antique mall in LaSalle, Michigan, on our Grandmas' Day Out. As Ursula and I browsed around for a couple of hours I happened across this old table and as I first looked at it I knew it was going to be way out of my price range. But when I leaned down closer and peered at the little price sticker I almost fainted when I saw $35 written on it. I even grabbed Ursula and asked her, "Am I seeing this right? Is it only $35?" She leaned down and looked too and in her German no-nonsense way pronounced "Yup." I also spotted the old wooden chair at almost the same time for $15. Sold! I now use the chair at my computer and the table/chest is sitting in front of the big picture windows here in the living room with an heirloom jardinierre on top of it...not the stoneware pitcher perched on it like you see here.
So what have I been doing with my time? I don't know. The days zip past at super-sonic speed it seems and I don't know what I do to fill them up. I have been doing tons of landscaping tho. Mostly digging up sod along the side of the garage and the long fence between our house and our neighbor Donna's. Not much upkeep outside of mowing thru the grass-growing months had been done for several years once the owner became too elderly to do it himself. I have heard his wife used to tend the flowerbeds but they'd grown back to the foundation and you'd never know flowers were ever here. She died several years ago, so the yard had been neglected for a long time. That, of course, has been fine with me since gardening is one of my favorite hobbies. I ached to get out and do some yard work last year but at this time a year ago we were barely getting settled in after our huge move from Oregon and I was still working on getting the inside of the house in order, let alone extending that to the outside as well. Too much sensory overload, learning a new town, new neighborhood, totally new life. But now, with Grandma Ursula here for an extended visit taking care of the grandboys and having some alone time, I have been out there getting my hands dirty almost every day. The front of the house has mature shrubs that I've left alone, even tho I am not a shrub fan, but I know the job of digging them up would be pretty daunting. And they do look nice, as far as shrubs go. Dear Hubby helped me plant a tree in the middle of the front yard, a Japanese Emperor Maple. It's not supposed to grow more than 30 feet high. Hopefully it wasn't mis-labeled like a cherry tree my neighbor Sonny in Portland planted in their back yard. It was supposed to be a dwarf and it was at least 60 feet high when we moved. Took up the entire back yard. But I loved that tree. My kitchen window overlooked it and I loved to watch the changes it underwent thru the seasons...the cherry blossoms in Spring, the Cedar Waxwings perching on the branches as they migrated thru the region. Even here I have a pretty view out of my kitchen window over the sink...the day lilies planted along our neighbor Mike and Carrie's house, many beautiful hardwood trees. It is a view to die for in the Autumn. I found that out last year.
My husband and I were having a rather heated 'discussion' the other day about something. Our oldest grandson was with us, having spent the previous nite, and as we paused for a moment he spoke up and asked, "Gram, do you and Pa only fight on Fridays?" Ha, that broke the ice! I told him no, we hardly ever fight - which is the truth - but Dear Hubby had told me I've been living in a dream world since we've moved here, I am so enamored with it. That really hit me wrong. I told him, "Why, because I love it so much and I'm so happy here?" I know he was just saying that because I wouldn't agree with his side on something that had happened to him and I told him I didn't understand why he was so upset about it, that he took things too personally. Well, as you can imagine, that went over like a lead balloon. And wouldn't you know, the very next day he received a phone call that proved to him he had been over-sensitve. So I kind of cocked an eyebrow at him and asked, "So am I still living in a dream world now?" Aren't the arguments people have - who have been married a long time especially - over some of the silliest things?
My son and husband spent 10 days traveling to-and-from Idaho on a bear hunt a few weeks ago. Our son got a beautiful boar bear and he's having the pelt made into a bear rug to hang on the wall. Since I don't work during the day I was asked to try and find a butcher in our area to process the meat. I finally found one in the little town of Milan, about 40 miles SW of where I live. Ursula, our little grandson Cooper, and I drove down there one beautiful afternoon. It's another one of those picturesque and quaint small towns here in middle America...beautiful old homes lining the streets, a brickfront downtown area. Welcoming. Slow-paced. We even had to stop as a freight train passed thru, which thrilled Cooper to no end. I almost felt like pulling off to the side of the road and resting a while on a rocking chair on one of the porches. Ursula was enchanted...outside of the trip to LaSalle with me, she hasn't gotten out to see a lot of the scenery. Her life, like mine is when they're my responsiblity, is pretty much wrapped up in the grandboys. As the GPS chirped at us, giving us directions to the meat processors, we thought it had to be mistaken because it led us out of town onto gravel roads and when it told us we'd reached our destination, a couple of buildings surrounded by hundreds of acres of corn fields, we were sure it had to be wrong. But no...it was Dunbar Meats! Ursula let out a big sigh as we left and said, "Oh, I could live here!" I knew exactly how she felt.
And that is why I love my dream world here in the Midwest. I do live here. And I feel blessed because of it.