Posts Tagged ‘family’

My Mother’s Birthday

Today is my mother’s 83rd birthday.

I have spoken of her on this blog before.   She is, like every human, imperfect.  But that does not make her any less amazing and wonderful.  She makes the 25 mile trek into town twice a week to voluntarily teach illiterate adults to read and to help people who quit before they were done get their high school equivalency diplomas.   She was acknowledged by our community for this work last year, receiving the Hometown Heroes Award at their annual breakfast.

She volunteered during the last political campaign too, and canvassed more than any other volunteer.

I could brag some more, I suppose.   For example, in the last couple of years she has built four raised garden beds near her little house, piling concrete blocks for the walls, making concrete to fill the holes, composting, growing and harvesting quite a lot of vegetables.  Even though a lot of people would consider her approaching the end of her days, she does not look at the end, but rather at the process of living.   And because of that focus, she planted over 100 irises in the borders around her yard, to beautify it for the future.

Happy birthday, Mamma.

It’s a cold one, too.   The sun has been up for a couple of hours already, and it is only 20ºF (-6.6°C) out there.   I went out looking for images.

Jerusalem artichoke seed head:

Frost flowers on the pond:

Hoarfrost on top of a fence post:

Everybody try to stay warm, okay?   I’ve got guests arriving in a matter of hours and I must bestir myself to make ready.

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Photohunt: Public

Today the theme for the weekly Photohunt, hosted by TNChick,  is “Public”.

This was a difficult topic for me.   I don’t really do a lot of photography in public spaces, and not only that, how exactly do you get across the concept in a picture?  “Of or affecting the community or the people” is how Webster puts the first definition of the word.

So I thought about all the different things that could communicate that, and I started looking through my pictures.   I found photos of massive works of public art I took when we were traveling in Portugal.  This is looking down into the courtyard of the Monument to the Explorers at the map of the world worked in stone.   Those are people with their umbrellas standing around on it.

I found an image of a street musician, performing in the public square while we were eating lunch.

But I think the next picture shows the concept of “public” best in my mind.   This picture was taken in April, 2009 at a public ceremony held in our Civic Center.   The group of people you see were being honored as “Hometown Heroes.”   They were all being celebrated and feted for something that they did that was so outstanding that they were nominated by someone in the community for the honor.   These were ordinary people.  Some had acted as mentors to youth at risk, there was a couple who had founded the Red Cross Chapter in our community, a pair of young men who had saved a person’s life.

In other words, they had all positively affected the community in some way.

My mother is in the center of the group, in white.   She was nominated by more than one person to honor her for her decades of volunteer service in the Literacy Council, tutoring dozens of people:  teaching them to read, helping them become schooled enough to pass their Highschool Equivalency test and get a diploma.   At the time of this award, she was 81 years old.

She is still tutoring people, by the way.   At the present time, she has nine students weekly.   I believe she is performing a valuable public service.  And she does it because she genuinely cares about these people, not because she is getting any remuneration for it.

Now, go and see what other “public” offerings there are this week.   You can find them here.

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I’ve been a busy girl today.   It was a beautiful day today, sunny and warm, there were birds all over the place. I weeded, and I planted seeds for cucumbers, melons, squash.  I dug hostas up and gave them to a friend.  I transplanted irises,   I did four loads of laundry, I weeded some more, I shopped for petunias and planted them, I played with my dog.

Jim came out at one point and showed me that the singing that the toad has been doing all week has not been in vain, there are toad eggs strewn all over the pond.   I checked out the robin’s nest in the vineyard.  (Yes, ANOTHER robin nest).   It was all so beautiful, and somewhere during the day I picked up an ear worm, I’m not sure where, since the car was playing Mozart symphonies to me and there was no music other than the birds, bees and the music of the spheres outside.   But I found myself inundated with a tune as I was taking the laundry down, and suddenly it demanded to be made into a post.

So, with apologies to the writers of the lyrics, for the original ones just didn’t quite fit, I share my ear worm with you.

Such a feeling’s coming over me,  there is wonder in everything I see. . .

Not a cloud in the sky. . .

Got the sun in my eyes. . .

And I’m morally certain this is NOT a dream. . .

Most definitely not a dream. . .

I’m on the top of the world. . .

(Goodness, I was fat)  Looking down on creation. . .

And the only explanation I can find, is the love I have found ever since you’ve been around. . .

Your love’s put me at the top of the world.

I love you right back, guys . . .

Have a great day, everyone.

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