Travel, Windows, Gardening and Belloc

Well this Spring is certainly full of life! The wedding of a dear college friend gave me the opportunity for a brief visit to Ohio to celebrate that joyous occasion, and it was a most lovely and merry time! We attended the ceremony in a very beautiful church, then ate a scrumptious meal, danced to live music and drank to the health of the couple. Thank the Lord for dear friends and the gift and treasure that marriage is.

Whilst there, my friends and I had the opportunity of staying in a newly restored historical farmhouse, which was enough to delight any nostalgic soul. It seemed to me just the sort of place for some new and delightful novel to be written, one such as Alcott or even an Americanized Jane Austen might write. It was tall a farmhouse built for many guests to gather, farmhands to eat, and children to play hide-and-seek amongst its quirky rooms. Its kitchen was quite large, as was the dining area, though the tall ceilings and doorways may have had a part in my perception of its spaciousness. And the MOULDINGS! It was a house built in a day when people still made their houses pretty everywhere!

That the exterior of the house was painted yellow with white trim was yet another feature which added to my great delight in the place.

They even had a little play-space set up for children (of which there were none in our party, though we may have enjoyed it just as much…). In fact, there were two such play-spaces, one a little more obvious, and the other tucked away in the attic under the stairway to the tower, with windows on three sides so that a child could observe the farmyard without being seen. I’m quite sure it is the mark of a truly great house to have some such hidden corner for children, some secret room all their own where they can play their games undisturbed and their imagination can flourish.

In the backyard they even had this adorable little chicken coop from which we could collect eggs for breakfast. There were also little pigs (with piglets!) What a lovely idea for a BnB.

I enjoyed a great deal of joyful companionship on that trip and it reminded me again what a great treasure friends are.

Back home it was so good to see a green spring, with leaves popping out and the birds – especially the robins — singing their non-stop chorus in the trees. Goodness, the other night I awakened at 4am to hear them greeting the dawn, which wasn’t here yet but ooohhhhh tra la la, it was coming soon and they just couldn’t wait!

I went right back to work and began my seasonal window-washing, which was quite pleasant with the bright sunshine and warm breeze. There’s something truly satisfying about washing a window. It’s not like disinfecting doorknobs, which you know is a good idea but you really can’t see the difference. With windows you can make them all sudsy and then squeegee it away and just like that, you have a sparkly clean window through which to enjoy seeing the world again. Very satisfying.

In the gardening realm, Dad rotor-tilled the main garden and put up a nice tall fence around it to keep the chickens out, and it looks really tidy now except for the weedy patch in the middle that is my herb and perennial garden. I was out there pulling weeds today, so it will look great soon too. It’s been raining off and on lately so the earthworms were close to the surface, much to the delight of the robins.

One simply must bring a notebook out to the garden, even if one doesn’t use it 🙂

I also have an Avocado Update, for any of you who happen to be as invested in its flourishing as I am 🙂 A few weeks after re-potting it and adding some fertilizer – slow-release pellets as well as 20-20-20 fertilizer in water – it perked right up and is growing some gorgeous leaves. I think the advent of spring might be helping it out too. I’d like to put it outside for a bit this summer, but I’m a bit nervous since the last time I did that with an avocado tree it got full of mites and died. Any of you dear ones have experience with this?

In the reading realm I just finished “Wingless,” a delightful fantasy and coming-of-age novel by Catherine Witzaney that had me staying up waaay later than I’d intended on several evenings! I’ve now begun Hilaire Belloc’s “The Path to Rome,” which he wrote after a pilgrimage on foot from Toul, France, to Rome. A book without chapters, it is full of his ponderings, wit and wisdom, and… is not quite what I expected (which perhaps only goes to show I’ve not read much of Belloc’s work). It is very raw and genuine, and he tells of his adventures, thoughts and annoyances along the road with the candor of a merry (and sometimes grumpy) schoolboy. The beginning I found rather odd: it was as if he was purposefully trying to perplex his readers, so that only the most determined would carry on. I’m glad I did, as I’m scarcely a third of the way through and enjoying it immensely.

Anyhow, Belloc has provided a delightful quote which is going to be my sign-off for this blog post on this lovely (and wet) May long-weekend. It is on the topic of living life and doing real things, and finding that most of our joy comes from doing the ordinary, everyday things in life:

“Whatever is buried into our blood from immemorial habit that we must be certain to do if we are to be fairly happy (of course no grown man or woman can really be very happy for long, but I mean reasonably happy) and, what is more important, decent and secure of our souls. Thus one should from time to time hunt animals, or at the very least shoot at a mark; one should always drink some kind of fermented liquor with one’s food — and especially deeply upon great feast days; one should go on the water from time to time; and one should dance on occasions; and one should sing in chorus. For all these things man has done since God put him in a garden and his eyes first became troubled with a soul… Indeed, if I had power for some thirty years I would see to it that people should be allowed to follow their inbred instincts in these matters, and should hunt, drink, sing, dance, sail, and dig.”

Belloc, The Path to Rome

2 thoughts on “Travel, Windows, Gardening and Belloc”

  1. Your avocado seems to be loving its new condo! TLC with your plants works wonders‼️
    Also, I happened to once again be browsing in a second hand Vancouver bookstore and low and behold I discovered a beautifully bound book of poetry in the children’ literature section⁉️ As I opened this leather bound book, I took glances in and there was a poem beautifully & largely scribed by him that seemingly had no beginning or end. And, since I was on a rather high stool & could not make head or tail out what I was reading I put it back! So, you Rebecca have now added some clarity to this timeless author for which I am very grateful‼️👍
    Shalom,
    MaryContrary 🤗🙋🏼

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