Summer Snapshots

The pandemic season may have kept me out 
of the garden centers, but my mailbox has done 
a brisk business. Park Seed Company provided 
wonderful seed packets in early spring. 
The entire process of planting and watering provided 
the perfect distraction from virus droplets, 
un-flattened curves, and
the mask/no-mask debate. 
And look at just two of the rewards of that labor: 

This little stripey gourd is from last fall's leftovers.

We're enjoying lots of family gatherings.
Our backyard has never seemed more like a safe haven 
than it does now. 

But we're going out into the wide world soon, 
if we can only remember how to vacation out there.
 I found this reminder from 2015:

My family has changed so drastically since this vacation 
photo was taken. Instead of five, we are nine. 
And now I'm not the only female among men—
I'm joined by three amazing lovelies. 
Together, I think we balance out the group well. 
Grandchildren provide endless entertainment, 
hugs, and giggles—the biggest upgrade of all.

Read the vacation blog post from 2015 here. 


Plenty of Space

Sapphire skies host cotton candy clouds while
drowsy river waters float Kentucky kayaks
and carry conversations,
bouncing laughter bank to bank and back. 

Paddles dip, then lift and switch—
providing plenty of space for the 
and did-you-evers
which stitch our summer together.


Spring Garden Tips and Swift Transitions

My lily of the valley went above and beyond in the last few weeks. 
This frilly girl can be invasive—extremely so. 
If your boundaries aren't strict enough, it will take over the entire garden. 
I recommend putting it in a container if you can't be ruthless with the hoe. 

Our Japanese maples were frost-fried during the crazy weather we've had this 
spring in northern Kentucky. One young tree only has a few leaves left to power itself 
through the rest of the growing season. It's well over twelve feet tall now but 
started as a seedling like the one I found this week. Red maples can be sprouted 
from their "keys" if you have plenty of patience. 
Tutorial here. And this longer tutorial is loaded with information. 

One of my least favorite sayings is, "The only constant in life is change." But we all know how true it is—life is an ever-lengthening chain of transformations, variations, and transitions with an about-face or two thrown in for good measure. 

* Here's where we have choices. 
Will we choose to react in fear and doubt, processing change from a position of weakness? I admit to pitching a tent in one of these slums or another too many times. 
Or will we choose to absorb life's vagaries with confidence and good humor?
2020 has been a continual test of my resolutions to choose well. 
Maybe it has been for you, too. 

* I've been through a few stages of life now, and here's what I keep coming back to. This is what gives me direction. And when I entered motherhood twenty-eight years ago, this became one of my anthems. Will you share yours?