Sunday, May 1, 2022

A Sunday Walk in May 5 1 2022


 It’s the first of May! 

Are you celebrating International Workers’ Day? May Day? getting ready for Cinco de Mayo? 

 Maybe none of those seem quite right for you. Here is an interesting article on the origins of the holiday. May Day history While I will try not to get on my soapbox or go off on a political rant, I should say I am incredibly grateful for the people who fought (some literally died) to make sure the rest of us had reasonable work hours and weekends. While I didn’t have a weekend off for a large portion of my adult life, I am truly glad some people did. And, I am glad those folks spent a portion of their time (and paycheck) at the Farmers’ Market. Without weekend shoppers, I do not know how we would have made a living from this tiny piece of land, or had the opportunity for life-changing experiences.

 Whether you’re observing a holiday, or catching up on chores…I’m going to guess that no one is where we are right now. The one year anniversary of what I have begun to refer to as “the kidney saga” is rapidly approaching. In “celebration”, Tom has yet another surgery scheduled for this week. 

 Yep. STILL in the midst of the “kidney saga”… 

If someone had told me a year ago that we would spend over 12 months trying to get Tom’s kidney stone issues righted, I would have laughed…or at the very least argued with you. I thought I knew what they did for kidney stones. I had a kidney stone years ago, I felt horrible and thought I would die from the pain, threw up a few times, drank a lot of water, passed the stone and went on with life. I credit going cold-turkey on my caffeinated power drinks with the fact I haven’t had to endure that again. Truly THE worst pain ever. And, I’ve done the whole “un-medicated” childbirth deal. If it was any more serious, they would just “blast” it and the patient would be good to go. No real big deal. 

Anyway, such is not always the case, sadly. 

While everyone else is “getting back to normal” and putting the pandemic anxiety in the rear-view, Tom has spent the past year either in excruciating pain, going to the hospital, in the hospital, having another test or scan, on his way home from the hospital, recovering from surgery, and/or anticipating another test or scan. He has literally been to the hospital campus 25 times… 

That’s how we found ourselves heading “over the mountain” the other day for yet another pre-surgery testing/registration in anticipation of this Thursday’s surgery. 

Going to UVA medical center is never good news. From here it means that our local hospital cannot provide the level of care necessary to potential healing. All too often it means things are dire. (and dire is NOT a word anyone wants to use in relation to their health and/or well-being) While I am truly grateful that such care is possible and that we have the ability to obtain it, I can think of innumerable ways we would rather spend our time. (and money)

And, it’s beyond difficult to be grateful when you are worried, and have been worried for…well, a year. (just with this particular issue) Although, for the most part, we’ve endured the “self-isolation” fairly well. Meaning that our sanity is more or less intact, (although that was somewhat questionable before) and we’re still getting along. We’ve found plenty to do to keep us occupied. And, in case you wondered, among the FOUR pages of pre-surgery instructions is a paragraph that tells the patient (and anyone else living in the home) to “self-isolate” for 14 days before a procedure. With so many procedures in the past 12 months, it’s needless to say we are now probably perceived as total hermits. 

On the other hand, it’s Spring. 

nothing says spring quite like apple blossoms

Glorious, beautiful Spring… 

Spring that included an unexpected snowstorm not quite two weeks ago that left about 3 inches or so of wet, sloppy ice/snow/sleet all over everything. Then, it got brutally cold…well below freezing. Then, it got SO hot. And, last week, the first severe thunderstorm of the season spawned a small tornado not far from here and dropped nickel sized hail that covered the ground in some locations… 

Here are a few shots from the unexpected snow:

So…maybe spring is not so glorious after all. Or, maybe it’s just not what I (or anyone else) was expecting. 

That’s it. Expectations are the single biggest cause of disappointment and heartache. Maybe we should lower our expectations, or at the very least be far more open to other possibilities. 

Recently I took a course in “Writing through your Trauma” with Lisa Cooper Ellison  .  It was a GREAT course. Part of the assigned reading was a chapter from Dr. Fred Luskin’s book, Forgive, for Good. The one chapter was so enlightening that I had to buy (and read) the entire book.

I have read a LOT of books in the past year, but this one is at the top of my recommendation list. Dr. Luskin talks a lot about our “unenforceable rules”…those things we demand or expect from ourselves, life, other people. By allowing these rules to dictate what we will accept, we set ourselves up to be miserable and have problematic relationships. It has given me a lot to think about. 

So, I suppose the imposition of this “self-isolation” has been a good thing in some ways. 

 While life is nothing like I expected it to be at this point…I have found that accepting it as it is (or at least attempting to) and finding the small positives here and there make it far more bearable than if we simply railed against it all the time. 

In that vein, here are some of the sights from here on the hill… 

peach blossom




birch catkins

pear blossoms


chipping sparrows


wild crabapple tree

maple "helicopters" in the making

chicken feather

first strawberry

first tulip

glorious tulips




daffodils after the cold

Mr. Bluebird checking out the housing market

apple blossoms (before the cold)

peach blossoms


American robin

rufus-sided towhee

end of the glorious tulips

If nothing else, Spring is beautiful and full of possibilities. 

baby grapes

apple blossoms with what I hope is a baby apple

asparagus is coming
(don't mind the weeds)

baby mulberries

snap peas 
(Yay,the mouse didn't eat all the seeds!)

 I truly hope you’re having a Happy Sunday! 

new life at sunrise
(calf at the farm across the way)

 Here’s hoping you’re finding some little bits of happiness and encouragement along your way. 

Thanks for reading.