Lately, I've been listening to a lot of music circa 2000, like Switchfoot's older albums. I'm definitely prone to nostalgia (for better or worse), but in this case, it's enjoyable and harmless. And it's a bit of a challenge with myself to see just how many lyrics I still have memorized. Gone are the days of meticulously pouring over CD pamphlets and reading the lyrics word for word as the disc spins in my silver boom box. I still love music, but my listening errs on the end of "background listening" while multitasking, rather than the main event. But there are moments when music shines as the main event, especially during our little morning sing-a-longs. And those allow me to revisit the relationship I used to have with music. Lyrics like this:
Hello, good morning, how you do? What makes your rising sun so new? [...] I'm dying to breathe in these abundant skies.
On Friday, I woke up and after breakfast, coffee, and feeding Cooper, set to work baking blondies to bring on a visit to family. Almost as soon as they came out of the oven, my sister-in-law, Katelyn, and I left. We first went to Grandpa's, and when we got there, he was on his way out the door to feed the chickens. Our Aunt Phyllis stopped by to see us, and her and Katelyn worked on the most recent jigsaw puzzle project on the card table in the living room. Then, just before noon, we walked to Aunt Phyllis' and Uncle Neil's home for lunch. It was a cloudy day, with the rain just holding, but it was such a nice walk with a cool breeze. Katelyn walked her puppy, Sage. Cooper was sleepy and snug in the wrap, tightly grasping my necklace.
Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Neil have an incredible garden, and so lunch was comprised of big tomato slices, green beans, corn, okra, and watermelon alongside ham, rolls, and potatoes. It was one of the best meals I've had in a long time. You cannot improve upon produce that fresh. I got to bring home some roma tomatoes and green beans, too! So, so yummy.
After lunch, we walked back to Grandpa's house for some blondies and coffee. Grandpa held Cooper again and we talked about how we were all excited when we found out our baby was a boy (of course we would've been thrilled no matter what). Grandpa especially enjoyed the blondies, so I promised I'd make more next time we visited. And then we drove home, just as it started to rain.
Every time we visit the farm, I marvel at the big-ness, the abundance of the skies. Cloudy or clear, I love the nuance of large swathes of land without buildings. I love the quiet, and rather, the abundance of quiet. The fewer the distractions, the better I catch a glimpse of God's abundant blessings. I think of how different our life looks than it did just six months ago.
Abundant skies, abundant blessings. My heart feels more awake in the quiet and the green and the open skies and the hush of fall, right around the corner. And there is one particular blessing who is so quick to melt my heart, and tiny enough to be in my arms.
A few weeks ago, our little family of four made plans with my father- and sister-in-law for an early Saturday morning at the Lake. When we arrived in the eight o'clock hour, it was breezy, in the low seventies. At this particular beach and time of day, we had our pick of spots; only a few families were there before us. I chose a spot pretty close to the water and Coop dumped out his new beach toys out of his mesh bag and got busy building and digging. Soon enough, Nicholas, who had been parking the truck, and my SIL and FIL joined us.
Here we are, on the very cusp of July, and I've neglected to share about our garden. Nicholas and I had a plot at a community garden when we were engaged back in 2013, but we haven't had a vegetable garden since—until this year, that is. I wanted to share a bit about our garden this year: what we're growing, how we're growing it, and how it's going so far.
If you missed my last post, I shared about the passing of my beautiful mother-in-law. I don't want to continue on in a "business as usual" style, nor do I want to neglect to share about joyful things in our life. Again and again, I'm learning that grief and joy coexist in this life. And what a grace that is! Grief can highlight the joy, make it more precious in my eyes. And so, I wanted to share about a little day trip I took with my SIL, Katelyn, Cooper, and Finn back in mid-May, since it was a good thing, a sweet day spent with some of my very favorite people.