Monday, June 12, 2017

Welcome Back to the Hollow

Welcome back to the hollow. I've missed you, dear reader.

Due to illness, I’ve not blogged in a long while. Thank you for all the prayers, cards and lovely gifts. Please continue to pray as I regain my strength. I’ll certainly pray for you.

I was so thankful to attend the wonderful Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference shortly after leaving the hospital. It did me a world of good seeing long time friends and meeting new people that love the Lord and writing. Thank you, Edie and DiAnn for a wonderful conference.

Now, are you ready to head out to my porch? 

Grab a glass of sweet tea and meet me at the rockers. Give me a minute to hang my apron on its hook and I’ll be right there.

Isn’t this a lovely day? The grass is the color of bright Easter basket strands. The rhododendrons are blooming in beautiful shades of deep rose and vibrant purple. After a six weeks stay in the hospital, I feel I should twirl around and sing atop the mountain the way Julie Andrews did; arms flung wide open and joy bouncing off her face. The mountains are alive here and so am I. Praise The Lord!

Our dear neighbor Bob has gone to an old homestead to dig replacement hostas that played ring-around-the-rosie with our front yard maple tree. The old tree has provided shade in the summer and a soft landing place for snowflakes in the cold winters. The hostas usually fare well snuggled under the tree, but late cold weather killed some of my favorite varieties.

I feel hostas are at home at a farmhouse, don’t you?

The cardinals that sit on the maple tree limbs are not to be outdone in the color parade. The bird’s blaze of red often catches my eye and brings me frequent bursts of beauty. They will be so happy to find their favorite dried cherries among the bird food today.

As Miss Loanie, the elderly lady up the hollow a ways, is fond of saying; “Them redbirds of yours are like spoilt younguns”. (A little sneak tidbit, readers: Miss Loanie will make an appearance in my work in progress. I believe you will love her and her wealth of mountain wisdom.)

The cows are back in the pasture across the way. I love to watch how the farmer takes care of them. He walks the pastures each week to see if the fence is intact and if any harmful weeds have appeared.

What a lovely picture of our Heavenly Father the caring farmer paints. Like the farmer, our Father walks before us and recognizes harm that might befall us. Sin, like weeds, appears overnight in the fields of our lives. Our Father’s enfolding arms, like the farmer’s fence, provides safety to us that belong to him. We are the sheep of His pasture.

The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27

Sweet mercy, I could go on and on, but I need to stop and look over a colander of dried beans. A produce stand at the bottom of the hollow has some delicious tomatoes from Georgia that will complement those beans along with a pan of fried potato patties for supper. Do I need sliced onions or chow-chow?

It has been wonderful spending these few minutes with you. Please let me know of any prayer requests you have. I consider it an honor to pray for you, beloved.

Come go home with me next month, take a sweet breath of mountain air, and give your troubles, your hurry, and worry over to the good Lord. I’ll be here with bells on waiting for you.

Love you all.
Dee Dee  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Porch Tending

Sweet Readers, 

I’ve been thinking about you all day…wishing you were here. My wishing started when I went out to sweep the front porch, certainly not my favorite chore due to my allergies. The day was beautiful and bright so I decided to sit-a-spell as they say here in the mountains, and enjoy summer’s invitation to her beautiful season.
The men in the field across from my house were readying the pasture for the soon-coming cattle. First the fence posts were repaired. Last summer I had cows visit my yard often, their beautiful brown eyes staring into mine, asking for a respite from the sun under the branch canopy of our huge maple tree.

The broom was ignored.

The men slowly covered every foot of the pasture, looking for harmful weeds that make cattle ill. I fixed a picture of tea, sweet of course, and made my way to the pasture gate. Gratefulness for the tea, garnished with mint sprigs, was evident. The mint, planted by my mother-in-law, is lovely to crush with your fingertips bringing out the full fragrance of the oil.

The broom still sat idle against a Victorian post.

Another chore was to deadhead the porch’s hanging baskets. Pleased by my workmanship I decided to tackle yet another porch-project. Slipping the rocking chair’s pillow covers off, I stopped to admire the old-fashioned cherry print on two of the rockers. I hung the covers on the clothesline to freshen under the sun.

I did catch a quick glimpse of the broom, out of the corner of my eye, but avoided a full face-on confrontation. 

Windowsills were cleaned of cobwebs and I rescued a wind chime from a prison of winter-wind tangles.

The broom seemed to hold itself higher and with more importance… the time to sweep had come. I decided to add a little dance step here and there as I swept. Amazingly it lightened the chore I had dreaded, turning it into joy.

I sat down in the swing and surveyed my handiwork. I thought as how those men repaired the fence, we, as Christians, sometimes need “friendship” repairs…gonna think more about that. My mind then went to the fact that we need to keep an eye out for souls needing refreshment.

As harmful weeds grow in the pasture so do weeds of envy, discouragement, and unworthiness grow in our souls. I’m thinking a heart and soul walk-thru could be needed often. Don’t be surprised if the sweet fragrance of Christ springs forth when the hurtful weeds are pulled and discarded.

Painful though can be, pruning and deadheading is needed to make way for healthy lives. Like the slipcovers, we need to be shone-upon by the Son to refresh our spirits.

Cobwebs and tangles of the mind need frequent checks.

1st Peter 2: 1-3 (MSG) So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice, pretense, envy and hurtful talk.

It was lovely having you visit the hollow today…remember to come go home with me to lazy summer days, firefly nights, cold, sweet-watermelon- eating-weekends and hand-held-fan-waving Sunday services.

Love you bunches,

Dee Dee