Thursday, August 20, 2009

Indiana Home

North Carolina's Showy Weeds!
I got back to New Harmony on Tuesday afternoon. The drive is not difficult, just long! Fortunately, I like to drive and on this journey I listened to the last Harry Potter book on tape. The book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is long so it lasted for both portions of the trip. This is the second time I have listened to it and this time I caught more of the clever and at times brilliant associations that Rowling makes to our faith journey. Harry and his two companions, Hermione and Ron, are on the run from Lord Voldemort in the story. Dumbledore, who was the head master of Hogwort's School is dead; but he left each of them something which would help them in their quest to end Voldemort's evil. He left Ron a "deluminator" which puts out light. Ron becomes disillusioned with the journey, gets mad and leaves Harry and Hermione in the midst of the quest. As soon as he leaves however, he is sorry for his angry outburst and wishes to return. The magical powers of the "deluminator" allow him to eventually find the two just in time to save Harry's life. After the three are safely reunited Ron tells the other two how Dumbledore's "deluminator" helped him find them. Ron says, "I reckon Dumbledore knew I would leave you and he gave me the "deluminator." But Harry says, "He gave it to you because he knew you would come back." Harry sees with the eyes of faith, I think. God gives us the Holy Spirit at Baptism not because he knows we will all stray away from his love, but because he knows that we will come back to him over and over no matter how far we stray or how long we are gone. He gives us himself because he knows we will return.
Mountain Mushrooms
I think these are one of God's most clever creations! I haven't a clue what they are called but they rise up out of the leafy floor of the forest like towers. And the contrast of colors between the mushrooms and the other colors is spectacular! I love the way they grow in little "communities." They seem to have a natural knowledge that they need others to grow.

Knitted Bookmark

While I was in NC, a friend from Fayetteville, Mary Mac, shared a little book of knitting patterns with me. The little book is old and shows how to do a variety of lacy knitted stitches. This one is particularly pretty and so I made a bookmark with it. It was fun to do and when I finished I threaded some ribbon I had through the edges to give it some color. I will definintely do some more of these...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August Already!

Soybeans in My Backyard!
This week (August 10 - 18) is a week of vacation for me and I am in Sparta, NC enjoying the mountains. I am so glad for a chance to have some quiet time. Last week was quite difficult for our household. As the week progressed I began to realize that Isabelle (my lovely, young golden retreiver) was not working out. I have worked with her almost everyday seeking to "detoxify" her relationship (or lack thereof) with my cat Pumpkin. On Wednesday, she chased Pumpkin again with just as much determination in her eyes as before. Then on Thursday she wrapped the leash around my leg in a wild frenzy to get at a bunny rabbit. The leash burned my leg quite badly. Finally, on Friday, I made a decision to let her go for adoption. Everytime I looked at her I cried. A very good friend in Mt. Vernon, IN has taken Isabelle to find her a home. I hope we gave her some new skills to adjust in another home. On Friday afternoon I took Katie out in the backyard for a stroll. As we came up from the soybean field back toward the house, my neighbor's bull terrier came around the fence and attacked Katie. I pulled him off of her but then fell and he attacked her again! She sustained a bad laceration to her ear as well as being rolled over several times. My neighbor finally got him off of Kate. She required stitches at the emergency vet hospital in Evansville. Katie is 12 years old and arthritic so this attack was hard on her. By Sunday she was doing much better and back to her old irrascible self!

Decisions, like giving Isabelle, are so hard. I had been struggling with this one for several weeks. I so wish at times like this that God would send an angel with a message! I think probably God does send those angels. I also think that we are so busy that we miss most of them! Last week at the beginning of the week I began spending some time during my morning prayers on quiet meditation. I was trying as much as possible to get my psyche quiet. On Thursday afternoon after a meeting at church I sat down with a wonderful man in our congregation to talk about several things. I told him about my struggles with Isabelle and he didn't tell me to let her go but he listened and just confirmed some of the things I was feeling. It was so helpful in making the decision. I know that sometimes I am too busy and hurried to even let those conversations happen. I came close that evening because I was having dinner with friends and was running late. In the end there was time for both - the conversation and dinner! I hope I can remember this event the next time I get so busy and hurried!
Crepe Myrtle

The ever growing soybeans in the field at the edge of my backyard and this flamingly beautiful Crepe Myrtle over the eastern edge of the yard are sure signs to me that fall is closing in on us. In southwestern Indiana we are just now beginning to enjoy (?) the heat of summer. The first part of our summer was relatively cool and very rainy, but last week was steamy and hot. The picture above was taken early one morning with the sun just beginning to arrive. I love watching the seasons change. The corn fields are golden with tassels now and the corn itself is over 6 feet tall! Soon it will be turning brown and readying for harvest. Here in NC, the plants on the sides of the roads are the "give - aways" for seasons for me - along with tobacco turning yellow in the fields!

I've been sewing some lately. I love being able to sew. I know why my mother loved to sew - it is (when things go well) such satisfying work. The colors of fabrics, the technical aspect of threading a sewing machine and just watching fabric come together in a meaningful way are all so much a part of my life. I remember sitting under my mother's sewing machine as a little girl glueing pieces of leftover fabric together. Finally when I was old enough she taught me to use a needle and thread and last of all the sewing machine. Sometimes I think it is part of my DNA! I don't sew as well as my mom but it still makes me feel creative and gives me joy. Below is a picture of a tote bag that I made for a friend for her birthday.