Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving That Can Last All Year

What a glorious day it was yesterday, the day America celebrates Thanksgiving.  My day started off with a view of this

I was enjoying watching the many different birds that frequent our feeders in the backyard, when I saw something VERY BIG fly by the bushes in the back.  It was too quick for me to identify it, but then it flew behind the building in the back, so I  tip-toed out the back door and peeked around the corner of the building and there was this owl sitting on the cross bar of the pole that holds up the old clothesline.  I decided to run back to get my camera and when I came back it had moved into the trees.  I zoomed in, clicked my tongue so it would look at me and snapped this shot.  This is a Barred Owl.  I think this is one of a pair that hang out in the park across the street from our home.  I often hear them calling to each other a night.  

Then I opened up my email and saw this wonderful email from one of the missionaries our church supports and I thought it encapsulated my sentiments exactly, so I'm quoting it here:

We have much to be thankful for as we reflect on who God is and what he has done. We just invite you to share in these Thanksgiving reflections.
Thank You Lord…

For Salvation in Jesus Christ. For being adopted into the family of God. That our sins are forgiven. For sending the Holy Spirit to be your continual presence in our lives. For your steadfast love  that never ceases. For the sufficiency of your Word to equip us for every good work. The refuge we find in you that is certain and strong. For your mercies that are new every morning. For the difficulties that you allow into our lives that cause us to cling to you more. That you have promised to never leave us or forsake us. That you have called us to be your ambassadors. That you have committed to us the Ministry of Reconciliation. That we have been be a part of solid churches with Biblical teaching. That we have had the privilege to grow up in a free country. For physical provision our whole lives. We’ve never had to go to bed hungry for lack of food. For the blessing of our daughter and son-in-law that you have entrusted into our care that they love you and are growing in their walk with you. For good health.

Great start to my day and it only got better.  We headed down to Des Moines, south of SeaTac, to meet up with Jessi and Josh who were heading up from OR and to congregate with Wally's extended family.  We had a great time reconnecting with nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and sisters et al.  

The "hors d'oeuvres"

Brother and sister, Traci and Jeff, from Seattle and Vancouver, WA

Step-father and son-in-law, Paul and Steve

 Wally's youngest sister, Terry (from Everett), Jessi and Josh

Terry and Traci

A spirited game of Apples to Apples, we had a blast playing this!

Intense concentration...which one to choose?

Wally's other sister, Kris (it's the cabana at her and Paul's condo that we are meeting at), her daughter, Traci, and her grand-daughter, Mylee

Jeff is winning so far

And the piece de resistance, turkey and all the trimmings!

A wonderful, wonderful day, so very much to be thankful for every day!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Bucolic Morning on Vallette Street

Yesterday morning this was the scene out my kitchen window.  Actually I was only about 5' away when I took this photo.  You can see how threatened they are by my presence.  Hydrangea was on the menu.  I don't mind sharing my bushes with them, but it is difficult to grow any kind of vegetable garden with the herds of deer that roam our neighborhood, often walking calming down the middle of the street.

I'm not complaining.  One of the desires of my heart was/is to live in a rural setting frequented by a variety of wildlife.  And the Lord has given me that desire within city limits.  In addition to deer we have a raccoon family that rears their young in a giant tree in our neighbor's backyard, so I see cute little babies wandering thru our yard on a regular basis every spring.  There are coyotes that live in the park behind us, I don't see them often, but occasionally, if I'm out early enough in the morning, I'll see them wandering the borders of the park.  There are a pair of Cooper's Hawks that rear their young in the park as well and in the winter, there are a pair of Barred Owls that frequent the park.  I love to lie in bed and listen to them call to each other. 

These aren't the only desires of my heart that He has fulfilled.  I would love to have a herd of animals of my own, but lifestyle realities have made that difficult.  We don't have a fully fenced yard, so a dog is not an option. neighbors have a wonderful dog, a beautiful Springer Spaniel Llewellin Setter mix,  and cat and we have all adopted each other.  When they are out of town or late getting home I get to go feed and play with them and snuggle and pretend they are mine.  

I've always wanted a big flower garden for cut bouquets.  I don't own this home, digging up the yard is not an option. neighbor next door is a master gardener who grows flowers of her own and also helps design bouquets for one of the county farms that sells gorgeous bouquets every summer.  And on an almost weekly basis in the summer, she brings me huge bouquets.  In return, I bake goodies for her.  

How gracious is the Lord to give us the desires of our heart, even if they are not in the manner we thought they would be!