The Simple Joys of Life

Sunday, April 24, 2016



I like Earth Day. It is a day I look forward to, and try to approach with a reverent mindfulness. This year, the events before and after the event made it seem, at least to me, that we celebrated for a week. In addition to our blessed yard-work that occurs in an obvious celebration of Earth Day Everyday, we made a trip to Portland to see Justin and his shop and daughter Kailin and the little one she nanny’s. Perhaps the 60-mile plus drive isn’t an eco-conscience choice, but it was an outing. And Oregon, particularly Portland, is BEAUTIFUL in the spring.


Petals on the ground from the Kwanzan Cherry trees


Rhododendron ‘Elizabeth’

Our last trip up to the big city was to help with the moving of the bike shop. As we are always on a mission, this trip was no different. Justin had a task for each of us. Craig painted the bathroom, Dad restocked shelves and dusted, and I attempted to help with the organization of parts. My task was not as easy as one would think. I’m flattering myself to say that my knowledge of bike parts is limited. It is much more accurate to say that my knowledge of bike parts is non-existent.


Crank……he’s got lots of bikes for your riding pleasure

Being a good mother and wanting to be more useful than I appeared, I located scratch paper and scotch tape, and dutifully wrote down the names of said important parts and taped these notes to their respective objects. Hopefully, my matching of like to like and labeling them as such, worked out well for them. I don’t know, and they haven’t said. I am just assuming that all is still well in the land of Crank, (bicycles) and that I didn’t loose things in some wayward bin in the hinterland of the bike shop never to be found again.

It is true that our presence at the shop can only be described as overwhelming. We come in force, do our thing, eat lunch, continue to do our thing, and leave. I’m sure we are a whirlwind, as some of us have larger personalities than others, but it is what it is, and dear son hasn’t objected, to date at least.


Here we are, minus Kailin.  Stella is at my feet.

Kailin came by and brought her little charge. We sat on the floor, ate muffins, and enjoyed being together.


Going for a bike ride in the shop.

We had the full contingent of the Daisies present, including Stella, who dear Son said was a sales advantage.


Waiting at the door for a customer, who turned out to be Craig.

When she pranced up to prospective customers, gazed into their eyes, did the infamous “Doberman lean,” and snuggled in as they began to absent mindedly pet her silky soft fur, I was told that she was “doing her job.” I don’t know if she actually procured a sale on that day, but each time I asked her to come, her customer told me that “she was just fine” and “not bothering them.”   Stella would shoot me a look that said, “I’m busy. I’m making a sale here.” What more could a business ask for than a whole houseful of helpers?


I would like to say that Stella was waiting for a customer, but I actually think she was ready to go home.  She had a hard day of bike shop work.  According to my Son, “shop dogs” are ready to be done with their work day around 2:00pm.

To really cap off the weekend of the Earth Day Celebration, Kailin came down to the farm for Saturday Market plant shopping, and a lesson in rug braiding from Dad.


Yes, Kailin’s braid clamp has a BIRD in the middle.  The tail is the holder.


The strong and nimble fingers of my Dad at 91-years of age.

She will be the one to preserve the braiding tradition in our family.


Dad helps her get started.


Kailin is braiding!

Dad gave her a good start and I understand she went home and braided until her hands hurt! This little hobby takes a great deal of hand and arm strength to make the braids tight, and to lace things together. As a little added bonus, Dad is an oval rug braider. Kailin, on the other hand, is anxious to experiment with other designs, like a heart shape. This is good to know for our thrift store shopping adventures. She’ll need reds and pinks, I think, to complete this piece.

So our Earth Day Week hit all the high points of life. We saw the kids, our personal contribution to the life and well being of the planet. Portland was in full bloom. Justin’s bike shop, Crank, promotes and maintains a reduced carbon footprint by keeping folks on their bicycles. Kailin became the link to keeping an age-old family craft alive. In my little world, all is good.

Happy Earth Week. May you celebrate the gifts and joys of Mother Nature every day of the year!



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