Friday, May 30, 2014

I Have Flowers!

I have flowers on the deck again. After a long, long winter of deadness and barrenness outside my deck windows/doors, I could hardly wait to get new flowers in those pots. I knew better than to plant too early--it is Wyoming.

Finally, I felt safe in buying my petunias. Then, with positive weather forecasts and a lunch on the deck planned for Memorial Day, I started planting like crazy.

I can only plant when it is not too hot and I'm not in direct sun. A medication I took a few years ago with disastrous results has left me with a sun allergy. With my pale skin (oh, yes, I envy the "brown" family members, since I got our dad's fair skin rather than our mom's darker, easy-to-tan variety) I've always burned easily. Now I have weird break outs of allergy bumps if I get too much direct sun on my hide. And too much is really very little.

That means I plant in the morning while the deck (west side of the house) is shady, or in the evening after the sun is nearly down. This year I've been doing it in the morning. I got about 3/4 done before the Memorial Day lunch and finished planting the rest of the flowers I had day before yesterday. I lacked just a few flowers to complete the job (it would seem a shame to leave any pots empty!). So, yesterday Anne Marie and I stopped at the Buffalo Gardens temporary greenhouse and I bought enough to finish the job. I haven't got those last few in the planters yet.

Even though they are still babies, it pleases my eye and my soul to see flowers on the deck again. Thirty pots/planters may seem a bit excessive to some, but I love the floral surround.

And yesterday the weather was perfect for a quiet morning with a book and a cup of coffee on the deck.

(I could take a photo, but it would just look like last year's and the year before's. . . .)

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Power of Scent

It is such a beautiful morning that it was perfect for a little chore I needed to take care of outside. My deck flowerpots needed cleaned out and readied for planting all those lovely posies I bought yesterday. (I had Mother's Day gift money to spend, which made it all that much more fun.)

I was working away, stuffing brittle plant remains into the big black trash bag, when I had a definite sense of my father.

In 1978 my family moved to southwest Colorado, where Mother and Daddy visited us
that October. They are standing by one of the big trees in our backyard.

I am not of that school of belief that thinks everywhere we go our beloved dead are trailing along at our shoulders.

Then I knew why Daddy was in my mind.

The last ten or fifteen years of his life Daddy, a fair-skinned redhead, was plagued with skin cancers. Every so often he would have another bit nipped off. Because of the skin cancer problem he had to be very careful of sun exposure. He had spent a great deal of time outdoors all his life, and was not going to be penned up inside for the rest of his life.

That meant liberal applications of sunscreen.

Having inherited my father's fair coloring (though not his red hair), I must be careful of sun exposure. I burn very quickly. So this morning I applied sunscreen to my face before I went outside.

Sunscreen has a very distinct smell.

Daddy always smelled faintly of sunscreen.

Instant memory jog!
Rose and Red standing by the Last Rose of Summer in our backyard.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hanging Around in the Past

I realize that I have been spending most of my time in the past.

Not in any morbid, longing for things gone by, way.

It's just how things have worked out.
Other than being from the past, this photo doesn't have
anything to do with the rest of the blog. I just like it!
This is my aunt and uncle, Leonard and Bess Sauble, at
Mother's house in July 1991. Don't know how I caught
them in a big laugh, but it is a wonderfully happy picture.

For example:

I am still working on my great photo project. Although I'm about up to 1949 (many undated photos) and Mother's old photo book I'm re-doing ends with a few scattered pictures from the early '50s, I have many more photos that need rebooked.

I am more than halfway through the Irish History for Dummies book I've been working on for a few months. I just read two or three pages a day. It is a pretty depressing saga of constant fighting--first Irish clans against each other for dominance and territory, then, struggles with the English. The English takeover of Ireland took several hundred years of biting off more and more pieces of land, giving it to English or Scots settlers, and trying to make the native Irish quit being so Irish and become good Englishmen. There are rebellions after rebellions, but the English soldiers are better equipped, better trained, and have greater numbers. It always ends with a lot of dead Irish and more land grabbed by the English. History is usually told in the recounting of power struggles. Not much is heard of the effects all this has on the lives, suffering, and deaths of the ordinary folk.

I am also reading a book titled Ladies of Liberty by Cokie Roberts. It is really interesting, being the stories of women in the early days of our country, beginning during the John Adams presidency. People communicated through long letters and saved those precious letters. There were some amazing women, who had great influence, both politically and in social work, in a time when no women could vote and married women could hold no property on their own. When a woman married every thing she owned, right down to the clothes on her back, became her husband's property. Most of these women bore many children and often saw half of them die before they reached adulthood. Still they soldiered on. I would recommend this book to anyone. I'm learning a lot and it is Interesting!

And, then, of course, in our Tuesday Bible Study we are in the books of the Old Testament. That is really ancient history.

One thing that always strikes me in any history I read is that, no matter when it is, human nature doesn't change. Fashions change, governments change, equipment and technology change, but human nature is the same.

I do come up for air in the present. And today I hope to find some great flowers that will soon be blooming in my deck pots!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Now. . . and Then: 1986/2014

After posting a few photos on Facebook of Megan and Isaac ready for the prom, I started thinking about the prom of 1986 when it was Anne Marie and Chad all dressed up for the occasion.
April 1986 at Chad's home
May 10, 2014

Jerry and I missed seeing the kids in person, as we were in Colorado for a funeral. However, thanks to Chad's mom and Grandma Rose I have photos.

That sweet-faced boy with our daughter, matured into a very fine man, who has given of his help and strength to many people. We all depend on him in ways we could not have imagined in 1986!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spring in Northern Wyoming

Years ago when we lived in Scottsbluff, NE, and Torrington, WY, we would come home to Gillette to visit in the spring and notice how far behind spring was in Gillette. It seems that every mile you travel south, the more advanced spring is!

We have early flowers, such as tulips, blooming in my daughter's flower garden and some trees and shrubs are putting out little leaves and flower buds.

But this is what the big cottonwood, our summer shade tree in the backyard, looked like yesterday.

We have been so hungry for green growth and for the long, long winter to be over that it is hard to be patient for all the trees to put on their summer clothes. And so many trees were damaged by the early, heavy snows of last September and October that it will be a mercy for green, leafy foliage to cover the broken places.

But all the moisture we've been getting has given us beautiful, green grass. I do love GREEN!