Monday, January 18, 2010

Treasures of the Past

It's a wonderful winter day...... a day off to reflect about dreams. Cloudy, rainy, blustery, wintry........ a perfect day for oh, so many reasons! One of which is a recent treasure that was given to me by my brother and sisters. Upon my dad's passing, many sentimental items of my mom's were given to me....items that have no monetary value....but are rich in the sentimental value that I have for them. A week ago, my brother and sister brought over a curio cabinet that was still left from cleaning out dad's house. I wasn't sure where I would put it, but got that figured out yesterday when I passed on to my son his great-grandmother's radio and lamp that have resided with us for 20+ years. In its place is now my mother's curio cabinet and treasures of hers now adorn the shelves.
I put on a pot of coffee but couldn't stop unpacking, washing, drying and setting up the cabinet. I was surprised at how excited I was to set this up! The coffee could wait a while.
My mom had three of these beautifully etched glasses. I don't know the story behind where these came from....which is unusual. I only know that I love them....and find their story curious.

A gold-plated vase that was my grandmother's. Mom passed it down to me many years ago.

A porcelain yellow rose on a porcelain branch. As a little girl, my favorite kind of birthday cake was white with white frosting and yellow roses. Sweet mom always got that for me. Truth be know, it is still my favorite kind of birthday cake.

A sweet cranberry glass vase. I had bought two of these one for me and one for my mom because we both loved cranberry glass. I still have mine, minus the cord. But to have my mother's back was a full circle.

As a child, my brothers and I would spend the summers with my grandparents in Iron Springs. Every day we drank out of Grandma's cactus glasses - so iconic for a little scamp of an Ohio girl in Arizona. I'm not sure what happened to Grandma's set - I think they ended up getting broken or shuffled around. So imagine my glee when visiting my Grandma's sister, Aunt Ann, in Colorado I discovered that she had a set of the same glasses!! They were given as a free gift with a fill-up from Blakely gas stations back in the '50's and I've always had such a spot in my heart for the memories they hold for me. Aunt Ann was happy to pass her collection to me, where they have sat wrapped-up in a cardboard box in my garage for probably 15 years. That all changed this morning.

I remember when my Mom bought these from J.C. Penny's back in the early 70's. She just thought they were so pretty and they have endured for 30 years. For some reason, I've always liked them because my Mom liked them.

My new cabinet graces my home with cherished treasures. I sat down with warm cup of coffee, finally, and simply admired it. Two cups later, it was time to check a few things around the house outside before the huge predicted storms arrived.

A walk of my garden had me standing in shock and awe at this little spot....look at these iris buds!!! They were NOT there yesterday! I know because I planted some freesia bulbs there yesterday and those stalks were not there!!!

Garden Happy Dance !!

I love how the buds are the same soft, periwinkle color of Mr. Garden Wizard!

Hmmmm......... I wonder if he didn't have something to do with this when I wasn't looking!?!

Speaking of surprises, as I was planting those freesia bulbs yesterday, I pushed some garden bark to the side to find a spot to dig in and lookie what I found!! Daffodils sprouting through! I had received blooming daffodils last year as a gift and planted the bulbs here - and lo and behold, they are getting ready to spread yellow happiness in my garden!

I love the juxtapose of our ash tree.... autumn leaves clinging with their last bit of stubbornness, while fresh new growth bursts out all around!! Add in some bare branches and I have a tree of autumn, winter and spring!!

Time for some homemade lemonade!!

Out my kitchen window was my mulberry tree, loaded - not with mulberries (it's not that type of 'mulberry' tree) but with cold, puffy birds! They aren't as keen to the weather as I am!! They are predicting rain ALL WEEK LONG!!! (does her rain happy dance!)

How is winter looking in your corner of the Earth?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Solitary Shadow

Of late, my mind has gone to the dogs. Literally. Last week I visited our local animal shelter with my good friends 'just to look'.... I've thought about getting another dog from time to time, but my heart just hasn't been ready since I lost Ross last July. I was quite smitten with a beautiful dog at the shelter - Waldo - and we had a wonderful love fest. He has a beautiful, kind, gentle spirit and after a talk with my daughter and my good friend, S, I made the call to say I wanted to give Waldo a new home. Alas, this beautiful animal had just been adopted hours earlier. I am positive that fate had a hand in this and I am very okay, for I know that Waldo sleeps in a warm, loving home at night now and that if it had been meant to be, it would have worked out differently.

Our weather has become absolutely beautiful. Every so often, the words 'I should go for my walk today' drift through my mind - only to be immediately scolded by my heart's armour -

"You can't. Ross isn't here anymore. You can't go for your walk without him. It will be too hard to do. Too many memories....just too many memories of when you and he would go for your walks."

And I have acquiesced every single time - sure that my heart's armour spoke truthfully....and not feeling strong enough to prove it differently. Until today...The words to walk drifted by me again, and yes, the amour had its say as well. But, I decided that with the new year, came new beginnings. So during church this morning, I decided I would take my walk when I got home. And I would take it alone.

So with laces tied up, and a good-bye wink to Skittles laying in the front garden, I took my first few steps.

Around the first corner I looked upward and asked my buddy for a little help on this first walk without him. As I did, I saw a contrail rise above a bird in this tree and smiled at the irony of this picture - a creature that flies naturally while a man-made version soars miles above.

Soon, these guys were telling me how irritated they were that I had disturbed their late morning nap as they waddled towards the water's edge - especially the one in the middle!! Ross never gave them chase, but was so intrigued with the scents around!
As I rounded the bend, my path was before me....and I had to take slow, steady breaths as I remembered how I would put Ross back on the leash and hear the children at the upcoming tot-lot always say 'Look at that dog!'

....slow, steady breaths....

The sun felt warm and I thought of how this was the place where I would be ahead....Ross off the leash again and taking his sweet time gathering scents along our way. A quick 'Come on, Ross.' would bring him running to me with a smile on his face and his silky white and black fur waving to the rhythm of his running stride. He'd race past me, only to be stopped by a curious scent at another bush up ahead. This was my favorite part of our walk.

Winter's quell has finally brought barren trees as leaves finish their annual fall....
....revealing hidden treasures among the boughs.

Over the bridge I went, but this time I was the a parade of one.
A rainbow trout swam lazily in the winter sun past a
white down duck feather floating on top.

Red berries clinging onto bare branches... this is where Ross would whine and whine as dogs would run along their back fences - barking at us incessantly! This was our least favorite part of our walk and we would briskly pass those yappy dogs as I'd soothe Ross' nerves with a gentle 'It's okay,'s okay....'

Beauty all along my path.... below me....

....and above.

On the way home I pass by one of my favorite trees -ornamented with bird's nests. By now, Ross' pace would slow just a wee bit ... and soon we'd be home to slurps of cool water and a good, good feeling.

Yes, there were some tears as I wound my way around our route - noticing that there was only one, solitary shadow along the way. Memories are still very fresh and my heart's armour is still protective of me. But I tell myself that I did it....I made our walk alone.

Or did I?

Maybe, just maybe...

I really wasn't alone after all.