Plant Lessons for Life

If you read my blog, then you remember the post about the death of my beautiful plants. (boohooing at this point)  Today I finally took the dead things out off the porch into the backyard for burial.  It was actually going to be a cremation after I had salvaged all the dirt from the pots, and then pulled the useless, lifeless roots out and shook the remaining dirt over the yard.  (my Mom taught me to be frugal)

In memory of their once vibrant lives that brought such pleasure to me and other visitors to my backyard paradise, I took pics of them.

my once green, full-leaved rubber plant

They used to have full green leaves until I left them out to freeze to death while I sunned on the Florida beaches.  I’m still somewhat ashamed, perhaps, a little.  That sun just felt so good; those waves were so wonderful.  Those plants were so far from my mind… until I got home and saw the little darlings.  I cut them back, ready for the dirt dumping.

I could wire a fake plant to these branches

As I was digging out the dirt, I noticed in the big pot that had held the rubber plant a small green thing.  What in the world?  A bug?

I couldn’t believe my eyes!  It was sprouting a new little leaf, way down at the base of the plant.  WOW.  So I checked the other corpse also waiting for cremation, and there it was:  LIFE.

the rubber plant putting out a sprout

As I stood there amazed at these little plants I had given up for dead, deemed useless to me and the world, was about to throw them out like the trash I had decided they were, God’s gentle, loving presence infused me with the knowledge that we are those dead plants.  Our lives can be destroyed to the point of death, and we still fight to live, beginning anew with the smallest step.  We decide who is useless to the world, who has had enough chances, who is too irritating, ugly, mean-spirited, drunk, drugged, or needy… and throw them out like trash.

But… (I always love this “but” part in the Bible) God is the giver of life, and though we see something dead or useless, God sees a sprig of beauty and new growth deep within the marrow of the soul.

Let us not throw away something precious until we look as closely as God looks.

the new beginning

Tina Fey in Time for Mother’s Day

from “THE MOTHER’S PRAYER FOR ITS DAUGHTER”

. . . May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not  the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her. When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off  escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel  intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, dammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with this little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

Amen.

~ Tina Fey

I absolutely loved this and had to put it on here for Mother’s Day.  So, to all the women who have mothered someone along the way, whether it’s a child or an adult (as my sis does me), then have a great day May the 8th.  The world needs mothering.

Matilda Hogbottom and Friends

Tonight was a fun-filled night full of good food with a bunch of good ladies.  Little Chapel Church was host to a bunch of women who got to enjoy hearing Matilda Hogbottom give us three defense techniques.  They were great and were accompanied by the defense moves (Karate Kid comes to mind).

Matilda Hogbottom

She came with her floaties on her arms, her water mask on her face, and her pool noodle.  After all, there is a flood going on up here.  She had the rather remarkable boots to go with the rest of the get-up.

Matilda explained that gossip discussing people’s problems was “Perfectly awl riiiight” because it helped us to pray for them better.  She then proceeded to regale us with tales from the preacher’s wife to the church secretary that were as far-fetched as they were funny.  My cheeks are still hurting from laughing so hard.

Her friends, Vergie Faye and Eugene, were there as well.  Two old farts who were discussing their newly acquired knowledge of the internet, their salsa dance lessons in keeping with the spirit of “Cinco de Mayo” as in mayonnaise, complete with the jar of mayo.  They, too, had me in stitches.

It feels good to laugh… to laugh at wholesome comedy… my endorphines are happy.

Back to the Flooding…my basement to be exact

It could be that I’ve mentioned this — that my basement flooded really badly about three years ago or so, and I have not yet recuperated from that horrible experience of staying up for three days to empty shop vacs, sleeping 10 minutes at a time — but in case I didn’t,  it was absolutely horrible!

no sleep!

And then it did it again a week later.  My beloved sister came that time and helped me, or I would have had a major nervous breakdown.  I will never get over the trauma!  So now every time there is a drop of water on the basement floor during a deluge, I freak totally out.

Except for tonight.  When I stepped on the throw rug at the bottom of the stairs and it went squish, I didn’t even freak.  Just asked God, “What do you think I’m made of?  Why do you think I can handle all this?  Because, truly, I cannot.”  Still waiting on the reply.  Right now I’m too tired to care… plus it is barely leaking, just soaked all the rugs and a few other items.  Nothing like the river that ran “the other time,” as I think of it.

Still, that is nothing compared to sandbagging and more sandbagging to try to save your home, and the water overtaking it anyway, before you have a chance to get everything out that you needed to get out.  Our high school kids have been volunteering their time to fill the bags and help any way they can.

let's hope they hold

The ground is so soft, full of water.  There is nowhere on the face of this earth that I would consider “safe.”  Earthquakes, mud slides, floods, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, lightening…

I’m glad I know Jesus.

Pool Work Ahead!

It’s getting that time.  All the kiddos are asking me when I’m going to open the pool.  They are awed by my awesome slides into the pool.  If pool sliding were an Olympic event, I’m there.

It starts with “the climb.”  Up the ladder that is.  That ladder is tall, very tall, especially for a short chick.  As the crowd (of kiddos) cheers me on, I put one foot in front of the other until I reach the summit.

success!! I sit at the summit of success (or top of the slide)

From there it is all downhill, literally.  All I have to do is simply let go.  My fans cheer and encourage me (just let go for crying out loud!) until I begin my descent.  The grace of the glide is fantastic!My adrenalin pumps.  Hands held high as if riding a roller coaster, off I go to plunge into the blue, cool water.

I’m never sure what happens about halfway down that causes to me to grab my nose and start screaming.

2011… already an unusual year

It’s not even halfway through the year of 2011, and there have already been historic events.  The one that touches the lives of those closest to home, of course, is the flood.  As I watched the news tonight in my basement, I heard this big sound like the washing machine starting… only there was nothing going on with the washer.  Then I realized my sump pump had kicked in!

sump pump

That means the water is trying to get in my basement.  Oh no!  I went through this just two or three  years ago, and it about killed me.  So after that fiasco, I had a sump pump put in and a concrete drain around the back of the house.  So far it has held up with all this rain.  I’ve checked the sump pump to make sure it was on, wondering if I would ever need it.  Tonight was the night.

And it’s still raining.

bin-laden

Osama bin Laden is dead!  After hunting for him for ten years, he has been found and brought to justice, in one way or another.  From 2001, the year I lost my husband, to 2011, the year I regained my strength, it has been a loss and victory for the United States as well as for me.

The earthquake and tsunami along the Japan coast was traumatizing… and I wasn’t even there.

Japan Tsunami

The images will forever be imbedded in my brain.  I wonder about the victims.  Who were they?  Young?  Old?  Mothers and fathers?  Entire families?  How are they managing now?

This was the year I set goals for myself and have met them; set a time schedule for those goals and met it (most of the time); achieved steps forward and inched a bit backward.

the baby grand

I planned the purchase of my baby grand, when I would buy it, and how much I would pay.  Teaching piano was one of the goals, and I am teaching.

The rejuvenating the house project may be a little behind schedule, but it’s getting there.  The wood floor was refinished close to schedule.  It turned out beautifully.

I started my blog; something I’d been researching for a few months.  And I’ve even cooked a meal in my quest to plow through the overabundance of recipes that I have.

2011 has been a most unusual year full of plans and events; some good, some bad, some happy, some sad, many out of the norm.  I’m very curious to see what the rest of the year brings.  A few things I am worried about and very sad to think of the outcome while hoping for a positive, successful one.  Some plans I am eagerly looking forward to such as our Disney trip for Kate’s 5th birthday.  The rest of what could happen or will happen, I just can’t imagine.

At the end of the year, I will come back to this month, the not-even-half-way-through month, and see how the year as a whole fared.

But in the meantime… it’s still raining and the water is still rising.

Where did our home go?

The Flood of 2011

a sample from the highway

The water is unbelievable.  Not like a tsunami, but slowly rising a few inches at a time or a few feet at a time.  I drive out to work of the morning, and when I come home, things are covered by the water.  And it’s still raining.

roads that you can't see

As far as one can see, there is water where fields and roads can normally be viewed.  The water is unbelievable.  And it’s still raining.