Saturday, April 10, 2010

Trees and grass

Dad and I planted a new tree. It's an incense cedar. My dad loves to plant trees.

The smaller tree in the foreground here is a green Japanese maple. Dad and I planted that a few years ago. Behind it is a contorted willow. It is truncated because it became diseased so all the infected branches had to be cut off.

We had the yard reseeded, too, and it is growing. But the reason I took this picture is the robin in the center. Robins have been back for some weeks now, maybe even since February. It's great.

Spring is now so well advanced that there's no turning back.

The title of this post makes me remember some good books I read when I was girl. It was a trilogy by Conrad Richter, The Trees, The Fields, and The Town.

When I was in high school, there was a TV miniseries based on these, starring Elizabeth Montgomery.

I recall being quite pleased with the miniseries in terms of its faithfulness to the books and the quality of the acting. Just now, looking at is on Amazon, I see that it had some pretty high-powered stars besides Miss Montgomery, like Hal Holbrook and Jane Seymour.

I remember liking that the main character named her first son "Resolve."

Conrad Richter wrote a number of good books about the American frontier. I should go look up who he was, what his background was, and try to figure out why he wrote those books. Nowadays, you can find so much information just by googling a name.

Anyway, I loved pioneer stories when I was a girl. The absolute pinnacle of my love was the Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House" series, not to be confused with the treacly TV series of the same name. The last two Sundays when I was at church and there was time between when the choir practiced and when church started, then I went to the church library and found the Little House books and started reading By the Shores of Silver Lake. That book starts out so sad, with sister Mary going blind from scarlet fever and then their faithful dog, Jack, dying of old age.

Well, I'm getting carried away with Amazon links, here. I just got a gadget that lets me put them in just by clicking. It's too easy.

Working waiting to be done

Things I need to do out on the deck.

1. Empty and clean out the pond. See, it's sandy and has leaves on the bottom.

2. Put stuff where it belongs. We had the deck rebuilt--notice it's made of pavers now instead of wood. While they tore out the old and put in the new, the workers moved all my stuff out of the way, then they put it back. But none of it is where I want it.

I can't move those big half-barrels by myself, especially the ones that are full of dirt and living plants. I need to get some strong young people to help me--preferably by doing the heavy work while I just point to where I want the planters.

But all this will have to wait a couple weeks. I know it won't happen this weekend, and next weekend I'm out of town. Saturday I'll be at the last day of the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College, and Sunday I'll be traveling back home. So two weeks from now is the soonest I'll get any work done.

I would like to have the deck "sittable" by Mother's Day, which I traditionally host so that the moms in my family don't have to do any cooking.

I should add a third item:

3. Assemble the furniture I've bought--a rocking chair from True Value Hardware, and two Adirondack chairs I ordered through Amazon, plus a potting table I plan to buy at True Value. All require assembly.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Resurrection Sunday

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him."

Mark 16:5-6

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maundy Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today is Maundy Thursday. Based on the Gospels, this evening is the evening when Jesus washed his disciples feet, celebrated the Passover with them and, in that context, instituted the Lord's Supper, then progressed to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed to be spared death but submitted to his Father's will, then was betrayed by Judas and arrested.

There is so much to think about and take in on this night. My heart is always moved by Jesus' acknowledgment to his disciples in Gethsemane that his own heart was sorrowful even unto death--Matthew 26:28:

"My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" - King James Version

"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death" - New International Version

This, and the anguish of his prayer to the Father to take this cup from him, "yet not my will but yours be done" (Luke 22:32), "And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground" (Luke 22:44).

When we read these passages, we cannot take his sacrifice lightly. As the great hymn says, "What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend, for this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end? O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee."