Reflection

Dear Bob

May 14, 2017

“Dear Bob,” is how I started my letters to Bob.  

“Dear Bob“, I wrote approximately 40+ times in the last 5 years.I had planned to go to Bob’s 100th birthday party in a few short months, but Bob was called home.

Last Sunday, he got dressed in his suit for church, unlocked the front door, so the choir director could come in and help him with his tie.  He sat down in his chair and quietly passed away….ready for church…ready to sing in God’s choir.  I cannot think of a better way for him to go…quietly, quickly, ready for church.

I’ve cried a few tears.

It will be odd to not write letters to “Dear Bob”.

I have been working on transforming the front garden.  There is lots of work to do.  I have lots of plans, but I am now doing it all out-of-order.  Today, I planted two climbing roses in Bob’s memory.  I think about one of the anthems Bob wants sung at his service…”May All Who Come Behind Us Find Us Faithful.

Often in life, it seems easy to feel as if, I haven’t been or done enough…as Bob’s friend, I have no regrets.

Bob’s Arbor….I have been blessed by my friendship with my dear Bob.

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My Oldest Friend

November 1, 2015

My oldest friend came for a quick visit.  We were born 2 days apart, next door to each other.  I, the youngest of 5, she the youngest of 6.  You could say we had some things in common!  How lucky was I to have a built-in playmate, best friend just next door.  We learned to roller-skate in her back yard as it was smooth cement.  We played kickball, baseball and all other sorts of games in the cul-de-sac we shared.  We spent most summer days in our pool, where some how once we could swim parents left us to ‘watch each other’…parents didn’t worry that we wouldn’t drown or drown each other…that might not have been a great idea, but still we did manage to survive.carol poolMy mother sewed us matching dresses…carol matching dress..and I was devastated when at 12 they moved away.  We stayed in touch, but still it was not next door.

When she was visiting Portland this weekend, they swung by Ellensburg for a visit.  (You gotta love Californians…who are not afraid to drive!)  It was quick, but it was sweet…to see someone who so truly knows your history….the shenanigans one might have possibly gotten up to when one was a child.

carolThe visit was much too short…but hopefully…my friend, my first friend…will be back…and I am blessed.

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Tractors Are Like Life

April 3, 2015

Tractors have gears.  I might not have known that a few years ago, and some of my city friends might not have known that as well…but it is true!  Tractors have gears and I don’t just mean forward and backward.  Most of my gear language knowledge comes from My Loving Spouse (The Brit).  When I learn vocabulary from him, I am never quite sure if I am speaking ‘American’, so there you go, that is my very own ‘disclaimer’.  The gears have ‘ranges’ too.  ‘Low range’ for slow and ‘high range’ for not so slow.  Except, here is the problem…everything is trial and error.  There are NO fancy dials (actually even the dials we do have don’t work), to say…Low Range=SLOW, although occasionally there is the voice of My Loving Spouse saying,

‘Why do you have it in that range?’

To which there is no real answer, because a lot of times I am not really sure which ‘range’ I am actually in.

Changing gears is a lot of fun too (enter sarcastic font here).  The gears don’t slide in like they do in a modern sports car (not that I’ve driven many of those) the gears grind like you’d expect on a tractor that is older than I am, here’s the math (56).  I mostly drive in whatever gear I can get my tractor into.

There is a gear called ‘road gear’.  Yep, that’s right it is for ‘fast’…for driving on the road…for getting from one field to another or for visiting your neighbor on your tractor.

What I have learned, is that tractors kick up a lot of dust-dirt-mayhem and it goes down the back of your shirt, on your neck and in your ears…so I always wear a hoody…with the hood up.  I also protect my seat…my seat, not the tractor seat.  The tractor seat is often wet and it is metal, so it is wet and cold…I try to never sit on the tractor seat without a barrier between me and it…usually an old cat food feed bag (feeding all those cats is good for something)!

Driving my tractor is good for my heart…it calms me down, it makes me feel productive and it is best when both my head and my seat are protected.  Every once in a while I accidentally put the tractor into ‘road gear’ (fast), when I don’t want ‘road gear’, I just want go-forward-sort-of-normal-gear and I get a big unhappy surprise, a bit of whiplash and I have to jump on the brakes, before I run into something.

Lately, that is how life has felt, as if I’ve been slammed into road gear when I wasn’t ready for it…or just didn’t plain old want it.  The truth is, I’m just doing my best with a bunch of old difficult gears.  Tractor driving is a lot like life!

Lord,

help me to find the right gear…

keep the dirt out of my ears…

make a productive difference…

do what is good for my heart…

visit my friends…

and not run over or into much…

Amen

 

Ford Jubilee Tractor

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Opportunity

March 20, 2015

There is a sense when living in a major metropolis’, that it is where the land of opportunity lays.  When people heard you might consider leaving the area, it was not uncommon to hear the words…

‘But what ever will you do?’

This was not a problem for me, as I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I have been beyond amazed however, at the opportunities that have availed themselves for Team Offspring, here in the country.  Number Two Son’s plan was to be a visitor at Glory Farm.  He was at a theater arts college on the East coast when we moved.  He was content at his school, acting, singing and writing plays…(I think he was studying too, but I do not actually know that to be a fact, but his grades were good so perhaps he found a bit of time for that as well).  Then….life threw him a curve ball…his school was in financial disarray so they doubled his tuition…and eventually he came ‘home’…to the country…our boy that loves New York City and subways and theater and city stuff.

Opportunity is abundant…and I believe that God is good.

Number Two Son is finishing up at Central Washington University.  He is back in his element…acting, performing, learning and working.

Working at Cave B… an estate winery with a fascinating and deep history set at the Columbia river’s edge.

This little picture does not begin to do justice the beauty of the winery.

(This little picture does not begin to do it justice)

Number Two loves being out at the winery, learning about the wine…how it is made…the grapes…the process…  The people are wonderful…and they want him…beyond graduation…and it is exciting…and he is happy.  We are also learning a lot more about wine, to which all I can say is…education is a good thing!  Cave B is expanding their ability to make more wine…

oh, and they are building a performing arts venue as well…

to which all I can say is…

cave b1‘Cheers!’

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What’s A Mother To Do?

January 5, 2015

Watch out Hong Kong, she is coming…laurapc1One would never describe My Girl as being shy.  When she was a small child and we’d run into friends at the grocery store, she would hug them, chat with them, be happy to see them and then as we walked away, she’d say,

“So, who was that?”

She lived by the code that said, hug first, find out who they are second.

To say that the Lord has stretched me by being her mother would be an understatement.  This move to this town, this home and the timing was all about attempting to give her a better life…who knew…how far she would take this opportunity!

There have been many hats for me to wear to help her get to where she is today…and now…she is setting out…in a big way…feeling called on a mission to South East Asia for 5 months.  I know she’ll get…

lonely  tired  happy  exhilarated  excited  joyful  amazed  exhausted  overwhelmed  blessed  sad  glad and probably a few others…

I have been wondering….what is my job now?

I have this feeling…

that I am to find others to join with me in praying for her daily while she is gone.  So…I am ‘looking’ for 31 people who will agree to pray 5 times while she is gone…31 people who will pray one day a month for 5 months…

My job right now…I think is to send her off, but to cover her in prayer…

I believe in the power of prayer, even though I am not a big ‘out loud’ prayer, that is not my gift.  I am a simple prayer, a sort of reader’s digest kind of prayer…

I pray in simple words…and yet…isn’t it great that we cannot do ‘it’ wrong.

Together, we can keep My Girl covered in prayer for each day while she is on this mission…and for many of you…I know, this is not the first time you’ve lifted her in prayer….and we are blessed.

If you’re willing to be 1 of the 31, please send me an email to ellenewalton@gmail.com…and say Prayer 31 or comment here on the blog…and thank you….from the bottom of this mom’s heart.

Ellen

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The Shepherd in the Field

December 24, 2014

The sheep are back in the hay fields behind our farm.  The sheep are nibbling on the left over bits of hay still growing up from the ground.  There are hundreds of sheep…watched over by one shepherd and a bunch of sheep dogs.  The dogs come in all sizes and know quite well how to protect and herd their sheep.  The sheep dogs should always be given a wide berth, if the shepherd is not around…sheppardpc5…but see, here’s the thing…the shepherd is always around…always.   The sheep are never left alone…and so for the shepherd, it would seem that this is a very lonely existence.shepparpc2…as he spends the days and nights with his dogs in his little sheep camp trailer.  The trailer is little more than a box on wheels, no fancy RV here at all.  The rest of the world goes on around him…we non-shepherds get to have Christmas…while the shepherd’s days do not change and it is almost as if the shepherd could be forgotten…as if he wasn’t part of the world that mattered.shepardpc1…and so I was so pleased that My Loving Spouse said,

‘I want to take a plate of Christmas cookies to The Shepherd.’

My husband has a good heart…and he wrapped up a beautiful plate of cookies for The Shepherd, who we’d never actually met and who doesn’t speak our language.  I was a little bit worried about the sheep dogs.  However, with The Shepherd nearby, all the dogs ran to meet us in a friendly fashion, which made me do a small prayer of thanks right on the spot.  sheppardpc4

The dogs were rather warm and joyful as was The Shepherd…who smiled widely…understood why we’d come and hugged us both.

‘Feliz Navidad’sheppardpc3It made me think about the way the news came from the angel to the shepherds…the shepherds, who could so easily have been ‘left out of the loop’…but this good news was for all the people.

Luke 2:10 

And the angel said unto them,

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,

which shall be to all people.

sheppardpc6Merry Christmas to you all…

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Gifts of the Season

With just 4 days until Christmas gift giving is in full swing.  My Librarian, The School Nurse and I all received a gift from the kids to start our holiday break.  So, because of them sharing this ‘gift’ with me, this was my breakfast.  Prepared by My Loving Spouse and if you are part of […]

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Feeling Blessed

Sometimes I leave little loving messages for my kids….Because that is what life is about, this living together…communication, mess and love. My kids have all aged out of the teen years and we made it!  Oh, they still think I am a tad crazy, sort of forgetful and a bit over zealous about pumpkins, cows, […]

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Knee Day

For some family time on Father’s day, we moved another fence.  Squaring out the property and supplying our ‘massive’ (3) growing herd with more grass to eat.We were anxious to get this done prior to ‘knee day’.  Team Offspring were ‘invited’ to spend some quality time with us moving the fence, after all, it was […]

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Mother Daughter Banquet

The mother daughter church banquet was last night.  An annual affair with little girls all dressed up, older gals with flowers and a line of men to serve the meal and clean up.  It is a simply sweet meaningful event and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go… It has been 8 years since my […]

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Learning to Listen

I am not an ‘orange & teal’ person. I am not an ‘orange’ person. I am not a ‘teal’ person. I am most certainly not an ‘orange & teal’ person. To awake with the dream/vision/idea/thought that I was to make a quilt with orange & teal is not my ‘norm’, but the ‘message’ seemed clear. […]

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The dreaded ‘D’ word….Diet

There are few words I want to ever utter out loud and ‘I am on a diet’ is high on my list.  It is not that I haven’t spent years trying to lose weight or being conscious of weight….but I seldom wanted to say the words ‘out loud’, because they in themselves seemed recipe for disaster […]

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