Dandelion thoughts

blogIMG_7831 (2)They are everywhere.

Dotting the expanse of our 2.25 acre yard with their sunny dispositions, there is a plethora of them. But they don’t stay long. 

For a few days their perky little blooms speckle our lawn breaking up the monotonous spread of grass green, but then they transform into wisps of white fluff seeds which the breezy wind lifts up into the air carrying them far and wide.

Yep, I’m writing about dandelions. If you live in the suburbs and desire a picture perfect plush lawn with no weeds, you eradicate them as best you can.  But when you live in the country like I do, these little bursts of sunshine yellow crop up everywhere.

And you know what? I like them. It actually makes my heart happy to sit on my front porch swing and view our bumper crop of dandelions (and we do have a bumper crop this year!). I think they are just…well…dandy.

Dandelions remind me of childhood. 

Of picking them and fashioning bouquets to take to my mother.

Of making dandelion chains to wear as necklaces, bracelets, or crowns.

Of plucking the white puffy seed balls left behind after they bloom and blowing gently on them while making wishes.

Of lying in the cool grassy cushion of the earth and watching those wisps float and flit against the blue sky of warm weather. 

So what some folks perceive as a weed, I think of as a sweet little reminder of days gone by and nostalgic thoughts. 

I recently read a quote that said “When you look at a field of dandelions, you can either see a hundred weeds or a thousand wishes.” (unknown source)

How true. It’s all in how we look at things, isn’t it? Do we only see what we consider to be annoying or negative or can we look beyond and see something pleasant and positive?

So dandelion thoughts can apply to life. When plans go awry, when troubles and trials come my way, those aspects of life can wear me down. Make me feel as useless as weeds appear to be. But doesn’t everything have a purpose? Even those trials we face in life?

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.”

So if a weed like a dandelion has an undiscovered  ‘virtue,’ then surely there exists an equally unrealized purpose for those hard times we encounter in life.

Difficult circumstances cause me to grow in my faith and actually compel me to become a stronger person. If life was simple and easy and always turning out exactly the way I wanted, from where would I gather any strength? I’d be as delicate as those dandelion seeds floating in the wind, tossed here and there without any direction.

So I will glance out my window or perch on my porch swing and give thanks to the Lord, Creator of all things, for dandelions and also for dandelion thoughts. And just maybe I’ll grow like a weed. 

“Be a weed! A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.” ~ Doug Larson

©2016 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

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My happy place…my own back yard

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The theme for this week’s photo challenge theme is ‘happy place,‘ a subject I’ve written about before.  You can click here if you missed that post.  

I don’t have a plethora of words to impart right now.  But I do have photos.

And my happy place is taking pictures that I can share with others.  My happy place is spending time with my loved ones. My happy place is found in my faith.  

And even though I enjoy traveling and seeing new sights, experiencing new places, and meeting new people, I’m always glad to come back here.  

To my home.  To sit on my backyard deck and observe God’s creation settling down for a rest on this side of the world.

Sunset.  

Painted with brilliant colors by the Master Artist.

In my own back yard.

 It’s one of my favorite happy places.

“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” ~ from the poem “Home Sweet Home” by John Howard Payne

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Last minute nostalgia

blogDSCN0379 (2)Nostalgic.  Who would think that such a word would prove difficult for me?

This past week’s photo challenge on Word Press was “nostalgic” and I wrestled with that word all week long much to my puzzlement. 

Nostalgia as defined in my trusty dictionary: 1. a longing for things, persons, or situations that are not present. 2. Homesickness.

I think I often write nostalgic posts, so I figured posting a photo to convey this concept would be a snap.  Snapshot in a snap.  That’s what I expected.

Today is Friday, a new photo challenge will be issued today.  Yesterday, I found myself still struggling to choose which picture means nostalgic to me and what to write about it.

My first thought was to post an old family photo from my childhood.   I pored through old pictures in my collection and couldn’t find just the right one.  Next, I decided it would be appropriate to show a picture of my grown-up and flown the nest children when they were small.  I can’t get any more nostalgic when I think about those years when my little ones were still in my nest.

Yet, that idea just didn’t seem right either.  Several more suggestions came to me, but I rejected them all.  Finally, out of desperation to beat the time line imposed (post a photo before the next challenge is issued), I asked my son what he thought of when I said the word nostalgic.

Son drove in the night before from that state next door because he is in a college friend’s wedding this weekend in our nearby city.  When he took a short break away from his laptop where he was working at his job by computer, I posed the question to him.

He paused a minute thinking but then responded with his first thought.  Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Yes, that was it.

Our family sold my parents’ house after both of my parents died.   That home had been in our family for well over 100 years and it was so very difficult to let it go.  My children have some of their most fond memories of traveling back here to my home state to visit their grandparents.  We enjoy all of our stories about the memories made while staying in that very house where I lived most of my growing up years.

The actual house, owned by a different family now, still exists but it doesn’t look the same.   Its things, people, situations, history, and the family tie that it represented are what we miss the most and what we carry in our hearts.  And that’s what makes it the very essence of ‘nostalgic’ for me.

©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Home is where the heart is: Weekly Photo Challenge

blogSpring 2009 012Home.  That’s a subject near and dear to my heart.  I find I think and write about this subject often because home seems to always be on my heart.

I wrote a four-part series on home during the first year of my blog.  Writing that series proved emotional for me and at the same time cleansing.  I needed to put my emotions about home down in words so that I could process all that was transpiring at the time and move forward with life and its many changes. 

If you’re interested in that series, entitled “Home, Sweet Home,” you can click here  to read part one and then continue reading the other three installments  by clicking the next post at the bottom of the page.

Home is the subject of this week’s WordPress photo challenge. Gleaning through my photo files, I found several pictures which personify ‘home’ to me, so it was difficult to choose one or two. 

Should I post a photo of the home where I spent most of my growing up years?  That home is the one I have been anchored to for most of my life.  It is the house where my father was born and the one where he passed away.  But it belongs to a different family now, so I didn’t feel comfortable posting a photo of it on the internet.

Should I post photos of my current home?  Or one of the other homes across the country where we resided at one time or another?  Or a photo of something that means home to me?  Or a photo of my family because, truly, my family signifies home in my way of thinking?

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, “There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.” 

I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.  That’s how important I think home and family are.

So it is settled.  I invite you to view my photographic interpretation of ‘home.’ 

The first photo at the beginning of this post is the front door of our home, hopefully a welcoming place.  The second picture, below,  is one I managed to capture when all three of our adult children came home for a holiday and saw each other for the first time in many, many months.

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The love and warmth of being together again as a family.  Yes, for us, that’s home, no matter where it is.

©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com