Saturday, March 21, 2015

Looking out

When I put the dog on his leash this morning to walk around our backyard, I asked myself if I should take my camera with. At first myself answered no because I have many, many pictures of my back yard, countless shots of the creek at high and low water, and even quite a series of shots of the forsythia bush I only planted last fall. But then I said to myself that if I saw a duck or heron I would want to take a picture, although myself reminded me that usually by the time I get my camera out of my pocket and switched on the bird has flown. I took the camera with anyway, but I didn't take any pictures outside.

It is cold and windy out, and the wind throws tiny drops of cold rain at one. Usually I am sheltered from the wind in our backyard because it is a declivity, but this morning it's blowing even there. I imagine, then, that up at street level it's an even colder, harder wind. So I got damp and chilly on the walk.

When I got inside, I took a picture through a living room window, since that is the kind of day it is--a day to stay inside and look out the window at the wind and rain.

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You can still see the forsythia in bloom. I made sure to plant it where I can see it from the living room windows so that in springs where the cold lingers and most flowers delay their blooming, when I am color-starved, I can look out and see that yellow bush. This has been an early spring, so that lots of fruit trees have bloomed already, but some years the forsythia is a lonely advance guard.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Westering

This is kind of a cool picture I took a couple weeks ago.

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It's looking west (where the sun sets) along the creek. I was walking the dog after work. It was before Daylight Saving Time kicked in and two or three weeks further back toward last winter's solstice so the sun was already close to the horizon before 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Workaday

Today was Tuesday, and I went to work again.

I've started reading a book called The Pleasures and Sorrows of Workby Alain de Botton. It's enjoyable--good writing, interesting thoughts.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday, Monday

Today was Monday. I went to work. (Tries to think of something interesting to say.) I guess a highlight was that a co-worker brought in some homemade chili so I had some for lunch.

I have the following comment to make about Daylight Savings Time:

video

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Firsts

We are still enjoying our extraordinarily early spring here in the Pacific Northwest. Yesterday in the morning I pottered on my deck, pulling old dead plants out of pots and watering the honeysuckle, which already is leafing out. It was my first potter of the year. Today I mowed the lawn for the first time.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Time Marches on

I found this poem on the web. I don't know who Susan Reiner is; I couldn't find a poet of such name anywhere, just the one poem attributed to her. Happy March 1st.

Spring Cleaning
by Susan Reiner

March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in
.

Apparently, March 1st is St. David's Day in Wales--St. David being the patron saint of Wales. I had not quite realized that. I knew that St. George was for England, St. James for Scotland, and St. Patrick for Ireland. I believe St. Teresa of Avila is one of two patron saints of Spain, and I think St. Joan of Arc is the patron saint of France. I wonder who is the patron saint of the United States? I just searched online, and the U.S. patron saint is Mary, the Immaculate Conception. I like better when someone local is the saint. I'm sure there must be saints from the U.S. that could become patron saints for us. A number of countries have more than one.

Actually, I'm not even a Roman Catholic, although of course I am a "catholic" as in "the holy catholic church, the communion of the saints."

Friday, February 27, 2015

Abide

Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.
(Luke 24:29)

Mostly I don't blog about events in my life because I don't want to compromise anyone else's privacy. But tonight it is heavy on my heart that tomorrow we'll start moving my mom into an assisted living facility. My dad will stay in their current apartment. They will be in the same building but in separate wings. I think this is the right thing to do, given their differing needs. I am glad they're in an excellent establishment. As far as I know, they feel okay about it.

But I am sad. Even with all the good things, it's sad to see life go inexorably through its stages toward the inevitable end. I am so blessed that my parents' stable, loving marriage has been a foundation for my life. They have been married for over 62 years. I'm sad to move them into separate units.

Many years ago, when I was a young woman, my mom was about the age I am now, and my mom's mom was not quite as old as my mom is now, my grandma was in an assisted living facility, too. It was in New Jersey, her home state. My parents and I visited there shortly after I graduated from high school. Here we are...I am on the left, 18 years old:

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That visit was the last time I saw my maternal grandmother. I remember that I saw her in the dining hall and after dinner the staff led the residents in singing "Count Your Blessings." Afterwards, my grandma complained that she and others wanted to sing "Abide With Me," but the staff made them sing "Count Your Blessings."

For my mom's mom, then, here is the hymn of her choice:



Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O, thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Complete

Okay. Well, here it is.

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A knit bookmark. I laid it on the closed lid of my laptop to take the picture.