Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Life's Happenings--Sad and Happy Ones

Since I knew not to count chickens before they hatch, perhaps I should have known not to assume that Ian the Sebastopol goose was here permanently. But he seemed so content and healthy, and I surmised he was able to survive. However, we have not seen him on the lake for several days now, and I am really sad about that. The only good thing is that we have not seen any feathers or half eaten body, so maybe he walked away, but I fear not.

Our neighbor across the road from us had a lake built last fall, and I kept looking over hoping Ian might have walked across the road and over there, but I suspected I was fantasizing. I do enjoy seeing her beautiful lake just as I used to enjoy seeing her horses play in the meadow there when she still had horses. But no Ian.

Friday night we watched Texas A&M softball play Alabama as we ate supper in Gerald’s office. Since we lost, it was disappointing. Because of the rain coming in on Sunday, it was decided for the next two games to be a Saturday double header. I was watching the two games off and on as I came and went from Katherine’s house helping out there. Mary Ellen joined us during the last game, which I am glad to report we won by a huge score after losing the first two games.

Oregon was not playing last weekend, but we had exciting news when Geri Ann was drafted to play on the Akron, Ohio, Racers this summer. I knew that was how she hoped to spend the summer, so I am glad it worked out well for her. Oregon is on the term system rather than semester, and she will need to return for one more term this fall, so a summer of professional play fits well for her summer job.

I like hearing all the spring news of our grandchildren. We were pleased to have a visit from our grandson Trent one windy day. We had to go outside and enjoy the weather with him because he brought his dad’s drone over and took photographs of our place and then came in and visited with us. That was neat to hear his plans. His sister Brianna down at Murray was in their annual long traditional All-Campus Sing with her honors group and they won first place in their category, and the next day she ran her first 5K! Cecelie was participating in Freeport High School’s traditional variety show called Show Time, and I was sad I did not get to go as we usually did for her older siblings. Attending was one of my favorite things to do; and, of course, Sam had to go with us. Driving to the top of the state is not as easy for us as it was a few years ago, and I must accept that. For the first time, Sam had to be states away for his birthday down in Texas this week. However Katherine managed to give an early birthday supper for him during Easter break, and I was able to drop in for that.

Change is expected and proper as children and grandchildren grow up, and I actually rejoice in all their activities. Yet there is also some nostalgia with the knowledge that I will see less and less of them as they go on to fulfill what they are supposed to do in life. I eagerly seek out Elijah’s writings on Facebook to see how he is experiencing student teaching. Erin shared a brief essay with us that she wrote about the farm at a writing conference a couple weekends ago, and seeing her memories made me very happy but still with a touch of sadness. Gerald’s photography hobby provides me constant visual reminders of family members and gatherings, and I love seeing them on several walls as well as on his computer screen as they flash by. Yet seeing the new more grown-up photo of our great grandsons right beside earlier younger photos also makes me aware of how fleeting life is.

Gary Havener, a school mate of our children died this week. He was much too young, but he had been very ill for several years. Gerald has been quite sick with a bad cold and terrible cough all week, and we were not able to attend services in Gary’s honor, but we grieved at life’s cruel seeming injustices. His wife did such a brave job taking care of him. She has been one of my heroines, and I have always been blessed by her upbeat determination to care for her family while she continued to be concerned about the rest of us in our community.

Speaking of nostalgia, we have not had asparagus in the garden for many years even though at the other house it was an important vegetable on our table. Gerald’s dad always grew it, and he helped us get that asparagus patch going. We missed it. Yesterday Gerald brought in our first mess from the new patch he has created. Along with chicken and dumplings, I prepared it for noon dinner today, and it was so good.

Tonight we ate a hamburger supper in the family room while we watched on television as Georgia beat Tennessee in softball. That too was nostalgic as we watched players we rooted for two years ago; and, of course, we rooted for them again tonight.

As we finished the evening, more news about the terrible Ecuador earthquake came on. Gerald remarked how minor our troubles are in comparison to the horrors down there. And we know many other places on this globe where the suffering is equally difficult to contemplate. I am grateful for those courageous enough throughout the world who step in and help.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

The Redbud! Yes!!

The redbud, crab apple, forsythia, and peach are all adding colorful beauty to this lovely spring awakening with the pear and other trees’ white blossoms giving a softening contrast. The fields in government program were burned as required by Gerald with some help from our son-in-law Brian. Now their blackened ugliness is almost replaced with bright new grass. Fields of pink/purple henbit and other fields of bright yellow wild mustard please my eyes. I don’t know enough about farming to know whether henbit and mustard enrich or deplete the soil for future crops, but I enjoy seeing those colorful fields. (I guess they deplete, but when plowed under perhaps everything comes out even. I need to ask Gerald.) I saw my first dogwood in bloom yesterday and once more rejoiced in spring’s glory. And the tulips are up! At this time of year, spring is my favorite season although autumn will be my favorite six months from now.

Jeannie has come and gone. It was a quick visit for only part of two days, but she got to meet Ian, the white fluffy goose, as did the grandkids during Easter weekend. Ian’s owner said he knew his name, but he did not respond when the grandkids called him. Gerald and I like trying to spot him over on the island or swimming beside it or, best of all, swimming along in a line with his wild geese buddies who fly in and out.

Rosy Cole, a writer friend over in England, wondered of Ian could mate with the wild geese. I have no idea, but it is interesting to speculate what might come out of hatched eggs if such a thing happened. When we first moved here, we had a white female wild goose on the lake who was sterile. Gerald and the grandkids named her Aflack, and the kids loved for me to fix them one of Aflack’s eggs. For some reason, the other geese shunned her, and I felt sad when I saw her all alone. Then she started helping out by sitting on other geese’s nests while they took a break, and suddenly she seemed to be accepted. But fall came and she flew away with the others, and we never saw her again. Since Sebastopol geese cannot fly, maybe Ian will be here for a long time.

Gerald works hard in the garden almost every day, and we are excited about the possibility of strawberries and asparagus. He built a short fence for the blackberries bushes to climb up. I always wanted a strawberry patch back when Gerald was too engaged with crops and pigs to add on other projects. Now I am fearful I may be too old to be able to get down to pick them—which used to be one of my favorite things to do.

We stay busy watching our two softball teams—sometimes A&M on one computer and Oregon on the other at the same time. More often, however, the time difference keeps them playing at separate times. I am almost through my cardiac rehab sessions, but then I have some major dental problems to spend time on. Always something it seems to take my time and give me an excuse for my messy office.