Saturday, August 22, 2009

Nanny's Pumpkin Patch!

Welcome to Nanny's Pumpkin Patch
Located in the one & only Green Valley!
My mom has planted beautiful pumpkins, gourds, sunflowers and other beautiful vegetables in her garden with the help of our gardener(friend) Mike. Each year they spend many days and weeks preparing ground, planting and then...waiting for the arrival and growth of their hard work and toil.

My mom and dad live in the house that they have lived in for over 25 years. I have many memories down in Green Valley and although much has changed, much has also remained the same. For instance, the freedom to let little feet run all over acres and acres of freshly mowed land...
...trees for as far as the eye can see, and sky that stretches the same. The greenest grass and the bluest skies. Land that is ours. The ability to be in a secluded and sheltered place. Although altered, and changed by certain circumstances, underneath it all this land and this home of my childhood still holds the secret of those things. Now I believe we need to unearth it again.
My mom adores sunflowers.
She loves to mow, and garden, and water her flowers.
She loves to pull weeds, decorate with vintage and antique pieces of 'art.'
She loves to be outside more than anything else.
She loves fall and the end of a long, hot summer.
She has an excitement for large, homegrown pumpkins.
My mom loves apple butter with a deep passion.

Mom has passed many of her not-so-secret loves onto me and I am forever thankful that we have a common interest and find enjoyment in the little things that each new season brings!
When I am old and gray and my mom is in Heaven, dancing with her own mother, I know I will rejoice for the memories of these things that so simply define the woman that she is!

My mom lost her mother and her brother in less than a year. She made the decisions that were far too difficult for anyone else in her immediate family circle to make. She has strength that even she is unaware of and it amazes me. Not only did my mother bury two important people in her life but she lost dear friends, watched her own father re-marry and has endured many other life changes in the past couple of years. And yet, in the midst of it all she has overcome. On the days that she did want to get up and fight, she simply woke up and lived. And fought. Knowing or unknowing.

Today as I watched her walk through her large, beautiful garden my heart filled with hope for my mother. Life sprung anew all around her and I was in awe of her grace and beauty. Changes have been hard, but just as the changing of the seasons she has embraced them with such vibrancy and strength. She is walking through this new life with a diligence to make it.
And whether she knows it or not, all of us; her children and grandchildren especially...are thankful.

I was reading my Bible last night and asking God to show me what it was He was trying to speak through His word. There are times that I read when I go to bed thinking, "that didnt really have much to do with me at this time, Lord...but I'll hold onto it. Please bring it to remembrance when you want me to understand.
I was reading in the book of Joel. For many of you that may have read it or those that have not, let me recap it for you...

Joel uses a famine due to a devastating plague of locusts to picture the coming day of the Lord. He calls on God's people to repent and turn to God, promising that everyone who does so will be saved and will receive God's Spirit.
He speaks of things in the last days pertaining to our crops being dried up. Our farmer's weeping over their land because it has become barren. That the harvest of the field will be destroyed.

Now if you live in central Illinois at this time of year you will understand how this book of the Bible makes little sense in my mind, especially at this beautiful time of year. For miles and miles; literally as far as the eye can see there is green. Beautiful corn, beans, gardens and more.
The Lord's answer to His people comes a little later in Joel...
Chapter 2 Verse 18
"Then the Lord will be jealous for the land and take pity on his people. The Lord will reply to them: 'I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations.'"
Chapter 2 Verse 21 goes on to say...
"Be not afraid, O land; be glad and rejoice. Surely the Lord has done great things. Be not afraid O wild animals, for the open pastures are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches. Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten....
(vs 26) will have plenty to eat until you are full and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed!"
And so today as I watched my redheads run through the pumpkins and sunflowers, almost as if it were a dream, I let the above verses flood my memory once more...
I took in a deep breath and thanked the Lord that we serve for loving us so much. We literally have the ability to grow our own food, create our own livelihood and live freely.
And the wonder of it all is not only that.
It's all so beautiful as well.
Some of the largest, plumpest, prettiest pumpkins I have ever laid eyes on. Rich with orange dimples just waiting to be used as my decorations:)
And some were slightly smaller, just waiting to be used as Nora's.
Brother isnt always as enthused by the beauty that surrounds him, but he is still a child of God, soon to be a man that knows and serves Him. And for that I am thankful!
And in the middle of all the pumpkins, misshapen, lumpy and unique was the world's most perfect looking pumpkin. And again, I thanked the Lord.
It's a beauty. Nanny and bubby...

Giving pumpkin kisses
And aside from the garden, I walked around and enjoyed my mom's decorating. Spring will only last awhile longer and if for some reason I need a refreshing sense of peace in the coming months, I will look back to the pictures of today and remember the solitude of my mom's house. My mom's garden.
My mom.
Above is a radio that was my great grandpas. It's gorgeous on my mom's porch.
My mom has a ketchup and mustard looking porch right now. Nothing negative to be said because I'm super jealous. It's gorgeous!
And this beautiful bench?
Made by my brother himself. He's 11. And he won many a prize in his 4-H group. He's a smart kid. My mom's sidewalk is lined in gorgeous flowers. They always grow so huge. Could be because of her dedication to watering them every single night. And day. And all the time it seems. :)
It's totally worth it.
Front yard decorations:
Her bench next to the back door. So cute!
I thought we needed a better look at these cute lanterns. Ahh.
This old bike that she so cutely decorated...
And this picture just says 'home' to me, and I'm not even sure why. I just love it.
And before I left, I saw one more angle of the flower garden that was beautiful. It all is. But this especially makes me smile...
But not so much brother.
Nothing much makes him smile.
But we're making it....
...and I love him still

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Love the pics! I also have lots & lots of wonderful memories in Green Valley - of course mine all took place just up the road from yours! :)