Winter or Spring- Straddling the Line

It’s that time of year.Early spring, or six more weeks of winter? Here in the upper South, we can go either way.

The one and only snow day in Central Arkansas so far fell on the day last month when hubby and I were scheduled to leave for a Caribbean cruise! Around here, just a little bit of snow can shut down roads and cause havoc. Since we live around 20 miles from the airport, we spent a little extra money to stay in a hotel just a hop and a skip across the freeway from the runway. This gamble paid off for sure, as we were able to sleep confidently. Roads leading to the airport are among the first to be cleared. The next morning, there was just a dusting of white stuff, and no ice underneath, so we navigated the overpass, left our car in the cold, and headed for warmer climates.

When we connected in Atlanta, the terminals were buzzing with talk of an ice storm. Ours was one of the last planes to leave for Florida before the weather shut things down in Georgia’s busiest city.

Even in Florida, and on the ship, the weather was unseasonable. Temperatures in the 50s and 60s and strong winds made for choppy seas, and even a change in our schedule. But we did have a sunny day on the beach, and another warm one on a fishing excursion.

Back at home, there has been no more below freezing weather. Just a weekly roller coaster of winter, back to spring, and even summer. The plants are confused. Flowers and shrubs are blooming earlier than normal, and we go from shorts and flip-flops to scarves and boots with little notice.

I’m not complaining. It certainly keeps life interesting. But, I am just hoping that the beautiful blooms won’t be bitten by that last icy blast that always seems to arrive just before Easter Sunday.

God has a plan.He just keeps the weather men guessing in the Natural State!!!

Some Things About Spring

Spring on the farm is one of my favorite times of year. In Iowa long winters are the norm, so when the days grow longer and the sun tickles my face with warmth once again, I am more than eager to put cabin fever behind me.

Here are a few of the things I look most forward to this time of year:

  1. black baby calfMy favorite thing about spring on the farm is baby calves. There’s nothing cuter than watching them take their first steps and then run and play in the pasture with all their little buddies.
  2. Spring wouldn’t be the same without planting a vegetable garden. Each year I swear it will be smaller than the year before, but so far that hasn’t happened. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. Or, maybe that saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” comes into play here.
  3. petuniasFilling my planters with colorful flowers and waiting from them to overflow the pots always adds a bright spot to my day (literally.) The flowers on the ground in the picture were all volunteer last year. Though the ground is covered with small landscaping rocks, I rather liked the effect and hope they pop up again this year.
  4. bird houseWatching the birds flit around and tease the cats is always fun.
  5. tire swingA tire swing hanging in the backyard reminds me of youth and all the days our kids spent playing on it. Kids and swinging on a warm spring day goes hand in hand.
  6. cat and litterOf course, spring on the farm wouldn’t be complete without a new litter of kitties. Aren’t they just too stinkin’ cute?

What are some of your favorite things about spring?

 

I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD . . .

It was cold and damp in Kentucky earlier this week. “Showers of Blessings?” Indeed.

I find it very easy to succumb to mood swings this time of year. It’s like the positives are MORE positive, and the negatives are MORE negative. And when it’s cold and damp, the negatives FAR outweigh anything good that might also be going on.

So here’s my list – at least for this week. I always like to start with the bad news, first:

  • It’s cold and damp.
  • The trees are still, for the most part completely bare.
  • I can never come up with anything to wear.
  • It’s such a long time until summer.

 

But then, there are the positives:

  •  We have the occasional gloriously warm day.
  • The trees are budding, and I even saw a plum tree in full bloom on Sunday!
  • Soon I can pull out my sandals.
  • Last Friday it FELT like summer.

And then my all-time-favorite positive – THE DAFFODILS ARE BLOOMING!!

I can be tooling along, driving down the road, getting grumpier by the moment, when BAM! There’s a whole BANK of daffodils! 

What is it about seeing the blessing of God’s creation of simple little yellow flowers that can send my mind into a whirl and put a smile on my face? It’s almost like that feeling you get, when you’re driving to a tropical clime, when you see those first palm trees.

When I see them, it’s like all the negative thoughts of cold and damp skitter out of the way, and spring fever sets in. All sorts of thoughts run through my mind. Everything from the huge bed of all sorts of daffodils, large and small, that graced our yard when I was little, to Bullwinkle’s recitation of Wordsworth’s “Daffodils.”

But whether I see them on the side of the road, in my memories, or on cartoons, daffodils are special. When I see the daffodils, I am reminded, once again, that God really meant it when he said “winter is past,” and I rejoice that He had Solomon put this verse into his Song of Songs 2:11-12.

11. For the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers are springing up and the time of the singing of birds has come. Yes, spring is here.

A little yellow flower. A sign of God’s love? It is for me. Just like those bouquets of daffodils were that I picked for my mom when I was a little girl, God gives us His vast array of springtime flowers to pick us up out of the doldrums that we fall into so easily in the cold and dark of winter.

And when you come to think of it, would we appreciate His gift of spring nearly as much if we didn’t have the gift of winter?

Another blog, another time . . .  For now, just enjoy SPRING, everyone!

Showers of Blessings Indeed

Showers of blessings and blessings and blessings indeed. With a few minor issues, but life isn’t perfect. Not until we get to Heaven anyway.

For family, everyone is still healthy and happy. Thank you, Lord. Spring Break gives us a much needed break next week. My son looks forward to a break from school and I look forward to a break from BICHOK, though I’ll probably still do a little time on the keyboard. Just weeks before the tentative plans we’d made for a family trip, we learned my husband doesn’t get a spring break.

Which brings me to finances. Weeks ago, hubby was barely working 25 to 30 hours at his supposedly full time job. This month, the company transferred his coworker to a different department. Now hubby works 50 hours a week and he’s still preaching too. Though our ends meet a lot easier, he usually misses Wednesday night church, he gets home pretty late some evenings, and he’s exhausted. My son and I both decided we’d rather have dad than a bigger paycheck. He’s training someone new, a preacher (God worked that out), and by the time the training period is over, the workload should pick up to where they each work a regular schedule.

At church, there for a while, we were losing people. And my hubby didn’t even make anybody mad. But things have turned around. We’ve gotten several new members lately, including a high school friend my husband used to pothead with. Isn’t God amazing? We’re needing more classrooms in our new building that seemed way too big only ten months ago. What a nice problem to have? And nobody’s left in several months. I almost hate to write that out loud.

In writing, all editing is behind me. At least on book one. A few weeks ago, I finished the final edit, cut words, combined chapters, and asked for minor revisions on the cover. In a mere month and a half, White Roses will ship to 10,000 Heartsong book club members. By July, it will be in stores.

I’m almost finished with a preliminary content edit on book 2. It seems I threw everything in the plot, except the kitchen sink, so my editor asked me to downsize a bit. Remember how all books go through three edits. So far, my first had four and it looks like the second will too. But who knows I might just manage to make it to five. My editor said that some books are boring in the editing stage, but not mine. Thank you Lord for patient editors. As for book 3, it’s at the halfway mark and still writing itself.

Showers of blessings indeed. My cup overfloweth.

“And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of  blessing.” Ezekiel 36:24.