From Spring to Spring to Spring

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As the end of April nears each year, I remember that it is just about time for the anniversary of my first blog post. I didn’t mention it on the actual anniversary date, which was Monday, but I’ll mention it today. Today is the sixth anniversary of my fourth blog post! Here is what I wrote that day:

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When Mother and I talk each night, she likes to hear about my day. Once I told her about the walk our daughter, granddaughter, and I made to take pictures among the wildflowers.

I love it when something like this prompts a childhood memory and Mother tells me a story. She began, “I like wildflowers in the spring.” Then, she told me about Sunday afternoons when she was seven years old. When a near-neighbor’s granddaughter visited her grandparents, she and Mother would walk by the creek and see the wildflowers. I loved imagining my mother walking among the wildflowers back in 1939.

Simple pleasures were the only ones available to Mother. She was the richer for it. With all of our distractions and busyness, sometimes it’s hard to remember to share simple pleasures with our children. Today might be just the day to put down the books and electronics and take a walk to look at the wildflowers. Once I discovered forty different kinds on a walk not more than a mile long. Forty different kinds. God’s imagination is limitless. Looking at wildflowers is just one way to help our children get an idea of just how wonderful God is.

When I was a little girl, one of the simple pleasures I enjoyed was singing hymns at church. I loved when the male and female voices took turns in “Consider the Lilies,” set to four-part harmony by E. H. Packard. As you walk along and look at the wildflowers, remember to:

Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you,
That even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
Matthew 6:28-29

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Flowers and my mother were evidently on my mind. I had talked about them the day before on May 1, 2013, too. This is what I said then.

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Now I know it’s spring for sure, because Mother’s snowball bush is blooming!

We were at the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators’ conference in Rochester in the middle of April. They had snowballs, too, but they were the cold and wet kind. Brrr. Minnesotans kept talking about how it was not supposed to be snowing. One even blamed us! She said that our sign should have said Notsnow instead of Notgrass. When we got back to Tennessee two days later, there was Mother’s snowball bush in all its glory.

More than fifty years ago, my Uncle Preston planted that bush for my Aunt Dot in what is now my mother’s back yard. It is beautiful. The blossoms are amazing. I have a snowball bush, too. My bush has been in my yard about four years and is about four feet high; its blooms are two to three inches across. Here is a picture of Mother’s bush.

Tennessee Snowballs
Tennessee Snowballs

Mother is pushing five feet tall. As you see in this photo, the bush is three times that tall. And the blooms are really unbelievable. I measured one this year–six inches across. I have never seen another snowball bush like it. Once I told a nursery owner about it and he hadn’t either. He asked me to bring him a cutting and said he would name it after Mother.

Snowballs are like children. Some of us have one kind and some of us have another. The Lord God made them all.

Worthy are You, our Lord and our God,
to receive glory and honor and power;
for You created all things,
and because of Your will they existed,
and were created.
Revelation 4:11

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Little did I know that Mother would have a stroke just six weeks later. She couldn’t talk at all at first, but she could still sing “Jesus Loves Me.” Almost a year later, she moved in with us full-time. Except for some vacations to an assisted living facility while we were out of town, she has been in our home ever since. After much therapy, Mother did begin to talk again, but she does so with great difficulty.

When we arrived home from the Cincinnati Great Homeschool Convention on Sunday, the Knock Out® Rose that friends gave me several years ago was bursting with color.

By the time Mother and I left for Bible class yesterday morning, the first Dutch iris bloom stood tall . . .

. . . beside my Mother’s Day rose from 2004 or 2005, which is about to burst out in yellow blooms.

This first white peony bloom is the star in the garden right now.

Each Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Central, the Notgrass History staff gathers for a stand-up meeting. All available team members call in from wherever they are. Two team members are traveling between the Christian Heritage Home Educators of Washington conference, held last weekend in Redmond, Washington, and the upcoming El Paso Homeschool Association conference this coming weekend. They called from Utah. Day before yesterday, while flowers were blooming in our garden here in Tennessee, they encountered rain, hail, and snow — all at the same time!

After Noah and his family left the ark, God spoke this promise:

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”
Genesis 8:22

We all have that promise — even if spring doesn’t happen at exactly the same time for all of us. Mother enjoyed spring as a little girl of seven as she walked among the wildflowers. She enjoyed spring when she was able to live in her own home with its giant snowball bush. She is still enjoying spring here at home with us. I asked her yesterday if she is happy here. In her struggling speech, she said, “I am happy.”

For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Song of Solomon 2:11-13




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