blogIMG_7005Peek-a-boo, I see you.

Often I take a peek out our windows to check what fine feathered friends are noshing at our bird feeders. One feeder full of seeds hangs on a tree in view of our back yard deck; the other is a suet cake holder that swings back and forth on a front yard tree.

During these blustery winter days, our feeders are popular places for bird snacks. One day last week, I spied a red-headed woodpecker poking into the suet cake, but by the time I grabbed my camera, changed out the lens for a telephoto, and quietly opened my front door to try to capture him, he swooshed away in a flurry.

Disappointed, I checked the back yard where I noticed a bright red cardinal enjoying a free meal at the battered wooden feeder there. Worn by years of weather, wild winds, and just general usage, one of the perches has broken off.

Chowing down, Mr. Red sat upon the remaining perch which happened to be hidden on the back side of the feeder. I knew that if I opened the door and walked out onto the deck to try to capture his likeness, he too would fly away in a flash.

So I aimed my camera at the bird feeder and attempted to get a quick glimpse of him as his head or tail became visible. The result ended up being a peek-a-boo kind of photo, which you see above.

A few days later, my daughter, my grandchild, and I decided to go out for lunch and were traveling in daughter’s car. I kept hearing a little voice saying “Peek-a boo, peek-a boo” repeatedly from the back seat. I looked questioningly at my daughter who responded, “She’s playing peek-a boo with her baby doll.”

Our first born granddaughter turned four years old this past month and one of the things she dearly desired for her birthday was a baby doll. An honest-to-goodness soft dolly who looked more like a human baby than a cartoon character. One that she could pretend to feed, to dress in doll clothes, to bathe, to rock and sing to, just like a mama would do for her own child.

Baby dolls. Not easy to find anymore. Nana and Papa were determined to find just the right one for our little one, which actually proved to be a difficult task. I didn’t want to order one online because I wanted to see the doll in person, touch it, see if it’s eyes opened and shut, see if it felt…well…real.

The small section of baby dolls in the nearest Wal-Mart toy aisles proved to be fruitless. First of all, there weren’t many to choose from which was disheartening.  Out of the selections, one proved too small, one way too large, and a couple of others too cheaply made and not soft and cuddly.

We looked elsewhere with the same results, until finally I found one on the clearance rack at TJ Maxx – a baby with a tiny teddy bear and two changes of clothes. Who knew finding a baby doll would be so difficult?

And that commenced this old brain of mine to start to ponder. Is there not much of a market for baby dolls anymore? Have we truly become that kind of society where we discourage little girls from becoming mommies?

Do children no longer play house and pretend? Do they truly desire electronic gizmos and gadgets more than an old-fashioned toy like a baby doll?

It saddens me to think so. It saddens me to think that little girls don’t want to grow up to be a mother or that society or their parents are dissuading them from motherhood.  

Discouraging them to want to play peek-a-boo with their own baby someday. To hold a blessed miracle of life in their own arms.

It warms my heart to see my grandchild pretend to be a mommy with her new baby doll she wraps in a baby blanket. And it made me smile to hear her play peek-a-boo with her “Baby Annie” during a car ride.

My hope is that my precious grandchild grows up to be a wonderful mommy, loving and kind. Thoughtful, caring, and nurturing. And appreciative of the miracle of life – a baby. She’s learning that now.

“I am your mother, you are my child. I am your quiet place, you are my wild. I am your calm face, you are my giggle. I am your wait, you are my wiggle. I am your dinner, you are my chocolate cake. I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake. I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo. I am your goodnight kiss, you are my I love you.” ~ Unknown



Just a peek

blogIMG_3659We have a hider in our family. 

Our oldest granddaughter, who will be turning three in just a couple of months, likes to hide. She hides behind chairs or the family room loveseat. Sometimes she just pulls a blanket over her head and hides that way. And she loves to peek out to see if you’re coming to find her.

Peek-a-boo. It’s a fun game for babies and toddlers and I’d venture to say most of us have played it over and over with a little one.

Lately, the sun has been playing this game around these parts. Some days, it shows its beaming face readily and gifts us with its warming rays. Other days, it hides completely behind dreary rain-filled clouds. Still other days, it peeks out from its hiding spot for a bit just to see if we’re watching.

Last Friday, I was out gallivanting with a good friend, one of my lifetime pals who has been in this friendship with me for 50+ years. We attended a Christmas craft open house in an old barn  – I’m still boggle-minded over the amount of items (and people) crammed into that space! – and then we treated ourselves to lunch and visited a nearby shop’s open house as well.

During our little excursion, the sun kept up its peek-a-boo game with us, sometimes causing me to don sunglasses, only to take them off again. At the end of our trip as we neared my home, the sun dropped its blanket of clouds and shone mightily.

Right on my house.

Literally, the sun’s rays were like laser beams focused on my house.  My white-siding house practically glowed like a brilliantly illuminated star and my friend exclaimed, “Look at your house! It’s shining!”

It was as if my house, and only my house, was hogging the spotlight. Gleaming. Practically sparkling.  Radiating light. It was kind of weird, yet amazing at the same time.

Later as I recalled that moment, something occurred to me.  Maybe that’s what heaven will look like.  As we near it, we’ll have the sense that we are home.  And home will be shining.  Light-filled. Dazzling in brilliance.

Nothing will be hidden. All will be once and for all brightly illuminated.

And the Light of the World (Jesus) will be there to welcome us home.

What a comforting thought.  And now as I recall that moment when I saw my home encased in sunlight, I’m thankful that the sun peeked out through the clouds just for me. I only wish I had had my camera with me, but of course, when I entered my home to retrieve it to try to capture this unbelievable sight, the sun had slipped back undercover once more.

That little moment in time – that peek — was gone for now, but my friend and I perhaps experienced a glimpse of things to come and peek  just happens to be this week’s photo challenge.  

“The best we can hope for in this life is a knothole peek at the shining realities ahead. Yet a glimpse is enough. It’s enough to convince our hearts that whatever sufferings and sorrow currently assail us aren’t worthy of comparison to that which waits over the horizon.” ~ Joni Eareckson Tada