Life in the Slow Lane

Contemplating life, faith, words, and memories

Fading Colors — August 30, 2019

Fading Colors

 

As I look out my windows, I see the fading colors in our garden spots.

I’m not ready. You read that right—I’m not ready. 

coneflowers, flowers, fading colors, fading
Image by Manfred Antranias Zimmer from Pixabay

The spring and summer blooms have kept my spirits high as I glanced from a window or stepped to our back deck. And on those days we’ve headed out in the car to whatever appointment I had, there was the front garden by our drive. Bright coneflowers, cosmos, and marigolds, and early on the blossoms of strawberries.

But it is only proper that with the season winding down and shadows growing longer, autumn is nearby. There are other colors waiting to take center stage. And with these changes come the fading of summer colors.

As Thoreau so wisely says, we must accept the changes and resign ourselves to what each change brings.

 

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
— Henry David Thoreau

 

Featured Image by Peggy Choucair from Pixabay

Sunflowers — August 19, 2019

Sunflowers

 

There is no friend like the old friend, who has shared our morning days,
No greeting like his welcome, no homage like his praise:
Fame is the scentless sunflower, with gaudy crown of gold;
But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.

 

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Sunflowers draw their energy and warmth from the sun. That one fact prevents us from growing them on our property. Living in a shady, forested mini-wood has its drawbacks.

Yet, sunflowers bring cheer, energy, brightness, and good feelings whether growing in your yard or neighboring field, or in a vase on a table in your living room or on your deck.

Although they can’t speak aloud to us, their message is one of friendship and good feelings. Odd that man is incapable, even with his wide vocabulary, of extending kindness to those around him.

We could take a lesson from the sunflower as she exudes grace and acceptance of the world around her. She allows chipmunks, squirrels, bees, and others to feast at her center filled with seeds and pollen.

And where does she find what she needs for tomorrow and the next day? She spends her days tracking the sun to warm herself and attract pollinators. In the morning, she is positioned to face the sun as it rises to prepare herself for another day of work, or is it pleasure? I doubt we’ll ever know.

Thursday — July 26, 2019

Thursday

Thursday took us back to summer temperatures with a high at 90. The beauty of the Pacific NW is at 8:10 pm the temperature has dropped to 82 and will continue to drop during the night. By 5:00 am, it will be 65.
It’s been a gorgeous day ending like all summer days. The light is beginning to change. Sunlight begins to fade bringing sunset to us.
 
We’ve come in from dinner out at a popular burger place. I mentioned a few days ago I was craving a good old-fashioned (i.e. not fast food) burger. Before heading out, I take my second get-into-the-Mustang-convertible-and-get-back-out without problems test. This time I passed!
 
After burgers and sharing fries and a huckleberry shake, we took a nice drive. I love the feel of the wind as we head down the road. I love even more the smell of the air as we get out into the country. This is my first trip this year in the convertible, and it was so refreshing and freeing.
 
Grateful am I for beautiful summer weather and the plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. And for an old-fashioned burger with my hubby in our Little Red ‘Stang.
Sounds of Summer — July 1, 2019

Sounds of Summer

It’s Sunday and our family room slider is open. We’re just about into our favorite Sunday pastime–naps. But first, let me tell you about my favorite part of summer—the sounds.  Mornings with birdsong outside the window. The squeal of children playing outdoors. The beautiful flowers, the sunlight needed for them and me, and the opportunity to be outside.
 
Today we’ve been listening to the sounds of our neighbor’s grandchildren. When we moved here, this couple’s children were in preschool and grade school. We used to hear the happy sounds of that generation and now the next.
Weekends for our neighbors are busy. But the joy and laughter heard from that backyard is a pleasant thing. Laughing in the pool. Chasing each other around the yard. Swinging and climbing. And then the other sounds supplied by nature’s own. Dogs barking and squirrels scurrying up trees. And woodpeckers, crows, and Steller’s jays making raucous music. 
 
There’s also the sound of busy people caring for their lawns and gardens. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers melodiously humming a tune. For those into building, their nail guns, saws, and hammers provide percussion.
 
And the beautiful sound of families gathering around the table at the end of the day. 
 
Such a cacophony of sounds! And yet each one bears the gift of joy and happiness, thanks to the Creator’s magnificent hand.
Stormy Weather — June 28, 2019

Stormy Weather

Last evening the kitties and I enjoyed the thunderstorms in our area. The kitties probably didn’t enjoy the stormy weather as much as I did.
The image above, shared by our local TV station, KOIN, shows the storm system moving over the Portland area. 
storm-damaged tree
Attribution: KOIN

We were among the fortunate who escaped damage to property or grounds. Others weren’t so lucky.

 
As a youngster growing up in the south, my favorite summertime event was a thunderstorm. Trouble with my mother came my way because I dared to stand outside and wait for the storm to arrive. Then I refused to go inside.
 
I have since come to understand Mama’s fear of the dangers inherent in a storm. In my memories, those were some thrilling times.
 
Thunderstorms are not frequent visitors in Portland. But I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that more will come this summer!
Feature image attribution: Jose Julian Araya via KOIN
Cottonwood Season — June 26, 2019

Cottonwood Season

Summer “snow” is falling. Our patio and drive look as if snow fell overnight. The winds are blowing it here and there. Bob will have a mess to clean up. Our best hope is rain to eliminate the accumulation on the ground and dirt areas of our property. That should rule out the possibility of blowing it around any more with a leaf blower.
 
The source of this blight on our landscape in June or July? A stand of cottonwood trees nearby. We have seen less of their detritus in the last few years. We thought perhaps our neighbors had cut them down. From this year’s evidence, that is not the case.
 
Outside Longview, WA, there is a lovely cottonwood tree farm along the banks of the Cowlitz River. Lovely is the best descriptor when the trees aren’t blooming. And these are far enough from home not to bother us.
 
If you’re not aware of what summer “snow” looks like, here’s a sample for you. This shows the seeds inside the “cotton.” As you think of that blowing hither and yon, also think of all the new trees that will be growing.
 
Cottonwood seeds
Attribution: EarthSky

At least with the cool temps we’re having, the cottonwood “snowfall” fits in with the rest of the weather.

 

Featured image attribution: bstad from Pixabay