dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

God’s Artistry….

Our home is surrounded by woods, in our backyard and across the street.  It is amazing and peaceful.

Each morning as I take the dog to the back yard to let him roam and do his business, I look at the woods behind the house. I repeat a verse of my favorite poem by Robert Frost, “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” .   Each morning the stanza, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep.  But, I have promises to keep.  And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.”  This echoes in my thoughts and has become a sort of prayer for me.  I look at the woods, hear this verse and then ask the Lord that I make the most of my day and keep the promises I have made to others, knowing that there are many hours before I go to sleep.

This morning as I stood looking at the woods,  I could hear our stream flowing, and the wind rustling through the trees.  I realized that I could see a pathway through the woods today, which has always been there, but, is hidden well during the summer months.

I came inside thinking about this. God is an amazing artist.  Each season He paints masterpieces for us to enjoy daily.  During the summer, He uses a palate of greens and blues.  The woods are deep green, hiding the browns and grays of the bark of the trees.  The green overtakes everything and somehow all I focus on is the brilliant shades of green surrounding me.  The summer months remind me of a sauna.  Not one of my favorite things.  They are hot and stifling.  Being  outside in the summer is hard for me.  I work outside and enjoy what I am doing, but, I do have to concentrate hard and in doing so, I miss much of the surrounding beauty there.  In summer the colors have feeling to them.  Each breath you take in the summer, to me, is inhaling the blue of the sky, the green of the grasses and the trees.  Summer invades me top to bottom.

Fall is breaking through now.  This morning reminded me of the fragile line that divides seasons.  You have to look for it, or you miss its gentle passing.  One day is hot and humid, the next is warm and breezy.  It’s that hint that comes gently into the air.  That hint that changes the palate from dark greens to greens that are slowly fading.  The greens of the trees are fading into yellow and rust, while leaves dance like confetti.   The sun teases the eye and you see things highlighted that you hadn’t seen for a while.   A path to the stream at the foot of the hill.  A bird house that usually blends into the trees, illuminated by an autumn sun.  A deer path across the street that invites your eye to follow as far as you can.

My imagination stirs in fall.  I see God’s handiwork and I get excited.  He is the original artist.  He created colors.  He created depth.  He created sound.  He created.  Today, as I took my dog out for his morning break, I walked into God’s gallery.  I felt the warmth of the sun, heard the whisper of the trees, saw the dance of the leaves and saw paths waiting to be walked.

 The woods are lovely, dark and deep.  But, I have promises to keep.  And miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep.    Happy Fall.  Enjoy the masterpieces surrounding you today.   Cathi (DAF)

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Shadows…

It’s only the beginning of August, I know.  But, somehow, during this past week there has been a change.

As I sit and look out to our screen porch, I notice the shadows.  The room is not filled with sunlight like it was just a week ago.  This morning, it is filled with lazy shadows.  The sun has cast its light on the trees and bushes around the house and it filters long and lazy shadows on the screen.  When I went out earlier, it was warm and humid, but not like it was.  There is that ever faint, ever timid feeling that fall is coming soon.

I know school is about to start and families are stocking up on school supplies and clothes, but summer is hanging on, trying to get the last few weeks of swimming and gardening and weeding and sweating out of us.

I love days like this, where you still want to put on a swimsuit, but are also tempted to find a cozy corner and sip something with winter spices in it.  I love when the Lord  gives you a suggestion of the next season all the while keeping it the current one.  It’s a day of smiles at how seasons pass.

Me?  On this glorious day that hints of fall and feels like summer?  I am sitting with my jeans on sipping a wonderful iced coffee.   Hope you enjoy your weekend.  I think I will.  Thanks for stopping by, DAF (Cathi)

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A Time to Look Back…

Today felt like fall.  There was a crispness in the air that made it seem like fall arrived.  It was wonderful.  The sun shone through the trees and it looked different than it did even yesterday.  Fall is making it’s appearance and I am excited.

This afternoon and into this evening, as I sat watching the sun makes it’s journey through the trees, I sat and watched old videos of Little Man.  He starts back to preschool tomorrow, an old pro now, going into the “big” kids class for the three-year olds.

I watched videos of him playing with his play-dough.  Looking at the shapes and telling me the numbers and letters he picked up.  There were videos of him eating, covered with berry juice, and one of him signing and asking for more “bluey’s”… his name for blueberries for a short while.

Earlier, I talked with hubby who is visiting Little Miss this week.  He held her while she was crying, trying not to go down for a nap.  Putting me on speaker, we both talked with her to extend her ‘awake’ time.

All of this made me realize how quickly time passes.  The seasons of the year fly by.  Soon, the leaves will be off the trees.  The sky will be gray.  Snow may fall.

Just as quickly, Little Man and Little Miss will grow even more.  Already Little Man talks to me about the presidents, their first ladies, and tells me about the countries that are on his map of the world.  His world expands daily.

Little Miss grins a toothy smile now.  She pulls herself up and will be walking within weeks.  Soon she will be like Little Man and telling me things she is learning.

A part of me wants time to slow down.  I want to cherish each moment.  But, I can’t slow things down, and honestly, I don’t want it to slow down.  Each season is an adventure, whether it is the changing weather outdoors, or the seasons of a toddler’s life.

I am grateful today.  Today I have spent the day in memories and thoughts of what is to come.  This I have thought all day, I am blessed.  God has been and continues to be good to me.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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The Middle of August, almost…

Each year about this time, I want it to be fall.  I want to pull out my leaf garland and my pumpkins and have it be fall.  I know that it is still summer.  It is still hot and humid out, but, there is always just a hint of fall in the air around this time.

Moving to a new place, I am really aware of that certain something in the air.  Some of our leaves are turning yellow.  This may be normal for the bushes,  I really don’t know.  I have to say, though, those yellow leaves are only adding to my anticipation of fall.

It’s fun to be in a new home this year.  Seeing the differences each day that either I hadn’t noticed, or that something has changed.    The pool is still beckoning me to jump in and swim, but, something in my thought process has changed.  I can’t wait to see the leaves change colors, to see them fall, and even have it cool enough to rake them.

But, for now, I will sit and wait,listening to the cicadas and knowing the season will soon be here and before I know it, I will be putting Christmas decorations away and looking forward to spring flowers.  There is a big kid inside me.  The kid that is always looking forward to the next thing.  That kid needs to have a time out to stop and notice the beauty and the things in front of her now.

Thanks for stopping by.  DAF

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Could it be possibly be?

I really dislike warm weather.  I was excited to go to San Diego at first because I was leaving the 90 degree temps that are so common here in South Carolina in September.

I was excited until I realized that San Diego was hot also.

I felt like I couldn’t escape from the heat.  Upon returning to Charleston the temperatures were warm.  Not the 90’s, but high 80’s.  Yesterday I walked out of the house in the morning to walk our dog.  Opening the door, I was hit by warmth.  My immediate reaction was not positive (which fit in with my day yesterday).

Last night we had rain.  There was a bit of thunder with it also.  Hubby and I took our dog for his last walk last night and hubby remarked how much cooler it was.  We always disagree on the temperature, anything lower than 90 is cool to him.  Personally, the colder, the better.

This morning as I left the house for my morning walk, it was cooler!  I was so excited.  Maybe, possibly, summer is over?  After all, it is almost November.  The leaves are falling off some of the trees.  I think they are just done with the heat and have decided to commit suicide and leave the trees without changing any color.  (It’s hot, I’m done, good-bye cruel world!)

So, hopeful that the sun shining in the woods behind our home is a sign that it is now fall and soon the trees will be bare, I write about my favorite of seasons.  Fall, that season that says we survived the heat of summer.  Fall, that season that welcomes in the holidays.  Fall, that season where we can legally eat pumpkin pie and not be stared at for not eating berries.  Fall, that season that allows us to pull out sweaters and jeans and socks that cover the ankle.   Yes, I am excited.

Technically fall arrived a couple of weeks ago.  It says so on the calendars.  Also the stores are filled with Halloween, a bit of Thanksgiving and  Christmas.  The signs have all been here, except for the weather.  My sweatshirts are calling my name.  I hear them from the closet.  Now, if only this weather holds and gets a little colder…  Maybe, just maybe fall has arrived?

Thanks, DAF

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On an Adventure…

It seems so strange to not have to write a post today and yet, all day I kept feeling like I was missing something.

 

This morning we took our little puppy to spend the weekend with two of his friends, Hank and Clark.  He will play and run with them while hubby and I are on an adventure.

 

Hubby, who is looking at being housebound for several weeks starting this week, wanted to get away.  One last drive before his arm is bound and there will be no more driving, no more shifting gears, no more passing safely.  He will be chair bound.

 

So, after dropping off our Shugo, we got in the car and headed to the mountains.  It started to be a gorgeous drive until we hit rain and more rain, and traffic and fog.  I was relieved he was doing the driving.  But, now, here we sit, unwinding and enjoying the sunny view out our hotel window.  I can see the leaves on the trees, red and orange and vibrant.

 

Will take pictures and will share more of our adventure later!  Thanks for stopping by!  DAF

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Bitten….. 31 Days of Observing…

31 Days Observing

The other evening it was perfect walking weather, nice and warm.  Hubby and I went out with the dog for our usual evening rounds.  On our way we met up with another couple from down the street.  Actually, we heard them before we saw them, as their boxer was straining at her leash to run wild.  Their dachshund was running free and they were unable to get to him.

Our Shugo was just curious about what was going on.  Being attracted to the female and annoyed with the little dachshund nipping at his paws.  It was a circus moment, something happening in each ring!

We talked with our neighbors while sorting out the dogs.  I kept noticing the mosquitoes in the air.  They buzzed me several times and I continued to swat at them.

A day later I had this observation…. the mosquitoes in their last hurrah before cold weather were having their own Thanksgiving feast on me.  I have bites all over my arms, legs, and ankles.  The worst?  Some little bug decided to go for the whipped cream, I have a bite right beside my thumbnail.  I have never had a mosquito bite there.   I hope they enjoyed their feast, because I will be glad to see them go!

Bitten… I bet you thought it had something to do with the current fascination of vampires, right?  No, not me…

Thanks for stopping by today, DAF

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Ponds…. 31 Days of Observing…

31 Days Observing

There are ponds all over the low country.  It seems that most neighborhoods have at least one pond.  Our first house had a beautiful pond in the back yard.  It was a graceful looking pond.  It butted up to the marsh and there were lovely pines and palmetto trees and marsh grasses.  A pathway led around the pond and the neighborhood children were often seen playing in the area.  Yes, we had the occasional alligator or two or three, but it was a genteel pond.  It was clean, manicured and a delight to look at.

Now, the pond at our current house is unsophisticated.  It is a deep narrow pond.  It looks like a drainage ditch, if truth be told.  It is unkempt.  A large growth of brush is at one end of the pond.  It is never cut, or at least has never been cut since we have lived here.  The mowers come in, circle the pond and leave.  A sign on the other side of the pond says, ‘Do not feed alligator.  Do not throw anything into the water.’   Wise words considering there are three resident alligators living there.

Weekly, one of the neighbors and his children come to feed the alligators.  They throw bread into the pond, like they are feeding ducks.  Also, weekly there is a bottle or two floating in the pond.  Hubby has bravely pulled out several containers since we have moved in.

This pond is different from the one we had the pleasure of living by before.   I look at the pond daily, in fact, several times a day.  I have enjoyed watching the gators and the birds that come by for visits.

In looking the past couple days, I have seen beauty appear at this pond.  At first, it was the cattail opening up that caught my eye.  They were by the thick brush at the one end of the pond.  Yesterday I saw yellow at each end of the pond and there were yellow daisy like flowers blooming.  The pond is coming alive with color and texture.   It is amazing to me, as this was the last place I had expected to see beauty in this neighborhood.

My observation is simple today.  When we least expect it and in places we think are void of beauty, beauty will appear.  I need to keep my eyes truly open to see the beauty that I may miss in expecting the normal.

Thanks for stopping by today, DAF

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On Missing a Way of Life… 31 Days of Observing…

31 Days Observing  
This morning I spent some time reading posts on my Reader section.   There was a post from Adopting James titled “We Know Jack”  (http://adoptingjames.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/we-know-jack/).
It was about the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas”  (Tim Burton’s 1993 movie).   It was a great post to read, but what it did was transport me to Disneyland.  I could see the decorations that grace the Haunted Mansion in the park from Halloween until the beginning of the year.  The music plays while waiting for the ride and all through the ride.  You walk around the park for the rest of your visit humming it.  Sometimes it is a duet with the other themes of rides, so that it can become a cacophony of music in your head.
After reading this post, I was immediately homesick for a drive up to Disneyland.  For 27 years I was able to drive to Disneyland.  It  was less than two hours away.  No gps or maps were needed, I got in the car and drove. I know my way there.
This got me thinking, always a bit dangerous.   I miss that way of life.  I miss the way I lived when I was in San Diego.  I never thought I would say that.  I was glad to leave the west coast and move east.  It was a dream I held for at least 27 years while living in California.
I miss being able to meet friends for a walk and either have coffee or a meal afterwards.  I miss shopping at the malls with all the good stores there.  I miss meeting our dear friends for coffee and or dinner and movies on Friday nights.  I miss the mountains and the apple pies and apple picking there.  I miss knowing my way around like the back of my hand, knowing that if I am not certain where I am, if I head toward the water, I will eventually find out where I am.  I miss real Mexican food, with real salsa.  I miss it all.
Now, that all seems nice, doesn’t it?  I have to confess that, while in San Diego, I missed Maine.  I missed the coast and the rocky shoreline.  I missed the snowstorms, I missed the little military housing community I lived in.  I missed my friends in my neighborhood.  I missed the lobsters and the blueberry pies.  I missed Mt Desert and Bar Harbor.  I missed it all.
Finding a pattern here?  In Maine, I missed Japan.  I missed seeing Mt Fuji out my windows.  I missed the excitement of living overseas.  I missed the food and the smells and the noise.  I missed riding my bicycle everywhere.  I missed living in early occupation housing with all its challenges.  I missed my friends.
Yes, this is my observation today.  Seasons change.  Not just outside in nature, but in our lives.  Change is inevitable.  We can’t help it.  It happens.  For our growth, for our lives, because we serve a God who knows what is the very best for us.
I have spent the past several months missing our old house here in Charleston.  It was beautiful.  The neighborhood was idyllic.  It was comforting and I love it.  Our new place, I am grateful for.  I am learning also, that there will be things that I will eventually miss about this place too.  The way the wind blows through the tress in the backyard.  The ugly pond (more like a drainage ditch), that is home to three alligators.  I never would have been able to watch the gators swim around like I do here.  I actually enjoy watching them.  One loves to swim all day long.  One almost frolics in the water and the largest one makes the theme song from Jaws run through my mind.
Yes, the autumn of this year is upon us.  It has brought with it a cooler temperature, changing and falling leaves and most importantly, a changing attitude in me.  This is another season of my life.  Not perfect.  Not ideal. But, time that I will grow to enjoy and appreciate.  A time of learning and discovering.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
thank you for stopping by today.  I appreciate your visit.  DAF
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Solitude…. 31 Days of Observing….

31 Days Observing 
Hubby had an errand this morning.  He asked me join him, and I declined.  I didn’t feel like going out, especially where he was headed.
So, for the first time in a while, I am home alone.  Not just for an hour, but for more.  It is delicious.  It is quiet.  It is exactly what I have needed.
I am an introvert.  I love quiet times of solitude.  It is refreshing to me.  It energizes me.  Yes, I could be a hermit and be quite content, I am that bad.
I have learned to deal the past couple years.  Hubby is not noisy, he is not bothersome (for the most part 🙂 ), but he is here.  His presence all day long and all night long can be tiring for me.  Having spent a great deal of our marriage with him deployed and then on business trips, this time together is a challenge for me.  One I don’t always conquer.
But, today, this morning, I am alone.  I have forgotten how lovely it is to be the only one in the house.  I finished getting some things organized and put away from earlier and I sat down for a cup of coffee and a piece of toast.  Just for me.  I did not have to get coffee and toast for anyone else.  I did not have to talk to anyone.  I sat, alone at the table, the dog at my feet and enjoyed myself.  The coffee with just a hint of sweet and cream and the toast, wheat bread just the right hardness to it with melted butter on it.  I sat and enjoyed the coffee and the salty toast.  It was close to heaven.  I read some Psalms and some words a good friend had written me four years ago.  The words, then, were nice but somehow didn’t mean much to me.  Rereading them this morning, I realized how much they describe the past couple years.  The words, prophetic to me, encouraged me unexpectedly.  I talked with the Lord.  I had a great quiet time.  A slow time, not rushed to make certain I should do something for hubby.  It was just me.  I savored the time.
Looking out our window I watched as bright red leaves danced in the wind.  They will abandon their posts soon and the branches will be bare until spring.  I hadn’t noticed the tree for a while and somehow, even that, made my morning complete.
Today, with time alone, I am observing a quiet life I took for granted.  It is a wonderful respite.
Hoping you rediscover a calm today also, DAF
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