A Prairie Wedding

My niece got married last week!

Talk about exciting!

And – to add to the fun – the ceremony and reception were at my parents home.

On their prairie surrounded by mom’s gorgeous flowers.

And two of my sons were groomsmen.

They’re the handsome chaps on the right.

11948534_892079190885805_957635954_oSee those ties?

They were my contribution to the wedding. I made all four of them. It looked like such an easy pattern – I mean really – how hard can it be to make a bow tie?

Ha! You have no ideas how many times I messed up that simple pattern!

And yes – I teared up when I saw Lexie in her wedding dress.

11220081_10208139244345287_4520535201894319070_nBut I wasn’t the only one.

Her aunts and I were a puddle.

Seriously – it was just yesterday that she was a little tike running around Nana’s prairie with my kiddos shooting pretend bears with the bb guns.

And now she’s a bride – walking across that same prairie on her dad’s arm to meet her groom.

Sniff.

They grow up so fast!

 

25 Years Ago

Jan and I celebrated twenty-five years of marriage this week.

Twenty-five years!

It’s been a remembering kind of week.

I’ve pulled out the old pictures.

Marveling at how young we looked.

Anniversary Surrounded by friends and family.

I look in our eyes and see the joy, the incredible joy we felt that day.

He loves me!

He chose me!

And now – 25 years later -there’s still joy.

 

wedding photoAnd peace.

And contentment.

And more love than those two newlyweds could have ever imagined.

Forged in the day by day commitment of two hearts.

For better or worse.

For richer and poorer.

In sickness and health.

For as long as we both shall live.

“Come, grow old with me, for the best is yet to come.”

Amish Auction

Big doings in the neighborhood last week!

One of our Amish neighbors had a moving auction.

So what does an Amish auction look like?

Auction 006A lot like a regular auction – except you could bid on buggies and pony carts and horse drawn equipment and wood cook stoves.

And there’s lots of Amish folks around.

They came from all over.

Auction 023Some in horse and buggies.

Some in vans with hired drivers.

Whole families.

It was like a party.

Friends seeing friends they hadn’t seen for awhile.

Several of the teens put up volleyball nets in the pasture and played while the bidding went on.

Speaking of bidding…

Auction 002Those Amish ladies may look serene and nonchalant – but boy can they bid when they want something!

I lost out on a couple things because I couldn’t tell the bonnets apart and didn’t know who had the bid.

I did score a set of three pretty glass jars to store sewing supplies.

But then I had to carry them around the rest of the morning – which kept me from bidding on the Amish cook stove – which may have been a good thing.

Auction 015We stayed long enough to see the horses auctioned off at noon because I really wanted to see an Amish horse auction.

I kept my hands in my pockets though.

But we didn’t stay long enough to see the farm equipment go –  we probably don’t really need a manure spreader with steel wheels anyway.

But we did see all the neighbors, caught up on the news, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I love a good auction!

Nothing Planted, Nothing Gained

SeedThere were no “ideal conditions” to garden in this year.

Our plan of action was to keep throwing seeds in the ground in hopes that something would grow.

So I sowed abundantly – despite the mud and the weeds and the nasty weather.

If I had veggies for every seed I put in the ground this year I could have started my own farmer’s market.

But many didn’t germinate.

And some of the ones that did were drowned out or overtaken by weeds.

But at least they had a chance to grow.

Unlike the many seeds still in packets that never even got planted, like the herb garden that never got expanded and the new flower bed that didn’t get dug up.

I had every intention of planting them.

But those seeds are still sitting here – at the end of July – with no chance of growing because they were never sown.

This week, as I worked my way through the forest of grass that is my garden, I thought of all the other “seeds” that I have not sown.

The note of encouragement that never got written.

The get well gift that never got delivered.

The offer of help that was never extended.

The word of counsel that wasn’t given.

The time in prayer that wasn’t taken.

The invitation that was never extended.

All those seeds that will never have a chance to produce fruit, because they were never sown.

Good intentions.

Noble thoughts.

Seeds of kindness and love and faith.

All waiting for ideal conditions that never came.

There can be no harvest when the seeds are never planted.

So I ask you – what seeds do you need to sow today?

And Hope Springs Eternal…

IMG_2665Just look at those veggies!

Aren’t they wonderful!

They would even more wonderful if I grew them.

Which I didn’t.

Some came from a local farmer’s market and some from my sister. (Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!)

It’s been a very discouraging garden year.

After our early success with kale and lettuce – we have had one disappointment after another.

Massive amounts of rain drowned entire crops.

More than once.

I’ve replanted tomatoes three times and the ones in the ground now are sitting in water after the heavy rain again over the weekend.

Cut worms devastated young seedlings.

Bunnies got through our bunny-proof electric fence.

And the things that did manage to grow were choked out by weeds that grew fast and furious because of all the rain.

We mowed the garden three times and just last weekend took the weed-wacker to it.

Yep. It’s been a rough gardening year here.

At times I’ve been ready to give up.

Then I think of fresh green beans and grilled zucchini and corn on the cob smothered with butter and a crisp watermelon fresh from the patch…

…and I go out and pull some weeds and throw some more seeds in the ground.

You never know – next week might be dry.

We might have a fabulous autumn!

Maybe we’ll have a late frost!

And hope springs eternal in the heart of a gardener.