Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Days

     All the hours of garden preparation and planting in the spring are paying off. It has been great being able to enjoy fresh lettuce blends, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes from our garden. This has been a strange year in regards to weather here in KY. All spring and much of summer temperatures alternated between hot and cold. This morning it was 55 degrees, which for July is quite chilly, yet very comfortable for sleeping. I believe these fluctuations have caused some slow growth for my garden, which has not produced near as well as I would like. Of coarse, this is our first spring/summer on this property and I had to begin garden beds without having them prepared during the winter as I would have liked. Hopefully next spring after this years garden beds have been layered with compost, leaves and manure and had time to build rich soil I will have not only less work in preparation but a much better yield.

    Work on our cabin has progressed slowly but we hope to be moved in before winter. Finishing work on the cabin has had to take a backseat to work demands, serious illness in our extended family and the persistent aches and pains that seek to remind us of our advancing age. I often need to remind myself that family and relationships are far more important than progress on any project. The grandchildren are growing up quickly and I have tried to be diligent this summer to spend some one to one time with as many of them as I can. That has proved to produce some very enjoyable times with several of them. I have enjoyed dining out at each child's choice location, including Burger King where Matthew, age 6, wore his crown proudly. We have played in the park, had sleepovers, enjoyed movies and the girls and I even took in several thrift stores and garage sales. I expect I will have some granddaughters who are thrifty shoppers indeed. I want to build as many happy memories for them to be able to look back on someday with a smile, after I am long gone from this life.

    The end of May I took a trip to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina to see one of my grandsons graduate from high school. I love the mountains with their awesome views. Just spending a few days there and being able to visit with several of my older grandsons who live there was such a treat. Later, in June, I took a short trip back to my hometown in Tennessee. It was a bittersweet time as I visited with an aging aunt whose health is quite fragile. I have so many happy memories of times spent at her home or going places with her that are special to my heart. Each time I visit with her and my uncle I leave wondering if it will be the last time I see them. I am brought face to face with the brevity of life and realize that each family member or dear friend that passes from this life causes an empty spot in my own life.
    It is a strange feeling I believe when you have lived long enough to realize that likely your life is well over half over. I find myself thinking back over my many years and all the places and people that have been a part of my life. I so hope I have left more good impressions than bad on those I have known. This past Sunday in church our minister spoke of "finishing well" in life. I realize, more than ever, how important it is to hold dear every day I am given to have a positive effect on those I come in contact with and on the world around me. How easy it is to get caught up in all the every day stresses and circumstances of life and miss out on opportunities to make an impact for good in another's life and on my surroundings. May each of us seize each moment in time that gives us a chance to make a difference in someone's life.

    A few new additions have been made here on our little "homestead". This summer I bought four Barred Rock chicks and two guinea keats. We lost one of the guineas, which was our smallest, not really knowing why it died. All the others are thriving. It has been fun to watch their behavior. The grand kids enjoy digging worms to feed them and watching as they selfishly fight over which one gets the most treats. We have had many ticks here this spring and summer and have been told by many that having guineas will rid us of that problem. Little "Ginny" is a bit small yet to make a difference this season but hopefully next year she will. I look forward to the hens getting old enough to provide fresh eggs. I intend to add a rooster soon and maybe next spring we will have some baby chicks as well.
    Life is good and though my "To Do List" is far too long I find encouragement each time I am able to cross off an item. As I sit looking out my window I enjoy the view and am thankful for the path I am on. What a walk it has been!