a cold day in august

Autumn is early coming – or so it seems. In the morning the mist is so thick that the lake is invisible from our kitchen window; I breathe deeply, letting the cool wet air fill my lungs. Perhaps the temperatures will rise again before September, but I can always hope for colder weather right? I love any excuse to wear baggy old sweaters and go for walks in the dewy grass. Autumn makes me so grateful for the little beauties in life. Puddles in the road. The scent of pine trees. Leaf littered sidewalks. Socks.

Along the roadside wild plums are deepening in color, bunches of wild grapes are ripening and golden rods are opening up fiery yellow buds. I’ve heard golden rod makes a good natural dye – I’ll have to buy more fabric before they finish blooming. There are also dainty four-o-clocks slowly flowering and of course the abundant number of sunflowers bobbing their cheery heads. Charlie gathers various wildflowers for his plant collection. He presses them between our Bibles and field guides (which is sometimes inconvenient – I have to relocate delicately dried blooms in order to read scripture.) But the collection is growing and someday it will be framed on our walls.

In one month we will be packing up to leave Nebraska. I shall certainly miss living such an isolated life tucked away in the sandhills. I have loved exploring Fort Falls and Minnechaduza Creek, foraging for berries and watching the family of turkeys that live in the cottonwood tree. But I also look forward to our many adventures in the next couple of weeks: rodeos, county fairs, camping in the Black Hills and visiting with family. Where are we going to live after Valentine? Who knows. Maybe California or Utah. But why worry about the future when life is full and the present is at hand right?

As evening comes to a close, Lover and I settle ourselves on the couch with bowls of hot soup and mugs of tea. Somewhere on the lake a heron squawks hoarsely. He’s probably happy that the frogs are feeling sluggish. Yes, Mr. Heron, it is a good day to be alive.

 

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picking mulberries

     Yesterday afternoon, I discovered there are three mulberry trees in our backyard simply loaded with fruit. So, Pip and I picked a pot full of berries. As I shook the branches in the late day sun, I thought about all the wonderful jams and pies I would make. Next, I gathered herbs from our garden: basil, rosemary, oregano, peppermint and wild sage. There's something satisfying about cooking with food straight from the garden... Soon we will have peppers and tomatoes on our kitchen table. 
     Charlie came home just as a storm rolled in. Thunder echoed through the sandhills and lightning split the sky; we enjoyed it from our snug home made sturdy with cement bricks. Our fingers were purple from mulberries and our hearts full with the blessings around us.

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L + C wedding anniversary

Already, one long, adventurous year has gone by.

We’ve moved twice – living in three different states since our wedding.

We’ve traveled many times – to Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas and Costa Rica.

Together we endured long nights of homework and writing assignments. Charlie let me cry on his shoulder after particularly grueling work days.

Celebrations of birth have come and gone, as well as the sorrow of death.

Our ‘first fight’ was more of a brief argument over something silly. We laughed about it and learned from it.

Charlie graduated from college with a major in biology. I am proud of my handsome husband and his love for the outdoors.

He is proud of me for pursuing my dreams in writing and art.

Living so closely together has taught us to enjoy the smaller things in life: like planning meals and buying fresh ingredients, or the satisfaction of a clean apartment. Together we’ve discovered the joy of hospitality – how much we love to visit with friends and family and make them feel at home.

Today, on our anniversary, Charlie and I are pondering the experiences we’ve shared as well as the trials and triumphs we are about to go through.

One year of marriage is nothing to boast about – we’ve still got a lifetime of growing to do! But it is still a milestone we shall always treasure. 

(you have to appreciate the work that went into each picture of us. The camera was on a tripod, so I had to make sure the lighting was good, adjust the angle, decide how to pose, focus the lens and set the self timer.) It was an ordeal -- but we both enjoyed the process :) ) 

(you have to appreciate the work that went into each picture of us. The camera was on a tripod, so I had to make sure the lighting was good, adjust the angle, decide how to pose, focus the lens and set the self timer.) It was an ordeal -- but we both enjoyed the process :) ) 

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