Monday, April 18, 2011

Gardening....a Life's Lesson with Great Memories

After many requests for Papa to till the garden, he finally found the time and the plot was ready for planting.  Now all we needed was seeds, sun and some time.  The Hutchinson grandchildren have been anxiously waiting to "plant" with the seven-year old begging to "weed".  I can just see the hoe swinging uncontrollably as I write.  Not that he would intentionally hit is sister, but then hoeing is a job that takes a lot of man power and if she should just happen to get in the path of the hoe, well who should question?!?!?  

Last week, with grandchildren in toe, we headed to Smith's Market.  There we stood in front of the wooden seed cabinet for some time trying to make our selections and wondering what each little seed would look like and what would be the most fun to pick and eat.  Perhaps eat right there in the garden.  However, out of the corner of their little eyes they spotted the candy display.  A display measuring three-foot by fifteen-foot housing nothing but candy, candy just ready to be “picked” and put into a bag to take home and enjoy.  The site was an absolute child's heaven on earth. OK little dollies, let's get back to the planting of seeds, you know the reason we are here?  So, after getting back on the "seed" track and much deliberating, the chosen seeds were radishes, beets, peas, beans, carrots, corn, and onion sets.  With seeds and plants properly placed in the shopping cart, we were off to, guess what, the candy display where each child retrieved a sack and 10 pieces of their choice.  I am not sure which too the longest.....seeds or candy selection!

Back at Nanas, it was Carter's job to set the stakes, run the string, and prepare and identify the rows.  Little Miss Ayla was the planter and a serious planter she was.  She painstakingly put each seed in the ground one by one and was so very careful, getting them all properly placed in the ground.  However, when we opened the carrot seed, her little eyes widened and she was very concerned about getting them placed one by one in just one row.  After many trials she found it easier to shake them into the furrow that her brother had made than to continue with her previous plan.    If the carrots and radishes come up, they will need a lot of thinning.  I think our rows should have been a lot longer to accommodate all those seeds!

After several hours in the sun, all of the ground had been "planted" and there were still seeds that needed a home.  So, they set off on a mission to find their Papa and request yet more soil be tilled for their seeds that were eager to grow.

Saturday afternoon a garden was planted, precious time was spent with grandchildren, the out of doors was enjoyed, a lesson on growing things was taught, but most of all memories were made.  Hopefully there will be produce that can be picked and shared with other family members and yes, several hours of weeding can be accomplished, but once again, the most valuable lesson is the one of working together, enjoying nature, and making memories to share and to keep close to our heart.

Hopefully by the time some of the produce is ready for picking, our Arizona grandchildren will be here to help harvest the crops.  I know there are three more little people who would love to get in on the gardening action, share time with cousins and Nana and Papa, and make some memories too!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring......What a wonderful season!

Every year at this time, I get so excited when I see grass greening up, bushes giving birth to new leaves and those awesome Bradford pear trees dressing up in their annual white ball gowns. Truly a visual invitation to spring.

Spring brings new life, new experiences and is the perfect time to put the past, well in the past.   It's hard to be in a bad mood when the sun is shining, the grass is green and flowers are starting to bloom.  Even my animals seem to be in a better mood.  I love opening all of the windows in my house, turning on the stereo and listening to my favorite music,  as I busy myself with the major task of "Spring Cleaning".  Who said dancing with your mop is a bad idea.  I kind of like it and the mop must too because he always lets me lead!

Spring also brings more enjoyment to my walks and runs.  I like to run as it is a great way to let all of my problems, worries and fears take the back seat for a few moments and then when I'm finished with my run, they even seem to have slightly diminished.  Running by beautifully landscaped yards or recently planted fields is very relaxing and motivating.  The laughter of children playing as you pass a play ground seems to make you want to run a little faster in hopes of getting a little of that youth back.  I love the sound of a lawn mower clipping off the uneven sprigs on the lawn making a beautiful green carpet to run, jump and explore.

Spring is also a time that makes us think of Easter and the wonderful message that it brings.   I look forward to the renewal of life, the resurrection and the promise of eternal life.  Spring touches each of us and each in a different way, so here's to a Happy Spring and may your days to sunny and bright!!!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Things We Would Like to Do......If Only We Had the Time!

Don't you ever think about all of the wonderful things we would enjoy doing, if only we had the time?

One of the things that falls into this category for me is sewing.  I love to sew and love designing and creating cute, over the top, little outfits for my granddaughters.   The rewards are so great.  You can really mess something up and they still look adorable wearing them.  Seeing their excited and pleased faces as they share a look in the mirror wearing their new duds is worth all the hours spent ripping out mistakes.  However, there is only a small "window" of opportunity because when they reach the age of 8 or 9, those over the top little outfits are just that to them......over the top and surely Nana doesn't really expect me to put this on!!!  So, I must sew while the time is hot because my oldest granddaughter will be 8 this summer and I so hope she will continue, for at least a little while, enjoy wearing Nana's creations.

I would love to make things for my 2 grandsons, however, I don't imagine they would even try them on, much less wear them.  Now, I will take that back.  They love it when I make costumes for them.  So Halloween costumes are a hit, but that's about where the love of Nana's outfits start and stop!

The problem with trying to hit that "delicate balance" is if you are working you don't have the time to do a lot of sewing, but if you are not working you won't likely have the extra money to buy the fabric and patterns and accessories needed for each creation.  So, there in lies the question of things I would like to do if only I had the time.

As many of you can attest, sewing does not necessarily save a lot of money as it did when I was growing up.  My mother made almost all of my clothes because I could have a choice of three little home made dresses for the price of one store bought dress.  But, not the case today.  After a shopping trip last winter, I went home and assessed all of the items I had purchased to make little granddaughter outfits, I realized that I could have saved Papa money with a visit to Dillard's.  But that wouldn't have been nearly as much fun and surely they wouldn't have liked them as much because they didn't have Nana's love sewn into the seams.  Some things are just better left unknown.

As for now, I will just enjoy designing and creating on my days off and hope the "window" of opportunity is still there when I find more extra time in my days!

Monday, February 28, 2011

How to Measure Happiness

What exactly is happiness?  As a young mother, my happiness was based on the happiness of my children.   I remember asking them when they returned home from school if they had had a good day and then try to gauge by their responses, their level of happiness????  Sometimes I would even point blank ask them, "Are you happy??"

As I grow older, I realize that happiness has many meanings and their are many, many different aspects of happiness as well as many levels of happiness.  I have met individuals who think that money can bring you happiness, some say it is a career, while others are dead set on the fact that true happiness can be found with a big house over looking the 19th hole of a premier golf course. 

Currently, one of the things that makes me the most happy are my grandchildren.  Those six little people can bring me the utmost of happiness with a smile, a telephone call, a picture they have drawn, and leading the board is a hug with I love you whispered in my ear.  Watching them in a sporting event, getting out of the car and running to you,  or just swinging them in the back yard is heaven to me.  Happiness doesn't have to come in the way of a "big event", those little moments can truly be the best!

I was reading an article in the February 2011 Readers Digest, that gave me another way to measure happiness.   The writer said that when thinking about happiness don't set your bar too high, don't worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.  And finally, think about the metric by which your life will be judged, and make a resolution to live every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success.  If we consider this approach, in the end I think we will all find happiness.