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Ultimate Blog Party 2010

This is my very first Ultimate Blog Party! Be sure to visit their site to find other blogs and join in the fun!

I’m not a big party girl, so I thought I’d invite you to sit a spell, kick off your shoes, and chat-chat for a few minutes before you head to the next happenin’ place.Think of it as a power-nap to keep you going strong on your tour of all the blogs!

Do you like my view? I’m an outdoors, by the water kind of girl. Ever notice how there’s always a breeze blowing by the water? It blows my worry and stress away. Heaven knows we’ve had lots of that in our family. I have four children, two of whom have spent significant time in hospitals. Let me tell you, spending time outside becomes a priceless treasure when you’ve lived for weeks smelling nothing but sterile air and disinfecting soap.

Aside from sitting at waters’ edge, my favorite place to chill is that hammock under the tree, where I like to read, stare at the clouds, and just be quiet. Finding quiet in my house is next to impossible — the only other place to go is the shower.

A lot of my thinking ends up in writing, on my blog. I lost a child a year and a half ago, so sometimes these thoughts dive deep. Of course, with three young kids in the house, I slog through the usual the usual staples of motherhood: How do I end up with so many orphan socks every week? What’s the best way to remove glitter paint from a dining room table? How does one go about transferring a gigantic bumble bee from a kids’ bedroom to the Great Outdoors without getting stung?

Ok, less talking, more thinking. What does this cloud look like to you?

I see a bunny. With a rat-like nose.

How about a snack before you go? A little pick-me-up for the road? My kids were in charge of food today. I made sure they washed their hands. We won’t talk about the knife-licking incident. Or the sneezing.

smiley sandwich

Going so soon? Thanks for dropping by! Hope to see you back again soon. Don’t forget to follow me, join Google Friend Connect (see the box on the right sidebar), and join my Facebook fan page. The next blog in the party is through the woods to your right. Have fun!


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Hope in the Garden

My husband built me a new raised bed last week. I worked the manure, compost, top soil, and peat together until my arms ached. The peat was dust-dry, while the manure rolled out of its bag into one massive lump like clay. One lump at a time, I kneaded the dry into the wet into soft dirt, ready for seeds. Eight feet long, four feet wide, six inches deep. That’s more than a few cubic feet of dirt to mix by hand. But I love it.

Yesterday, armed with cold-tolerant seeds, I headed to the older bed, lying under a bed of fall’s leaves. This bed needed less kneading and more mixing with the trowel — turning the leaves under and fluffing soil flattened by heavy snow. One by one, I called a child from the swing-set to take a turn planting with me. I showed them how to poke holes with their fingers just the right distance apart, drop a couple seeds into each, cover lightly. We managed not to pour an entire bagful of seeds into one square inch of soil, too.

We filled a watering can at the spigot and each sprinkled water over their seeds. We talked about which seeds were largest, which were smallest, and which looked like something they recognized.

Then, as they argued over whose turn it was to swing, I wrote on small metal tags what we hoped to enjoy in early summer. Carrots. Spinach. Swiss chard. Snap peas.

As I planted the shiny markers in the empty soil, I thought about my daughter lying under the ground, her name on a marker too. I thought about Easter, just celebrated on Sunday, and how the story of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection parallels the death of winter, planting, and springing forth of new life in the spring.

It is beautiful. I want it to be true. But I wonder how it can be that one day everything could be made right. I hope so. It isn’t a confident hope that knows without proof that something will be. It’s the wishful hope of a gardener planting seeds of unknown origin, hoping that they sprout.