Saturday, May 29, 2010

Outdoor Living with a Splash of Special Meaning ....

My Bob and I have been working in the yard for the last month preparing for our outdoor summer ! This year I purchased some new plant material and planted them here and there. Bob transplanted and moved the larger plants for me without complaint as always, as well as setting out three new hummingbird feeders. He is always right on top of feeding all of our plants and lawn....a habit I loved about my Dad. We have a very similar vision for our outdoor space and we really love putting in the time and then sitting back with a nice glass of wine in the early evening as we take in the fruits of our labor. This morning we both did our first morning reading and coffee outside while watching our Grand dog Turkelton prance about as if he were more deer than dog.

This water fountain in the front yard was donated to us by our friends that moved to Colorado as were our Adirondack chairs out back that I painted orange. I love the water fountain, though the sound of water coming in the front door created in me the need to visit the restroom a little to often :-) So, disconnect the water feature and toss in some color!

The train ringer that hangs on the porch entry was my Dad's, wonderful memories of him whenever a train is involved. I have two girlfriends that actually ring it versus the door bell when they stop by, that always generates a smile and my heart overflows with the love I had for my Dad...

I took a photo of our beautiful dove that chose to sit on her egg(s)in our hanging Christmas cactus....we love to watch her, always as still as she can be and watching the father(we assume)come and go as if checking on her and maybe bringing her food? The first sound we hear outside our bedroom window every morning, the coo of the doves.

  Our friends that moved to the state of Washington,  left us our bench that I painted red, the beautiful ferns outside our dinning room as well as a couple plants down our side yard.

The parrots outback, my Dad made and they fit in perfectly with the tropical feel of our 14 palm trees on our property. My father gave a few of his parrots to friends of mine who treasure them because they too understand how special my Father was. One even named her parrot Ray, after my Dad. He would have had a belly laugh over that!

My favorite splash of special meaning is my red water pump. As a child we would camp most every summer at Wade Lake in Montana with several other relatives. Upon arrival I always went to the water pump first thing, the outhouse second :-) I was so fascinated by the fact we would be pumping water out of the ground during our stay, no dripping facets at our campground. I remember walking to the pump to fill a pot or two for the cooks...generally my Dad and my Uncle's were the breakfast cooks. It stirs up memories I can smell. Fried potatoes and onions, bacon, eggs and coffee all being cooked over an open camp fire at the crack of dawn surround by pine trees and family...perfect.

I love being out in my yard pulling weeds, reading a good book, or just watching the humming birds. While doing so I am surround by all the beauty, reminded of the best of friends, reliving the memories made with them. I can flash back to childhood summers with my family all the while taking in the smell of breakfast cooking.

My Father loved his plants and took pride in his yard always, especially the gift he had for growing roses, a gift my sisters and I will carry on because of him. These two red rose bushes he bought and planted for me when I first bought my home. They are the most fragrant roses I've ever smelled, surely because his big hands planted them.

Looking forward to the next several months outdoors taking in the view as my heart fills once again with happy reminders of times gone by, my nose takes in the smells of childhood and my mind the thoughts of days gone by with just some of those I love.  
This is what echos from my heart today........

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Time to make some more time...

I was in a meeting this afternoon and I was discussing how since I've been unemployed I have trouble (more than usual) remembering days of the week, appointments, regularly schedule things like Thursday night Bible study at my house(prior to the gals arriving) or kids coming over for dinner! I believe this is the result of everyday becoming a Saturday, the kind life you lead when you aren't committed to the routine of a job outside the home.

As a kid it took forever it to be it's how on earth could it be Saturday again?? The mad rush to the market for the dinner guest that are coming tonight!! I thought that was like five days from now, I have plenty of time, not!

Now, I know I'm getting older but I'm wanting to slow things down just a little bit. I'm finding I want to be up earlier and in bed later in order to get my moneys worth out of everyday. I do not want to nap, something most people treasure and take part in regularly.'s an hour or so of this life of mine and I don't want to sleep through it.

My first thought of what I could do in order to by me some more time...Give away the television. Maybe give it to some young gal in her twenties that thinks she has all the time in the world and can't begin to imagine a date such as 2010 when is only 1985. I mean come on, that is like "in the future", it'll be like the Jetson's then, right? This is the same young gal that has trouble pronouncing cellulite let alone knowing what its like having a personal relationship with it! The same young gal who doesn't need a gym, eye cream, glasses, or something to drink to be "regular".

I think maybe I will add some routine to my life (NEVER thought I'd be saying that) in order to help remember the day of the week, help me to be a better steward of my time, which will help me stay on top of events I have planned for the next week?

I will start my mornings with eye cream, put on my glasses, enjoy some black coffee (plays a part in the "regular" thing ), read my Bible before heading out to the gym to work on that cellulite!

I have so many places I want to see and I now realize that the Jetson's and the year 2020 isn't all that far off. Yep, I'm thinking that twenty year old gal needs a big screen t.v........yep, so she too will one day look at her legs in the mirror and ask herself "how on earth did I survive that hail storm"? Oh, and by the way there is no magic cream or tool that removes those dents like there is for automobiles!

Gotta get busy, time is of the essence....this is what echos from my heart today!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Favorite Place to be....

My favorite place to be is in the beautiful state of Montana. Montana is where my parents met. He was a brakeman on the railroad, she a telegraph operator that used to wave at him as he rocked down the track to the neighboring towns. I and my sisters were all born in Bozeman, Montana and lived there until Mom and Dad made the move to California when I was four. Our family vacations were always to Montana every year, as so many family members still lived there. Many great childhood memories were made in Montana with all my Aunts and Uncles and too numerous to count..cousins.

Bob and I visit Montana nearly every summer ourselves. As I've gotten older, ever year we head along the Gallatin out of West Yellowstone and I start to feel like I'm home. Strange since I left there at the ripe old age of four, yet I do feel, home. Nothing compares to it's beautiful blue "Big Sky" and the quiet communities that dot the land here and there.
Greek Creek on the Gallatin River was the favorite fishing spot of my Uncle Jack who taught me to fish as a child. His family put his ashes there and the story has been told that upon the releasing of his ashes a big German Brown trout jumped up into the air!

I loved my Uncle Jack so much that Bob and I were married on the rivers edge of the Gallatin River at Greek Creek (famous for some of the filming of "A River Runs Though It").

The day of our I Do's we woke to the frequent summer surprise of rain. Not what I had ordered for our outdoor setting. By the time we arrived that afternoon at the rivers edge the rain had stopped, only remnants of white fluffy clouds against the bluest of skies remained. The smell was of wet pine and clean fresh air, perfect. On our arrival one of my cousins provided me with my bouquet. She surprised me and drove to Uncle Jack's old cabin and picked wild flowers for me to use as my bouquet that perfect day in July. After Bob and I exchanged our vows I tossed my bouquet into the Uncle Jack.

Every summer on our way in to where family lives, we first stop at Greek Creek. We set up our beach chairs on the rivers edge, take off our shoes and stick our toes in the frigid water, open a bottle of wine and toast each other and Uncle Jack. On several occasions visitors from the neighboring camping spots would pass by and ask how long we would be staying to which Bob replies, "oh,we aren't staying, we just stopped by for a glass of wine with Uncle which time they immediately scan the surrounding area for, Uncle Jack? Its just for grins, we eventually tell them :-)
Every year Bob humors me with the same route there that my Father always took. I'm very sentimental of the landmarks from my childhood trips. He also agrees to driving me by every house we ever lived in, and takes the same photos of those homes every year. I'm so, so happy I married a man that loves Montana as much as I do. He in fact would like to move there! I told him to be sure and write :-) Montana winters are not for me.
In 2008 we traveled to a rented cabin on the Gallatin were we met up with our bestest friends Tami and Scott from Colorado. This was less than two weeks after the loss of my Father. It was a difficult yet perfect trip. Difficult, because every summer I used to call Dad with my Montana report everyday, sharing with him most everything and everyone I saw. This particular trip the Gallatin River was fuller than I had ever seen it, I wanted to tell him. We spent the better part of a day with our friends atop a mountain in Big Sky that provided the most beautiful view I had ever seen in all my trips to Montana. I wanted so badly for Dad to see it with me.
Its that time of year, I begin thinking of Montana and all there is to explore that we have not yet seen, despite a lifetime of summer travels there. Big Sky Country, this is what echos form my heart today....