Even Solomon in all his glory…

The wedding was beautiful. My niece was lovely. Her bridesmaids were radiant…

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Then everyone went home and I was left with time to browse through the rose garden at Colonial Park with my aunt…

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……and the next day to wander alone down the historic Delaware/Raritan Canal tow path in the land of my childhood.

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It was splendid!P1210064

P1210070Ginormous snapping turtles lounged on logs all along the way defying my efforts to capture their likeness…Lush growth of poison ivy kept me from getting too close….

P1210042P1210027All the while the heady sweet scent of honeysuckle accompanied me.

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When I reached Bound Brook I found the grand building that was once my grade school,P1210087

and the old library where I sat in the Children’s Department one Saturday forty-some years ago and learned to crochet!  P1210093

For lunch I found an old sub shop on Main Street, that’s been there forever, and got myself an authentic Italian SubIMG_20160615_142508706 before having a quiet meander through the ancient cemetery beside the library…P1210091…reading old gravestones with their stately fonts and quaint orthography…

”The Church We Say hath Suffurd IMG_20160615_150413856
Dere Frind By your Deceace.
The Crown is Won theres no more …
For you But Endless Peace.
As you are now So once was I…
Helth and Strenth though here [I lie]…
and as I am now So you must Be.
Prepare for Death and Follow me.”

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“Here lies what is mortal of James Harris who died Aug.1,1813 in the 59 year of his age.
Confined by death to shade of night,
He lies conceal’d from mortal sight.
Till Jesus from the lofty skies,
Shall bid his slumb’ring dust arise
.”

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“To the memory of John Runyon son of Peter and Phebe Runyon who died Sept.11th 1822 aged 6 years and 2 months.  His fond parents has erected this humble monument.”

Earlier in the week I walked with my mom through the graveyard where my own kin and those of my friends are buried—all these saints who have gone before us to what is truly glory.Grandparents Gravestones It sits beside the old church building we called ‘The Assembly Hall’ where I prayed at the altar to ask Jesus to be my Saviour when I was just 10 or so…P1200783

Lindy Lake lies just beyond. P1200935 Here I skated in winter and counted goslings in summer, had school picnics, picked strawberries and passed by endlessly walking home from  school or just taking a lovely walk…But alas, not a decentIMG_20160613_202338188 picture have I.  It’s best in the mind’s eye I suppose.

Well… it was a wonderful and nostalgic trip ‘home’ to Zarephath, NJ, the perfect occasion to see cousins I haven’t seen in a dozen years—seems to take a wedding (or a funeral) to gather us from hither and yon! I will spare you all the pictures of kith and kin, except for these three…

of siblings (and Mom!),

Siblings

of COUSINS!

Weaver Cousins

and of my favorite sister!!

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I end on this curious note—I love this little vent sitting quietly and unnoticed over the decades looking like a mushroom.  I wonder if anyone has thought to take a picture of it before now…IMG_20160612_133129773

‘Tis all for now–

–LS

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Wrapping up 2014—all gift!

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As a New Year rolls in I’m looking in the rear-view mirror so to speak, at all that has passed this year… P1160487

Week by week I’ve left its traces here in pictures.  But this year looking back is bittersweet.  The remembering is laced with the sadness of loss.

For eleven years these gifts have been ours—the natural beauties of the Pacific Northwest—the water, the trees, the garden, the flowers…I have loved them. Dearly. The freedom to tromp all about in a world akin to a National Park (minus the fees and the people) has been a priceless gift.  But now that we’re moving the pictures that re-cap the year remind me of gifts I must leave behind… I can take only the reminders, these pictures, and a grateful heart for all these blessings.

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As we move toward snow country,

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we will leave behind rain-forest and ocean with their now predictable seasons…

February’s snow drops and pussy willows…P1140291snowdrops

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Spring’s skunk cabbage and wild currant blooms

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Fruit trees and rhubarb coming to life…

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Summer’s garden time

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and familiar hikes to favorite viewpoints…

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Fall’s harvest will be different too this year…P1160244P1150885IMG_20140823_164037128

 

And snow not so rare and valued…P1140270P1140279P1140236

Looking back I suspect these are things I will miss

but then again, there are other things we may not miss too much  [P1140336%255B7%255D.jpg]P1140331P1140915

What I cannot see is what lies just ahead…

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Last year at this time we had an empty nest. It was just the two of us at the table not knowing what to expect.

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And yet the year has been a good one…

 

 

 

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April highlight—a trip to visit my sis

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May—our flown away chick returned!P1140913P1140907

 

June—My mom came to visit!

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And we gained a daughter as well!DSC_7744

 

We spent more hours than ever riding together this year—2,200 miles worth of sights and sweat!

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IMG_20140804_135216772Pender tandem ride

Care to join us for a virtual ride down the hill nearest our home?

 

 

 

 

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We hope to see more of these special small fry this year…

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But look as we may, only God knows what will transpire in our lives.

My hero

 

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Come what may, we can rest in knowing He will be in it with us, just as He has been in the past.

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I can’t think of a better way to close here than with the words of an old hymn a friend reminded me of today. I needed them.

Be still, my Soul

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

Words: Katharina Von Schlegel, 1752 Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Jane L. Borthwick, 1855.

[Click to Listen here]

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From our house to yours:
We wish for you a New Year blessed in the knowledge of the nearness and sovereignty of God.

–LS

All things purple…

Ever since I was a brown-haired pigtailed girl I have loved purple.  In those days I had a very bright purple stretchy top I wore on select occasions–mostly keeping it in my drawer for just the right day.  These days my tastes in purple are more subtle, tending to a conservative plum–or sprinkled with gray paisley to match my wisdom-frosted head…

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It would appear that my new daughter-in-law and I have this taste in common…She not only loves my son, DSC_7862

she likes the color purple!

Their June wedding pictures floated through cyber-space to us this week

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(All my chillun’s and grands, and my mom too!)

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But where was I… yes, the color purple.

No fashion quite compares with the wild and endless beauty of the flowers of the field.  Not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like these.  So getting back to nature…bee maid

The view out my front window these days is of hydrangeas putting on their best purple show ever!  I bought these flamboyant bushes when they were scarcely a foot tall and just plain old green.  But their tag promised they would bloom in my favorite hues.  I have not been disappointed.P1150630P1150633P1150642P1150628

In the shade of these bushes a volunteer grows sprinkled in bee-inviting purple…P1150644 and a giant hosta blooms in sensuous loveliness…P1150646

Just around the corner of the house in west-facing heat, the oregano is alive with bees!

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Tirelessly bumbling, they do not pose for pictures…

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A quiet anemone waits at their side for her chance to bloom.P1150680

 

P1150685The lavender is nearly spent now.  I used it once this summer to flavor lemonade…

A tiny bacopa is not to be missed, I bought her at the store…

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…while another tiny purple thing invades our lawn this year for free!P1150712

Now we’re on our way to the vegetable garden, seen through a lattice-work or purple:P1150693

The sugar peas did pitifully this year, too hot, too persnickety, and just one sweet pea flower bloomed–the purple one of course!

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But making up for their poor show are the burgundy bush beans–blooming in purple and easy to spot for picking:P1150741

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[Did you know they turn back to green while cooking?  What a disappointment…but not for long. They are delectably tender eating!]

 

Scattered all throughout my garden is the ubiquitous kale.  Once you’ve grown it and let it go to seed in your garden, you will never lack this purply-veined antioxidant–perfect for munching in the form of kale chips! [How-to here]P1150746Kale Chips

Well we have meandered now past the zucchini (they are not purple!) and with one hand full of beans and two chubby zucchini tucked in the crook of my arm, it’s getting harder to juggle a camera…

What have I missed?

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Ahh, a few late chive blooms…P1150744

And way out back the blackberry bramble has a winner for the first-purple-berry contest. (Aren’t blackberries truly purple?)P1150765 No rush for these.  They flag the departure of summer and we’re not in a hurry for that.

And what about this almost purple pear?P1150782

Next to her stands the tree whose name is a shade of purple.  The plum tree is dreaming of sun-ripened prune plums…But alas, she bears only blushing wanna-be’s today….

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And the tour of all things purple is complete. Thanks for joining me–would love to have you here in person ( :

–LS

Purple…fit for a King!

P1150611I will extol you my God and King and will bless your name forever and ever.  Every day I will bless you and praise Your Name forever and ever…. Ps.145:1,2

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Mt.6:28ff

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P.S.  Note to faithful readers who, having read: Feeling Brown* are perplexed at this disclosure of my love for purple (My own daughter was surprised!).  The child in me still loves purple ( :

*http://dawnskelton.blogspot.ca/2012/09/feeling-brown.html