Category: A 30 Second Break

Back in the Saddle Again!

Yahoo!! The lawn tractor vet returned my mighty yellow steed to Serendipity Farmhouse on Monday. They fixed her up and gave her a good cleaning. Upon seeing her back in the driveway, my Case of Lawn Tractor Blues😒 was instantly cured.

Early on Tuesday morning, I saddled her up and we mowed the north 40. After lunch, my old Cub Cadet and I took on the south 40. She was in fit form and more than up to the job. Yup, I’m back in the saddle again!

What it Means to be in the Saddle

Many, many years ago, I learned that some work can be enjoyable. Back then, I had the privilege to work with not just one, but several horses and ponies. I first took riding lessons and then graduated to being an instructor myself. When a hard day of work with student riders was over, I would take one of my favorite horses out riding bareback for an hour or two. In the 50s and 60s that was every boy’s dream. For me, it was a cherished reality.

As we were approaching Labor Day one year, Mr. Brown, the owner of the horses, asked me to represent his riding school in the Great Geauga County Fair. His sons were now too old for the fair, and he would be greatly pleased if I rode one of his horses in competition.

The Great Geauga County Fair is Ohio’s oldest continuous county fair and one of the oldest existing agricultural fairs in the nation. It was established in 1823, and it is held annually in Burton, Ohio every Labor Day weekend. I would ride my Favorite horse Buckeye in three different events, and I wore the #4 proudly on my back. – It just doesn’t get any better than that.

I took home some ribbons that day. And those ribbons were accompanied by memories that have lasted a lifetime.

From Horse to Lawn Tractor and Other Big Changes

Nearly sixty years have passed since that Labor Day, and I’ll probably not have another chance to ride a horse again. So, forgive me for my bit of fantasy about my mighty yellow steed. The hour or two that I spend mowing this vast 1.203-acre estate, allows me the time to think and dream, just as I did back in the days when I was riding old Buckeye.

There’s been one big change since the days when I was a lone rider. Back in the early 70s, I found a partner to ride with me. We’ve been riding together ever since.

lawn tractor

My Tree of Motherly Memory

There it stands, strong and silent, ever there to support me – I call it my tree of motherly memory. In photos from the past, you can see its strength and size. It reminds me of my concern for the children I would raise. This picture of me leaning on my tree shows the worry in my eyes.

A Day for Motherly Memory

Today, children and husbands are giving cards and gifts to mothers everywhere. For many of us, this is a time we think back dearly on our moms who are no longer with us. Hubby lost his mom on the day before Mother’s Day years ago – such a very sad memory. And, of course, my thoughts and prayers will be with my children’s Granny Ida.

There’s So Much More to Say

Let me step aside and take a different view of this day for mothers. With all this praise for us from our children, wouldn’t it be fitting to also think of them. I had the privilege to raise, care for, and teach three beautiful children. A fourth child did not make it to term. I wish I could have met him and cared for him too.

Those three beautiful children have grown and matured. They are now parents like me. They are good parents. And, just like me, my two daughters and my daughter-in-law have experienced the worry of child-bearing and the daily concerns and heartaches of motherhood.

When all is said and done, look how my children have grown. See what they have become. They have loved me so much, and they have helped me to grow in the virtues of patience and perseverance. I am so proud of them and who they are.

What is the Lesson I Have Learned?

My girls visited yesterday. We had tea and charcuterie. They brought flowers and presents, including a gift bag from my son. I’m sure the phone will ring today, there will be a call from each one of them.

There it stands, strong and silent, ever there to support me – I call it my tree of motherly memory. I can picture it as the the large tree behind me in that park in Pacific Grove. But as I open my cards and look at the flowers and gifts today, I know there is a lesson to be learned. That tree in the park is just a symbol of something much larger and stronger.

The real tree that supports me is my Faith, my Hubby, and the three children God has given me. I have learned that it is my family that is my tree of motherly memory.

Resurrexit Sicut Dixit, Alleluia.

Easter at Serendipity Farmhouse will be quiet and reflective this year. There will be prayer, good food, and thoughts of family and friends. And, while Easter is not about cherry blossoms, daffodils, or forsythias, the fact that they have again returned to SFH provides us a vivid reminder of the Resurrection. – – That is how it is meant to be here at our beloved Serendipity.


A 30 Second Break – Listen!

Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of you heart.

Prologue to The Rule of St. Benedict

Take 30 seconds from your day and listen. Our Creator always wants to speak to our hearts and create a moment of peace within.

During my quest to find the perfect place to live near my family, I looked at new houses and old houses, in the city and in the country. Each had its own charm or attraction. Yet, when I would sit back in silence, I heard a call back to that little place near the river.

And so it was. I heard the caIMG_20151101_132148474 (2)ll and ever since I have joy in the knowledge that I listened. For me, there is quiet and a welcomed solitude. The river quietly flowing  in the background soothes the spirit. Within the sound I can hear His voice.

When family and friends come to Serendipity, they say they can sense the peace and calm – even in their trial and travails.