Friday, June 27, 2008

My childhood home

Another wonderful experience we've had this year and I haven't blogged about yet was a visit back to Ames, Iowa, where I lived from age 2-1/2 up to 24. Though I was born in another part of Iowa, this was my hometown. And other than a couple of short visits years ago, I hadn't been there in a long time.

We were coming home from our niece's graduation, and we ended up close enough to Ames to justify a short trip through town to see our old house. All I had hoped to be able to do was to stop long enough to see the outside from the street, and then maybe take a photo of the front of the house. But the Lord had a treat in store for me that day when the current lady of the house stepped out the front door.

We talked for a while, and I explained who I was, and then she graciously invited me in to look around. Even though she had family visiting for the holiday (Memorial Day), she patiently showed me every room, and I was so delighted to see the cherry tree we planted still doing well in the back yard and the basement bedroom still being used for a sewing room...just like my mother had done with it years ago.

Mom would have been so happy if she had been alive to tour our old house with me. My Dad was in the car that day, along with my husband, but neither of them wanted to go in the house with me. I just about cried when the lady of the house told me that she cans cherries from that tree every summer. Mom didn't have enough cherries back when we were there to can them, but she did have enough to make a few cherry pies every year.

I know that my true home isn't in Iowa, any more than it is in Minnesota. My true home is in Heaven with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, but I'm so thankful that He gave me a little glimpse back into my childhood this year. I sent the family there a thank you note afterward telling them how much it meant to me. But I also thank God for this unexpected gift.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Last, but not least...the robins

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we had the great blessing of seeing a lot of wildlife this month, including this adult robin feeding a nest of baby robins. My husband found the nest on a ledge under my father's back deck, and the robins obviously knew somehow that we weren't a great threat to them. They continued to feed their babies as we watched and took photographs. I just wish my camera battery hadn't died when it did, or I could have gotten a video of the feeding process.

Continuing with my animal theme...

One of our nieces has a growing colony of dwarf hamsters as pets, and our dog Charlie found them particularly fascinating to watch when we were visiting recently. The little hamster in the front was jumping up and down against the glass for a while. And when I put the rnning wheel back into their cage, he ran on it for several hours, pretty much nonstop.

When I asked my niece why she didn't leave the wheel in the cage all the time for them, she told me that they would be running on it all night if they could. And the sound of the wheel would keep her awake...Oh, to have such energy!

Not so wild animals...

Another thing that has kept me busy this month is knitting. I've been working on my first lace knitting project, a large mohair shawl for myself, and I made three sweet little hedgehogs to give away for gifts. I gave one as a baby gift to my old college friends' new little baby girl, and I've promised the other two to my sister and her family. They were really fun to make, using three kinds of yarn, some embroidery floss for the face, and leather for the feet. If you'd like to make your own hedgehodge, it's a pattern call William the Hedgehog offered free on the Lion Brand website. It was very easy and very fun, and it sort of fits into the amigarumi knitting trend, though this pattern makes a hedgehog that is up to 10 inches long.

What we've been doing all month...

Working...a lot. Hiking, gardening, home improvement, baking, sewing, and visiting family and friends.

And we've had the great blessing of seeing and even being able to photograph some Minnesota wildlife, like this loon family we spotted when we were up north over Father's Day weekend visiting my father. We've since learned that it's very rare to see two baby loons in one family. Thanks to my zoom lens, you can actually see the baby loons in this photo.

And, closer to home, we often see wildlife, too, like this deer we spotted on the trail near our home. one the walks near where were live. It stayed so still, almost like it wanted to photographed. But I know that's not true. It probably thought we wouldn't see it if it didn't move.

We often see deer near our home, as well as song and waterbirds, muskrats, and even an occasional opossum...I have a long commute to the ministry where I work because of where we live, but I wouldn't trade it for a shorter commute any day. I love to be close to wildlife like this. We thank the Lord for these blessings!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Spring is finally here!

I took this photo two weeks ago, and I haven't had time since then to post it to the web. My tulips are now past, but my irises are starting to develop blossoms, and I've been thrilled to see that spring is finally here. In fact, we had the whole month of May to enjoy spring-like weather. We just turned the air conditioning on today for the first time since 2007, because the temps are in the 80s today.