Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Beauty

When Gerald and I met up for lunch at Cracker Barrel the other day while I was in town for an annual cardiology check up and then an afternoon physical therapist appointment, I joined in with the other customers exclaiming over the colorful beauty of the first tulips I have seen blooming this spring.

My life right now is composed of three times a week physical therapy to strengthen my legs to avoid falls, helping out at Katherine’s, thinking about and praying for Jeannie, watching loved ones’ softball games when I can, and doing the little I need to do here at Woodsong to keep Gerald and me fed and trying to not let the dishes pile up. (I don’t want the kitchen to look like my paper piled office that I never seem to have time to file or sort through. In the past, I have tolerated my office mess by acknowledging that I am “paper rich.” Now a more honest description might be “messy paper hoarder.” While it is possible to move around at least, I would not want the TV cameras in my office.)

Because the life I am living is not the retirement I planned, I work hard to keep my spirits up. There really is no longer time for lunch with friends—at least not very often—and participating in organizations is no longer an option either. Reading is too often limited to scanning the daily newspaper. I thought at this time of life, I would be reading all those non-fiction books we have collected. They hold knowledge I had hoped to gain. Instead of what I had anticipated, I try to enjoy my social life on Facebook, which is sometimes trivial but other times quite rich. Surfing gives me instant gratification if I google for specific answers to questions. Most of all, I enjoy the spring beauty here in Southern Illinois as I look out our windows or drive to and from town.

Rain-laden unplowed fields are purple with henbit, a tiny plant I love bringing memories of building Easter nests as a child and learning from Jeannie’s international college friend, who spent one Easter with us, that this little blossom is called “Throne of Buddha” in Japan. Cones of lacy white blossoms top the region’s pear trees, but already are beimg replaced with cones of green leaves. In the flower bed at the end of our patio, paper whites bloom to join the fading beauty of the double daffodils Gerald dug up from a long ago homestead area here on the farm I strongly prefer the delicate shape of single daffodils, but I like it that we have something planted from someone else’s past enjoyment of our land. Gerald’s little flower bed near the driveway greets us with the single daffodils, paper whites, pink and blue hyacinths, and now tulips. Our red bud is beginning to bloom, but many in town are at the height of their purplish-pink beauty. Jeannie is even getting to enjoy blooms up in Freeport when she bikes or walks. Their blooms come later than ours often times, but then they last longer. Isaw the first dogwood and the first lilacs of the season at Katherine's today.

There is so much to be thankful for in our lives, and I don’t want to miss out or be blinded to the good things despite sad and scary news on the television or the sad and scary things in our children’s lives. After technicians came to change our server this morning, we no longer have a time limit on what we can click on our computers. So Gerald and I listened together to a sermon today. The preacher reminded us that Jesus said not to worry and not to be afraid. I like that, and I have tried to follow that teaching of His today Sometimes I succeeded.

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