What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Back When the Roses Bloomed

It just so happens that the 'Rona has been visiting our house for the past few weeks and the way I see it, if I can't manage a blog post during these weeks of convalescing/quarantining, this blog needs to just give up the ghost, as it were.

Funny that picking up where I left off blogging puts me smack dab in the middle of rose season.  I haven't been able to smell (or taste) anything for over a week, but I'd gladly take it now instead of when the roses were in bloom. Thankfully, I still have the memories of that deep fragrance that fills your soul when you stick your nose down deep into the buttery petals.  I remember spicy air wafting in the wind while we sat in the rocking chairs on the porch.  When in the wee small hours of morning, before I would even open my eyes, I would be greeted with the scent of the rose bouquet tucked by my bedside.  It was the last scent I smelled each night and the first, each morning.  It was glorious.  

And now it is long gone, along with the smell of dinner tonight and breakfast yesterday and handfuls of basil and the sweet smell of fresh-washed babies and the enticing smell of my Matt.  

On an upside, I haven't smelled a stinky diaper in a while...so that's a definite perk.

Overall, the 'rona is a big ole buzzkill.  Matt took a week off of vacation for our anniversary (19th!) and also for woodsplitting for winter and some much needed relaxation from a "Give 110%" kinda job... and we've done a whole lotta nothing the entire week.  No date night.  No wood prep.  No fun.  No refreshment.  Not even any TASTE!  (Cooking is very hard since 'cooking by taste' is my MO)  Just overall feeling crummy.
Yesterday was supposed to be Corynn's graduation party and that had to be cancelled and rescheduled until (likely) I have no flowers left to decorate tables and the flower circle is all brown.

These, of course, are all silly and petty inconveniences compared to the hard and painful realities of the current trajectory that America is on that continues to beat us down.   A world without any sense.  Tragedy in Afghanistan.  Travesty in America. Illogical silliness.  Brutality.  Finality.  Tyranny.  Government Overreach.   Nefarious leaders doing harm in the most brazen ways.  Well intentioned people calling it good.  History that is repeating itself that no one understands because, oh yeah, no one took the time to LEARN history in the first place.  And, oh yeah, things like THAT don't happen anymore.  Things like THAT would never happen to us!

I've just finished reading Gerda Weissman Kleins' books All But My Life and The Hours After.  So tragically good.  So terribly sad.  I could not put All But My Life down and I could not read even a chapter, without bawling like a baby.   It is gut-wrenching.

I have always loved to read memoirs and books on the subject of Nazi Germany and World War II.  I have been fascinated by them partly because my own Oma and Opa risked their lives to work in the Dutch Underground Resistance and reading these stories has made me feel closer to them.  But I think, mostly, it is because these stories point to a time when there was such resilience, such strength.  Such FAITH.  It was a time of HEROES and heroism.   They are profound stories of heroes doing what they must at a time that, surely, we have learned from and grown out of.  There was always peace for me in that.  There was a glorious separation between then and now, between their lives and mine.

  That is not the sensation I get now when reading these books- my focus is not on the heroic acts or the resilient faith.   I find these sorts of stories much more painful to read now.  Somehow the main characters are muted to me- and the wicked, the cruel, the tyrants become the focus of the story.  And worse, I see these same characters in our story today.  By these stories, I see the antagonists more vividly in our day....and it frightens me to death. 

One piece, in particular, stopped me in my tracks...

Gerda was describing the moment in which she was separated from her parents and sent to a separate concentration camp... asking the same question I have often asked.

It's all very heavy and hard and I have no words and am simultaneously drowning inside with ALL THE WORDS.

But nothing comes to me except that once upon a time, I stopped and smelled the roses. 

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

All Because Two People Fell In Love

Matt's parents are working on building a cabin on their lakefront property.  It's been a slow and steady process and we've all been helping them along with it as time allows.  

For their 50th wedding anniversary this June , they didn't want ANY fuss made- they wanted NO party; instead, they asked that we all come and have a workday on the cabin.  We all decided not only on a workday but a camping weekend.  A bit of work, a bit of play makes a happy, happy group.  

Menfolk did work on the cabin.

Ladies did work feeding menfolk.

Children found a perfect balance of work AND play.  And eating.

Corynn made these glasses out of siding.  My children have such gorgeous eyes, I must say.

The boat kept malfunctioning which made the tubing a bit less fun.  Judah doesn't hide his emotions very well.

While the kids were having fun (and occasionally, less fun) on the water, the slaves were back at the cabin working.

Andrew worked the entire Saturday with the menfolk on the cabin.  I was so proud of him!  But I also wanted him to have a chance to play- thankfully, he had a chance to go tubing on Sunday afternoon.

The tents looked so neat tucked in the trees. 

We had the two baby sized tents which is ironic since our family is so much larger than everyone else's.  
Yes, I admit, I had tent envy.  I have confessed it.

The boys set up their own encampment which looked pretty cozy actually.

Who taught Moses how to stick their tongue out at the camera?!   I suspect it might have been Corynn.

She will be duly punished.

What a great picture of the lovebirds (if you ignore the greedy little dirt monster at their feet).

Nacho photo-bombed at the PERFECT moment.  It was hilarious.

Take two ain't bad.

A week before the campout, I snuck down and took some pictures of the cabin and pavilion so that I could commission a good friend of mine to make this amazing pen and ink of the place.  She included each member of the family... kind of an "All because two people fell in love" sort of gift.

We ended the evening with fireworks.