Thursday, February 17, 2011


As Luckie and I sat for a rare few minutes in sunshine on our deck for me to absorb some natural Vitamin D, I, being in depressed and tired spirit, surveyed our somewhat dismal, winter-worn-and torn yard and property.

Since both of us are older and health in decline, I wondered  how we would manage another season of care.

This is a dilemma faced by many persons in our little retirement town. When I was on city council, I was reluctant to come down hard on individuals in violation of our beautification ordinances when I knew they were physically and, especially, financially unable to comply. 

Moodily, I surveyed the overgrown English Ivy nearly blocking a gutter on one out-building, as well as hanging baskets in need of care and two long-neglected flower beds, needing much tender care.

First Sign of Spring-2011
My eyes wandered to a concrete vase near the front steps yet to be finished painting from a summer project. The vase also need care. What was that I saw nearby in the dead Bermuda grass?

To brighten my day there were three tiny yellow crocus, usually the beginning of spring on our property!!!

At least for one brief moment my spirits lifted.  We may do as others have. A complete vegetation kill followed by creek gravel and some stone paths. This is common in Arizona where they use different colors of pebbles and gravel. Since we lost our beautiful trees, the lot has little beauty.

Butterfly -  top view

Speaking of beauty, in the midst of our coldest weather, while unloading groceries from the SUV, I found a dead full-grown butterfly under the driver's seat. Whether it was fleeing winter, and falsely believe it would escape its ultimate fate, or randomly flew in an open window or door, becoming trapped--I don't know.

Butterfly - Underside
 The butterfly's colors, which were blue on top and yellow underneath, faded before I took the pictures.

Such is life, for everything there is a season, which brings to mind one of my favorite passages from my favorite Biblical book: Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, 12 NIV
1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.


Betty said...

Unfortunately, one of the things we have to think about is whether we will be able to remain independent, and if not, what will we do? I plan to become a burden to my children.

Anonymous said...

I have been pondering that very same situation with hubby and myself. We have way too much yard to take care of and we both are not physically able to do as much as we once did. I am doing most of the yard work now but I don't know how much longer I will be able to.

Those little crocus blooms are so pretty and what a pleasant surprise for you. I am glad seeing them lifted your spirits.

Hang in there spring and better weather surely will come soon. Hugs

Pat - Arkansas said...

Love the bright yellow of your crocuses. Poor butterfly; even in death is beauty.

The Lycoris' spring growth is shooting up everywhere! I'm taking photos of where I have them planted so I won't inadvertently set a flower pot on them to squash the flower stalks. Thanks, again, for your generosity in sharing these pretty things with us.

Arkansas Patti said...

I was thinking that when the snow covered the winter bare yard. I used to get excited about getting my hands dirty, now I am wondering how my back will hold up.
I will be planting ground covers this spring that hopefully will tend themselves in time. Also will be less to mow.
Scaling down is hard.
Hope the sun helped with the winter blues.

CHERI said...

I noticed yesterday that my little clump of daffodills is up but not yet blooming. I don't remember them coming up this early before but our weather has been so spring-like the last few days. Yard work does get more and more difficult and certainly isn't cheap. Hubby still enjoys doing it though and that's a good thing since we have such a large yard. Our summer heat eventually gets everything though except for my ferns which I try to water daily. I love that Bible passage also.

Lorna said...

about the independence---that's our compelling reason to live in a condo. Although I am cranky about maintaining a garden, I appreciate those of others.

Also that passage is one of my favourite Bible bits.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any butterflies alive or dead. But it was very nice outside today. Went back to the doctor as a follow up visit. The levaquin is kicking in but I still got the sinusitis. She doesn't seem concerned.

She told me to go outside if I wanted to. She thinks the humidity in the air would be helpful and suggested I get a humidifier for my bedroom. Usually, moisture has the opposite effect. But I will try it as soon as we get one.

The concentrator I have is a big gray ugly sort of thing. Not so cute and petite as your blue machine. It works though. Helps out a lot and I still have to sleep with it on and in my nose.

rosaria said...

That sun should have helped a bit. Take care.

Dimple said...

I learned that Scripture before I was a disciple, courtesy of Pete Seeger and the Byrds. It was a surprise, reading those words for the first time and realizing I knew them! Whenever I read the words, I hear the music, thanks for the song!

I'm sure you will find the right path among your thoughts of home and yard maintenance. I pray God will guide and help you.

Anonymous said...

Just had to drop back to comment on your comment.

In those days they didn't call the sort of thing that happened to me "abuse" and I never heard of anyone ever being visited by authorities for the treatment parents meted out to their children. I saw my best friend get hit in the head by his mom wielding a iron skillet and she knocked him off the back steps. He was trying to get in to get a drink of water.

They used to use razor straps on kids a lot. Most men used straight razors and use the leather strop to keep them sharp. It became a handy whipping thing.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Oh honey I was sad reading your post because it is something that now at our age we do start pondering and wondering.
Just today I was ashamed of how my house inside needed as much work as the outside but I tire out so easily that it gets done in spurts but it seems that is not enough to keep it the way I want it to be.
Love that you found these pretty corcus coming up. They really are beautiful.
Hang in there and God will help us find the answers to what we need to do now in our life.
Love ya

Small City Scenes said...

Oh my some days I have those very same thoughts. It is so hard getting older. I have a huge yard and lots of flower beds that I have neglected all through my husbands sickness and my having to care for him. He has been gone 3 years now but I haven't gotten where I can work in the yard although I do feel I want to this year. Fortunately I am very healthy AND my Crocus are coming up but not blooming. They will make me smile too. MB

jeannette said...

Such a beautiful specimen you found! Have made 2 butterfly paintings, but it is my intention to paint 12, so I can make a calender of it. May I have your permission to use your butterfly pic for a painting?
Thank you for getting back to me on this:)

When/wherever it ends up being used for, I will give credit to all the pics given to me (scroll down to the bottom of the blogposts now, if you like to look and verify).

Ginny said...

I am glad you found a crocus to cheer you. I found a flowering dandylion, and although they plague us in the summer, on a cold February day, they were a joy to behold.

I thought of you today when I read read about the earthquake in your state. I hope you are on solid ground.