I apologize in advance if this format Ian’s little less polished than usual. I’m writing on my phone, and that is much different than pounding this out on my laptop. On the other hand, I can get to some pictures much easier. But I digress….
The first of March blew in over Misselthwaite quite literally. In the almost three years we have lived here, I half-jokingly considered renaming our home “The Farm on Quartz Rock Hills” or even the slightly less imaginative but quite literal “Windy Acres.” We get some good winds around here! Or through here!
I did intend to post something in February, but February is short and somehow the lack of two or three extra days gets away from me and then it’s March! Also, I confess I was preoccupied with extra doctor appointments that cropped up thanks to my constant thorn in the side, the one that returns when least wanted—gestational diabetes. I was going twice a week, until the morning of March 6, when a false alarm sent us to the local hospital. I texted my mother, who had planned to travel to our house the following day, and teased her that once again her grandchild was trying to beat her to the house. In the end I was sent home, but Mom was on her way, and that was providential because 90 minutes after she arrived at our house that night, I was headed back to Labor & Delivery.
And now Pipkka is here!
Our sweet baby girl arrived just before noon last Sunday. Owing to a tight nuchal cord at delivery, as well as being a tad earlier than every sibling except the Trooper, she’s been resting and growing in the NICU. One great blessing is that she is off all oxygen and medications and is only waiting to figure out bottle feeding (she seems to think it’s as good an excuse for a nap as anything). However, if you are reading this and would like to pray that she comes home soon, we are grateful.
Around Misselthwaite (not actually about restoring it this time…)
It’s been all over the news that today is the anniversary of when our country began to shut down due to the pandemic. What do you remember most from those early days of the virus? I remember how for a short time we had the feeling that we were all in this together. We encouraged each other to stay safe. I rather wish that had lasted longer.
But what I remember most, what I shall always remember, is Monday, March 16, 2020. I sat in one of the corner chairs under the large window on the second floor to check on my laptop for something for someone’s schoolwork, and while it was loading (country WiFi!), I pulled up my email on my phone and found a rather cryptic email from the parish about volunteering for Holy Week Masses “if we are open then.” I began a frantic internet search as Rascal passed by. Catching sight of my face, he asked what was wrong.
“We’ve just lost the Mass,” I replied.
Honestly, what could possibly have been worse? The day that summer when things opened up and we went back to Mass I did cry. Who cares that we wore masks?! We were back and Jesus was there and we had access to all the Sacraments again!
Subject change. No one wants to dwell on the dark stuff for too long. We all lost a lot, and we’ve lost family members, and we’ve all had to make many adjustments in our lives.
On the bright side, being “stuck at home” did have many positives, at least for us. We’ve been learning more about what works around Misselthwaite as opposed to what doesn’t. Usually that means we’ve ripped out something put in or neglected by a previous owner (that I’ll get to in future posts), and sometimes it’s as easy as finding the right hanging houseplant for a particular sunny corner. Or three hanging houseplants, because when one works…
On the Farm….
This past winter, we seem to have hit on a fun solution to our kudzu problem. And do we ever have a kudzu problem! At the moment, we can see through our woods and catch glimpses of the communal pond at the lower edge of the property (where ten Canada geese have come to nest). Once the green starts to spread over the hills, our old enemy kudzu will be back, but this Spring will bring some help. Here’s a broader hint than I could share in my previous post.
Pipkka’s arrival this weekend threw our schedules into quite a loop. I joked to Haus Meister that I could barely remember the day of the week, and what was it that I gave up for Lent again? (I think it was complaining. Oops!)
But speaking of Lent, tonight in my late perusings, I came across this gem, so I am going to leave it here. Until next time, dear reader!
Prayer Of A Soldier In France by Joyce Kilmer
My shoulders ache beneath my pack
(Lie easier, Cross, upon His back).
I march with feet that burn and smart
(Tread, Holy Feet, upon my heart).
Men shout at me who may not speak
(They scourged Thy back and smote Thy cheek).
I may not lift a hand to clear
My eyes of salty drops that sear.
(Then shall my fickle soul forget
Thy agony of Bloody Sweat?)
My rifle hand is stiff and numb
(From Thy pierced palm red rivers come).
Lord, Thou didst suffer more for me
Than all the hosts of land and sea.
So let me render back again
This millionth of Thy gift. Amen