Today, it feels like it is really here. Spring. Finally.
Of course, it may snow, or hail, or pour rain again. Maybe tomorrow or maybe in an hour. It is the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Maybe it is only through the light of our homeschooling curriculum, but every time I hear someone complain about the climate, I just think of the explorers, the pioneers, who fought their way here, so hard, just to have a taste of the richness God put here. Not that they were crazy about the months of soggy cold either.
Today, the little girls have succumbed to whatever nasty bug it is that has been circulating through our little church community. Miss Fi has taken to her bed, but BumbleTot, even with a high fever, refuses to be deterred-especially when her Daddy is doing yard work.
By order of the Army, he has the day off today. I suppose that the secular push of our government only extends so far as it goes before robbing them of any more free time. If Easter equals Christ, we should ignore it...but if it equals a day off...while then by all means, we're all Christians.
We are glad to have him home though, and the nesting seems to have hit him this time around too...or maybe it is just the draw of new man toys with which to play.
The family that is bequeathing us their slew of poultry ( to include a pair of Lavender Guinea Fowl, it turns out) let Mr. SoulFull have use of their chipper shredder today. So he woke up, on his day off, with a need to get to work before the sun even started its day. The combined work of January's ice storm and the fellows' gathering efforts left us with a pile of limbs in the middle of our mini pasture. A pile larger than any of our livestock and big enough to spark a little boy's imagination.
Today, Mr. SoulFull is shredding that pile of adventure into wood chips for the front garden. The goats are currently grazing, unfenced, at the side of the house. Too fat or too loyal to leave.
BumbleTot is standing at the gate that divides our yard from the animals yard. She has on her ear protection, and her work boots. Her Daddy probably doesn't even realize that she is there. She knows where to find her work gear. She thinks it is her duty to ride on the lawn mower with Daddy, or shotgun in the truck...wherever he is while he does work around the property. She wears that pair of adult-sized earphones with dignity.
I am typing here, enjoying the sunshine coming through the window and watching my poor little lamb call after her Daddy. She teases him incessantly, like nothing you have ever seen from a toddler- but he started it. She is the baby he was home for- the whole first year. The one he caught himself in our upstairs bedroom. She pushes his buttons. She acts just like him. Working with him...wanting to be his tiny shadow, is how she shows him that she really doesn't mean any of it.
How will things change with this new baby? This baby that will change her status. She has been unique, even as the third child, because she was the first one that was as much his, to him, as she was mine. The Army kept him so much, so far away from us, so often during those first years. He missed so much of the other children's early lives that he couldn't always connect- jumping in and out, getting snapshots of what it was to have small children in the house.
I think it was that closer bond that initially fully convinced him of "no more children", and yet ultimately God used it to change his heart, allowing this new baby to come into the fold. Being a part of the everyday, he realized the level of commitment, work, and exhaustion that could go with small children. But as that tiny shadow got bigger,God could guide his imagination...for all the work, how much more joy could there be?
Things are coming to life out here...in the dirt, in the coop...new life and change; it's our current theme 'round these parts. We are entering uncharted territory, in more ways than one.
So I just think of those explorers; coming to a place where they just knew there would be great treasure, but in no way prepared for the cold torrents that could come along with it. They believed in Manifest Destiny, that it was God's plan that the U.S reach from sea to shining sea...and through their experiences it did, it does.
I believe in Manifest Destiny too. I know that our upcoming changes will be both overwhelming and overjoying. I know that they are part of God's perfect plan for us.