“A Photo a Week Challenge: Saturation

This past Christmas I found saturation to be the word to describe a flower of a different color.  This very vivid blue is not a normal color for this flower but someone creatively watered this plant with blue colored water and the results give a saturation of the color to the outside of the leaves that really draws your eyes into the picture.  It is amazing how creative people can get to bring color to a drab season in Northeast Pennsylvania but this plant is still blooming strong but is now back to almost completely white.  It has been a process even to watch as it goes back to it’s original white. I have seen other ones colored but they were not as vivid or alluring as the one I received.

“Flower of the Day (February 26, 2015) – Rhododendron” My Rhodee

It amazes me each year that this majestic flower comes back to life and fills my window with majestic blooms.  They begin as a deep purple bud that opens into the best shade of lavender that makes my grey siding just come to life.  I really can’t take credit for this old bush as it was here when we bought the house in 1991.  The owners before me must have enjoyed it as much as I do.  I have taken pictures of it from my front door, from my office window and up close as you see in my picture.  My favorite color of the Rhododendron is the lavender.  One can not help but notice as they see my pictures of flowers.

I am so ready to see some life back in this great give God gave us.  I am sure it is also wishing the cold and snow would leave so that it could once again shine in all it’s glory.  Thanks Cee for suggesting this great picture of spring that I so look forward to sharing with all my neighbors as they pass by.

Sun Worshiper

These pristine plants reach for the sky and vary from the real to the man made.  The fanning of the spikey leaves reach for the sky in a worship dance to the sun.  The sculptures of imagination in the two lighter green cacti in the picture stand as promises that there is beauty in even the desert.  The Botanical Gardens in Phoenix have called my name more than once.  On my first visit I trekked the trails alone finding beauty in every turn.  Even though some had flowers even the ones without the flowers were true works of God’s art.  The stark contrast of colors, the gentle warm to hot breeze seemed not to deter me from finding my way over every inch of this area.

There was a butterfly tent along the way and even wild critters scurrying by.  I got to see a roadrunner in the flesh and soon the hours had slipped away.  I rested and refreshed in the gift shop and restaurant only to be even more enlightened by the flavor of the foods.  On my next trip I took my mother and though I had to push her in a wheelchair to each area of these beautiful gardens, not one display looked the same.  Each season brings new life and new displays.  My mother enjoyed it as much as I and the food again was different and absolutely taste tantalizing.  We really had to force ourselves to leave as we went late in the day and after sunset this place takes on a whole different vibe and beauty.

What a great place to see life grow out of the parched earth and enjoy your time in Phoenix.  A true must see.

Longings for Phoenix

The cold really gets to my soul more now that I am finding myself getting older.  I came across a picture I took on my last visit to Phoenix and long to go back to the warmth and the flavor of foods that warm my soul.  We went to this great local restaurant that did great Mexican favorites and every view has so much for the eye to warm up to.  The sun peaking through like a checkerboard on the floor.  The trees providing shade that plays tricks on my mind.  The colors of the southwest and the art work that is evident right down to the shapes of the roof line.  The old west details mixed with the more modern decor.

I hear the warm air calling my name whispering, “come back, come back.”  The smell of the food wafting by my nostrils as the breeze passes from the kitchen to my nostrils……………mmmmmmmm.  The sweet sounds of laughter and chatter as people share their day and the warmth of friendship.  I spoke with some of my friends in Phoenix today and wish I could go there straight away.

I say just for a few days but know that if my obligations were less and my bank account were full enough, I would go and not come back to the east coast except in summer when the cold hides away and the sun is high.  It it s a dream of mine to retire here yet I seem to not be able to let myself go and make this dream a reality.  So for now I must enjoy my pictures and talk with my friends to keep the whispers of the southwest fresh in my mind.  Hurry up Lottery, make me a big winner so I can live my dream before it is too late.

Graceful Aging

It is with love that I get to help my Mother grow old gracefully.  I used to wonder what that meant as I was growing up but I also got to see my mother model the role with my grandmother.  She always found time to help her or hold her up in her not so good times.  All my life my best role model is the Mother that God gave to me.  Her laughter is contagious, her smile lights up a room and she is the best listener I know.  She offers her words of wisdom whether I ask for it or not but many times even when I am not asking for it, her words make me think before I jump in and make a mistake.  Her compassion for everyone is amazing.

Her spirit, honesty, values and stories continue to amaze me.  She does her best to continue to fight even though she realizes that her body is growing weak.  To me that makes her fearless as she sees her mortality as not an end but a beginning.  I know she longs to be with my father who has long gone before her but her job to help form us and the next generation was not complete.  She takes that duty very seriously and her smile is always eager to visit as she witnesses the newest generations growing up before her.

God had true wisdom when he gave us mothers and gave women the strength to give back to their families tirelessly.    As I helped her do basic things this weekend she kept thanking me and telling me that God knew she needed girls and was so blessed to have three that she is so proud of.  She told me she didn’t feel she was aging gracefully but no longer had enough fight to care.  To me she will always be gracious and graceful as she never stops sharing her heart and her love……even if it is only her words or a smile.  Thanks Mom.

Pump it up!

I so am enjoying the pictures of the flowers I took last summer.  My oldest daughter decided to protect her well casing by building up a planter and adding an old pump from a family member.  While the white in this picture reminds me of snow the pump reminds me that without pumping it up years ago water was a labor to obtain.  I remember a pump like this on on the sink in my grandmothers kitchen and I loved the cool fresh water it provided.  She would have us pump pans full so the water could be heated on the old cook stove for doing dishes or bathing.  I vividly remember her putting an old metal tub in the center of the kitchen and bringing out a screen so that we could bathe.  Years later my grandfather finished building the inside bathroom on the house and we no longer needed the old hand pump as he put an electric pump on the well that brought us into the world of indoor plumbing.

This memory is one that my children and grandchildren found hard to understand.  They have never had to carry water in a bucket from the creek to the house and so the pump in this picture would not really have sparked the images it did for me.  I used to think that my own grandmother must have seen some unbelievable changes in her day since she was born in 1910 and died in 2001.  It made me realize seeing this picture that time has pumped up some awesome changes that I never thought would be possible in my years on this earth.  So pump it up everyone, how many changes have you seen in your lifetime?  Share a picture that brings back vivid memories for you and share with us.