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Sunday, April 26, 2009

One week runs into another

Dylan looking at the native buttercups in the field

We spent a lot of time this week with a friend here, trying to organize pictures and furniture and make the place safe for Dylan our grandson and dog Pappy and his Mom and Dad who came to cook for the "community thank you" for the firefighters and EMTs.
While they were cooking, I got to spend time with Dylan and Pappy. Here's Dylan out in the field checking out the wild buttercups that we held under each other's chin to see if we liked butter on this day together.
We watched a movie, about Thomas the train and Dylan got on his spiderman mask and persona when he sees something bad like the mean locomotive and takes it off when he doesn't . As you can see by Dylan's maskless face, obviously these were not the bad buttercup I was talking about last week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

cleaning up

"Buttercups" oil by J. Mat Miller
The "good" wild buttercups

This week I decided to get outside to clean up the pampas grass that was dragging its feet all over the patio while I was busy elsewhere. Every gust of wind dislodged sharp edged blades, spewing them across the patio and down the stone steps, a danger to anything in its path. As I cut and cleaned I thought about the Spotted Tohwee that hung around this area and hoped I would not disturb a nest. I got carried away and after a half hour of pulling out the dead grasses and cutting the old flower stalks, I looked up to see right in front of my eyes a perfectly formed grassy nest with four fresh green and reddish brown mottled eggs. I quickly stepped back, grabbed some of the cut Pampas flower stalks and lodged them tightly in front of the nest hoping to return it to invisible. I prayed it would be protected and not abandoned because of me. Here I destroy what I should not.

Yet in the same week I recall that I keep what I should not. For a long time there was native buttercup in the shade by the long flower border and I left it there because I liked the delicate yellow flower. Someone mentioned to me that I should not have buttercup in the garden and I stated that it behaved itself and never went anywhere else. That was until the seed landed in the fertilized and watered garden, taking advantage of my business elsewhere and spreading very rapidly.

I don’t know if this was the same type as the former, they certainly behaved differently, but this Ranunculus repens L., an immigrant from Europe, has healed itself in. As hard as I tried to shovel it out, I couldn’t help cutting off roots which clung to the clayish soil and wouldn’t let loose. Slugs made their home in the leaf clusters and nodules sent out new shoots to make more plants. I read that seeds stay in the ground for years, waiting for opportunities to flourish and take over. Who knows what I have left behind for future invasion?

While I was busy elsewhere, it had taken over 8 feet of the front of the bed into the grass another three feet in places. I guess I need to be more diligent and watchful. Now between it and the bindweed, the other non native immigrant, I have to destroy the lawn and lay waste the border for a season, taking plants out to put in pots and poisoning the rest if it persists.

It is a familiar theme, getting rid of and keeping stuff, as we try to consolidate. I guess I can’t get away from it, even following me outside. As hard as I try, I seem to do the things I don’t want to do and don’t do what I ought.
“...For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
For what I do is not the good I want to do – this I keep doing …What a wretched
man (woman) I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God –
through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:18, 24-25

I guess I need a season of laying waste, watching out for what might crop up unwanted in me, getting rid of it quickly out of my life before it takes over and not be so busy elsewhere for awhile.

How about you?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Slightly out of focus flower bouquet for Easter on messy table
Hellebores "Lenten Rose" far left bottom

All week long there have been continual challenges, so I get on my knees and pray. I seem to forget that every Lent there are struggles, not always self imposed but everything out of wack and unusual things happening, like the lights out in the cottage for a week, glass breaking as I carry flowers through the gate in a vase, words from my mouth getting mixed up in the air and ending up in someone elses ear jumbled and distorted.

On Good Friday our pastor made a wooden rugged cross with large nails toward the ends of the crossbar. Several of us including myself, went up to the cross, picked up the hammer laying at its foot and hit the nail with the hammer in recognition of our sins, transgressions and struggles for which Jesus died.

God's grace has been evident in many more ways such as helping in the impossible task of coordinating independent islanders including myself to be on the same page for the program this Easter morning without piano nor pianist Creative minds came up with instrumentals downloaded to ipods and placed on the speaker system so a song leader could lead the songs in the service. Everyone had a part even the children placing flowers at the foot of the rugged wooden cross. Although the day was a cold downpour of rain, the service was beautiful, warm and meaningful. The head of Nightwatch in Seattle came today to preach and without knowing it began by reiterating the emotionally moving pounding of nails in a heavy wooden piece of cross, his wife reading , "He was wounded for our transgressions. "

This week was about how I need to change: the difficulties getting through the week except on my knees, the double pointing out the reason Jesus died for me and the grace now available, the new beginning that is Easter. May everyday be a new beginning for you as well.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hand over

Goat transfer via ferry

Last week as we waited for the ferry to head back to our condo, we watched some friends hand off their goat to a purchaser from a different island who took it on the ferry. I must admit that handing over the condo was a lot more difficult. The work involved to get it empty and ready for the tenants was hard and expensive, painters, cleaners, locksmith and new hotwater tap, just a few. We stuffed the remainder of our things in two cars and headed back after handing over the new keys to our first time tenants.

It has been a hard week and we are tired. The piles of stuff wait in our place in the island. As hard as I try to give things away, it doesn't seem to make a dent. We have accumulated too much and this consolidation shows it big time. To make matters worse, the electricity is out in half our cottage, can't be fixed at the circuit breaker and the electrician from another island doesn't hurry for anything. Even the night lights are broken. Now there are just pathways to walk through and barely even a place to sit. The night walking is challenging.

I hand all this over to you, God. We can't handle it ourselves. It is way too stressful. We need your light on us and your strength for the day and even your guidance to the bathroom at night. Thank you for your sense of humor in telling us to take a break and to trust your hand over our lives.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6