Monthly Archives: August 2014

Fresh Eyes

We always called it the fish pond.

It’s a man-made pond hand dug by my great-grandfather out of a low, wet place on his farm. He thought everybody deserved a place to fish and wanted everybody to have access to a fishing place.

When my family and I moved to the farm ten years ago, we tried fishing in the pond. All we could catch were little sunfishes. Nothing to write home about. Even less to cook for supper.

Our interest in the pond waned as other pursuits like soccer and cross country commanded our attention.

Until last year, that is.

A friend of our family asked to have her wedding at the pond. I was incredulous. Get married at the fish pond? Why in the world?

The bride had reasons and a vision.

She had met her fiancé at the pond.

Her fiancé had proposed at the pond. I heard the ring was attached to a cane pole.

She wanted to complete the story with a wedding at the pond.

Move ahead one year to June, 2014.

The pond looked beautiful—mowed, trimmed, weed wacked, and sprayed to a flora and fauna perfection. (Thank you to a special friend for her expertise in this area.) Sunflower balls hung from the old oak tree shading the wedding tent. Bouquets of sunflowers adorned the fence surrounding the pond.
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The wedding was magical.

The bride arrived in a Cinderella carriage and was whisked away to the reception venue on her uncle’s helicopter.
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The bride had a vision that I couldn’t see until I looked with fresh eyes. My image of the pond was made new. I had a new appreciation for something that had become common to me.

Fresh eyes are what I’ll need next month when I study the Life of Moses for the third time. I’ll need to read carefully and expect to be surprised by truths that I may not have seen before or maybe haven’t considered in all lights.

I learned a lesson from the wedding at the pond: keep my eyes open to new sights, especially in old places. I’ll be looking for new sights with Moses.

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Of Things and Daughters

I’m a collector. I knew that subconsciously, but a personality test confirmed it a few years ago.

The first thing I remember collecting is bottle caps. I loved the different colors. When I visited my great uncle’s store, he’d empty the bottle cap holder in the drink machine into a little plastic bag for me.

I’ve collected metal buttons, the kind politicians used to give away, since high school. The last ones I bought are from England. I have one with a bust of Jane Austen and one that says, “I heart Mr. Darcy.” I don’t wear these buttons, but I have them.

I have yards of fabric waiting to be cut for a pattern. I have skeins of yarn waiting for a crochet hook to loop them into a shawl or scarf or sweater.

It’s crazy the way I feel about having only two similar items. For instance, if I have two books by the same author, I feel like some small part of the world is perfect. A tiny bit of joy sighs in my heart.

Collecting is fine to a point, but collecting can morph into something oppressive and unwieldy, maybe even ridiculous.

That’s where I am now. Actually, I’ve been here for a long time.

Thank Goodness for my second daughter, Hattie. She is an organizer. She is a cleaner. She determines a course and sticks to it.

For the past week or so, she’s been cleaning/organizing my office/crafts room. “Madre, what is this?” “Does this go in the giveaway pile or the throw away pile?” “Do you really need two of these?”

Don’t think she’s heartless. Plenty of times she’s said, “If you want to keep it, that’s fine. I’ll find a place for it. Just tell me what it is first.”

I have a great office thanks to a creative friend who designed cubbies and shelves and drawers and cabinets to keep all my stuff, but it’s been a miss pretty much since the paint dried.

Here’s the problem: I love remembering the stories attached. I suppose if I throw something away, I throw that memory away because the item in question recalled the memory in the first place.

Here’s my secret: If I’d known years ago what to do with some of these things she’s unearthing, I wouldn’t have stuffed them into the back of a cubby in the first place. So for the past week or so, I’ve forced myself to deal with items that should have been dealt with in 2004 or earlier.

The end is in sight, however, and it’s an organized, efficient office.

Yea for children who are better people than their parents.