Sheltering In Place and other thoughts


As far as I can remember I have not been directly affected by any such disaster as this corona virus thing.  I was born in the 50s and missed the polio epidemic.  But Lord, this corona thing feels like science fiction come to life.  And it is.  All of us are affected whether we catch the virus or  not.   I’m sure by now you have heard how bad it is, so you don’t need me to re-hash it.  You know it’s a serious deal.  The tv says in a couple of weeks, we in the U.S. are going to be having the same experience Italy is having right now.  That’s scary.

My husband and I have decided to shelter in place.  It’s necessary because we are considered old (!!) and we both have underlying illnesses.  So far we are ok with it.  We live in the country and are used to being somewhat isolated from crowds and so forth.  We already have a freezer full and our own perpetual hoard of toilet paper, something which stems from a childhood memory of my mother screeching through the bathroom door:  “Nancy bring me a paper towel!”  She did it on a regular basis when there was nothing left on the roll.  Why she didn’t stock enough tp (she wouldn’t write ‘toilet paper’ on a list, only the initials tp like it was a dirty word.) to last, I’ll never know.  Because of her, I’m a tp hoarder.  And I will always keep a good hoard on hand.  Although I had my own kids who could fetch a paper towel, Kleenex or whatever, I made sure my off-spring would never have to go get something for me to wipe my bum with.   These days, the media has gone crazy with people buying tons of toilet paper.   I fail to see what that has to do with the corona virus, only that it’s good to keep supplies in stock.

Personally, I’m taking the advice flooding social media about what to do when you are quarantined.   Oh yeah girl, I’ve got plans!

First, to blog.   It’s been hard finding the time and/or envie to sit down and write.  I haven’t blogged for so long, it feels good to be doing it now.

I also plan to clean out my closet.  Oh, and my office too.

I’m going to get serious about digging into my “Learn How To Play Piano – Adult (read dummy) Version.  Who knew it would be so hard??

Of course, now I have time to paint, sew, quilt, create, write a book.

And don’t forget my spring-time passion.  Gardening.  Look away if you are easily bored by old ladies’ garden pictures!  You are about to be inundated.  And it’s not that I think my gardens are better than anybody else’s, trust me they are not, it’s just that I am so amazed that this beauty is on my property.  I can’t believe how these plants spring up in the spring time and spread their glory all around.  It’s more than a visual wonder.  To me, it’s spiritual.  What have I done to deserve such beauty as that which I am surrounded by?  I’ve done nothing to deserve it.  But God, in his infinite mercy, has opened my eyes to the beauty around me, beauty He created, beauty He freely offers.  What love!  What joy!  In the midst of this currant epidemic of virus and fear, His beauty is still there.  His love is still there.  I can’t and won’t question Him concerning the spread of it all but it’s hard not to.  All I know is that He didn’t promise to keep us from troubles, only that He promised to walk with us through them.  If you are one who thinks He is a mean God because of that, well, that’s your problem.  Good luck figuring that out.  I choose to trust Him.

And in the meantime, I’m going to dig my heels, and my hands, into the dirt.  I’m going to keep pulling over-wintered plants out of the greenhouse, repot as needed, dig holes, plant, breath deeply, and enjoy.  I will go to battle with red-bugs, weeds, mosquitos, and viral fear.

Enjoy your life, people, in any way that you can, quarantine or no quarantine. You can’t do a lot about this corona virus thing, but you do have control somewhat over how to react over it.  Oh that reminds me of a comment made to me by a friend.  She asked me if I made my bed every day and the answer is yes.  She couldn’t believe it, probably because I do not profess to be any kind of a housekeeper.  But I told her that I make my bed every day because I have very little control of what goes on around me and making my bed is a normal thing to do.  There is another reason though.  I like the way it makes me feel about myself.  It gives me a sense of well being.  There could be 7 grandkids running around this house, screaming, pulling each other’s ears, and flushing socks down the toilet, but I can walk into my bedroom and see a lovely made bed and I become calm.  True, that serenity might also be due to the crucifix on my wall next to the bed reminding me of the love of my precious Lord.  Wow, if I didn’t have Him, how would I deal with everything else?

Use your head, and let’s be safe.

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The following is a little project I did with two of my baby grands – it’s a fairy garden.  We had so much fun making this.  The kids pressed found ‘treasures’ into the concrete walk-ways, etc., such as marbles, stones, sea glass, glass gems.  Their imaginations went wild.  It was a great day.

 

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IMG_2007This is the lake house with an alligator in the pond.

IMG_2008This is the zoo.

IMG_2006The church.

IMG_2009And the playground.

 

I’m off of facebook for a while so if you have any comments, please leave them here on the blog page.  I love it when you do that!

Ladies and Gentlemen, pray for an end to the corona pandemic.  Be kind and considerate.  Be loving.  Help someone.  And as always, please pray for peace.

 

 

GOD GARDENING ~ a personal experience


Anyone who knows me knows I love gardening.  My garden is Eden to me.  I have planned it to attract birds, bees, squirrels.

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I’m not really accomplished at it, not really a green thumb here as the compost pile can attest to. Lots of failures in terms of trying to grow something and having poor results.  I remember the first time I tried to have a pot plant. I was 17 yrs. old.  My first apartment was over a garage and it was so rickety the dresser mirror slapped the wall when a person walked across the floor. It was downtown Alexandria on Fisk Street, the rent was $40/month, and my landlord was Mr. T.W. Moreau. But it was home for me and I loved it. I wanted to make it my own by having a real live potted plant. I went downstairs and dug up some dirt, put it in a pot, and planted a piece of ivy someone gave me. First of all, Mr. Moreau wasn’t happy about the hole I dug, and secondly, I had no clue about a plant’s basic needs like light and water. Or potting soil. Funny thing now that I look back on it, I didn’t have a clue about a much of anything!

A lot has changed since then. I can call myself a gardener about as well as I can call myself a writer and an artist. I use too many quotation marks, commas, and colons. I start over with a painting as much as I have finished results.  Ha!  The painting I’m working on now, I had to wipe out 4 times before I got what I wanted and that was just the undercoat!  That’s just what I do. That doesn’t mean I have reached the pinnacle of what the world deems success, it just means that I have done what my heart desired. I have learned to nurture.  I’ve learned to garden.

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There are shortcuts to gardening and maybe everything else. I have found over the years that the rules of gardening correlate to the rules in life. For example, the species of humans must have community, friends if you will. Gardening is like that. All your friends want to give you a piece of theirs. You accept seeds or a plant from one friend, then another, then one more.  And before you know it – a little piece of all your friend’s gardens now live at your house. You water when it’s dry, throw a little Miracle Grow around when you think about it, pull a couple of weeds every time you go outside – then voila, people think you have a green thumb. It’s simply not true. You just have very good friends. My garden has my mother’s and Aunt Kat’s hostas. Faye, Sylivia, Deborah have shared a multitude of flora and fauna with me. Sue gives me a start of a Night Blooming Cereus every year. Every year, yeah, because somehow I manage to…. Well, I don’t even want to say it. I have daylilies galore. They keep multiplying, kind of like friends. A shortcut, but one with staggering success if you put your heart into it. My heart is into it because of my grandmother. She had a real greenhouse. I can remember the smell and her constant attention to it. It represented something akin to love and security to me.

Over the years I found that gardening is like loving God. Yes, it is. He who made all things. He who loves. He who nurtures. You wouldn’t believe how thankful I am for that! Gardening has revealed Him to me. He provides just the right amount of whatever is needed by His creation. Don’t you just love that? Please let me show you how He works this into our very own lives:

We’ve kind of had a struggle the past three years. There has been major illnesses for both my husband and myself. I have kicked it in the butt but my husband is seriously ill at the moment. We are two (barely) old folks who love each other very much, fight like cats and dogs (it’s in our DNA) and share every aspect of our lives. When I hurt, he hurts. When he hurts, I do too. Sometimes we have worldly needs that might take some creative financing. You know, the limited (barely) old folks budget thing because of medical bills, etc. Here is something I have learned; it is not necessary to worry about these things. Period.

A couple of months ago, I was commissioned to paint a picture for a Christian organization called the ACTS (Adoration, Community, Theology, Service) retreat community. To my surprise, I found it easy to come up with a composition reflecting the theme to match the future retreat for women as requested. Must have been the art angel sprinkling grace dust upon me. I don’t know. Anyway, I painted two pictures and over the weeks it took, I made it clear that this art was a donation to the community because my own spirituality had grown due to them. I love the ACTS organization. They are amazingly talented in revealing the love of the Lord to one and all. Finally the day arrived when two reps from the community, Charlotte Wasmer and Father Derek Ducote, came to assess my simple paintings and make a choice as to which one they would choose.  Fr. Derek asked Charlotte which one she wanted. She quietly said “I want both of them”. I couldn’t believe it and was so happy and humbled. We had a great visit for a couple of hours before they left taking both paintings with them. It was wonderful.  They gave me a beautiful card of sweet gratitude signed by several ACTS personal.  Before long, I got a text from Charlotte saying she left a love offering and I would know it when I saw it.   What!?   I found the envelope. I got chills when I opened it. I took it to the living room where my husband was lying down. I told him “you have to look at this”. He said he didn’t need to. I told him more firmly, “you have to look at this. I told you God would provide.” He took the envelope and his mouth dropped open.

Two weeks or so before, I threw a fleece before the Lord. If you don’t know the term, it means asking the Lord to provide for a specific need. I needed new tires on my car. I asked for that. And I trusted.

The envelope contained $400. The tires cost $398.

If that’s not GOD GARDENING, I don’t know what is!

Do me a favor please.  Will you pray for peace?  Please.  So much is going on in our country, government, world.  Let us all turn to God.

 

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Do me a favor please.  Will you pray for peace?  Please.  So much is going on in our country, government, world.  Your prayers are very much needed.  Let us all turn to God.