November 4, 2016
Grabbing a bag, I step out to the front porch and begin to gather the several newspaper rolls accumulated.
“If anyone has any newspaper to spare, our hospital needs it! We are completely out. Thank you!”
That was the message I read last night on a post by a local animal hospital I follow on Facebook. I tell myself this must why I had been putting off placing those papers in the recycle bin these past few weeks.
Panning the neighborhood, I notice heavy dew on the car windows and dampness on the ground. The sun was beginning its assent of the day. I confirm I have enough time to take the papers to the animal hospital before the graduation ceremony, as I didn’t want them to go without, first thing in the morning. It dawns on me that it’s somewhat a coincidence that I am running this errand to help the business and its people that just so happens to be the place my daughter worked through the majority of her high school years – since late July of 2014. My daughter called me when she had gotten the job. I was so very excited for her, and we agreed on a date when I would take her out to celebrate her success later that week. But before the moment arrived, our life paths diverged.
As I am heading out the door this morning, I pause, feeling I should go grab my camera, just in case. Though I squeegeed the windows and outside mirrors on the car, foggy condensation filmed once more before I ever left my driveway. The Interstate route I had planned to take seemed an unwise choice with the current construction causing merging havoc even under normal visual conditions. I therefore took an alternate route.
I’m sure there were many passing in cars and school buses, wondering about the woman standing near the side of the road with a camera.
Below the roadway fog hung low and converged over the Southern Illinois farmer’s field that butted against the Knights of Columbus parking lot on one side and a Rural Route and an Interstate on two others. This moment seems to imprint – identifying where I am on this planet, on the morning my daughter is to graduate.
Navy Boot Camp. My daughter graduated Navy Boot Camp today. I’m not certain exactly how the weather felt, north of Chicago because I wasn’t there. That is not how our connective life’s journey has it at the moment.
But I am thankful that she was able to join the Navy. It’s a good division of the Service for her. And I am thankful that I have a cousin (dear to me) who was able to help my daughter get started down that path. I am thankful that my son, her brother, was able to go to the ceremony and be there for her on this noteworthy occasion.
I am also thankful that I was able to watch the ceremony via live-stream and share that moment with my parents, her grandparents, even as they live halfway across the country from me.
Where is she going next? I couldn’t tell you. That is not a part of the connective life’s journey between us at this time. But for right now, I cheer for my baby girl from where we each stand, and I find ways to be thankful for that.
Kinda-sorta like that Brick Wall Optical Illusion thing, but not really.
From looking at this
I found this.
Seeing the forest through the trees (or in this case, the Forget-Me-Nots through the fronds.
But then, take a look at them there trees (or in this case, again, the fresh fern fronds of spring).
And then there’s this. Yeah. A bunch of blah, right?
I got super excited about seeing this.
My basil plant from last year, sprouting.
Finally, while admiring the whimsical, non-conforming feel of this section of garden,
I caught sight of something, non-conforming though it was, of which I felt compelled to tweak, or rather pluck, like that of a wild hair. Can you see what I did?
I don’t know if Gallum would think of this low growing greenery with the tiny white flowers as being precious. I’m actually not sure if I consider it precious, but I thought it would make for a clever title.
I planted this beneath what is normally identified as an out-of-control and invasive shrub which I believe to be a Japanese Honeysuckle though I’ve been experimenting in transforming it ever since it sprung into existence several years back into that of a miniature ornamental tree. However, I digress.
Galium was identified as a plant that could make a good addition at the base of trees and shrubs. I have further just read its sweet vanilla-scented flower clusters are used to flavor May wines in Germany. Hmmmm.
I haven’t smelled it yet. Though I planted it last spring it had no blooms until this year. I guess I’ll have to go out and take a sniff. I wonder if I could toss some blooms in with my coffee grounds to get vanilla coffee?
It’s the first time in the second season I’ve had Forget-Me-Nots return as a larger cluster than they were the previous year (normally they dwindle and/or peter out). I think I finally found a good spot in my garden, even as this blue blossomed beauty now extends beyond the outside perimeter of the garden boundary line. Instead of restricting this beautiful expanding cluster to the original planned boundaries, I have expanded the boundaries to embolden its extended reach.
I never knew. I never knew until this weekend at the nursery. A nursery of the lawn and garden variety. I never knew that Columbine, before it was a headline of tragedy whose anniversary just passed, is actually the name of a beautiful flower.
So I sent out a little prayerful thought for those family and friends who mourn the losses of their loved ones on that dark day in history, and then I picked up a couple flowers, which will now be a reminder each year of the precious gift called life.
There is a field to the side of the road near my work destination that I knew would look way-cool this morning. I actually went a slightly different route, just for that reason, as I wanted to take some pictures. Unfortunately, due to the weather conditions, pulling off on the side of the road screamed of an accident waiting to happen and the only other way to get a vantage point was restricted, as I didn’t have a hard hat with me. (Yes, I actually have safety glasses in my car. I have a hard-hat, too, but alas, it was at home.)
I did find a little spot with a few trees that had to suffice.
My teenage son and I decided to take an impromptu trip to Elephant Rocks State Park. I began to ponder the outcome of the trip as it began to rain and then further began to sleet on the drive there. As it turned out, the precipitation stopped just before our arrival, the wind lessened, and the sun came out.
I have fond memories of this place as a child growing up. Tomboy that I was, I would climb and leap about with abandon. Now, walking and climbing about the park as a not-so-very-active 50+ year old, I found myself singing, “The Old Gray Mare,” to my sons embarrassment.
Hover over images below for brief description. Click on any image below for larger view of all images within gallery.
Sorry bud, I can’t fit through there now.
Crawl on my knees on that hard rock floor to get to that albeit way cool spot on the other side…, are you kidding me?
No, my boy, I have to go around this other way because my ankles can’t handle the impact of that 1 1/2 foot jump down.
But I am thankful that I am still able to climb and do what I can. And, seeing the trail for the blind, I am thankful I can see the many splendors there is to see. And it made me so happy that my teenage son willingly, no, he actually wantingly, went on this impromptu excursion with me and me alone, knowing I can’t get around like he can (any more).