Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Best Intentions

     Does anyone else have a constantly messy house this time of year? No need for a public confession, everyone put you head down and discreetly raise your hand if you do. I'll look around and feel a solidarity with those of you brave front line mamas with a hand up.

Sunflower shadows dance on my wall.
 Thankfully, it's summer, when nothing can rattle me for long. There's little that a fresh tomato sandwich can't cure. I decided to intentionally enjoy every minute of these hottest months and let a few things fall by the wayside this year. I'm just getting by until school starts, making due with the minimal, and finding it a source of joy. It's been a lesson on one aspect of simplicity:  Simplicity isn't the austerity of a perfectly picked up home or perfectly organized life. It is prioritization, and the freedom of making unique choices that work for you and your family. 

School's still out. Amish school playground, Lancaster.

When our lack of a garden this year cut me short on canning and freezing our usual vegetables, I cherished our bramble berries even more. I decided to do what I could, without pressure, and have enjoyed filling the jam shelf in our pantry, making pie fillings, and have had more than enough to keep me busy. It's been peaceful to made do with what I have and to indulge in canning little extras. Projects I've always wanted to put away but never had the time for in the face of endless beans.

     There have been times when I've had to remind myself that I am choosing to focus on the joy of this season, and not let the small stuff distract from the beauty of the green fields and sunshine. For instance, the five mile trip to pick up my canning peaches which turned into a seemingly endless journey when traffic cut off a direct route. A back road was the scene of an auction that just ended. Cars, buggies, scooters, things you never knew were street legal were pouring out of a driveway. Under a clear sky with a windmill glistening in the sun, I dodged a wagon full of tourists on a buggy ride and took a deep breath as I hoped that some other side road would lead me closer to the fruit farm. Puttering behind a line of traffic for the last two miles, I finally reached my destination at exactly the time I had told my husband to expect my return. I need to savor this moment, I reminded myself. There will not be another moment like it for a year. There will not be another perfectly gorgeous summer day where I will be picking up peaches against a scenic back drop and the anticipated satisfaction of filling jars.

No, really, there were a lot more cars than this on the road.


The Little Mister & Ruthie



Back at home, my back hurts as I lay on the wood floor with Little Mister. We're playing with his farm set, which I brought out because I wanted to see if he really still plays with it. It turns out he does. We're making the goat do silly things like stand on the roof of the barn and drive the tractor.

I need to savor this moment, because there will not be another moment like it, ever.  It is truly the day that the Lord hath made.


10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. You are very wise to realize that sometimes we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. We have to whittle down our to do lists to reflect where our priorities lie.

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    1. Yes, and it's a blessing to have the choice to pick my priorities, as it has been for me these past couple months. It's been a challenge to not have things as neat as I like, but so very easy to focus on getting the most out of the beautiful moments each day has to offer.

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  3. Oh, man...we used to have the best time with the farm set at our house. Daughter #1 loved building "hohwf howvev" [translated: horse houses]. We'd build the tallest structures we could with the blocks, and the horse always got placed on the highest point. I remember casually mentioning to her, when I was pregnant with her sister, that she would soon be called upon to teach that coming sibling all sorts of fun tricks she knew - like how to build horse houses - "because babies don't know how to do ANY of those kinds of things when they are born." Well, I'd forgotten all that, but only minutes after we brought Daughter #2 home for the first time, Daughter #1 ran off to her bedroom, and soon returned with the horse and the heavy bag of blocks, telling us to put here down on the floor, because she was ready to teach her how to build a horse house!

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    1. What a great anecdote BAT Mom! You just never know what children will remember and what they will take seriously down the line. I can tell that daughter #1 was a conscientious big sister.

      Oh, and as for avoiding my question about the state of your house, don't worry. I wasn't looking for a public confession. You played it well!

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  4. PS: Notice how I avoided answering the question about the state of my house by skillfully switching your attention to the art of building horse houses...

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  5. I so enjoyed this post. What a good perspective!

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  6. I so enjoyed this post. What a good perspective!

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  7. I so enjoyed this post. What a good perspective!

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  8. I AM NOT ASHAMED! (well, maybe a little bit.) My house is a WRECK! Something got into my sweet corn; I need to get into my carrots; I'm not sure when to harvest the butternut squash (it's everywhere I step); I harvested beans and no one wanted them...; there were too many radishes; tomatoes are ripening and delicious looking this year! (I've eaten several with just salt and pepper); I really need more peppers...; I have been swimming; but most of my time has been spent doing arts and crafts with kids and then vacationing with Bill :-) Now, I have to get serious about the house... I suppose.... *sigh*

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