I haven’t done a half marathon since spring 2016. That year I completed the Frostbite Half in February, the Little Rock Half in March, and the Country Music Half in April. That feat of completing three halfs within 90 days earned me entry into the Half Fanatics organization. I can’t remember my own phone number, but I can remember my Fanatic number is 14549. I felt a real sense of accomplishment earning it. And since then, I’ve lost my mojo.
Hubs and I just returned from spending a few days in the Ashville, NC area. We were outdoors most of the time. I find nature to be very therapeutic. Here are some pics from the trip.
I’m saving one picture for a future post. There’s a story behind it.
I hope where ever you are, you’re enjoying some nature today!
Today is packed with activity. This morning I’m presenting to a leadership class at Belmont University. The afternoon is all about college football. But before the day “kicks off” (see what I did there?) I took a quick walk among the roses. Just a few weeks ago there was no color in the rose bed due to my late summer pruning, something I did in hopes of having beautiful blooms to enter in upcoming rose shows. Here’s what’s blooming this morning.
Today I’m celebrating another trip around the sun. I kept things very low-key, beginning with a run on a nearby green way. I feel fortunate to leave near such beauty.
It was a beautiful morning in Leiper’s Fork, TN, perfect for the Heroes in Recovery 6K. Why a 6K and not the customary 5k? The extra distance is in recognition of the extra work one must do to remain in a life of recovery. I walked the hilly course and enjoyed every minute of it. This is my first race event of 2017, having set aside my fitness routine for the first eight months of the year. It felt great to get back out there.
Today was the day to fertilize the roses in preparation for fall shows. Before I began my work I sat on the patio and watched the hummingbirds and butterflies. I shot some video of the birds, which I posted on Instagram. This was my only still shot of the day and I was grateful this guy agreed to pose for me.
This morning I took a leisurely two-mile jog on a nearby green way and enjoyed a little nature.
#ICYMI there was a solar eclipse yesterday. Nashville was along the totality path, so it was a bit of a big deal. I didn’t take the day off. Instead, I sat in the office parking lot alongside others who work in the building. Just about the time I began wishing I was watching at home with hubs, or watching at our neighbors’ ginormous eclipse party, a truck pulled into the lot. It was one of my organization’s service vendors and he had come to fix our copy machine. His facial expression told me he was having a bad day. I made a good-hearted comment about him braving the traffic during the eclipse. He responded that he’d already made several service calls and people literally swore at him for showing up and ruining office parties. My heart broke.
We went inside (we were still about 25 minutes away from eclipse totality) and he fixed the copy machine. I asked him if he wanted to hang out with us for the rest of the eclipse and would he like to borrow my (NASA-approved) glasses. He’d brought his own glasses and he pulled up a chair and spent part of his lunch hour with us. I learned that his wife had major surgery last week and he’d spent the weekend caring for her. I learned that several coworkers had taken the day off and he was part of a skeleton crew. Exhausted, he was trying to be pleasant to his customers while worrying about his wife. And he’d spent the morning being sworn at. That’s not right.
Shortly after seeing the corona, we went back inside so he could make one more adjustment to the copy machine. As we walked back outside (he needed to get to his next appointment and I needed to gaze at the sky for another minute) he said “Thank you for letting me have this moment.” It was then that I realized I was exactly where I was meant to be. I wasn’t supposed to watch the eclipse with hubs. I wasn’t to be at the neighbors’ party. I was supposed to show kindness to a guy who hadn’t been treated well that morning. I am grateful I was given that opportunity.
It was the best eclipse ever.
It’s been ages since I started my Saturday with camera in hand. It feels good to be getting back into the practice. Here are a few shots from the yard. And now, I have four more roses bushes to prune in prep of the fall shows and weeds to pull. Happy Saturday, y’all!
Saturday, August 5, had been marked on my calendar for weeks. A lot of rosarians prune their roses 55 – 60 days before fall rose shows and as I counted back from the date of a show I want to enter, August 5 became my pruning day. This is the first year I’ve tried this; I’m in my forth year of growing roses and I still feel like a newbie, still learning the ways of “the real rosarians.”
My first step in the process was to harvest some blooms and make arrangements to share.
After making two deliveries (and keeping an arrangement for myself!), I was back in the rose bed, pruners in hand. I did what the “real rosians” have taught me. I removed crossing center canes and dead wood, and I cut back 3 – 5 of the strong remaining canes that were the width of a Number 2 pencil.
While I was pruning I cut away plenty of buds that in a few weeks would have been beautiful flowers if left to mature. I gotta tell you, that was painful. I cheated a bit and left three flowers, knowing they would open by Monday. I cut them last night and am now enjoying them in my bedroom.
My time in the garden often takes my thoughts to God. The Bible contains a lot of garden references, beginning with the Garden of Eden in Genesis. While I was pruning, I thought about what the Bible says on the subject. Jesus used the term as a metaphor for God’s preparing us to do His work. James 15:2 says, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” I did a little online reading about that verse and found this.
A few years ago I went through a really unpleasant experience at work. While I was miserable during my walk through it, I had faith (albeit a small amount of faith…perhaps the size of a mustard seed) that I was being prepared for something else. Looking back, I can see how the experience was equipping me for the job I have (and love) today.
Saturday’s gardening task reminded me that sometimes I have to sacrifice today, for a better experience down the road. And it reminded me to be trusting during times when I am being pruned.