A Cheerful Look

In a week full of crazy, you gotta look for the blessings. So, this is what I found in between the absurd.

My sore tooth is finally and expensively fixed. I saw a couple of meteors. I am entirely thankful for health care personnel and first responders. The neighbor came over to mow mom’s yard. Tony suggested a new to me author by the name of Bernard Cornwell, then he talked to me for almost an hour about one of the books when I was done reading. I listened to an older sermon from the Oregon church I attend and heard the praise team sing a song I’m named after, America the Beautiful—my middle name is Amber. I got some great emails and messages from friends. Then, when I was picking up debris from the recent windstorm, I found the most adorable itty bitty teeny froglet! It didn’t want to stay put, so I’m very impressed I got pictures of it.



So many good things have crowded into my week. Granted, there were some awful ones. They made me thankful for the warm encouragement  from my friend Linda, the heat from the sun on skin, and the joy of finding little flowers finally starting to bloom out of the 14 packets of seeds I scattered! Linda was featured in a post in July of 2017. This wonderful woman is always encouraging and helpful and I always leave her presence filled with confidence and strength. We’ve had some sunny days and some not so bright. I adore sunshine in any season, I’ve particularly enjoyed it this last week because I’ve been soaking up Vitamin D. I take huge doses of this in pill form, it is nice to get it straight from the source! The flowers I’d planted twice, I was beginning to think were just wasted seeds. However, here and there I’ve found two inch tall stems I know might become plants, there were some bright yellow and blue blossoms, and some of the fireweed seed I scattered last fall appears to be considering blooming. Later, I walked down to the lake and noticed there were daisies in my way on the steep trail full of roots and pokey weeds. What a beautiful reminder of beauty being found in the paths of life.

Bumble Bees and Fireweed

It is the end of July. Berries are turning color, the days are shortening, many of the fishing tourists have left the beaches, and you can see a definite change in the season. The bumble bees are thick in the flowers and when you walk past a stand of the bright pink fireweed, you can hear it humming like a giant power transformer.

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Fireweed is also called willow herb, I’m not familiar with much more than the stems and flowers, though. When I was a kid, we’d pull up the stalks, strip the leaves from the lower half, and fire them at one another like arrows. Sometimes we’d pull them up and stuff the long stems under our belts to make a fireweed skirt we couldn’t sit down in. The flowers were beautiful décor for mud pies. When I grew up, I remember making syrup. The lovely flowers dropped in the boiling pot lost all their color in a snap. But, it turned the liquid a stunning shade of pink. Fireweed honey is supposed to be incredibly yummy and watching the bees, I was glad these were wild and their harvest was for their future.

What a glorious world this is!

Bug and Bloom

Last week was a bit uncomfortable. Mum was in the hospital and I didn’t really understand why. There may have been problems with her intestine, with the abdominal tumor, or something. She is back to as normal as she can be, now. But, the odd blessing was before her release.


One night, I visited a park in the middle of town. A park dedicated to a young man I’d graduated from HS with. It is a lovely place and full of plants and memorials to many. While wandering in the twilight, I noticed a rose had a visitor. Not one most of us might like. If it had landed on me, I’d have probably brushed it off, and squished it. But, it was life hanging on to more life in the near darkness. It was a pretty bug, but, it was a bug. Clinging to something most of us would call more beautiful, doing whatever it is insects do at night on flowers. It was hope. Hope that in the midst of this darkness, there is life. It may not be exactly what we want to see, but it is there. Hope that even when the parts are not understand, can’t be identified, or not wanted, those components are a part of the rich circle of life. Eventually, it will be complete and it will always go on.

A Golden Moment


Sometimes, after years and years, you meet an old friend and you discover something surprising. You learn you need to ask for and receive in turn, forgiveness. The seed might have been very small, but it grew in the field of doubt and unknown to a plant of formidable proportions. When you meet, you circle each other, wondering just what might be off, until one of you blurts out the existence of this shady giant. Startled you stand and confront the vegetation. Where did it come from, why is it there. It doesn’t matter. It needs removed. So, with the saws of forgiveness and the wheelbarrows of grace, you tear it down and cart it away into the sunset. It is now compost for a brighter future.

Thank goodness for friends, forgiveness, grace, and tomorrow.



I’m going to have to go with John Denver for this one. Old song, simple lyrics, and comforting. (music found on YouTube)  July has been full of warm sunny days and flowers bursting into bloom as fast as they can. Gotta enjoy the moments while we can!

A Tale of Two Fathers

Two dads who had never met had a lifetime of vehicles in their past and the same son in their future.

In 1966, the older dad, Rod, purchased a Toyota Land Cruiser. He used it for everything and his son, Steve, eventually drove it, as did his youngest grandson.  After Rod died, the Land Cruiser broke down and sat until Steve got it running again. It is still used to haul things around and taken out to the ranch now and then. The other dad, Bill, collected old things and one day decided to buy a 1956 Mercury Custom. He enjoyed driving it, then, after his death, his son-in-law and grandsons moved it to Oregon. Steve has taken the Mercury to a few car shows and it represents well the era it came from. It isn’t flashy and is a great deal like it was when it came off the showroom floor all those years ago. At the end of May, Pendleton hosted an Old Iron Show and people brought cars and tractors and trucks. Steve decided to take both vehicles.

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It was exciting to see something from each dad represented at the same show. They each received a great deal of notice and appreciation. Although, to be fair, Eastern Oregon is a work horse area and the Land Cruiser had quite a few farming stories told around it. I rather think Rod and Bill would be pleased to see their wheels lauded and loved by so many. Weather beaten red parked next to bright white, turquoise, and shining chrome. Two rigs from the past with the next generations sharing tales of two fathers.