Words for Wednesday: first day

It’s in the air. I can smell it, I can feel it.

The days are still filled with bright sunshine and warm temperatures tricking us into believing summer is still hanging on till the bitter end, but after the sun sets in the west, the evening produces a bit of a chill.

And in the early mornings? Oh, it’s so very prevalent.

I’m talking about the change of season which signifies another kind of change. It’s back to school time.

Do you remember your very first day of school ever? I truly do not. Since I first hopped onto a big yellow school bus for the first time to attend public school 60 years ago (can THAT be right??!?), I don’t recall my first day at all. But I think it’s safe to say I was probably terrified.

My school didn’t offer kindergarten classes back then and preschool existed only in the cities where children went to “nursery school.”  So first grade was my first experience at school. I do have a few recollections of first grade but mostly they aren’t positive ones.

I was shy and timid and my gray-haired, somber teacher was also the school’s principal, so she was a strict disciplinarian. To me she loomed large over us with her very stern appearance and her unbending rules. Frankly, she scared me and most of the time, I was afraid to even open my mouth.

Once I became an adult, my mother shared a story about my first few days of school with me. As we were adjusting to school and schedules and rules, my classmates and I tended to cry during the day. Obviously, we sobbed because we were frightened or we just wanted to go home or we missed our mothers, who were mostly stay-at-home moms at that time.

So every school day for the first few days or so after I arrived home, my mother would ask me which of my friends cried that day. I didn’t like to admit that I shed tears as well because I really didn’t want her to know that. You know, put on a brave face so mom wouldn’t worry and would believe I truly was a brave, big girl.

One day, Mother asked me that question again and I promptly gave up the wailing culprits’ names. Of course, she suspected I wept as well, so she inquired once more, “Didn’t you cry too?”

My answer was, “Well, I wheened a little.” Apparently I knew the word whined and what it meant, but didn’t know how to properly pronounce it. Obviously, my mother thought it was funny enough to remember it and tell me the story decades later.

That memory came back to me just the other day – the first day of school in our local district. A lot of preparation and anxious discussion preceded it due to covid-19 concerns, but after advisement from area medical personnel and listening to parents give their thoughts and opinions via a video conferencing school board meeting, the district announced school would resume in person for those who wanted their children to attend. For others not comfortable with that, online learning would continue to take place as it had during the months of lockdowns.

Tons of safety precautions and procedures later, those big yellow school buses roared down our roads, picking up students, whose smiles or frowns were hidden by masks. Children must have their temperatures checked at home before they board, practice social distancing on the bus, and undergo another temperature check upon arrival at school.

It’s enough to make your head spin but I know one school student who happily complies. I can hardly believe it, but our grandchild – our oldest one, the first one, the one who loves to stay at Nana and Papa’s while her mommy works – trotted off to kindergarten just the other day.

She couldn’t wait. She was so excited to ride the school bus. She shared that she was eager to make new friends at school and confessed that she was a little nervous because it was a “big school, not like my preschool.” 

Papa and I arrived at her house several minutes before the bus was due to pick her up, we snapped photos, and she looked so big and grown up in her dress carrying her lunch box and her pencil case. She didn’t appear nervous or scared or any of the emotions I’m pretty sure I experienced the first day of my school career.

Instead, it was her Mama and her Nana who were nervous and apprehensive for her – but we didn’t let on to her that we were feeling that way. You know, put on a brave, happy face so she wouldn’t see us cry.

The big yellow school bus stopped in front of her house, she held her Mama’s hand and waited for Mr. School Bus Driver to motion that it was safe to cross the road, and she boarded that bus all by herself. Miss Independent. And at the end of the day, when she jumped off the bus, we could tell that she had a great, fun first day of ‘real’ school.

Even with her mask on, her eyes were smiling. As she removed it, she gushed about all the excitement of the day and she couldn’t wait to go back to school the next day.

A great start to a new season of learning. A new season of experiences. A new season of growing up. A change of life just as the season is changing.

I don’t remember my own first day of school all of those years ago, but I remember other first days. Wasn’t it just the other day that I was sending my own first child to school for the first time? Wasn’t it just yesterday that the other two eventually followed her onto that big, yellow school bus?

I remember those first days when my own children were filled with the same eager excitement that my grandchild experienced. I also remember feeling a little sad and teary-eyed but happy for them at the same time as they began a new phase of life.

And as long as my memory serves, I will remember my grandchild’s first day going off to school as well.

“You’re off to great places. Today is your first day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” ~ Dr. Seuss

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: sea prescription

The news is disheartening. I can’t even turn it on any longer. And I’m staying away more and more from social media these days as well.

Everywhere I look on the air or online, it seems anger, rage, vitriol, obscenity, explosions of it dominate. Life is difficult enough with all of the virus pandemic restrictions still weighing heavily on our lives, but now violence and chaos reign in many of our cities. And hateful spite spews forth online endlessly.

One can’t openly share your own opinion because verbal and sometimes physical attacks descend on you like ravaging wolves preying on a defenseless, wounded creature. You are shouted at, disrespected, and debased just because your thoughts, opinions, and/or beliefs are completely different than theirs.

Remember that old adage, “Live and let live”? Well, it appears that exists no more. People are enraged over every social/political/medical issue and the list goes on. Inconsiderateness, rudeness, and downright nasty meanness seem to prevail in humanity right now and it doesn’t make me angry. Instead it grieves me and saddens my heart.

What have we become? You know what I think? We all need to swallow a chill-pill. We need a prescription to reset ourselves, restore kindness and respect for one another, treat others the way we would want to be treated.

We all need to simmer down.

Maybe what we all require is a trip to the sea to restore a sense of calmness, composure, and civility in our lives.

Last week, I wrote a post about how situating myself beside the ocean, lake, river, or creek is extremely restful and tranquil for me. Maybe it will work for others too.

Might I suggest when rage over whatever causes you to flip a gourd threatens to agitate and overwhelm you, you go sit by a body of water for a time and wipe those thoughts from your mind?

If you’re not close to one, maybe just step into your shower, close your eyes, and let water stream over you until you sense peace filling your thoughts.

Then perhaps we all can discuss our opinions and differences calmly, intelligently, and with respect for each other.

Searching my photo cache for blog posts lately, I noticed that. over the years, I’ve snapped many pictures of waves rolling into shore or creeks rippling over rocks.

Just viewing those pictures gives me a sense of tranquility and reminds me of a poem, Sea Fever, that I remember memorizing as a young student in school. 

The first line of the poem, written by English poet John Masefield (1897-1967) easily came to me once again: “I must go down to the seas again…”

Maybe that’s exactly what we need – we all must go down to the seas again to quiet the loud, angry, and divisive voices that are screaming at us from all sides and maybe even inside our own heads.

My hope is we can find sane restoration from the insanity that prevails.

 “When I sit here by the sea and listen to the sound of waves, I feel free from all obligations and people of this world.” ~ Henry Thoreau

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: At water’s edge

What is it about the water?

If you were to categorize me, I suppose you’d called me a landlubber since I grew up far from any ocean. I’m not particularly fond of actually being in water either be it ocean, lake, river, or even swimming pool.

But there’s something about the water that draws me to it like those moths addicted to and circling my front porch light every evening.

The sound of moving water soothes me. Ocean and lake waves lapping to the shore call to me saying, “Come sit beside me, close your eyes and just listen…listen to my ebb and flow.”

Though the waves may be strong or mild, that rhythmic sound is restful to my soul.

Rushing rivers, babbling brooks, and the cadence of creeks beg me to park myself on their banks, tune out the world’s din, and listen to their mesmerizing, flowing movement over rocks, soothing my quest for tranquility and serenity.

Apparently, science exists to support why I feel the way I do when I’m beside the water.  Psychologists say that being close to water results in positive emotional states – feeling calm, relaxed, restful, and feeling restored.

A marine biologist named Wallace Nichols wrote a book entitled Blue Mind about this phenomenon: our brain chemistry changing when we’re around water.

Nichols states that “Water is considered the elixir and source of life. It covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, makes up nearly 70% of our bodies, and constitutes over 70% of our heart and brains. This deep biological connection has been shown to trigger an immediate response in our brains when we’re near water. In fact, the mere sight and sound of water can induce a flood of neurochemicals that promote wellness, increase blood flow to the brain and heart and induce relaxation. Thanks to science, we’re now able to connect the dots to the full range of emotional benefits being on, in, or near the water can bring.”

He was quoted in a Psychology Today article as saying, “The best way to handle stress may be to get to the closest beach.”

I’ll buy that.

Perhaps that explains why I’ve noticed most of the vacations Papa and I journeyed on in the last few years have been “down to the water.” We live several miles away from the river that runs through our home town, and not near any creeks or lakes. So our treks to water’s edge must be our way of de-stressing from everyday life.

Just this past week, Papa and I needed a little escape from the sameness and mundaneness of life in these days of social distancing and restrictions. I researched day excursions hoping to find a road trip we could take where we would be outside away from crowds of people.

So Sunday morning we rose early and set our sights on a destination in the state next door, just a couple of hours drive away. There we completed a driving tour of covered bridges located on country roads and viewed two lighthouses on nearby Lake Erie.

Was it coincidence that our travels that day took us to an area where we peacefully ate our picnic lunch while seated on a wooden bench overlooking a rippling creek?

Was it our unconscious desire to find release from stress by ultimately winding up our day relaxing on a porch swing while overlooking a calming view of the lapping lake?

And was it mere chance that several times as we traveled, a particular song – As I Went Down to the River to Pray – played on Papa’s Pandora list? That old song with unknown origins has been called a song about keeping faith in dark times.

I don’t know if that’s truly the meaning of the song or not because I always thought the song was simply about Christian baptism by immersion, but this I do know… going down to the water provided peace, soothed my soul, and gave me pause to pray, thanking God for blessing this world with the sound of water.

“The sound of water is worth more than all the poets’ words.” ~ Octavio Paz

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: closer look

Sometimes the teacher is really the student.

Papa and I spend a lot of time with our oldest grandchild since we provide childcare for our daughter while she works.

When our grandchild is with us, we do a lot of game playing, enacting the roles she provides with her active imagination, and doing outside activities as well like gardening, vegetable picking, flower tending.

So much of the time we do educate her. Papa shows her how to fix something; Nana helps her practice writing her letters and numbers, doing simple math, talking about shapes, sizes, and patterns, learning how to sound out words in the books we read together.

She learns how to make certain crafts from us, how much water it takes to keep her fairy garden growing, and so much more.

I believe we also teach her about faith in God, about the world around us, and about life in general.  But you know what? She teaches us a lot too.

She shows us how vivid an imagination can be and she demonstrates how we should view this world we live in, how to see wonder in the smallest aspects of life from a child’s perspective.

During one of our country drives, Little One gave us a commentary from her back seat car seat each time we came upon a new scene out the vehicle windows.

“Oh, Nana!” she exclaimed as we drove along a long, winding road finally reaching the pinnacle where the view around was pretty amazing, “It’s SO beautiful!”

And you know what? It truly was a beautiful view which may not have even registered as so for us. She notices small things that wouldn’t even cross Nana and Papa’s radar screen like the day she found a praying mantis slowly walking along in the mulch around our shrubs.

We had walked right past it and never saw it. But not Little One. She spied it right away, caused us to stop when she asked what kind of bug it was, and she spent a good bit of time watching it as it made its way up onto the boxwood shrub.  

All of it delighted her. And when she’s delighted, so are we. Grandchildren teach us to slow down, notice what might have been unseen, and take a closer look so we don’t miss a wonderful moment in life.

And that’s a lesson we all need to learn no matter what our age.

“Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful.” ~ A.R. Ammons, American poet

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: Just a bend

The last several months have really thrown us all for a curve, haven’t they?

What we once considered normal life has taken a major turn.  Along with the covid-19 pandemic, it seems like the world just detoured into craziness as highlighted on the news every day – violence, devastation, natural disasters, you name it, it’s happening.

I’m reminded of a quote I once read by pastor and motivational speaker Robert H. Schuller: “What appears to be the end of the road may simply be a bend in the road.”

Times like these certainly are bends in the road and during them Papa and I realize how blessed we are to live in a mostly rural area. We’re close enough to enjoy a city with all it has to offer yet far enough away that we aren’t as affected by some of the less desirable aspects of city life.

During this period of quarantine, isolation, stay-at-home, flatten the curve,  or whatever you want to call it, we’re thankful we can jump in our car and travel through countryside without engaging with other folks and have to wear masks and social distance. Something that those who reside in heavily populated areas or in cities where houses are crammed together or people must live in apartment buildings have not been able to do.

On one of our “road trips” just to get out of our country abode and break up the monotony of staying home, we traveled to an area we’ve often traveled through. But there was one attraction there that we had never stopped at before – the World Famous Horseshoe Curve in Altoona, PA.

Shortly after our state re-opened with restrictions still in place, we checked to see if the landmark was open for visitors. We found the Railroaders Memorial Museum there remains closed, but we were pleased to find the Horseshoe Curve and visitor’s center open, but only on limited days and hours with state department of health restrictions and CDC guidelines in place.  So off we drove for our day-long excursion.

If you’ve been a steady reader of Mama’s Empty Nest for long, you probably remember that Papa is a train enthusiast. He loves them. Because his father’s life-long career was working for the Pennsylvania Railroad, my husband enjoys reading about trains, learning the history of them, and especially riding on them.  

We’ve taken several train excursions and visited railroad museums, but hadn’t traveled to the Horseshoe Curve at the foot of the Allegheny Mountains.

The drive through the mountainous area is scenic but that curve, an engineering feat completed by 450 railroad workers laying 2,375 feet of rail tracks in rough terrain all by hand in the 1800’s, prompted us to exclaim “wow!” Simply amazing.

We arrived at our destination, donned our face masks, paid our entrance fee, and toured the visitor’s center which only contained two other people besides us and we all practiced social distancing.

We learned a number of interesting facts about the Horseshoe Curve and its construction. 

Before the curve was constructed and then opened in 1854, travel across Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia took the better part of three weeks or so by wagon. When traveling by train and canal, the same trip lasted about four days and relied on the Allegheny Portage Railroad, which didn’t operate at night, to cross the mountains.  Once the Horseshoe Curve was completed, the time for train passengers to travel across the state was reduced to about 15 hours.

Of course, Papa being the train and history buff that he is, spent much more time reading the information placards than I did. But I did find two noteworthy tidbits to share with you that surprised me.

During World War 2, the Horseshoe Curve was on a list of 12 key industrial sites targeted by Nazi saboteurs. Yikes! And well-known people who once traveled by train on the curve were several U.S. Presidents (Lincoln, McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, Hoover, FDR, Eisenhower, and Carter) as well as many entertainment personalities from vaudeville, the theatrical stage, and the silver screen.

After touring the visitor’s center, we ventured outside to view the curve up close and personal. Because the incline ride up the mountain, which takes visitors to the center of the curve was closed due to pandemic restrictions, we began the climb up the steps – all 194 of them – to the observation area.  

Shortly after we reached the top, we found a spot under a shade tree away from other visitors, and waited for a train to come along. We didn’t wait long! And actually during the time we spent there, two different trains traveled through.

Papa, as always, got a kick out of seeing them. And it truly was quite an experience to watch those lengthy trains approach and navigate that curve shaped like a horseshoe on the side of a mountain right in front of us. If you want to see an aerial view click here.

Of course, we enjoyed our road tripping day and a little sightseeing. We relished the opportunity to just get away and forget for a time what was going on in the world.

Once again the experience reminded me how grateful we are that even in this time of uncertainty, when life has definitely thrown all of us a curve ball, we can still hit it out of the park.

There’s always something for which we can be thankful even when life throws us a curve. That bend doesn’t mean the end!

Sometimes our biggest nightmare turns out to be our biggest gift. And it all comes down to our attitude. Life will throw us curve balls and disappointments, even heartbreak. But ultimately we can choose if we’re going to be bitter or better for the experience.” ~ Kathryn Orford

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: rain needed

The view outside my country home window quickly became as depressing as the state of our country under this continual scourge of covid-19 restrictions and the social unrest taking its toll.

Just like turning on the evening news or gleaning the internet, nothing refreshing appears.  We’re weary and just burned out from discouraging news, divisiveness, and the dehumanizing effects of this pandemic.

Someone voiced an opinion to me the other day and I’m tending to agree with it – “I’m soooooo over this!”

Right now, our expanse of yard – we have 2.25 acres of it – personifies how we feel. It’s lifeless-looking. Brown and crunchy from lack of refreshing rain. Leaves on trees and shrubs are starting to wilt and dry up.  Where I normally view verdant green is now dishearteningly drab.

Rain clouds gather around, look menacing and promising at the same time while we think “Finally, some rain!” and then just as quickly as they assembled, those clouds scurry away from us or dissipate completely. Other areas receive rain, but here at our house we are only getting a few raindrops here and there.

We need a nice, steady rainfall just like we need some good news to fall upon us.

But we’ve had little to no rain. No rain means no water in the rain barrel which we use to water our garden. Consequently, our garden isn’t doing as well as it should even though we use a hose to water it.

No rain means no green. No green means it looks lifeless out there. We take water for granted so often just like we do life. We assume we’ll always have water. We assume we will have life. But the two go hand in hand. Human bodies can sustain life for a number of days without food, but without water, that’s a different story.

Years ago, Papa and I were part of a Bible study group that decided to raise funds to “purchase” a water well in an undeveloped country. People there needed good, clean water to drink for proper hygiene and good health. We achieved our goal and raised enough funds to provide a water well through World Vision.

Remembering that reminded me that the well drilled in that foreign land became the source of not only clear, drinkable water but also a source of hope and encouragement. Water does that. It encourages us, revives us, and makes us feel refreshed.

Right now, we need refreshing in a major way! The news keeps reporting surges of corona infections, the threat of more restrictions, and even returning to lock-downs.

It’s depressing and discouraging. When added on top of all the vile vitriol being spewed on social media, on the news, and everywhere else it seems, it’s disheartening to say the least.

How much more can we take? The other day, Papa and I just needed to “get out of the house.” We escaped in our vehicle and just took a drive. We never left our car nor engaged with any other people so we didn’t don masks; we just took a several hour road trip northward through more rural areas.

The scenic views provided just what we needed to see.  Since the areas we drove through had received more rainfall than we have, our eyes beheld the color green as we traveled. Green – the color of life.

As we neared rivers and creeks, we spied even more green, beautiful green. I shot the photo above on this trip. Green near the water. Refreshing water. Life-sustaining water.

What we saw refreshed us, restored our feelings of peace and well-being. And that gave me pause to reflect on some thoughts.

Maybe what we need in our country is rainfall, not literal raindrops but a different kind of outpouring – rain that restores peace, unity, and banishes fear. The kind of revitalizing rain that only comes from God.

I’m praying God pours refreshing, recovering, renewing, life-giving, life-preserving rain on us all. Will you join me?

“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” ~ Sylvia Earle, American marine biologist

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: intentional

We decided it was time to see the light, take a step toward normalcy, and catch an aperture of blue sky pinpointed in the midst of ominous dark storm clouds.

Life proved to be a most daunting and unusual period of time in the last few months. Never before in our lifetimes have we encountered what’s been called a pandemic – covid-19 -and all that has transpired because of that tiny virus.

The social and physical isolation we’ve all endured has taken its toll on us, one way or another, and created an even larger raging storm to brave against for many. For some, there have been job losses, a devastating loss of income, or complete closure of their small businesses. For others, the isolation has affected mental and emotional health that is difficult to overcome.

I’m ever so thankful that Papa and I are weathering the dark clouds hovering over us fairly well. We’ve had a few difficult moments but nothing like so many others have faced. Our faith continues to be our strength and a swift antidote for the fear that has pervaded and seems to be enduring thanks to the media.

And yet, we experienced a feeling of imprisonment stemming from so many months of having to stay home, avoiding public places, sequestering ourselves from other people, even some of our own family.

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about the need to break out of “prison,” what staying at home for so long has felt like.  I shared our trip away from home when our entire family gathered together for the first time in months at our son’s home in another state.

Today I’m inviting you to come along on another one of our road trips when we just had to “get out and get away” from home for a bit.

Papa and I have traveled domestically during our 40+ years of marriage. At last count, I’ve actually visited 40 of our 50 United States of America. Of course, Papa and I hope to add travels to the rest of those sometime in the future.

Not now, naturally, as travel is restricted because of this pandemic. We did manage to travel out west and back home again right as the pandemic panic stormed our country.  And we were relieved to return home unscathed and content to stay there for some time.

But as the months dragged on, we’ve felt the need to escape home from time to time. So we began researching places right in our own back yard, so to speak, that we haven’t been to yet. Places that are within a day’s drive of our country home – alas, we found that we have visited most of them.

But a couple remained unseen, so one fine summer day, we set out for one of those destinations. We intended to visit a well-known state park in a southwestern area of our home state. This particular park is well known for some of the best whitewater rafting in the east.

Now Papa and I aren’t rafters or kayakers; matter of fact, we don’t even own a boat of any kind whether it be a rowboat, canoe, or motorboat.

Regardless, this area also features some waterfalls and one in particular that we wanted to see. We packed a picnic lunch and set out for some sightseeing, but found a detour from our plans necessary.

Once we arrived at the waterfall location, we realized it was inundated with people. I mean scads of people. Since this is normally a busy tourist and camping spot, we expected some folks, but not the crowd we saw during this period of cautious ‘re-opening’.

Throngs of humanity congregated in outdoor seating of area restaurants, parking lots so full of cars we couldn’t locate an empty spot, and hordes of people – all unmasked – walked everywhere not social distancing.

I get it – I really do. After being confined to our homes for so long, we all felt the need to get out and what better place than somewhere in nature? Somewhere that offers camping, hiking, and river recreation?

After circling round and round in search of a parking spot to no avail, Papa and I looked at each other and said, “Do we really want to get out of our vehicle and subject ourselves to this multitude of people?”

We shook our heads no and drove on. Even the hiking trails looked crowded.

Our quiet picnic spot

Fortunately, we located a serene little spot with just two empty park benches overlooking a scenic view. We decided to eat our lunch there in peace and quiet alone…until another vehicle pulled up and four young adults piled out, pulling coolers, etc. out of their trunk.

The sad part of this? We felt like we couldn’t even speak to those other folks let alone engage in conversation with them as we might normally do. Nor did they even look in our direction. Pandemic paranoia? I think so.

Time for us to move on once again. Thankfully, we had devised an additional plan to drive the countryside in search of three different covered bridges.

You can drive through this 1891 bridge

And we were successful in finding all three. At two of the sites just Papa and I were the only humans there and at the third, we encountered a family on bicycles.

Originally erected in 1802, rebuilt in 1906 & again in 2008
Built in 1830, this one is 162 feet long

We made a great choice that day. We intentionally chose to forego the busy foray, which included a large number of people, and make our own way. But I can’t help feeling a little sad that we felt the need to not engage with fellow human beings because honestly, Papa and I are friendly folks.

Just traveling through the scenic countryside, however, was like a balm to our souls and minds and we still got to see people, just not mingle with so many of them.

As an added bonus, I was able to capture some nice photos.

“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.”  ― Richie Norton

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: Pea Pickin’

It was pretty green around here the other day.

Little One (our oldest grandchild) and Papa went out to the garden and picked peas – two baskets full. Peas, peas, and more peas. Our two little rows of plants were loaded down with green pods chock full of those round little balls of deliciousness.

Little One helped me shell quite a few of those peas until she got a tad weary of it.

As we worked together, you might say we were like two peas in a pod. I split open the pods, handed them to Little One and she plucked out the peas and deposited them into a colander.

While the two of us sat at the kitchen table shelling those peas, childhood memories floated back to me, summertime sweet memories, as sweet as those peas.

I remember being a little girl just a couple of years older than my grandchild, sitting on the side porch with my own grandmother shelling peas from our family’s garden.

History seemed like it was repeating itself for me in a way as I shared my recollections with my five-year-old granddaughter right then and there.

And as I verbalized those memories, an old saying came back to me as well. Bless your little pea pickin’ heart.

I recalled that country singer/entertainer Tennessee Ernie Ford used that catch phrase a lot on television shows back when I was a child. And he also actually sang a song entitled, Bless Your Pea Pickin’ Heart.

You can listen to it here.

Who would think baskets full of fresh peas at pea pickin’ time would bring back so many  pea pickin’ memories?

“How luscious lies the pea within the pod.” ~ Emily Dickinson

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: break

We all had to take a break whether we wanted to or not – at home.

Because of the pandemic and the resulting edicts to “shelter in place,” all of us, in one way or another, were forced to take a break.

Oh, I know, those who were fortunate enough to retain their jobs because they were deemed essential workers still worked hard and we’re so thankful for them. And scads of others, who were able, worked from home.

But a vast majority of us took a break – albeit a longer one than we thought it would be – from the daily routine and normal life.

Since both Papa and I are basically retired, we didn’t have to worry about jobs. We were busy though caring for our oldest granddaughter during that time.

But for the most part, we seized the opportunity to step away from the normal busyness of life and enjoy our time at home. And we didn’t squander that time at all.

“The opportunity to step away from everything and take a break is something that shouldn’t be squandered.” ~Harper Reed

So what did we do? In between playing with our granddaughter, helping her with her preschool homework, and providing new things to discover and learn, we enjoyed some simple aspects of life. And I took quite a few photographs to prove it.

I’m sharing some of those photos from our “break” with you today. Despite the trying time that it’s been, we managed to find joy. And doesn’t that make every day worthwhile?

So how have you managed staying home during this time?

Enjoyed the blooming flowers
Spruced up the yard
But we still had time to just relax outside

“Find what brings you joy and go there.” ~Jan Phillips

©2020 mamasemptynest,wordpress.com