Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gracious Days

A fun day catching butterflies and putting stickers on to identify the moment brought many families out to help. Young and old all got a chance to release their prized catch. If you look on the left side of this first Monarch you can see the sticker used. They fly down to Mexico for the winter before returning in the spring.This was my fourth program to catch them and was a lot of fun to care and share in nature.

This is my  friend Ruth who lives next door. At 77 she keeps up and really enjoys walks to look at all the flowers a few times a year with me. We both try to fill our yards every fall with new spring bulbs, and share a lot of sweets both of us make. I tease her when she has friends over to sing hymns while she plays piano, telling her I almost had to call the sherrif to calm her party. A phone call usually lets me know a light bulb needs replaced or some small job to repair something.

 A butterfly gains it's freedom

A few mules livened up the day.

I picked these just for you

It was a quiet time in the entire house. Today was opera on the radio, and their father required everyone not to interrupt. It was his special time, only if he could find the signal, and they all respected how much he enjoyed this part of his week. None of the children could understand what was being sung, but the emotions ran high with their father. He had heard many as a boy, and they took him back to his childhood before he immigrated to the United States. Sometimes he sang a short line and at others felt sad and had a tear in his eye. His wife sat by his side and they held hands during most of the program. With a hard life farming, and working at the fort, this was a simple relief to unwind after such a busy week. They had explained some of what was going on to her, but it didn’t sound as lovely as watching her parents enjoying themselves so much. Their happiness ebbed throughout the house.

A familiar tune that returned to her home was new brothers and sisters. The word step was never put before someone’s name and all enjoyed calling each other brother, sister, father and mother. The first born was a new brother, and she soon became part of the raising of him right off the start. She had even helped the ladies when they delivered him in the same bedroom she was born. She had fun making the tiny baby clothes, it was almost like making them for a doll. There was a major part of her childhood set aside when her mother died, but she still enjoyed some of the games they enjoyed, even as she approached her teens. They remained very close throughout growing up, this first baby was special to her. There were a number nights she would get up and change him after her mother had fed him, and watch him fall asleep. The next child arrived when he was about out of diapers, and keeping two clean began to lose it’s fun. Soon she was fully back into her household tasks and major help for her mother. A third followed with a long break before she had more. Free time was a delight and she kept very busy in her home. She started her days gathering eggs, milking a cow and feeding all the animals they kept. This was a job shared by all the older children, so it became a game in sense. In essence it was a game, a game in life that would serve them all well in later life.

Often when she was still trying to get this all done she would go inside and make sure her family had all eaten, and didn’t need any help getting up. She gathered laundry and washed dishes, never questioning what she could do next. She would throw some eggs on for the boys in the barn and call them when it was ready. One brother had an assortment of pets he cared for. These were animals around their land he had befriended and changed rather frequently. A pet squirrel would follow him in if she didn’t watch and shoo it away. If her mother wasn’t around he sometimes tried to keep it hidden, but it would prance around the room until let out. She never really cared to take care of pets, it was another mess to clean and mouth to feed. What few she ever had were always kept outside. A crying sound called her upstairs to help tend a baby, her mother had went outside to send the other children to school. Her schooling was cut short a bit, but she had always done well. Books were sometimes passed down from neighbors and family, so she read whenever she had a chance. Tattered magazines and store catalogs were a joy to a family living remote at this turn of the twentieth century farm. She and her mother discussed preparing the big family meal, and she went to prepare this, both wearing aprons just as her mother did. Later she stood and watched a pair of siblings outside and stood on that very same spot tightening her apron’s strings. She smiled when she thought of this beautiful thought and went inside humming while she stirred a pot and checked the bread. Her thoughts of getting away from this routine didn’t last long, she was married when she turned fifteen.

to be continued..............


  1. The butterfly event looks like it was lots of fun- especially for the kiddos! And Ruth seems like a sweetheart. You two are blessed to have each other for neighbors!

  2. that looks like it would be fun. Thanks for the flowers, so nice of you to pick them for us

  3. My grandmother was married at 14 to a man over 40, but always lied and said it was 16.

  4. It seems as if the sticker, no matter how light, would affect a butterfly's flight. They seem to be such fragile creatures, and it's amazing that they fly all the way to Mexico for the winter and back to their summer homes when the warm weather arrives. The sunset photo and the moth are especially pretty.

  5. Ok... I just love that picture of Ruth!

  6. I am out in the middle of no where again if I miss your blogs I shall try to catch up.I am working in NE and along the Missouri River in IA.

  7. The butterfly photo at the first is so special. What fun!
    It was nice to come by here and feel re-motivated. So refreshing...thanks Steve!

    As for your comment about what camera I use, I am still using my cell phone along with me new one:D

    Have fun while at work....I bet you get some good photos there!

  8. Great series, looks like everyone is enjoying themselves, love it! :)

  9. Lots of memories there, the flowers are beautiful, hope your having funm :O)

  10. Wow Steve... You are really getting around... Catching the Butterflies had to have been awesome. I love the Monarchs also.

    Enjoy yourself... Great photos.

  11. I love your flower and plant pictures! The picture of Ruth was special.

  12. What an awesome day at the butterfly event. I love seeing both young and old getting excited about nature. Thank you for sharing! Am also enjoying your story.

  13. I'm intrigued by the life of this young lady on the farm. She sounds very responsible. I hope she found enjoyment through the days as well as contentment.

    And great photos! You sound like a very good neighbour to have. :)

  14. Looks like lots of fun. And the asters at their peak. They're definitely butterfly magnets. :)

  15. What fun! I really like the asters this time of the year. Great butterfly magnets. :)

  16. FANTASTIC...I do love this beautiful documentation: kids & seniors together & having so much joy together with these magnificient butterflies....what a great day.....!!!!!!!!

    ciao ciao elvira

  17. Thank you for the Beautiful Flowers!! Great photos...
    Also, beautiful story! She sounded wonderful!
    Happy weekend!


Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!