Browning Blues

We closed the gardens on Saturday, since it was such a warm day. 
It's all hands on deck when that big job looms between me and the (real) Holidays.
But this year, all hands meant only 6 - Husband, My Youngest and myself.
One of us was less than enthusiastic about spending Saturday afternoon this way.
And it wasn't those of us over twenty years of age.

Now listen, I know it's way more effective to motivate an un-motivated teenager by 
praising positive effort and casting a vision of the many 
satisfactions of a job well done
 than it is to 
goad and fuss, or prompt and point.  
Encouragement is always better than prodding - that seems easy to agree with, doesn't it?
But when I want something to be done, I find it so, so hard to discipline myself to stay on the right side! 

And in a nutshell, that's what parenting is REALLY all about, isn't it? 
Yes, there are lots of hugs and warmth and blessing abound, 
but I don't think it's hard to admit that it's also the Refiner's fire at times. 
The poor kid probably thought I was having some sort of personality disorder eruption right there
in the middle of the lamb's ear patch. One moment pleasant and smiling, encouraging ---
then frowning, huffing and haranguing. It's a battle, people! 
*** Making a side note of the obvious - these photos! ***
One of the jobs on Saturday was removing old hydrangea blooms. The weight of a heavy snowfall(or ice)  can break the canes if the mopheads remain on the bush through the winter, so it's better to take them off as part of the fall clean-up. 
An easy, standing up sort of job! Clip and toss! It's freeing! They just blow away! 
What teenager wouldn't want that job, I ask you?

Look how the deep blue color fades top to bottom from this bloom - is that cool or what? You can see on some individual petals how the color is fading to brown - brown and sky blue on the same petals! Beauty in the most ordinary, disposable items!  The Father is certainly lavish in His displays of splendor!

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