Tag Archives: rose mallow

Providence and Photography

Long ago in Fantasyland, I thought my remodeling project might be done before Lent 2019. And again this year I thought so, but I had less hope than last year. 🙂

I hate to take the time to tell you properly why it’s not done, and how it makes me feel. But I will say that at worst, I feel like a homeless woman who for a year has been camping in an increasingly disorganized storage unit, who must still be presentable at 7:30 every morning to welcome visitors who are working on the place, very close to my bed and bathroom.

But I do have the loveliest bed, plenty of food to eat, and I have a bathroom. My wonderful house has windows through which sun often shines. I have hope of my affliction coming to an end. Millions of people in the world would love to experience my problem. Besides, God knows what I need, doesn’t He? He does. The last fifteen months have not gone the way I expected, but I can’t help but see, even with my bad spiritual eyesight, much good coming out of “everything,” and I’m not talking about my closet makeover.

The providence of God was crystal clear this week, when it’s the first week of Lent, and precisely for the first three days of this special week my project stalled; it wasn’t the first occasion when I could appreciate the timeliness of delay. Unlike most truly homeless people I have a car and could drive to church! I love to attend Matins and other services that are at 8:00 a.m. during Lent, and it’s not difficult during this season of my life when I can’t sleep past 5 or 6. And as often happens, when we have said the last “Amen,” I’m not eager to leave.

Today I lingered to straighten some of the new purple cloths on the icon stands. On Sunday a dozen of them had been quickly exchanged with the previous cloths of Pre-Lenten color — was it gold? — right in the middle of  Forgiveness Vespers, and a few were a little wonky. Then I went out and wandered in the church garden with my camera. I had already taken a couple of pictures on arrival, when the sun was barely up.

I went into the kitchen where Herman and Maria were just unloading their shopping bags of vegetables and clams and yummy things with which to make soup for tonight. We will have the first Presanctified Liturgy of Lent, and on Wednesday evenings we eat together afterward, a simple soup-salad-bread meal together, which people take turns cooking. I’m planning to prepare one of these midweek soups in April.

Before I could leave the parking lot I got a phone call from the painting contractor saying that they will finish this week, tomorrow and Friday. I had been prepared to wait much longer than that, but this seems perfect. One never knows what a day will bring — that is one way of describing the uncertainty, lack of routine, and waiting that has often been crazy-making in this last year.

But If I don’t have to wait here at the house, and I am physically able to take walks or go to church while I’m waiting, it’s not hard to be content. A thousand flowers decided that March 1st was a good day to bloom; there’s no denying that spring has sprung!

We have a gardening work day.

To my surprise, I was able to take part in the work day at church. For twoIMG_2235 days previous I’d been getting enough soul-calming Down Time that I could feel relaxed about leaving all the work at home undone, and head over to the church garden to get my hands in the dirt there. Some of you will remember how I used to do that several times a week before my late husband retired.

The last time I did anything like this was over two years ago, when Mr. Glad and I together helped prune roses for a few hours. The beautiful rose bushes are still there, but the late rains encouraged a lot of rust on the leaves, so one of my jobs today was to remove all those leaves affected.

IMG_2220Two of the roses that I have tended so many times in the past have to be removed — their old canes are non-productive and the new canes are too small, or only suckers. That’s sad…but it’s happened to my lovely Pristine rose at home, too, and I’m taking it out.

This lovely pink climber I was only cutting back so it will be easier for the men to remove later today. Our priest’s wife supervises the garden currently and does much of the work; she will buy a new climber and we’ll try to get it to climb up the pillar better than we managed with this one.IMG_2236 catalpa

Rain is threatening again today, and the sky was cloudy, which put the flowers in such a good light that I had to take their pictures when I stood up to straighten my back. The rose mallow is in its prime.

[For those who wonder what tree that is looming above the library, I’m adding a photo below of its leaves and flowers up close. It’s a catalpa.]

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After Kit got all set up to transplant a lamb’s ear plant, she had to leave, so I dug the hole and tucked it in. I’ve never given so much care to planting lamb’s ears  before — on my own property I am always pulling them out, they are such enthusiastic growers. But this soil was pretty hard….

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Three hours went by pretty fast. I had to quit pulling weeds while I was still having fun, in order to preserve my back. But I’m encouraged to hope that if the next work days come when I’m not traveling, I’ll be able to spend some fruitful time in these beloved gardens again.

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