I grew up working in the tourist industry. Endless Caverns in New Market, VA was my childhood home and our family business.
Summer was the busiest time of year, full of traveling folks from all across America. We had campgrounds, a livery, a 5.5 acre lake for campers and local folks, walking nature trails all over our 1,300 acre farm, and of course the caverns. I took my first tour, as a tour guide, through the caverns at 16 years old.
Summer, to this day, is a special season for me. I always hate to see it go, even though I throughly enjoy all the seasons here in Virginia. We never vacationed—we were the vacation! We met many wonderful people from all parts of America. From sea to shining sea!
I wonder just how many tours I took over all those summers!
“Is it too quiet here for you?” my mother asked me once while sitting outside at her farm in rural Clifton Forge, Va.
“Golly, no!” was my immediate reply.
We could hear so much. The birds singing, the summer locusts, horses walking and grazing in the field, the whistle of the train passing through off in the distance. It was lovely and peaceful.
Our farm is the same. Mom never saw it because she passed away before we bought it. But it too is peaceful and quiet. And when sitting on our east porch, I can feel Mom there with me enjoying the quiet. It is a wonderful blessing.
This has to be a fast blog! It has been a while since I have written a blog and I do have good reason. Her name is HoneyPie! Our new puppy! I spend every one of her waking hours with her, and have to do many chores while she naps. It has been happily busy around here over the past five weeks we have had her.
She is a Tri-colored Pembroke Corgi with her tail! We ordered her tail before she was born. Our breeder said we were the first folks to ever request the tail from him. He was so happy, he would send photos saying, “Look at that cute little tail!” He also told us Corgis cannot be shown anymore in Great Britain unless they have their tails. Docking them is not allowed anymore there either. It is considered cruel and unusual punishment. We are not there yet here in our country, but I have noticed many more folks wanting their Corgis to have tails.
So please allow me to introduce to you our HoneyPie:
The Camels Hump, a poem by Rudyard Kipling, first published in The Jungle Book came to mind when I read the word for today. Though in the poem it says,”The cure for this ill…” remedy would fit perfectly. So, I shall let Rudyard Kipling sound my thoughts for today.
There is more truth in this little poem than one may be willing to admit.
It seems this word, permission, puts a bad taste in peoples’ mouths these days.
We were recently told of some folks that had trespassers on their property. These folks did not ask permission to be on that property. A post on social media about them being there (the owners did not know who it was) brought such as onslaught of negative remarks to the landowners, the post was removed.
“They have a right to be there.”
“People can go where they want.”
“You have no business owning so much land.”
The property is used for hunting so the owners were concerned for the safety of those trespassers. Is it because asking permission puts one in a humble position?
There are so many good photographers of birds on the internet. The photos are remarkable, and some do not even seem possible to me to capture. Such patience and great timing. I admire all of them.
For me, it is more of a ‘catch as catch can’ with photographing birds. It was so thrilling to see this special little bird at our feeder last week. I have fed birds for forty years, and still have some I am waiting to see, i.e. an Evening Grosbeak and/or a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. Oh the joy of seeing one of them at our feeders.
I hardly believed my eyes early the other morning when looking out at the feeder. Transfixed at the window, I did not dare to move, but needed field glasses for a positive identification. To my intense joy, my eyes proved correct.
There foraging all around the ground was an adorable Rufous-Sided Towhee! Happily eating the sunflower seed off the ground (they are ground feeders). I have admired Towhees for many years, and enjoy beyond measure their sweet, Spring song, “Drink your Teeeaaa!”. But I have never had one at the feeder.
There was no photo taken because I was having such joy just watching it. It flew away just as I was thinking I could get a photo. That sweet little bird gave me a second chance. It was at the feeder the following morning. I did not dare to open a window or door, so the photos were taken through windows with screens.
These photos are surely not the best, but by golly, I have one, and that is so fun. Just look and see how cute and happy this bird is! It is sure to put a smile on your face. I love what Calvin used to say in the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, “There is treasure everywhere!”
Gentle is not an adjective I would ever use to describe myself.
I grew up on a 1,500 acre tourist business/farm. This meant we had to work and work more. It was not for the faint of heart. It was the life I knew, and enjoyed. Though the work was endless, so were the laughs, family times and joys.
Learning to be gentle was taught to me by the animals. Cats, especially, do not respond well to rude behavior. Actually, nothing does. Animals taught me much about managing myself personally. I love the Scripture that says, ask the birds, they will teach you. Indeed they will.
Life is an interesting journey. I love the way The Lord uses it so wonderfully to teach us His quiet, gentle ways. Glory.
I have realized pinecones are like me. No wonder I like them! When they get wet, they close up. And they close up tightly. I am not keen on being wet either. My husband, on the other hand, loves the water and being in it. I have always told him I would not mind being in the water if I did not have to get wet. He thinks I am humorous and weird.
Pinecones can be found placed all around our house. I put them inside and outside around the house and gardens. There was an especially pretty one sitting on the bench outside our kitchen door. We have had terrific winds these past few days, whereupon, I found that pinecone completely soaked in the dogs water bowl.
Picking the poor soaked thing up, I put it in the kitchen to watch it dry out. What a pretty process it was watching it dry out and unfold.
Here is the photographic study that was three days in the process:
So teach us (me) to number our (my) days, That we (I) may gain a heart of wisdon. Ps. 90:12.
This having always been a fervent prayer of mine through every stage of life. Time is an enigma that has pierced my thought life always. It is a “burn in my belly” desire, as a friend explained it once to me. To be keenly aware of every day given to me. To savor and love and thank God for everyday.
I have determined to savor each and every day. For life truly is but a vapor…