Side Door into a Lovely Country Church

Here’s another picture from my spring morning churchyard stroll,which I posted about earlier. There’s something simply charming about the plain white door, neat sidewalk, plush bed of vinca minor,otherwise known as “periwinkle” or “myrtle” ground cover.

It was a perfect morning, very calming. I sat beside the vinca Bed for some time, contemplating these crazy times. The solitude, except for the melodic songs of birds, gave me hope and inspiration.

Parfait of Vehicles, Blossoms, Emerging Leaves

Springtime seems to finally be coming to the Midwest. This lovely seasonal view of a normally mundane parking lot seemed so unique I wanted to share. A momentary distraction from the recent worries we all face.

Oaks Against the Canvas of a Spring Sunset

Soon their branches will be filled with leaves, but for now these giants stand silhouetted against a spring sunset. This country road I take fairly often is one of most rustically scenic in the area.

Happy Mothers Day 2020 in Spite of Closed Restaurants and Predictions of Snow

This stressful spring seems to never end and now parts of the country are experiencing wintry weather when we’d rather be strolling aisles of greenhouses, bringing home flowers to plant for our mothers.

But like the hope of a mother for the future of a newly born child, we must remember that all things pass. Maybe, just maybe, when hot weather does arrive, it will burn out this virus.

But until the danger disappears, immunity comes, or a vaccine is developed and administered, we must continue to wear masks and social distance.

That won’t stop us from remembering our mothers in some way, whether we reside with them, or they are separated from us, as residents in nursing homes; places where precious citizens reside whom we must continue to protect as they are the most vulnerable among us.

If you can visit your mother, deliver dinner – her favorite takeout or a meal you cooked yourself.

If you can’t see her in person, connect via phone if possible, or send flowers. Think positive. Stay warm. Celebrate memories. Sunny days will eventually arrive on both a figurative and literal basis.

 

Forgotten Daffodils Bring Inspiration

There’s a longer post about this: on LinkedIn.

I’m finding I must remind myself of simple pleasures I’ve often skipped over in recent years in order to lessen stress.

During these days of crisis, a simple walk outside can be a wonderful way to raise spirits and build the sustenance necessary for enduring the “new normal” for as long as we must to minimize future risk from this virus.

A tour of the lawn revealed these daffodils, surviving through my recent neglect of the flowerbeds which used to bring me so much pleasure.

I’d forgotten the lovely light fragrance of these delicate blooms. They are now decorating the peak of a bookcase, scenting the air  nicely though I only brought in these three blooms.

Easter Snows and Glowing Sunsets – Typical Springtime Contrasts

Traveling home last evening, and then again this morning (I’m composing this post on Good Friday) I encountered several snow squalls, punctuated by sunny skies.

Here’s a photo of one of my favorites spots to observe sunsets. I love this huge old farmhouse. Each time I pass, images come to me, of brothers and sisters from a large family flitting about the upstairs bedrooms after a long day of labor on the farm during summer vacation, or following chores and homework on schooldays.

My mother always said an Easter snow was inevitable. I used to scoff when she said that, but the years have shown me, we do usually have at least a skiff of snow, somewhere within the week before or after Easter.

Hopefully today’s flurries will serve as this year’s official Easter encounter with the white stuff.

May Easter blessings surround us. . . 

And may those of us who are well remain healthy as our heroes in the medical research community work round the clock to find ways to help current COVID-19 patients and a  vaccine to prevent future outbreaks. 

 

 

A Great Day for a Forsythia Bouquet

But I don’t have a bush of my own so I’ll just enjoy the ones I see on the way to work and this lovely bouquet on the cover of The Vermont Country Store catalog.

L. L. Bean used to have beautiful seasonally appropriate catalog covers, but alas, they’ve let me down in recent years. The emporium from The Green Mountain State thankfully still adheres to tradition.

These graceful stems, loaded with bright yellow flowers are a lovely complement to the cobalt blue glassware. The arrangement is reminiscent of spring skies of azure and gold.

P.S. Oops, the photo showed the flowers properly centered in the frame. Don’t know why the software changed the angle. No time to fix at this moment, but will try when time is available!

Robert Frost and Vrest Orton Were Friends, it Seems

Vrest Orton, original proprietor of The Vermont Country Store, and Robert Frost, poet laureate, were familiar with each other, it seems, according to his grandsons, Gardner, Cabot, and Eliot, who operate the store and catalog company today, along with their father Lyman Orton.

This post’s featured photo, of the bunny taking advantage of a maple syrup collection site to catch a sweet treat, is from the pages of a spring catalog by the company that keeps iconic products alive for their fans, even when popularity wanes.

In our area, at least, daffodils and hyacinths don’t appear at the time of maple syrup processing, but artistic license makes for a cute photo.

Robert Frost was famous in the mid-twentieth-century for his poetry centered upon the natural world. He celebrates impending spring in the following:

To the Thawing Wind

by Robert Frost

Come with rain O loud Southwester!

Bring the singer, bring the nester;

Give the buried flower a dream;

Make the settled snow bank stream;

Find the brown beneath the white;

But what’er you do tonight

Bathe my window make it flow

Melt it as the ice will go;

Melt the glass and leave the sitcks

Like a hermit’s crucifix;

Burst into my narrow stall;

Swing the picture on the wall;

Run the rattling pages o’er;

Scatter poems on the floor;

Turn the poet out of door.

 

 

 

One of the Best Christmas Displays We’ve Seen in Years

We had to go back to Norwalk after viewing this display and so many others in the town earlier this Christmas season.

Few light shows rival this one – literally like stepping into a perfectly planned Christmas wonderland. Its cheerful and colorful, yet tasteful and prestigious.

Light displays are, for us, the best part of Christmas. And they’re free for the viewing, other than the gasoline. We applaud the fact that more and more homeowners are leaving their lights up long past Christmas.

A Dreamy Christmas Day After a Fearsome Eve of Fog

The services of Rudolph were definitely in order the night before this Christmas. Here in northern Ohio, we suffered roughly 36 hours of dense fog, from the evening of December 23 until Christmas morning. My drive home on the 24th was frightening at times, thought I am thankful it wasn’t snowing.

My wish for a green Christmas came when the fog cleared on Christmas morning. The temperature in the afternoon flirted with 60 degrees. It was a lovely day after a short, strange, and not so Christmasy season for me. No disasters, thankfully, it just didn’t really seem like Christmastime until yesterday.

Now I’m ready for the season to begin again, the light shows, cards, thoughts of giving. We can at least do those things for another week, and really, why not anytime? Especially the thoughtful giving to those in need part.

Following are a few photos from my stroll on the lawn after a tasty salmon dinner, before package opening. (We broke with tradition a bit this year, eating the holiday meal, with its new first course, first, before opening presents.

Who would want to remain inside on a day like today? Though I will say, the sun shining in through the windowpanes made my few decorations dazzle, and brightened spirits as well.

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Drying apples bask in the golden light of a beautiful Christmas Day in Ohio

 

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Blue bottles catch the slanting rays of sunlight on Christmas, three days past solstice this season.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAContrails from Christmas travelers line the sky over our lawn, from northwest to southeast.

GE DIGITAL CAMERABranches of the ash tree on our front lawn lean in a similar direction.

Though we can learn a lot from the beauty of the rhythms of the changing seasons, I wouldn’t complain if all Christmases were this balmy, not to mention, most of the days of winter.