Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In Bloom...

The Story Behind the Minature Rose
A few years ago a young woman(whom I'll call Sue) providentially crossed my path at the high school where I work. She is an exceptionally bright young woman who faces daunting hardships in her personal life. She is the daughter of a dysfunctional woman who is her birth mother. In reality Sue is the actual "Mom" in this household. She is the one who holds the home together and provides the emotional (and often economic) support for her birth mother and her siblings. There is no Dad on the scene, I don't think she even knows who her birth father is. There have been a string of deadbeat males who have camped out in the house in order to take advantage of whatever economic benefits may come the way of this family through state support, but none of these males has ever held a job or seems to have any inclination to hold a job.
Sue is fiercely loyal to her Mom and her Mom is completely dependent upon Sue. This is making it very, very difficult for Sue to embark on a life of her own. At the end of the school year last year, she had the opportunity to attend a community college in another city, but her Mother kept begging her not to leave, because she can't do without her--a heavy garment for a young woman of 17 to wear and to shed.
She stops in at my office a few times a week, we chat, I give what encouragement I can. We often go out for coffee or a meal. But the whirlpool of guilt and misplaced responsibility is a hard one for her to escape.
She gave me this rose for Mother's Day last May. I'm quite sure it meant she went without lunch that day; there is no such thing as expendable income in her world. It was on its last legs when she gave it to me, the leaves were yellowed and wilting and it was dried out. I was determined to make this rose thrive....perhaps because I could "control" its environment. I can't control Sue's. I transplanted it into new soil in a slightly larger pot, I fertilized it, I put it outside so it could get some good light, I sprayed it when powdery mildew tried to take hold and low and behold, it has thrived and bloomed. I'm delighted--in a bittersweet way, as I wish it were as easy to help Sue thrive.
Please join me in praying for Sue and the obstacles she faces. Pray that I will give good advice, pray that she might see her Heavenly Father in me and that she might know Him and His love and its true and transformative power. May she bloom where He plants her.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hot Day Two

Another hot day in B'ham, another trip to Marine Park for our picnic dinner. These folks were playing kayak basketball, and working HARD. They were paddling and maneuvering for at least an hour and a half.

Hoping we'd drop some of our dinner!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Wade In the Water....

The only way to beat the heat in Bellingham when the temps nude into the 90's is to head for the water. So we did! Photos from the everchanging pallete of twililght at Marine Park:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

....A Thousand Words...or Vice Versa

DISCLAIMER: This post contains no photographs, only word pictures!

I can't seem to remember to take my camera with me when I leave the house. On the few times I have remembered, I've seen nothing terribly photo-worthy. But you can be sure if I don't have it with me, extraordinary things will await us wherever we go, and yesterday was no exception to this pattern.

We started our day off with a fine breakfast with my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, his wife and their 3 young sons. They were all in town to support nephew, Rob, who participated in the RSVP. His plans included a stopover in Bellingham and then he would continue on to Vancouver, BC, on Saturday. The rest of the family met him up there, presumably to party "along with" and then provide transportation back to Seattle. Making this trip by car is grueling enough, I can't imagine doing it on a bike!

After breakfast we headed out to the north county to a little gospel concert at the Haynie Opry (aka the Haynie Grange). Whatcom County is such an interesting mix of "cultures": loggers, farmers, fishers and the corporate crew who inhabit the "castles" that line the waterfront. You don't have to venture far out of Bellingham in any one direction before you find yourself in a "different world". Such was the case on Saturday. The Haynie Opry is a solid, old 2-story wooden grange building with a high ceiling, an well-worn wooden floor and huge casement windows which were wide open because of the afternoon heat (90+ degrees). Large flower-print chintz curtains blew in the breeze as mostly elderly, well-fed folks in overalls, suspenders and flower-print dresses found seats among the collection of used and mismatched pews donated by different churches. Thermoses provided ice water and cold lemonade and for a $2.00 donation (proceeds destined for clean water work taking place in a village in Africa), you could have a piece of rhubarb or blueberry pie. We got one of each. On stage the 50-something gray-haired men in black pants and black western shirts adorned with sequined roses began setting up for the afternoon performance. We were transported by old favorites such as "I'll Fly Away", "I've Seen the Light" and "In the Garden" and left feeling like we'd been on a long vacation.

No trip to the north county is complete without a trip to Edaleens Dairy for the very, very, very best soft ice cream you have ever tasted. No matter when you go, you will stand in line for this treat, as their renown has spread far and wide...even internationally, as more than half of the license plates in the parking lot are from BC. Can you blame them? A large (and I mean LARGE) chocolate/vanilla swirl cone is a whopping $2.00! While we were sitting outside trying to eat the ice cream faster than it was melting in the heat, we saw the Snowbirds performing some of their stunts as part of the Abbotsford Air Show. "Locals" know that if you head out Northwood Rd. you can catch some of the show for free by parking next to Randy and Leslie's raspberry fields! So we did just that and had a great view of their amazing show.

By then we were hot and tired and it was time to head home for leftovers. What a day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Since work schedules and economic realities preclude "vacations", as such, for the Hoyt-Whitakers, this is where I "vacation" in the summer!