The fragrant dahlia, snatched from a bush by the side of the road, and placed in Leah's colorful decoupaged vase, brought me joy this week.
I have been accused of portraying an unrealistically positive family life in my blog. True, I may be an incorrigible optimist. However, I must admit that we lived a most difficult and painful week, the kind that one does not talk about openly.
I thought this post would consist only of the different wildflowers I discovered on my walk each day. However, as the week unfolded, meaningful memories surfaced, and serious struggles led to major victories.
Monday evening as I drove into the Dove Crossing lane (Stephan and Karen's), I had to stop to admire the poppies and cornflowers (?) [Please add or correct names as we go along.]
Next, of course, is to notice all the progress on the new house, the work of father and son, including some tricky laying on roof maneuvers pictured in Karen's blog post More siding.
On our Tuesday walk, Jane and I admired these azalea bushes.
Wednesday, Rebecca and I walked through the woods. She wanted to get as close as possible to the pond in the back.
Thursday, was grandson-in-law Matt's birthday, which always reminds me of our house fire, June 10th 2011, ten years ago already!
After the house fire, a post I wrote describes the clean up that followed and includes a photo with tall Matt in the back. We had paused for a wonderful lunch our friend Dane brought us from the annual Strawberry Festival going on in Upland--tenderloin sandwiches and strawberry shortcakes.
Leah posted this memory: among the ashes a reminder that God was with us.
Leah's most recent painting also reflects the concept of a stable core amidst the dancing fighting emotions we experience.
On my walk that day on the Detamore trail I encountered so many beautiful reminders of God's hand in nature and only wish I could also post the fragrances I enjoyed along the way.
Friday, I observed how death and new life coexist all around us.
In the afternoon we attended the memorial service for a well loved woman, our former neighbor, Hope Robinson. The church was packed with some of the hundreds of people she helped and cared for over the years, especially the foreign students she welcomed and provided for. They called her Grandma Hope.
Saturday, as usual Michael left to ride his bicycle with the group from Muncie. He was wearing the jersey from eleven years ago when he attempted the very challenging French Pyrenees. This time it was the 94 degree heat that was too much. Mid afternoon he called to be picked up in the neighboring town after completing 75 of the 100 miles.
Meanwhile, I put in my monthly shift at Helping Hand and afterwards enjoyed food, music, vendors at the Strawberry Festival.
Earlier Leah's family walked her dog Zeus in the puppy parade.
Oh, and I also attended the ceremony to honor two deserving members of the Upland community.
Later at home I watched a livestreamed Celebration of Doulos, our home for five years, 1978-1983. A good end to a difficult week.