It is very stormy tonight and I’m remembering an old song from Christian radio by Casting Crowns- Praise You in This Storm. I’ve always been terrified of night wind. Daytime, it is beautiful and fascinating to see the power of a mostly invisible force. At night, it is totally different. You have no clue what is happening to those poplar trees on the corner, what those thumps and thuds are outside, whether or not the ice is going to land someplace inappropriate, or if it will literally blow over. The wind is pushing along the snow and drifting roads shut. Schools are already cancelled for the morning. Cars are littering the sides of the hiway and people are being rescued by people on 4 wheelers.
I’m thankful tonight because Steve got home safely-he slid all over and could not see where he was going, that Jon is able to use the Bobcat he purchased to clear roads before the city and county get there, and that the house is secure.
The cat, Mittens, prefers a day with sunshine because she’s discovered lights and rainbows will appear on the kitchen floor when the sun reflects off the crystals and mirrors in the window. The last couple of days haven’t been sunny, but they have been bright! We got a spot of snow on the first-It is hard to believe December 1 has already come and gone!!!- and today there is hoarfrost decorating the world around me. Such pretty laces and filigree created from water and cold. I can’t imagine how those designs appear, when I mix water and cold I get just plain ordinary ice!! This wintery art is truly a beautiful blessing of wonder.
I was reading an article about MS. It said one of the best things for people who have MS to do is exercise. It went on to say, most people with MS don’t do this. I laughed. It is because we cannot move or that moving is incredibly painful. Thankfully, this weekend, I could move. I got outside and put together a couple of gardens. I prefer easy, so I used the method in this book for lasagna planting. I will need to wait til spring to see how those dead looking bulbs I planted, move inside their beds to reach for the sun. I was careful to tuck them into the earth with the proper side up. It is so much work for them to turn, work that could be better put into eventual blooms. Like those bulbs, it is a great deal of work for me to move. I did it and I’m heartened by the knowledge that a spring always comes. For animals, plants, and people.
It’s been awhile since my boys were last together. This was May 2016. They live time zones and worlds apart, sometimes they fight while on the phone, days go by until the oldest calls the youngest, making peace again. These two are the best reason for my existence. I’m always thankful for being their mom. When they were smaller, they nicknamed me the Evil Momster in fun. But, it was cuz if someone was going to discipline them, it would be mom!
Tony, the one in camo, is the child of my heart. I was too hard on him and demanded more than I should have. He calls to read me stories he’s writing, to talk politics, to share things he’d never tell his dad or brother. He’s been to Iraq, is a Disney fan, enjoys anime, sarcasm, cooking, mining, making jewelry, raising chickens, and writing. He’s almost 5 years older than Jon. Five years plus a hundred. Jon’s quiet. He also has a hilarious dry sense of humor. He’s adamant in his beliefs, which is where he clashes with his brother. Tony looks at every side, inside, and underneath before he decides something, Jon looks at the side he feels is right. Jon makes things, collects obscure facts, reads classics like Sherlock Holmes and CS Lewis, is a stellar photographer, knows more about firearms throughout history than most encyclopedias, and is a house and car accident fire fighter. Jon is the soda bubbles in our lives. He was a surprise baby, like his brother, and completes my joy. He got away with more than his brother. Probably cuz they were so far apart in age and because he was a big kid and provided a reliable peasant when Tony’s friends needed someone to round out the sides in their games. Both boys are introverts, Tony is less so. He will rent rooms in his house out to younger kids who want to get out of their parent’s house. He also speeds them on their way if they prove annoying! Jon goes out of his way to avoid people. He always has. He works for farmers and contractors in his off time, but outside the family, people are to be communicated with only if necessary. He rents from his parents and has enough to move out, eventually!
The two are different in dozens of ways, yet incredibly similar. I’m thoroughly proud of who they are, even when they make me mad. They are truly my life’s blessings.
I’ve been thinking about blessings shared, passed down, autumn traditions, and friendships.
Jon said that he’d found a scarf in a box and asked if I wanted it. When his dad brought it to the house, I realized it was the ‘hug’ a friend made me while I was caregiving. A lap robe crocheted from mismatched yarn she called a hug. Of course I wanted it!
I usually make edibles to pass on and share from recipes others gave to me. I have a pie crust recipe I use often. It is from a Tillamook friend. I’d toyed with the idea of pumpkin tarts this next week, but realized tradition says make a regular one. Watching my kid cover his piece of pie thoroughly with whipped topping is another tradition, one we can’t discard!
Almost all the leaves are gone. Mum’s been gone more than a year. Many recipes I use are from friends who have passed on. Yet, they and mom stay alive in traditions and in the scent of spices as I cook. Hugs made from the loops of faded words on a card and the burst of flavors surrounding me in memories.
Laughing at animals is pretty easy for us two leggers. Jonathan saw a squirrel doing something odd and called me into the kitchen while he snapped photos. The squirrel feeder is made so the critter can sit on either side of the rod to snack. A dried corn cob is threaded over the post by someone tall, providing easy to get food. This furry tailed rodent cleaned off the cob, was sitting on top of the post, and bending down to chew the leftover cob. Jon and I couldn’t imagine how he could balance so securely! We laughed for a long time at him..or her!
Cats have been entertaining this last week, as well. Mittens was chasing rainbows on the kitchen floor from the crystals hanging in the window. Moses decided the dried up pen I’d tossed on the carpet was perfect for a mini wrestling bout.
I’m not sure which is the bigger blessing, laughter or animals. Together, they create joy. The best blessing of all!
I’ve missed Alaska. There is so much I can’t do here cuz it’s there. Yet, I do have a few things here I can complete. I’ve missed the incredible vista of nature right outside my window at any hour of the day.
I went outside briefly this afternoon, in Oregon, and discovered the tiny pond in my yard had been tidied and restarted. It firmly froze in the night and left a blessing behind. Beautiful ice formations surrounding the cascading stream of water. A mostly frozen masterpiece.