We don’t tend to celebrate it but it seems worth mentioning.  Square root day was the 4th, for obvious reasons.  Arbor Day is somewhere in there, as is the Turkmen racehorse festival (in Turkmenistan anyway).   One of my favorites is Day of Silence (April 15th – Makes me wonder if it’s related to tax day).  We could perhaps even pull it off except that it’s one of our birthday days here.  I remember the day she was born.  It was warm enough to walk around outside.  There were dandelion greens all over and I remember thinking that if I felt more like bending down and picking things I could make a salad with them.

Last year I reminded all those who read this (mark) that April is National Poetry month.  I go through rare periods of inability to grab onto inspiration, as in now, so this year I’m reminding myself.  For what it’s worth, it is also National Mathematics awareness month, so maybe I’ll be more aware of that instead.

Here’s hoping all of the above will lead to May flowers,

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

 

Suddenly, the days are longer.

Ok I realize it wasn’t suddenly in real time, but when you look here, we go from getting shorter pretty quickly, to now it is 6:17pm  and still pretty light out.  Miraculous really.  A lot of happenings between then and now, but also a lot of being sick.  I don’t like excuses though and really it is only myself that misses posts here. :-)  Actually, what I really miss, is the stream of events that brings a thought to a series of thoughts, to writing them down until I like it, to posting it on something permanent.  It’s been falling flat on the writing them down part.  I hope any who stumble on this will forgive me for that bit of self-centeredness (the thing I just said).

IMG_7382Kim is big in the news here at our house.  She is sorting and making lists, sewing dresses for her uniform and generally vacillating between being excited and nervous.  It will be her first time moving from home for longer than a few months and that is scary for her.  And we will miss her (!)  But we want our children to have good,normal, happy lives and this was an event that was an answer to specific prayer.  Well, that and she passed her boards (nursing test). Go Kim!    Mountain View in Aroda, VA will soon have a new nurse.

The snow in the yard is almost gone.  The snow on the nearby ski hills is not almost gone.  Yet it gets a dull sheen to it that indicates spring is near.  It seemed like a brief winter.  Late in coming, early in leaving.  Perhaps I will retract that in March.  Some of our worst snow storms happen in March.

Jonathan is at Bible School and loving it.  He wants me to bring his unicycle :-0 .  The Trumpeter Swans are migrating again, and we plug along each day doing all the needful things.  And I am realizing that I got as far on “the stream of events”, as writing them down.  I’ll probably also even get it on my site (such as it is).  But clever has taken a vacation.  I hope it returns in my lifetime.

As always,

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

“I don’t know how you do it”

I have stated before that I can barely get my native English language right, and have found myself the village idiot, in a few other languages too.  But if I’m not mistaken, the phrase “I don’t know how you do it”, usually is the speaker’s way of saying something nice right?  As in “you’re amazing”.  My mom is over here a lot, which is nice.  Today I was trying to make some breakfast and discuss the potato project afterwards, while fighting kind of an unusual mess even for a Monday.  I know what you’re thinking.  Something like “I can’t go to bed without making sure the kitchen is clean and ready to use in the mornings”, or “Mondays are so hard anyway I sure would never leave it messy the night before”.  Yeah, I know.   So anyway, while we are fighting the stuff, she sat down and said it:  “I just don’t know how you do it”.  And what *she* meant was, “I don’t know how you can think or do anything in this mess”.  I know her better than you so I know this is true :-) .  Now she actually thinks pretty highly of me, it’s just that she was commenting on something she just couldn’t handle right then.  I laughed to myself and just kept on going, but I felt it a bit too.  Some things just can’t be helped though and now I’m at the end of the day and things have worked out.   But the comment reminded me of when I tell people “You could eat off my kitchen floor”.   (the reason for that is that there is usually food on it).

Oldest daughter unit is visiting with her family.   While Lauryl and the 2 year old were playing in the girls room, Lauryl started shooting a hair band at the window.   The 2 year old then told her to “grow up”.  So Lauryl comes out to the kitchen to tell me this and laughingly says that if a 2 year old is telling her to grow up then she may need to take it seriously now.  We’ll see :-D

Well that’s all the news for now that I’m willing to part with anyway.  Some things should stay in my head and heart where they are safe.  Life has a way of working things out anyway.

Have a peaceful Christmas Season.  It was meant for that you know.  Not for stress or striving.

Quite Sincerely, Pam.

Quite Sincerely, Pam.

Driving miss Pam

Driving miss Pam

Driving miss Pam

With another child learning to drive, I once again am being chauffeured around the area.  At some point I’ll be able to bring a book.  I’ve rather enjoyed this time with each new driver.  It’s a good time to just go places together.

Speaking of another child: oldest daughter unit has had another, every bit as sweet as the first.  I can hardly wait to meet child number 2.  This new source of inspiration turns my activities rather quickly from produce to fabric.  You can see why:

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Local News:

The onset of the new school year sometimes brings odd yet interesting unit studies.  A local school kicked off with a “1970’s” unit.  Tie-dying, washing with patchouli soap, brownies.  Because of the nature of that decade, it was decided to limit things to those safe topics.  A brief music lesson on war protest songs was also included.

It has been noticed that during the busy season of late summer, baskets of clean clothes unmold rather like jello when finally turned out to be folded.  This object lesson in inertia and gravity and time, was demonstrated during story time, where they are currently navigating their way through Carry On Mr. Bowditch.

A recent trip to McDonald’s was… a good opening for a lesson on Agoraphobia, when “Coughing Guy” showed up to buy food.  Most folks backed up and sat down with or without their food, while others decided to just take it home (which was, of course, the right answer).

The weather is cooling, which means all recent experiments in plant propagation must move inside.  The Ku…..Geraniums first, since they are so touchy.  But the other Grandma involved in this must be told that things are looking up and a topiary form (think T. Rex) is on the horizon.
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Have a great September, at whichever Latitude you find yourself,

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

 

 

November hits

So Lilly went deer hunting.

So Lilly went deer hunting.

Lillian got a deer this year.  The jerky is made, we’ll be making sausage and bratwurst in a few days.  Then there will be a thorough scrubbing of the kitchen and we’ll move on.

Novembers, here in Minnesota, are usually gloomy,barren, brown, and dark, with little to recommend them.  Often we’ll say “we may as well just get snow”.  And this November, we have it.  It snarled traffic in the Twin Cities, but out here it’s just pretty.  Of course we must put on our “icy, snowy road” mind, skills and driving methods, because those who don’t, end up in ditches or fields.  So far, nobody I know.

In other news, I finished another re-reading of Adam Bede.  Again.  While the story itself is sad, with a lot of bits you find yourself wishing would be different this reading (rather like an Abraham Lincoln biography), the telling of it is so beautiful that I find a refreshed love of words, descriptions, phrase turns and the English language all over again. It also ends well enough.  It is odd though, how we like to identify with one character or another in our favourite stories.  We all might like to be rather like Dinah Morris, but inwardly cringe that we may in fact, tend more toward Hetty Sorrel, only to realize with a start, that worse yet, we may actually be most like Arthur Donnithorne.  I do know a real life Adam Bede though, even a Seth Bede perhaps.  Her Bartle Massey reminds me strongly of Silas Marner (in the book with the same name) and I often have wondered if she knows someone like that, and put him in both books.

The year is marching to its end, quickly.  I’ll try to stay afloat. Until next time:

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

 

As long as the earth endures

After a questionable, early spring with rare sun and lots of mud, we returned from Jeremiah’s wedding in NY to find the farm fields with that haze of green corn sprouts that feel hopeful and full of promise.  So I stop to ponder other hopeful things: visiting with distant family, knowledge of friends, words to songs, coffee in the wee morning, sunshine streaking across the fields just before setting.  And some days more than others, we must purpose to look for hopeful things.  Now that we are in June and spring is almost at an end, I look towards summer, with its regular paces of the perennials making their way through the weeks of summer.  Summer is what MN is all about (except for winter, and possibly spring), so we are looking forward to campfires, garden work, swimming, extreme warmth, and other routine events and rituals that add to our days.  Day by day we make our way through each season, knowing that the next one is not too far distant, but purposing to enjoy the one we are in to the fullest.

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Jonathan's spring turkey

Jonathan’s spring turkey

 Jonathan has returned to Haiti.  Sister Kim went with him for 2 weeks and they are enjoying some leisurely summer time there.  He came home and got right to business: he shot a turkey during our brief spring turkey season, and smoked it (it’s not as bad as it sounds).  He and Mark went fishing, and he visited church as often as he could while in town. He was in 2 weddings as well, so time flies.  Jacob is minus the use of his right arm for the summer, so we girls and Stephen will be the ones fighting back the woods and prairie this summer.  And Mark will help us along and fix our mistakes and equipment, when he is home and available.

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Local news miniature

There will be concerts in the white block silo (the acoustics are incredible) weekly.  Be sure to turn the electric fence off before squeezing between the wires to the silo entrance.  Concerts aren’t long since the pigeons still live in the top.

2 Roving ELCA pastors currently in the area, are having great success alienating people from religion as they visit various surgery sites wanting to pray with victims  patients before their surgery.  They are the ones who sit in the waiting room way too close to you, discussing loudly their various ecumenical programs, politically correct schemes, and different formats of worship.  Waiting room visitors who don’t quietly move away, have mentioned they prefer a humble friendly face and a real smile with no strings attached.

The new parakeet “Jeeves” has found his permanent spot right next to his best friend (the mirror).  The Parrot is attempting to bring this narcissus out of his trance by screeching at him.  Efforts are being made to re- program this Quaker parrot back to its pacifist roots as it continues to behave more Baptist than Quaker.

Next edition we will discuss the difference between pacifism and non-resistance.  Until then, take the name of Jesus with you.
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Missing Jon

4:00 am

early airport escalator visit

I suppose missing one’s son (or daughter if the case) is natural when they’ve been with you for 22 years through all the ups and downs of life, so I’m not saying

we're tired.

Bye Jonathan!

anything earthshaking.  And it is right to want Jonathan to find his own place in life. I will say though, that this guy is just a fun guy to have around.  His basic personality has carried through his life I guess :-) .  Right, so he is in Haiti now.  Just north of Port-au-Prince (sp?), to manage the C.A.M. warehouse.  He likes his house guy people and his room and the weather and the mountains and the ocean.  May you continue to see the best in all you come across Jonathan.