Thursday, October 22, 2009

mighty oaks

copyright grace albaugh 2009

If I look out any one of the windows in my new house I can see beautiful Oak trees. They are different shapes and sizes. Some are very large and old with branches that reach in all directions. Others are younger and thin trying hard to follow the example of their elders, but knowing they have about one hundred years to mature. They are wise and steady and sink their roots deep into the soil. They give me a sense of strength in myself when I am amongst them. I am grateful to be surrounded by such majesty.

I'm sure it was the dozens of Oaks that grew in our yard that rooted and strengthened me when I was growing up. We moved to 106 River when I was 4 years old. I was just about a minute in size with skinny little legs and arms. My blue eyes devoured all of the wonderful, natural surroundings that were part of our property. Beautiful perennial flower beds, lush green grass, and these giant oak trees were the landscape for my soul. I think we all have something that makes us feel alive and nature is my breath.
These trees provided endless days of make believe play for the neighbor girls and me. One day they would be the place where we swung on the one seat swing daddy hung from a high branch. This tree was in the front north corner of the yard and the view as we swung was the bluffs across the Mississippi river. It was spectacular in Autumn. The color was as though the entire stretch of bluff was on fire. As far as the eye could see it was red, yellow, orange, green and brown. One color intertwined with another. All supported by the jagged rock cliff cut out by the flow of the river over the last thousand years or so. If that doesn't give you strength and breath I don't know what else does?
At other times the oaks were chosen, one by each girl, to be our pioneer homes. We loved to play pioneer. The entire quarter acre yard was portioned out with the driveway as the river. The north garden was the prairie (or several other things). The general store was sometimes on the front porch or back in the dog run. The details changed every time we played depending on every one's mood. We stayed open to new ideas and if nobody wanted to run the general store then an imaginary person suited us just fine. It was always an improvisational play time to keep it fresh and interesting. Of course there were those days when someone was cranky and spoiled the fun, but for the most part we had a blast. We even made long calico skirts and bonnets to wear. That was another fun afternoon taking turns at Mrs. Bacon's treadle sewing machine down in Lisa and Linda's basement. But that's another story.
The base of our oaks is where Anne and her friend poured a "magic potion" of baking soda and vinegar to bring us treasure. It was where I sat on cool summer days to read a book. It was where I stood and stooped watching intently as the ants and spiders ran all over the rough bark looking for food and homes to build. These trees were part of me in a way that the people in my life are a part of me. I'm sure that sounds a bit dramatic but it's true. I love those trees!

And now I have oaks in my life again. What a sweet feeling. To be among new old friends. To walk amongst them and feel their strength and wisdom. To recall the sweet memories my old friends shared. It is a new blessing in my life and I'm so glad of it.

Monday, October 12, 2009


copyright grace albaugh - snow falling from trees this morning

I hope everyone who lives near me is taking the time to enjoy the beautiful symphony being
played outside this morning. The way it sounds is soul filling but the way it looks is amazing. It's one of those first snows where the branches become heavy laden. So heavy that the snow gives way and falls in wonderful cascades like powdered sugar being sifted through a sieve. First here, then over there. And occasionally it ripples through the trees in succession.
My heart soars with delight when this happens. It's a though I'm having my own private performance.
I remember standing in the middle of the front yard. I must have been about seven or so. I stood in the middle of the front yard where the six Oak trees came together, face tilted to the sky and waited for the thrill I knew was coming. First I heard it, that unmistakable swoosh of the snow letting go. Then I felt if, the shower of snow covering me. My mouth open wide to catch as much as I could. I can hear myself laughing and see myself turning in circles with my arms spread wide. I love these memories and am grateful for this mornings snow to remind me.

Happy first real snow day everyone!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It will all straighten out

We are having a time with inter net for a bit. Moving from one house to another is taking it's toll in several ways. I'll post when possible between now and Oct. 5th.

Just a short image to share, as I'm writing at work instead of working at the moment.
I drove down to Hastings on Monday for my bi-weekly visit with my parents and had the pleasure of watching several hawks riding the wind. This is when they spread their wings very wide and just let the wind dance them around in subtle movements. I can feel myself up there when I see this beautiful sight. I feel myself being lifted by the wind like a kite. My eyes are closed and I'm pillowed on the airstream. My neck outstretched and my face reaching for the sun, floating there with the hawks. One of them looks over to me with a knowing smile on it's beak. We share the moment and then I'm back on the ground. I'm moved by this image and imaginary experience. Content as I drive through this farmland with no one else in sight. Alone with the hawks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

back to nature

copyright Grace Albaugh - our new lake house view from the patio

I'm having a melancholy morning. Now and then I wake up and for no apparent reason I just feel melancholy. Nothing has happened. There is nothing bad or negative around me. I'm not anticipating anything going wrong. I'm just melancholy. I find this interesting. Wondering what it is that creates this in me. I go into my armchair psychologist mode and try to analyse myself. Then I realize it's useless and just go with the melancholy. Let it take me where ever it wants to go.
When I had a melancholy day as a girl I headed for the woods that surrounded our house. I headed down the hill through the trees and wandered along the lake shore of Lake Rebbecca. It is a quiet lake with only nature surrounding it. No houses in sight and rarely any people.
I spent many hours down there after my father died. I felt close to him there. He was a naturalist at heart and spent much of his own time in the woods all over Minnesota. It was a place where I could converse with him and no one would hear me. I talked to the birds and squirls and rabbits too. Every once in awhile I'd catch a glimpse of a deer or see a fish jump in the water. I could loose myself for hours in the beauty and human silence. I had the freedom to roam as much as I wanted to and it was a huge part of what formed me as a human being.
We are moving in two weeks to a house on a small lake. I'll be able to sit on the back deck in the mornings and listen to earth waken and the water fowl start their day. I'm grateful for this gift. It's been many years since I've had a slice of nature at my back door. Its in my blood and I've felt nature anemic for a long time.
I'm thankful to my Heavenly Father for this blessing and I know it will feed and fill my soul.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A heart felt return

Ahhhhhhh. It feels good to be writing something here again. I've gotten life under control for now at least and I'm looking forward to getting back into the writing swing. It's been hanging right there in the tree just waiting for me to jump back on. Thanks for the much needed rest and I hope you haven't all gone away. See you very soon for a proper post.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Mom! Bill's trying to lock me out of the house again!"

OK, no he isn't. I feel like someone is trying to lock me out of blog time though. Between my son's wedding next week, getting my house ready to list by August 15 and normal everyday craziness that is going on right now, I've decided to take a few weeks of blog vacation until things are under control. (Are they ever under control?) OK at least until the house is on the market and I have time to breath again. So in the mean time stay well and I look forward to your sweet comments and friendship when I return.

PS Sorry Bill, not trying to give anyone the wrong impression about you. Even though MOOOOM was the most common thing that came out of my mouth for years.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Welcome Jennifer. It's nice to have you here. Enjoy!


copyright Grace Albaugh

I was cleaning in the garage yesterday and, as always, was amazed at the amount of stuff and filth that had ac culminated. I sorted through things I haven't seen in years and other things I didn't even know we had. I threw a lot of things out that I'm crossing my fingers my husband won't notice and things I have not noticed in years either. There were car parts that were so old and dried out they fell apart. Garden pots that were cracked. I even found three bike helmets I wish I would have known about before I bought a new one just last year. I bought it to go with my bike that is still sitting in the garage never ridden this year. (see previous post)
When daddy was alive we had garage spring cleaning outside just as we had house spring cleaning inside. He had a method and the entire family participated. First Bill, Anne and I would start by emptying all of the small items from their fallen places and put them in whatever pile daddy dictated. As we were getting the small things, he and mother got the big things. Daddy was a very organized man so things moved along a a good clip.
It never took long before Bill started up with his shenanigans though. He was a master of bothering Anne and I in this stealth kind of way. Whispering something in our ear that annoyed us while passing us from behind. Poking me with the end of his ice fishing spear. Putting the thunder mug on his head and making a terrible face. (The thunder mug is a porcelain covered metal pot with a lid that was made to be a portable toilet for camping.) He did all of these things so quickly that mother and daddy never saw him, but they knew he was up to something by the response it got from Anne and I. We were either in tears or laughing ourselves silly by the time we were half way through our tasks. It would be at about this time that daddy had just about enough. We all got yelled at. Bill for being a nuisance and Anne and I for being so loud. After a stern talking to and a few threats of one thing or another, we got back to work until Bill got bored and started things all over again.
By the end of things, Bill got sent to his room and Anne and I had to finish the sweeping and loading of items back into the garage. Bill didn't care because it meant he didn't have to work any more and we got so mad that we were left to finish up, we swore we would get Bill back. Back with what we didn't know but we would think of something. We rarely did. And we always swore that next year, no matter what he did, we would just ignore him. Make him stick it out to the end with the rest of us. We never did. We couldn't control it no matter how hard we tried. We were hopeless and Bill was the master. It was his calling to be the very best at making our lives miserable with all kinds of nonsense. But it was all in good fun and I love him to this day. He still makes faces behind every ones back and I still crack up until can't stand it anymore. I hope this part of my life never changes and I'm pretty confident it won't.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Welcome Strawberry girl. It's nice to have you visiting with us.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

summer posting

Just wanted to let my sweet little following know that as with many of us, the summer is full of a million things to do. Sorry for the spattering of posts but it looks like I'll just get around to one or two posts a week for awhile. Thanks for your interest and dear comments. Have a wonderful summer too.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


The tea post 2 posts down is back. Blogspot ate it the other day so I had to recreate it. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thank you Delwyn

The Premio Meme Award

One of the unexpected pleasures I've received from blogging is the friendships I'm developing around the world. I don't really know what I expected when I started all of this other than having a place to post my spiritual journal on A Touch Of Grace and to create an art collection of my photos, fine art projects and crafts on Through My Hands. And here on this blog I just wanted to share stories I'm reminded of from the simple things that happen in my daily life and get a feeling of whether or not anyone would want to read them.
What has transpired though are lovely comments from amazing people around the world and a community I wasn't prepared for. It has been a sweet experience and I thank all of you who visit me at my spaces.
I stopped in at Delwyn's place at A Hazy Moon and she has sent me a lovely award. It comes with the request to share 7 things about myself so here goes:

1. I love people - Everyone, really. We all have a story and a life to live. Some are doing better than others with this but we have all arrived here with possibilities and I think it's amazing how we make choices and create the lives we lead. (wow, that was long for me)

2. I love food - One of life's greatest pleasures.

3. Babies are the greatest - nuf said

4. I like it best living in a place where I can experience the seasons to the extreme - That's why I'm in Minnesota.

5. I don't however like the mosquitoes.

6. anything creative in the world of art is an invitation in my book.

7. I love to feel mud as it squishes through my toes.

Well there are a few new tidbits for you. Hope they were enlightening. Now I will have to think on who to pass this over to. I'll get back to that. Right now I have a lot of reading (and writing, oh I have a lot of writing to do. The book is crying in the corner) to do.