Thursday, July 19, 2012


Summer greens are everywhere around here - thanks to rains and heavy dew. The days have been so humid (typical WV July) that even I am thankful for air conditioning.

Maggie days have transformed into canning days. Every year I think next summer we'll just grow enough garden for the table and for sharing. And every year we check the canning shelves and decide we could always do with a few more quarts of this or that. This summer it's green beans. We did the first two canners yesterday - Roma II, which have become a favorite for lots of reasons. No strings, good flavor and good canners even when they've grown on the vine past peak.

This year Wayne also planted some pole beans and half-runners...just for old times sake. The sapling teepees cut and covered with bean vines used to be a familiar sight on gardens that grew on any lot of any size. These days we don't see so many gardens. Tha't a loss on several levels.

Wayne's 'old-times sake' backs me into the kitchen, but he is so good to help that I could hardly be so mean as to complain. Assuredly kitchen assistance is not quite fair as he does the planting, tilling, tending and picking. But hey, we all know he's addicted to work, right? And did you notice those rocks? We think they come up from China, as they seem to surface no matter how many you gather and haul to the creek banks. 

I'm not immue to the call of tradition myself ...though my call usually takes the form of quilts not canning. Call or no, I know not to plan too much sewing during garden times. Garden times are so much a part of "what we knew first" that it is hard to give it up, especially for Wayne. That is evident in spite of the fact that I no longer do a stitch of work there - except for taking the farmer a drink of water from time to time.

Without living in the past, we are still bound to memories of it. That is a blessing and I'm really thankful the Lord designed our minds with memory banks.

Passages once traveled will seldom reappear -
Stronger, then, incentive for holding them as dear.
Some are set indelibly and easily revived;
Others blend in patterns indistinct, but still alive.

Scenes of fond remembrance seem to etch on glass
Lines to lend fresh import to portraits of the past -
Ne'er to be forgotten, or lessen in their worth
E'en when tethered well beyond the reach of mortal earth.

Who can weigh the value e'er they travel on
Of ethereal summers basking 'neath the sun?
Once the snow has melted, magic glows no more...
Scales will find a balance true on far more distant shores.

Is the heart ungrateful - just redeeming time,
Scarcely comprehending the reason or the rhyme?
Who can know the pattern, gather up control;
Weaving through the tapestry the threads that form the whole?

Time may not uncover hidden meanings of
The raptures of a moment, the painful loss of love...
Soaring hearts, descending tears alike must understand
The soul will win its vict'ry by His near, Almighty Hand.

Patience molds the passage with resolve to hold
Faith for the duration, nurture for the soul -
Pausing and reflecting while memories yet yearn...
For hard it is to turn them free and not wish for return.
 pjt 07/04/2012

Friday, July 13, 2012


There's been a lot of that going around in WV. The story of the big storm of June 29 is out-dated by now, but still noteworthy. We had little rain but terrific winds. Some places in the state reported 79 mph winds. It sounded like the proverbial freight train coming along the ridge. Terrific wind damage all over the state brought electric power to a halt. The only physical damage at Teelside was a large oak limb that fell on the shed and tore up some of the roof, which was promptly cut away with chain saw by my handy-dandy Wayne Bunyon.  The woods behind us look like a war zone - limbs and trees down all over the place. Looks like some more firewood will be down for the taking in the future.

Our power outage lasted 12 days. Wayne 'babied' the generator night and day all that time. So we lost no food stuffs. Between generator duties and unusually high temperatures he wasn't getting much sleep and not being able to do any computer work was also quite frustrating for him. On the other hand, I made it an opportunity to loaf i.e., read, write, crochet and read some more. For me it seemed a not so unpleasant break in routine, but readily admit I was very glad to be able to do laundry when the power returned.

Early morning balcony time brought these lines.....


God be praised for morning's dawning,
Birds that warble, mist that cloaks
Yonder ridges with their wonder -
Shifting, subtle, feath'ry strokes;
Cotton candy of the summer
Icing mighty limbs of oak.

July days alight with beauty
Stretching as they yawn awake,
Reaching out in search of heartstrings,
New acquaintances to make;
Every dawn an unclaimed palette
Fresh and clean -- with no mistakes.

What a blessing, what a privilege
That we see God's precious plan:
Time each morn for new beginnings,
Light to guide the path of man,
Ours to take in daily measure,
His to give -- oh, praise His name!

pjt 07/09/2012