Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spring Bouquet Early and Mourning Doves

We have been blessed with amazing spring-like weather here in Virginia for nearly a week.  I thank God for every lovely minute of it; for the beauty and for the reduced heating cost.

As I mentioned in my last post, some of our trees are blooming and the crocus in my front yard are pushing up.Two mourning doves are contemplating nest building in the corner of my front porch. I wonder what might happen with these early-blooming trees if the weather grows colder.
Mayura, my next-door neighbor, told me that the doves had been billing and cooing and loving on each other over the weekend.  We don't mind the nesting, but just enter and leave the house a little bit more quietly.  

Our doves are darling, unlike the Canadian geese in the back lot at work which chase state troopers who get too close to their nests. This is a bit funny to watch, but those geese can get ugly!

We love flowers in our house.  Camellias bloom in the yard even in the coldest winters.  My house is a hundred years old, so the camellia bushes planted years and years ago are now actually camellia trees over 12 feet high.

I gathered some pale pink camellias from the side yard. The flowers in the back of the bouquet came from a nearby tree on city property. The vase is a thrift-store find. Looking at it as the sun streamed in early this morning, I thought the bouquet looked a bit oriental.

My sweet friend Nancy who lives in the painted-lady Victorian on Scotts Creek keeps chickens. She's just a block away and what a treasure she is.  What with the warmth and all, her hens have been quite productive. She dropped off a dozen eggs; free and delivered at no additional charge last night!  (I think her fridge was full of eggs.)  

My Bruce is less enthralled having grown up on a farm, but City Girl here is amazed to be able to figure out which chickens hatched the eggs.  Amy is the one who lays the pale blue green ones.  The other girls lay larger ones ranging from pale tan to a frank brown.

Our church provides free bread from a parishioner who works for a very well known (and expensive) chain restaurant famous for having all-natural, "real" food.  The bread would be thrown out otherwise.  Throwing out bread and restaurant waste when there are hungry people around makes me frustrated.  I hope other branches of the store are making such creative arrangements to avoid food waste.  Many New York City restaurants donate leftover food to homeless shelters. 

Early this morning I cooked up French toast using the free eggs and bread.  Talk about cheap!  Bruce is a bit fuzzy in the mornings, but all he will have to do is nuke it and "crack open" a banana.  Even he can manage that while still half asleep!

I hope that you are also enjoying a lovely spring/winter day!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Invincible Summer

Albert Camus said, "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."

He went on to say "And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back."  And let me note right here that I agree with absolutely nothing else that he ever said or did!

My personal something stronger and better is God, pushing right against the cares of the world.  

This tree also has some invincible summer in its DNA. Somehow, when every other tree that I see has bare wintry arms reaching toward the sun, this cotton-candy charmer is blooming in splendor. Two weeks after a major snow storm. As I drove past, I did a u-turn and took a photograph.

This type of tree is planted all around Portsmouth; the white version down the median along London Boulevard and planted in numerous other yards in homes all around here. There will be another pink early bloomer in a bed and breakfast's yard; but not yet.  

Their glorious spring season reminds me of Jordan almonds or fluffy 1950's strapless prom dresses on giggling girls with "Dippity-Do" hairstyles and short white gloves.

Why is it that one tree above all others shows her splendor early on?   How do some people survive untold abuse as young people and thrive as adults while others hurt their fellow man?  Why do some folks bounce back from hard times better than before, but others turn bitter?

I don't know all the answers, but I do know that the ability to reach higher, to reach toward the sky and toward God makes the difference.  For this is a transitory world, rife with chaos especially now.  

The blossoms come and go, the leaves take their places, and then fall as well, leaving skeleton arms reaching to the sky.  Only God is eternal and ever present.