Being Here Now, and Then

The more I get to know and hang out with my gkids, the more I dread this summer when they’ll move far away.  Worse yet, eventually my son will follow them there.  Some things in life are just out of your hands, so you learn to treasure the moments you have.  For some of us, it takes a lifetime to learn to be here now.  But enough of my regrets.  I’m very thankful for the good times I’ve been granted.

Saturday we had a fun time with my son and kids at their home, at Full Service BBQ (another first for us, including the scary Nazi with the swastika), at a huge nearby playground, where a mother duck and her long parade of ducklings swam down the stream, and back at the house, where we saw one of the resident lizards (an anole?) on the deck.  Not to mention the many gorgeous flowers and interesting native plants.  It was a perfect day for playing in the woods.

Speaking of wildlife, more critters are making themselves at home at our house.  We have lizards (a skink, I believe) warming themselves near the porch, and large birds performing mating rituals in our trees.  Last night a possum strolled by our front door.  Maybe checking out the veggie garden, which I finished planting yesterday.  Observing and looking after nature is what helps keep me sane through the anxiety and sinking hopes.

Between Drops

This TN weather plays tricks on you.  Just as the rain stops, the sun comes out, and I’m poised with my garden stuff on the doorstep, as if on cue, out of nowhere it starts pouring again!  Like some trickster turned the shower on.  But I outsmarted it, caught the intermission, dashed out and planted some more seeds, and dashed back in.  I’m on to you, TN.  Git’er done.

Lowes Nation

It’s official: I’m a citizen of Lowes Nation.  I was given (!) a Lowes hat by a nice employee.  We practically live there, so it’s only right, but I wasn’t expecting anyone to actually honor my request.  Git’er done! (The slogan of Lowes Nation.)  It goes with my camo.  Guess I’m a closet redneck.  Rarely do I subject anyone to a selfie, as I look like an old hag, but this event warrants one.  Don’t get used to it.

I love this TN Lowes, because both women and men employees cheerfully take the time to show you whatever you need, and chances are you’ll end up in a friendly conversation about growing veggies in TN or feeding hummers or suchlike.  We learn something every time, and people grin and wave at us now.  We’re like a fixture.

The Great Outdoors

We had more firsts with my son and grandkids yesterday.  We got to explore the great Ijams nature center and hiking trails, along the TN river.  We witnessed a huge owl just sitting in a tree near us in broad daylight, a big first for all of us.  There were masses of beautiful wildflowers of all kinds, fascinating rock formations, and lots of natural recreation for little (and big) kids.

Then we checked out one of many family-friendly brewpubs along the extensive bike trails in the city.  We sampled beers and played board games outside at the picnic tables.  Then we moved on to a playground along the river.  There is so much going on in this city, we could never experience it all in a lifetime.

Finally, we adjourned to Avdi’s for pizza-and-a-movie, one of the few times he gets to snooze in his armchair, while the kids pile on top of us and chill.  I treasure these dwindling chances to bond and get to know my grandkids, before they have to move out of state.  I’m not looking forward to that prospect.  I never take such moments for granted anymore.


Birds and Trees

The bird life here is fascinating.  E saw what almost had to be an eagle or extremely huge bird soaring overhead.  Today one of our little wren friends, trying to build another nest on the porch, decided to pay us an indoor visit!  It perched here and there, until we politely showed it the door.

The ravens and hawks are familiar visitors, and the songbird species just keep on coming.  It’s exciting to see lots of bluebirds and woodpeckers.  My evil plan is working.  I can’t get close enough with my cell cam yet, but soon I’ll just be another lawn ornament to them.

At least the trees and flowers hold still.  Here are some.  Erev cheers.

Bread and Flowers

It’s a regular bakery now; here is E’s latest batch of challah, better than ever (hypothetically).  Not saying we sampled it or anything.  Maybe we’re just trying to stay warm in this crazy climate.

Meanwhile, flowers are a-bloomin’, despite it feeling wintry out there.  This TN weather is like a wild ride.  My little tomato seedlings all have freezer burn.  My almanac creds are defunct!

Mental Health Flowers

Yesterday we had another TN first.  We checked out our first native plant nursery, and of course had to bring home a few wildflower plants.  It was fun talking shop again, and exploring the greenhouses.  Buying nonessentials feels frivolous when you’re on a fixed income, but I chalk it up to mental health expenses, much more affordable than actual healthcare.

Here is yet another, even more excellent bread E baked, and the plants in their new habitat.  Also, the masses of irises that were already here have finally started to bloom–lavender!  You may laugh, but these minor wonders make me happy, reducing my anxiety, which is no small feat.