Tag Archives: Gardening

Spring has Sprung


“Sum’ping happened to mine parrel . . .”

The squirrel is on the fruit and nut block again. I tap my fingernail against the glass. He looks briefly in my direction, then darts up the tree and out to the sunflower seed feeder. I give up on the window tapping and go to the sun room door and open it to encourage him to move on.  He flits about in the upper branches, scolding and watchful.  He makes me laugh and I go back inside.  I have a hard time being venomous with the squirrels.  26 years ago when we moved to Shady Acres, the name, though old and established, was a misnomer.  There was almost no shade.  There were no wild animals to be seen, either.  We moved from our house at the edge of the Andrewsville Woods and I missed the squirrels and birds and woodland fauna that surrounded our house there.  A tree farm in its earliest stages bordered our new property, and held some promise, and Certain Man wasted no time in planting trees wherever he could imagine one growing.  Over the years, the shade has made welcome inroads, the tree farm has been home to woodland creatures, and the squirrels are frequent visitors to the feeders and feeding stations around the yard.  Certain Man will shout and scold them sometimes, but he also loves the fact that the environment is hospitable to the creatures.

This was a rainy morning.  I took my camera and strolled about catching some pictures in the morning light.  There were raindrops on my tulips, glimmering jewel-like against the rich colors.


And that whiskey half-barrel that has served me so well so many years really has given up the ghost.  Last year, it showed signs of great disrepair, but I decided that its dilapidated state only added to its beauty, and I carefully nursed it through another year.  I don’t think I can do that this year.


All around the yard, there are signs of spring and new life.


The tulips along the grape arbor are really putting on a show.


The bluebirds are building their nest.


As is some other bird in the blue spruce.  I haven’t figured out what kind of bird this is.  Usually a Mocker builds in this particular tree, but I don’t think this is a Mocker’s nest.  Too messy.

This afternoon, our trusty helper, Grant Miller, is mowing the lawn.  The smell of fresh cut grass is coming through the open window, and the birds are singing.  Certain Man is home from work and looking at a busy and full evening.  He has planted some of his vegetable garden, and there are some tender shoots making their way up.  I cut my first cutting of asparagus a few days ago and lo!  And behold!  There are bunches more to cut tonight. Certain Man just said that I had better get at it.  And so, I shall!  The evening of this wonderfully ordinary day is moving in, and I give grateful praise.

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Just a Song at Twilight . .

The day was getting old.

It had been such a happy day.  Certain Man, home from work for the holiday, invited me to breakfast, and when home again, decided that Labor Day was a good day to put in an outside faucet that would make things easier for me and for Our Girl Audrey.  He worked with a headache, especially after inadvertently running into the underside of the steps going to the upper deck.

In the evening, Beloved Son in Law came in with ribs that he had done to perfection, and we threw on some Sunday Fried Taters and cooked up some frozen peas and ate supper with sweet fellowship and great gratitude.

After supper, Eldest Daughter with her bucket and I with mine headed for the garden.  Eldest Daughter picked the tomatoes and I started on one of my two rows of beans.  Love Bug went with her beloved Grandpa to “help” with the chores, and when the tomatoes were picked and the chores had expended the very last minute they could possibly use up, BSIL took his little family home and it was Certain Man and I, left in the garden in the waning hours of light.

I worked at trying to get over my two rows of beans and Certain Man decided that it was time to take down the cucumber vine that had died on its trellis as well as the butternut squash, also on a trellis.  I had picked the butternut squash a few days ago, and now the dead vine was only taking up space.  He got out the tractor and pulled the posts and trellises out and then mowed part of the garden that was finished.  Conversation was limited to the necessary words: Questions about “putting up” carrots.  Questions about the feasibility of pulling out the unproductive pepper plants and general garden observations.  But the camaraderie was soul quiet and satisfying.

Back in the house, there were dishes to put into the dishwasher, kitchen to clean up, laundry to finish.  Both of us were tired, but it seemed like the evening tasks flew by on the wings of a quiet song that kept echoing in my head.  When I was but a wee girlie, my precious Daddy and my Sweet Mama would put their brood to bed and sometimes in the late evening, they would sing together.  Both of them had good voices and his tenor and her soprano would rise quietly in the night while I listened from my bed in the middle bedroom upstairs.  They sang gospel songs and they sang hymns.  But every now and then they sang a song that has played over and over in my head as an adult, and even more as an mature adult with over forty years of loving the same good man  under my belt.  (At least where my belt used to be! )

“Once in the dear, dead days beyond recall-
When from the world, the mists began to fall
Out of the dream that rose in happy throng
Down to our hearts Love sang an old sweet song.
And in the dust, where fell the firelight gleam
Softly it wove itself into our dream . . .”

The song from my childhood has become so defining of this love story that Certain Man and I are still writing together.  Often when I come to the chorus, I hear my Daddy and Mama’s voices, but they are singing our song!

“Just a song at twilight, when the lights are low
And the flick’ring shadows, softly come and go.
Though the heart be weary, sad the day and long,
Still to us at twilight, comes love’s old song.
Comes Love’s old sweet song.”

The heart is often weary.  There’s been some sad, long days.  But when there is the melody of love, playing softly to me, there is something holding me steady, reminding me of what has gone before, smoothing over the rough places, bridging troubled waters.  Sometimes life gets loud and raucous and seems to drown out the song.  At least, I can hardly hear it over the din.  But often, in those evening hours, when the noise that is life is ebbing and the distractions of the day are starting to settle themselves, I hear an old familiar melody and it sings sweetly and quietly to my heart and it is good.


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