Waiting on Spring

Last year we were complaining … and worried … about drought. In the earliest days of Spring it was so dry that most mornings came without dew on the grass. Crops around here greatly suffered and many farmers reported a loss.

This year it’s rain. And more rain. And … well, there’s no lack of dew.

“Shoulda been a little more clear when I prayed for no drought this year,” a friend sighed.

Many of us don’t even have all of our vegetables planted yet which is a bit worrisome for these parts. It’s well into June but oh … so wet!

Rain though it may … nearly every day … there’s something pretty much everyone … even the curmudgeons in my circles are on the same page about for once …. we’re drained by the rain … but … there is a consolation.

Isn’t there always if we’ll just give it a moment?

Flowers.

The rain keeps falling … pouring …. Bucket loads.

But the flowers won’t be stopped. Thank God.

For me, Spring flowers are on par with a National holiday. After all, we wait all year for their brief appearance My husband and I may be a little goofy, but we anticipate and celebrate each bloom as if it’s having its own little birthday.

And this is just the beginning of what’s starting to bloom in our yard. All a little miraculous to us as when we moved here five summers ago there was nothing colorful in our yard except some tulips and a rogue hollyhock.

Life gives you rain … nature gives you flowers … or some saying like that. 😁

All photos are property of Sausmus Photography.

Angels Among Us

They say there are angels among us … a recent walk in the neighborhood proves this to be true where I live.

I’m not sure when this little cherub first arrived or who put her there, but I first noticed her in the fall. She’s positioned so she seems to be keeping watch over the town. This week she’s facing the south ends of town … a few weeks ago she was facing north … guess she’s got all of us under her watch.

The pandemic has been tough on our little town, and as goal posts in our state have shifted around, it feels recently that people are losing optimism. That’s why walking does me good. On my walks I’ve found …

Peace …

Serene neighborhood views …

And beautiful sunsets.

While the news is often bleak, the scenery reminds me of an area that produces hardy people … we’ve proven in the past to be made of sturdy stuff around here.

And with angels looking over our shoulders, pandemics can’t have the upper hand forever. Right?

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is the second of two blogs sites that I keep.  You can find more on my thought&faith blog at rashellbud.wordpress.com. Wishing you a beautiful day full of the Small Stuff that transforms life into BIG STUFF.

A note to my “silent” readers … thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my work. I’ve learned that many of you are shy about commenting or hitting the like button, but I want you to know that I appreciate your visits and invite you into the conversations whenever you are ready.

Wishing you peace in all things … Shelly

When It’s Best to Say Nothing

Reflections

2020 was a year for voices.

Not always ones we’ve wanted to hear …

But there were things that needed to be said …

Sometimes helpful … sometimes not.

If I thought 2020 was noisy … 2021 has us screaming … already!

I’ve decided not to.

Scream, that is …

There’s so much of nothing to say …

I think it’s okay … best even … for me to say nothing for awhile … to let nature do the talking. This is what nature had to say on a recent walk at a favorite spot a short drive from my home …

It is true bliss have moved back “home” … immersed in the country side I love so much. To have all of this nature to escape to.

Putting this post together made me think of a Sara Teasdale poem that was part of the curriculum I taught in Junior English. We followed it up by reading Ray Bradbury’s story of the same name. I just noticed that Bradbury set his story in the year 2026. I hope he is wrong … that both writers prove to have given us warnings that are heeded … not prophetic pictures that come true.

There Will Come Soft Rains (Wartime) – Sara Teasdale

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild-plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Okay … that’s a little deep for this blog … probably should have put it on Rashellbud, my thought and faith blog, but this glimpse of nature is one of the joys of where we live.

Do you have any advice from your corner of the world for taking on 2021?

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is the second of two blogs sites that I keep.  You can find more on my thought&faith blog at rashellbud.wordpress.com. Wishing you a beautiful day full of the Small Stuff that transforms life into BIG STUFF.

A note to my “silent” readers … thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my work. I’ve learned that many of you are shy about commenting or hitting the like button, but I want you to know that I appreciate your visits and invite you into the conversations whenever you are ready.

Wishing you peace in all things … Shelly



October Snow (II)

Where I live is more beautiful than where you live! Just kidding … well … not really …

Where I live is more beautiful than where you live! Just kidding … well … not really …

Either someone put up their Christmas decor a wee bit early and the weather took them seriously, or it decided to dress up as Old Man Winter for Halloween. This wasn’t a hint of Winter … it was a full on, 5 inches and 10 degree Fahrenheit, real deal Winter Weekend. Five days out, and it’s just starting to warm up enough to begin the melt down.

It’s not exactly unusual to get a “Halloween Snow” in Eastern Washington; my childhood friends and I remember crunching through a scant inch, sometimes a little more, rubbing together frozen fingers while trying to grip our candy buckets and not fall on our bums. We were so cold! But we refused to wear a coat over our costumes … because what was the point of dressing up then, right? All this for candy and treats … most candy, that is. I wasn’t a fan of black or orange jelly beans and could never understand why people spent money on anything other than chocolate …much of which was pilfered by my mom … so the more chocolate the better!.

Last weekend’s storm, tho’ … I can’t think of any October snow that could hold its own with this one. Every since COVID showed up in February, every month following has had something insane happen … attempts … I imagine … to not be forgotten against the backdrop of a pandemic. Who knew months were so competitive.

The first two tree pictures (above) are of our flowering cherry plum (my friend calls it our “Plerry” tree) First pic is “early storm” … the second one is morning after”. I went out three times to knock snow from branches … hate to think what would have happened had I not done that.

Moving back home recently provided a whole new perspective on winter weather. It was one thing to experience local winters as a kid. Besides freezing, I remember sled rides and snowmobiling. There were snow angels and being the first one to stomp across a snowy field. Hot buttered rums (sans alcohol for us kids) with the neighbors and daring each other to lick one of the glimmering icicles hanging from the eaves of the house.

Now there’s winter as an adult … an adult in a 100+ old house. The lesson of this crazy early snow is that cheap heating oil may not be the bargain we hoped for.

Our home is heated with a forced air, oil furnace … thus stove oil. I learned last year that when temperatures start dipping below 30 degrees you have to mix the diesel with kerosene to keep the fuel from clouding up and turning to gel … very bad for the furnace. Thankfully, we did not learn the hard way.

Our fuel guy, takes care of all that stuff, BUT when I called him in September to fill our tank, I said, “put in the cheaper stuff. We’ll go for the mixture (more expensive) when the temps drop in Nov. “

“Not a problem,” he responded. “Lot’s of people do that.”

Probably wouldn’t have been a problem in a normal year … but … we all know. There is NOTHING normal about 2020.

So My Guy and I faced a nearly full oil tank (fully exposed to the elements as it sits at the back of our house) in danger of freezing fuel that could damage our furnace. After a $600 dollar repair at the end of last winter, that didn’t sound like a good idea to us. We next discovered that an additive wouldn’t do us much good either. Unless we have a way to mix it in, it will just sit at the top of the tank.

So … we bought heat tape (didn’t even know it existed until today) and the equivalent of a poodle noodle to wrap over the top. Waaa Laaa! Insulation for the pipe that lets the fuel into the house. Here’s hoping it does the trick.

The upside of our storm is that it’s stunning outside. The downside is that trees all across town took a terrible beating. The day following the storm, I watched pickup after pickup creep off the slippery hill behind our neighborhood, truck beds brimming with branches that were being hauled to our town yard waste site. Leaves had just begun to turn color and very few had fallen yet. So with the weight of leaves and heavy wet snow, followed by a strong wind that came at the end of the storm … our trees couldn’t hold up.

Most of these photos are the morning after the storm. It’s truly a photographers wonderland around here. Thankfully, I managed to get out on the one sunny day before the storm and capture some fall color on a frosty morning … before the snow robbed all the tees of their leaves… but those pictures have been pre-empted by these. I haven’t had time to process and edit them, so a future post is all in the making.

I kinda hate to end with pics of broken trees (photos below) but they’ve reminded me of some things. In a world … and a year … where everything feels frightfully tentative … I’m reminded that I don’t get to choose my storms. Storms will come. And I … I will either lock myself away … or I’ll look for the beauty in a storm. Then I’ll clean up and carry on … find something new out of what remains. That’s what we humans do.

As my father would have put it, “How’s the weather faring where you be?” Are you enjoying a beautiful fall or are you enduring one of the storms that seems to have sprung up around the edges of the country?

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is the second of two blogs.  You can find more on my thought&faith blog at rashellbud.wordpress.com. Wishing you a beautiful day full of the Small Stuff that transforms life into BIG STUFF.

A note to my “silent” readers … thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my work. I’ve learned that many of you are shy about commenting or hitting the like button, but I want you to know that I appreciate your visits and invite you into the conversations whenever your ready.

Wishing you peace in all things … Shelly

I shared this photo on one of my Wordless Wednesday posts … too beautiful not to share again.

Wordless Wednesday – October Snow

Snow in October was not what anyone had in mind, but then … this is 2020.

Snow in October was not what anyone had in mind, but then … this is 2020. Sadly, many trees in town suffered greatly from the weight of snow and leaves. This was one of the more fortunate.

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is the second of two blogs.  You can find more on my thought&faith blog at rashellbud.wordpress.com. Wishing you a beautiful day full of the Small Stuff that transforms life into BIG STUFF.

A note to my “silent” readers … thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my work. I’ve learned that many of you are shy about commenting or hitting the like button, but I want you to know that I appreciate your visits and invite you into the conversations whenever your ready.

Wishing you peace in all things … Shelly