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Blog“Just Over the Hilltop”

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A gentle breeze swings over the hilltop while I sway in the glider listening to a lonely bird chatting at me, watching two butterflies either fighting or twitterpating, sipping on raspberry iced tea and trying to read Gladys Tabor’s book “Country Chronicle.” The sun’s warmth is perfect especially when sitting under the canopy of the Norway maple. How I enjoy being quiet “just over the hilltop” before coming back inside to write you of our week’s activities and thoughts.

The irises are overzealous this year with buds and the first three purple were in bloom this morning. I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, my mixture of dried egg shells, diced banana peels, and Dick’s coffee grounds are really helping the soil and plants to recover. Even the peonies have stronger stems and more buds this year. One small bush has twelve which is the same as the total for last year. The other buds bring the peonies to a possible twenty-six flowers and if even just half of them bloom, I’ll be happy. I’m thinking that these are the same peonies that we have in a picture given to us last summer by the granddaughters of the original owners. It is my prayer and desire to bring them back to a full and strong constitution. So amazing that God can sustain a plant for over a hundred years. And yes, I’m feeding them again with my special fertilizer.

he was “The Lawn Ranger

Last week Dick decided to help a neighbor in West Potsdam and mowed her side lawn as a surprise. I think her mower must have broken down for I don’t recall it ever being that high before. Anyway, the neighbors were trying to guess who might have mowed it and our favorite guess was someone had seen a man on a white horse named Silver and stopped to inquire who the rider was. He replied that he was The Lawn Ranger. Dick thought that was very creative and then fessed up to having played the part of the man on a beautiful horse (-powered mower).


The other evening the sounds of happy screams and laughter of the children playing next door was such a delight as we sat on the porch. It is wonderful to have children in the neighborhood and we delighted in their delighted play. The next evening we took an old 1940’s movie to watch with the grandchildren, while their parents went out on a date. They seemed to enjoy this black and white film, “The Mark of Zorro” with Tyrone Power, and surprisingly, even I liked it. It was good to spend some time catching up on their activities, too.

The other morning while pulling some weeds and visiting with my neighbor, who was working in her flowers, the church chimes let me know it was now 9 o’clock and I needed to get back inside to finish getting ready for work. Our “work” is going to the bookstore and enjoying our new little business. Whether or not we are busy, Dick likened our time over there as a weekly retreat. And it is. It is pleasant to be in the old schoolhouse, it is quiet with spiritual music playing in the background, and we can write, talk, or study without the cares of a home interrupting us. We are relishing our “retreat days.”

All is well, safely rest.   God is nigh.

Yesterday, Memorial Day, we attended the special service on the park here in the village. My heart filled with joy and pride as the anthems of each branch of the military was played by our own Norwood Brass Firemen, and when the National Anthem was played by the Norwood-Norfolk School Band, but I teared up when Taps was echoed to close the memorial service. “All is well, safely rest. God is nigh.” It was a lovely tribute to those who didn’t return from the wars fought for our country’s and others’ oppressed freedoms. But knowing that God is nigh allowed a settled peace to come over my heart both for gratefulness to the soldiers and gratefulness to God.


Our grandson Garrett called Sunday evening and talked to me without any prompting from his mother for over twenty minutes. He had a lot on his mind and had many questions for me. One of the topics of interest to him was that his watch was two minutes faster than every clock in his house. And it turns out it was two minutes faster than the clock in our living room. So if he remembers to bring his watch when he visits this weekend, he is going to compare time on all of our clocks to see if any of them match his. Interestingly, the book I mentioned at the beginning of the journal was talking about time in the passage I was reading today. Gladys Tabor had written a little verse to her dog, Olive, after a return walk to the pond. I thought I’d share it with you.

“What is time?  It is a moment when we walk to the pond

Over the green grass  Past sweet phlox purple in the dusk

And rhubarb, rosy-stalked along the path

To the water, dark and satin-smooth beyond.

Was it a moment of eternity?

Or a memory fragmentary?

Or only a piece of today

folded away?”

Time sometimes eludes us, sometimes goes so slowly, and sometimes seems to pass quickly. But time has been given to each of us, and how we pass the time is what matters while here on earth. It can’t be stored so I try to use it wisely. Savor it. Work it. Enjoy it. And Garrett, let’s not worry if we are two minutes fast or two minutes slow. Maybe we’ll talk about it this weekend, but then to a five-year-old who’s learning about time, those two minutes matter. Enjoy your time this week whether at work, at play, or leisurely reading a special book. Love, Sharon