Psalm 103:1-2 (from The Message)
O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I'll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God, don't forget a single blessing!
Paul and I got back home this week after a great trip to California - north to San Francisco area to visit his parents, and then to southern Cal to visit with my sister and family, and to check in with the corporate office of the company I work for as a graphic artist. It was good to see coworkers again, and meet a new one (hi, Al!) whom I only knew through phone conversations and email, but after a few days in the office I sure was reminded of how spoiled I've gotten not having to commute to work in heavy freeway traffic every day! My usual morning commute is carrying my cup of coffee (with French vanilla creamer) from the kitchen to the computer desk. And believe me, I don’t take that for granted!
It was a wonderful trip, but as usual it’s good to be back home.
(... pause to take a sip of fresh hot coffee - with French vanilla creamer - from my favorite mug ... )
I love this time of year. No matter how busy life gets in the fall, I thank God for a heightened awareness of seasonal blessings ... gifts that appear for a time and then are gone with a promise to reappear at their appointed time.
The spider lilies that have populated the yard since mid-September have come and gone ...
... hay is being stacked and stored for equine and bovine midwinter snacks ...
... it’s harvest time for cotton ...
This was a good year for cotton around here; most was taller than my husband, who’s 6 foot 2. I took these pics a couple of weeks ago.
Now the cotton is being harvested; it stands in huge, heavy bales by the side of the road until it’s hauled off to the gin (to get rid of those pesky seeds), leaving behind remnants on the ground that look kind of like the last patches of dirty snow that linger after the spring thaw in parts north. (snow simile courtesy of my childhood in North Dakota.)
... and a happy surprise that greeted us upon our return home ... the beautiful Confederate Rose hibiscus planted just outside our back door - a housewarming gift from a very dear friend - is in glorious bloom!
I've been seeing monarch butterflies in the yard, passing through on their yearly trek to Mexico. These days I’ve traded in my usual sandals for thick socks and tennies, and I’ve broken out my sweatshirts for the chilly morning hours; I’ve noticed that I’m wearing said sweatshirts later and later into the day. This old house is holding the morning chill long after the day warms up outside. I guess it’s time to move “thinking about getting some heat in here” from the back burner to the front!
And I am getting back into the daily routine ... including new paintings and continuing work on the house ... it’s kind of hard to get back into the swing of things after a long trip, but I’m newly inspired, and I’ll be posting new artwork soon!