Wednesday, March 11, 2015

So Long Winter; Welcome Puddle-Wonderful Spring

Last week, old man winter exhaled one last blast of Arctic air. He left behind about seven inches of cold on the ground as his exclamation point. This last gasp left me angry. How dare he chase away the robins I had seen just beginning to peak out from under their covers?

In defiance, I went to the sunroom and retired the chocolate-brown fur throws and snowmen pillows.
I replaced them with spring-green blankets.

Then I took my stand by placing primroses in the center of the dining-room table.

Next, I stored the porcelain snowballs that had been in the wire basket on my front porch just waiting for a fight, and replaced them with more congenial pansies.

Still not satisfied with my assault, I decided to make a spring-worthy wreathe in robin's egg blue.

I found instructions on line at: After making my supply list, I sloshed through slush to a local fabric outlet to purchase ribbon in various shades and widths of aqua, mint, and blue.

The wreathe instructions called for five yards of nine varieties of ribbon. The Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet, where I have purchased fabric for years is liquidating (sniff-sniff), but still had plain colored satin and grosgrain ribbon in a variety of widths and shades. I purchased about 30 yards of ribbon there, before snow-plowing over to AC Moore to buy the straw wreathe form and three other rolls of ribbon--one zigzag-striped, another polka dotted, and a third fuzzy rickrack.

The on-line instructions said anyone--children to adults--could make this wreathe in about an hour. It took me several hours. :) It wasn't hard, just time consuming.

First, you cut the ribbon into four inch lengths. Then beginning with one color of ribbon, you twirl it into a circle and pin it onto the straw form. I found it took two pins to hold each curl in place. Working with the first color of ribbon, you cover the wreath scattering the color evenly around the circle. Then you follow suit with each color. As you fill in the circle, the wreathe takes on a perky personality.

When I finished, I flung open the front door to hang my handiwork. Unhappily, a sharp blast of cold air took my breath away. However, the persistent old man isn't going to have the last word. His days are numbered.

Some day soon, I will be able to open the door and invite Spring inside. Until then, I will settle on this "mud-luscious", "puddle-wonderful" season.

[in Just-]

                               in Just- 
                               spring          when the world is mud- 
                               luscious the little 
                               lame balloonman 

                                whistles          far          and wee 

                                 and eddieandbill come 
                                 running from marbles and 
                                 piracies and it's 

                                 when the world is puddle-wonderful 

                                  the queer 
                                  old balloonman whistles 
                                  far          and             wee 
                                  and bettyandisbel come dancing 

                                  from hop-scotch and jump-rope and 




                                    balloonMan          whistles 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Celebrating a Life

I have been missing-in-action the past few weeks for good reason--a death in the family. My father-in-law passed away. He had been ill for a few years, so it was a long goodbye. He is now at home with his Savior.

As we planned his memorial service and arranged for friends and family from far and near to celebrate his life with us, I came to appreciate several aspects of our American-funeral-tradition.

First, funerals bring loved ones together. Why do we wait for a death to see cousins, aunts and uncles? We shouldn't, because these ties reinforce us when the winds-of-life bend us.  

Second, a memorial service is motivational. Reviewing my father-in-law's life spurred the rest of us on to copy his work-ethic, his love for the Bible, and his life investment in mentoring others. 

And last, Christian funeral services comfort our hearts as we are reassured that heaven awaits those who have accepted Christ's gift of forgiveness. 

In this vein, the poem by Emily Dickinson "The Bustle in a House" is memorable, because it captures the finality of death on earth, but the hope of reunion in eternity.
The Bustle in a House
Emily Dickinson

The bustle in a house
the morning after death
is solemnest of industries
enacted upon earth.

The sweeping up the heart
and putting love away
we shall not want to use again
until eternity.