Let Nature Take Its Course

How can something so sweet and juicy come in a time so hot and dry?  The melon explodes in my mouth – first the dainty cantaloupe ball, sculpted with love by the southern hostess, then the red-ripe watermelon triangle, bite-size for those willing to commit to a full-mouth experience, prepared by aforementioned hostess.  Summer isn’t a time for inhibition.

I’m barely connected to the seasons now.  I mean, I am inevitably and unconditionally, by sheer existence on this planet, but I’m not the joyful participant I felt I was in years past, at least trying to tend the plants and the soil.  I would like to reclaim that connection.

Uncertainty abounds, and like the pesky mosquitos that keep me indoors at night, our financial circumstances have a way of stifling freedom.  We’re afloat at the moment, fortunately, but we would like to be completely unshackled.

I’ve begun my discernment group.  Things could progress much more quickly that I thought.  I have no idea how it will work out.

The most joyful things in life are free in the moment, but there are expenses involved; I cannot deny that.  I have to work with that, and I hope that I will not ever sacrifice creativity.

Nature has a way of ripening into delicious beauty despite seemingly harsh conditions.  I have hope.

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Game of Life

This life is most definitely not a game.  However, I am slightly amused when listening to the kids playing the familiar game with the three-dimensional gameboard (that I’ve always loved).

“Alexander didn’t have any kids!”

“I’m an artist!”

“I make $160,000!”

The game is fun, introduces mortgages, taxes, insurance, etc.  There are elements of life in the game.  But not everything.

Where are the homeless?  Where’s the “gotta-have-two-jobs” card?  Where’s the NSF spot and can’t-spend-a-dime-till-payday spot?  Where’s the family barbecue and the birthday parties?  Where’s the comfort, sorrow, and extreme joy?  Where’s church services and dinner parties?  Where’s all the stuff that makes life LIFE?

That’s why it’s only a game.  Our lives, in contrast, are not determined with a clicking spin of the wheel.  We make choices, meet consequences, revel in surprises and learn at every bend in the road.  Fortunately, we’re not stuck in a plastic car (at least not all the time!), and there are oh-so-many paths to choose from and to discover.

Even when it seems like the chips are down, there is entirely too much in this life to radiate light and joy.  There is too much to love.  This is good to remember this summer vacation, and if I let the kids push me to the edge, maybe I’ll get the game out to remind me that my life is so much better than I think it is.

For real.

* I was looking for a stock photo of the board game to insert in this post since it’s been a while since any photos.  I found one — a perfect one.  It’s too perfect for me even to borrow.  I want you to take the time to go look at it.  Context clues tell me that it’s a child who just received a gift from an Angel Tree program or a similar goodwill charity (just saw that the title says it IS Angel Tree, at an Episcopal church neighboring our diocese).  But to me, the eyes of the child and the happy-go-lucky box contrast vividly.  The depth of my reality just increased; the compassion in my heart expanded further than I anticipated this morning.  My thanks to this child.  May gratitude fill my day, my life, and may all blessings be his.

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Times that Try Mothers’ Souls: Summer Ideas for All

Two words:  summer vacation

Instead of retreating into the couch with a sugary coffee and some bon bons, I’m taking this challenge by the horns.  I will survive!  (Feel free to break into song and dance.)

I printed the June and July calendars, and I filled the back of one sheet with ideas and general daily outlines.  The other sheet is filled with “Expectations of Behavior,” “Do These Every Day,” and a list of consequences.  No, I didn’t make these all up on my own.  The older two kids were right there with me.  I got their input, too, which is really crucial if you want an effective plan of action.

That said, my kids are notoriously good at the first couple of days in any new action/idea/concept/etc.  The proof will be at the end of the week and in the next eight weeks — whether I’ve gone mad and if my kids are ravaged with boredom.  We have so much fun stuff planned, though, that I really don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

To assist others in their summer planning, I figure I’d offer our ideas for June.  Next month, I’ll share July/early August.  (Their school starts back Aug. 14.)  And, just in case you’re wondering, I added our “everyday” list. 

Hope this helps!  Let me know if you have other suggestions, though our calendar is quite full!  : )

Do These Every Day

  • Speak kindly to everyone
  • Use words, not violence
  • Obey parents
  • Cooperate

*yes, my kids need these reminders!

June Schedule

Monday: Cleaning day, walk to park; if finish cleaning have family movie/game
Tuesday: Morning gardening/yard work, outside play; evening at Free Geek to learn to build computers
Wednesday:  library, botanical gardens; craft time
Thursday:  play at park/mall/outing; gardening/yard work
Friday:  free play, quick clean; swim time


Week 1:  Terra Studios, weekend at gradma’s
Week 2:  Vacation Bible School, weekend road trip
Week 3:  Breakfast outing, Children’s dance party, movie outing
Week 4:  Blueberry picking, Magician at library, pizza party, library concert

My kids are already checking to see what’s going on tomorrow.  It’s nice to be able to tell them.

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