Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Simply Thankful for This Day

Yesterday was a four swim day. I started it with a kayak across the still lake . Then I kayaked back across to the spot we swim and went for a swim before kayaking back to where I put the kayak in. I tried very hard to concentrate less on the effort of paddling and more on the wonder of being there. I am always conscious of keeping the kayak upright and can not fully relax . I usually wait until I am floating on my back to truly let the amazement of the place sink in to my brain. These days though I am a bit on alert as one of my neighbors warned against leeches. In all the years of swimming in this lake neither Burton or I or any of our kids have had a leech attach itself to us. I bring my little container of salt just in case but it occurs to me that worrying about leeches is something like worrying about everything else. The worry can sometimes interfere with the wonder and can cloud what blessings we have in the present. We can not possibly worry about every thing that could happen and the reality of it is that worrying about any of it does not change what will come about. That is not to say that I shouldn't wear my life jacket or that I shouldn't try to make safe choices . But the magnitude of the range of suffering this life brings can not be altered by the amount of worry we expend. Our joy can though and that is the lesson I repeatedly try to teach myself. We are good at saying 'take one day at a time' but are we as good at actually doing that? My last swim yesterday was glorious. I had picked a lot of peas , Ashlie had helped me shell them and I was just cleaning up the pantry after a late supper and freezing the peas when Burton suggested that we go for a late evening swim. Anyone that knows me knows that 11:00 is more my bedtime than the time to head to the lake. Without a second thought I said yes and off we went but I can't say that I never gave leeches a second thought. The water was amazing. The sky was a painting of stars and a partial moon and cloud cover that created a beautiful effect. It was a perfect end to the day. One day that I was given and this morning I begin another and with the lessons of yesterday I say again how truly thankful I am.

Friday, August 21, 2015

August Winding Down

Sitting on my back veranda last evening after a full day of picking beans with several swims and a few minutes in my kayak I tried very hard to take in August. One thing about August evenings , the bugs are not so bad and you can actually sit outside. The air was still and all around me I could see the efforts of the hours of work we put in during the spring and summer months. I thought about the high snowbanks that covered the veranda last winter making it necessary to snowshoe up a bank to get out of the house from January to April. Predictions are that we are going to get another similar winter, so August evenings should be so precious. Yesterday I picked beans all day and Burton took them to Kredl's. When I start to tackle the picking of the long rows of beans I question my reasoning for planting so many. Some day perhaps our gardens will shrink to a reasonable size. I have enjoyed watching the corn grow and we anticipate having ripe corn within a week or so. My sunflowers are reaching their gigantic potential. Peas are plentiful and new potatoes are there for the digging. I really do love the rewards of August and the rewards of hard work. Our animal contingent continues to grow. We welcomed two new calves to the farm this week and apparently more are on the way. Egg production is up and the turkeys are living the good life in their new yard. The pigs are enjoying lots of treats provided by a neighbor that offers a steady supply of spoiled food. Broccoli is a big hit. A couple of days ago I purchased some bargain school supplies for my friend Kathy, who will return to the classroom in a few days. A small part of me longed to fill my shopping cart with notebooks, journals and packages of paper and once more head toward the challenges and joys of September in the classroom. Instead I will find my way back to my desk and into another book. I am very anxious for that as well as the other jobs of fall like pickle making and harvesting. I will watch the last days of August unfold. To everything a season and right now I will relish this one as it comes to an end. More swimming, more kayaking, more picking beans and peas and more reminiscing.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Three and a Half More Sleeps

Sitting down to write this entry this morning I thought it was going to be all about my granddaughters and the wind down of their visit. It is safe to say they have certainly saturated my thoughts since I brought them home on July 21st. It is a lot of work having a six and three year old in the house. Many times I have quoted the line "having children is for the young". I am TIRED! Been there done that, so to speak. I raised four kids and I know at the time it was a lot of work but it came gradually and was the life I was living at the time. Dropping two little girls in to a household with two 'mature adults ' that are set in their ways provides a whole different dynamic. I love those two little girls but I am counting the sleeps. My son and his wife will leave in the middle of the night and head for the airport on Thursday to take the girls home. We will look forward to next summer when they return but I am looking forward right now to some other things. Here are a few; evenings when I do not have to get two girls to give in to the much needed break a good night's sleep will give all of us,not picking up a trail of precious treasures they have collected throughout the day and left wherever they lost interest in them, no more negotiating one more bite of food into Paige's stubborn mouth while at the same time refusing to let her have one more bowl of cheesies, not having to calm down Emma after her latest dramatic outburst over something that in five minutes she could care less about, not taking twenty minutes to pull off a departure that normally would take two minutes,not worrying that Paige's next move will result in a boo boo, not having to cover each of Paige's bug bites with a bandage and then somehow convince her that the bandage has to come off eventually, not constantly thinking up reasons why they can't go see Brianne, not having to convince them that Ashlie might not want to play with them non stop after she has worked all day. The list goes on just as the list I could make of the joys they have brought us during their visit. Oh how we will miss their hugs and hearing their little feet toddle in to get us up in the morning. When Paige says 'Monkkkk' in her drawn out manner I crumple and just about give her anything she wants. That is why I am the grandmother and not in charge of raising her. The other thing that became so clear to me when I sat down this morning is how anxious I am to get back to work. My plan is to start writing August 31st when the teachers go back to school. I can't wait to let my next book come. Yesterday, at the market I had the pleasure of talking to Margie, a reader that brought a friend to my table to encourage her to buy one of my books. Margie said that she would like to just stand at my table all morning and sell my books. She read Ten Thousand Truths and any writer would be thrilled with the review she gave it. I believe she used the word 'phenomenal'. I know she did because I wrote it right down in my market journal.(yes of course I have a market journal)I tell you, moments like that make getting up for the market every Saturday more than worth while. Moments like that also fuel the desire to get back to my office and back to the process that brings another book to life. A book that started from some idea and emotion came together and brought idea and emotion in a reader . I shake my head in the wonder of that. I shake my head in awe and thankfulness; that I get to write and that I get to connect to someone that reads what I write. I really could go on at great lengths about that but I do have two little girls waiting for me to engage in the last few days of their summer of 2015 visit. For now that is the important work that I have been given the privilege of doing. My other work will be there waiting for me.