Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Bump That Made Me Jump



This post is about 

A bump that made me jump 
At night. 

I don’t like bumps that make me jump

Home alone at night

Well, not home alone, not really

I had my faithful dogs with me.

That is very comforting.

But when you hear a bump that makes you jump

And it’s dark and very eerily quiet in the house

And you are not expecting a bump that makes you jump

Then you don’t like bumps that make you jump

(did I say that already) sorry… but it’s true

So when you hear a bump that makes you jump

In the dark cold night

What is one to do?

Ask your faithful German Shepherd to check it out, of course

She was on high alert when she heard the bump that made me jump

Because she jumped too

I think we both jumped together

Cosmo was having a dream, I don’t think he noticed

But Annie and I both jumped when we heard the bump

I ran down the hall with Annie at my heels

I wondered if I should grab my .22

Or if it would even do any good

Because it sounded like the roof had caved in

And... I diid’t think it was a boogey-man jumping on my roof

But something had made me JUMP!

We reached the door and Annie pushed me aside

This was serious business, and outside my jurisdiction

Completely under her authority now

She barked loudly and ran outside

She stopped at the corner of the house where

We had heard the bump that made us go jump

She looked, and twitched her ears and sniffed the air

I stood in the cold at the door waiting on her assessment

She just stood there with her ears twitching and nose shifting

Feeling quite brave because Annie was already on the front lines

I descended the steps gingerly towards that side of the house

The side of the house where I heard the bump that made me jump

I peered cautiously around the corner...

Oh oh.  I had my house shoes on, and now my feet were wet

The snow was wet.  Did you know snow was wet?  Just wondering

(Well if you go outside in the snow with slippers,

You’ll know that snow is wet and cold and slippery)

But gathering up my fortitude I pushed past the distress

Of cold wet feet and glanced anxiously around the house

I saw nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

I shivered.  I shook.  I trembled.

Whatever it was… it was gone. 

But… WHAT was the bump that made me jump?

What indeed? 

As Annie and I peered into the darkness

She was on high alert, ears twitching, and nose sniffing

And then…. We heard it again

That bump that made me jump….

You wanna know what the bump was that made me jump?



 It was .... icicles and chunks of snow and ice falling off our roof!

Yes indeed.   

Now before you laugh, let me ask

Have you been in an avalanche?

How about an earthquake?

Or maybe a really bad thunderstorm?

Well…. The bump that made me jump

It sounded like the roof had caved in

Or an avalanche had hit my house

Or a really bad clap of thunder

Or someone had fallen off the roof

It was really, really loud….






Now I’ve heard these icicle bumps before

And they never scared me, not one bit

But this one was big.  And it was at night.

Icicles fall off the roof in the sunlight 

During the day the sunlight melts the ice and snow

And all day long you hear bumps

And they don’t make me jump

I know what icicle bumps sound like

But what I heard did not sound like an icicle bump

It sounded like an avalanche

That bump that made me jump.

But I guess after Annie's thorough investigation

A really big piece of ice decided to come flying off our roof

And that was the bump that made me jump.

I promise not to scare you like this again about my

Bump that made me jump. 

I’ll try to be more brave next time and not be so worried

About the bump that made me (and Annie) jump. 

Good night.  Sleep tight.  And don’t let the bumps bite.  

 






 



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Moose-Full Day

Wow! Yesterday was quite a day for moose watching here in Northern Idaho!  I had gone into the kitchen to grab another cup of coffee and was headed back to my rocking chair where I sit every morning to spend time with the Lord, pray and read my Bible.  As I passed by the dining room window, some movement caught my eye.  I stopped and wondered... could it be... oh my goodness.. yes indeedy... it really was.

I ran to grab my camera and it wasn't where I thought it was.... so then I ran around looking for it... and I found it at last... pushed the on button.... and NOTHING! 

What!

Of ALL times for my camera to be ornery and not want to cooperate!  The bull moose was just outside my window, and my camera wouldn't turn on.

Then I realized the problem, it didn't have a memory card in it, so I dashed down the hall to my office... grabbed the memory card and dashed back down the hall to stuff the memory card into my camera and hope it turned on this time.

Voila!  It did, and to my great wonder and surprise, the moose was in no hurry to leave.  I began to snap some pictures and take video.




He never came out of the forest cover for me to get a clear picture of him.  He obviously was hungry, and that was his mission the entire time he allowed me to watch him.  Once he ate his fill of the low lying plants and bushes, he made his way back into the forest where he is no doubt hanging out for the winter.  This is the third time he's been sighted in the last month or so.

Here is a video I created for you to watch this hungry moose ....



Then later in the afternoon, I got an email from a close friend of mine who lives in a town just a few miles away.  They had some exciting news too!  A Momma moose and her calf had taken up residence in their neighborhood and street.  Apparently this was the first time that my friend had seen the moose, but other neighbors had seen the Momma and her calf hanging around for several days.  My friend became aware that the moose was in their backyard munching on their pear trees.  Not much was left of the tree once they were done!  Raspberry bushes are also a favorite apparently.  Anything that bears fruit is fair game for a hungry moose. 

Here are the pictures she sent me last night.  Keep in mind it was almost dark when these pictures were taken, so they are not the best quality. The pictures are actually of the CALF, and not the Momma.  Apparently by the time they got the camera, Momma had disappeared.  So this is an almost full grown calf!  The Momma is quite a bit larger though, but we didn't get any pictures of her.














It has been a colder than normal winter here, at least colder than the past few years, I understand. Since it takes a lot to keep these creatures bellies full, they are moving into areas that they typically wouldn't be found in order to find food.  I suspect we may be seeing more of these sightings in the near future. 

Like I've said before, life in Idaho is never what you would call... dull... or boring... everyday there is almost always something we see or experience that keeps spice in our lives! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Moonrise

I've asked my daughter to put together a slideshow for me with a song that she plays on the piano.  We recorded her playing the song, but our recording equipment leaves much to be desired.  So we decided just to put the slideshow to the music of the song "Moonrise" by Brian Crane.

The pictures in the slide show are places that we have visited in the last year or two, and include pictures from Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho and Washington.

I hope the beauty that we've been able to witness here in the beautiful North ... will minister to your soul today through this slideshow my daughter put together for you to enjoy.


video
 Have a blessed day!

Sunshine and Shadows



Sunshine and Shadows 

 My dogs and I had trekked through the deep snow several days ago.  This time, we had gone into the forest where no snowmobilers had been.  Yet, someone had been here before us.  Yes indeed.  The deer had been this way and had their trails crisscrossing all through the forest.  It was hard work following their trails, because they didn’t care if the snow was deep or not, apparently they don’t mind deep snow.  They just chugged on through it.  But me… a different story.  Each step required a lot of exertion as I sunk down almost to the ground.  I was desperate for exercise, so don’t laugh at me! 






So, we had slogged and trogged (is that a word?) through the forest making our own paths.   Can I say again… it was somewhat exertional! Ha.  My German Shepherd/Siberian Husky mix puppy bounded and leaped and dashed everywhere.  I wish I could scoop up some of her energy.  My poor little Cosmo stayed behind me, close on my heels. He waited for me to make the tracks, and walked in my footsteps.  Poor thing. His nose was barely visible above the snow.  He had to arch his neck just to keep breathing.  But he never gave up.  He trekked and trogged and slogged right along with us.  (My dictionary is letting me know that trogged is not a word… oh well…).  







So anyway, into the woods we went.  Step by laborious step.  Oh, but it was a glorious day.  It was an absolutely amazing day.  The snow was glistening and sparkling and the trees were waving their lacy white branches, and snow was drifting from the branches to the ground, creating this snowy mist in the woods.  It was a radiant resplendent sight fit for royalty.  

 I was thrilled to be a part of such a thing…. even if I did feel like my heart was going to jump out of my chest with every step…. Ha.



 So… as we tramped through the snow, we reached the back end of our property that overlooks a large meadow.  The sun was casting its radiant abundance in such glittering elegance that even the dogs stopped their endless sniffing and smelling to stop and wonder.  Well… maybe just for a second.  They always have such an important job to do out here in the woods, that they are on overdrive to get it done.  But, when I stopped and just wondered… they stopped with me, ears up, noses on high alert… just in case I had seen something they didn’t… so yes, I think they were beholding with me the wonder of the moment… but it didn’t last long.  Apparently a bunny rabbit had wandered this way earlier, and that was a far more urgent calling… than just … being amazed as I was!  



As we made our way back through the forest, and slodged (I wish the dictionary liked my choices of words better, so frustrating when my chosen words aren’t understood!) through all the deer trails, my legs began to scream at me.  Not quite audibly, but loud enough to where I had to listen.  So I just fell over in the snow to take a break.  I looked for a stump or something to sit on, but alas…. There wasn’t even a fallen log close by for me to rest.  So I just did what comes natural to me when my legs give out… I just fall over. It was quite graceful I tell ya. Wish you could’ve been there.  I felt like a ballerina on a dance floor….

So I laid there in the snow and although the dogs had been quite busy in all their pressing investigations, when they heard me fall, I was immediately top priority.  I soon wished I hadn’t fallen.  Wished I had found a stump or a fallen log.  Because those two dogs weigh a lot.  They jumped on me, licking me, and covering me with their love and compassion… bless their hearts.  I was quite overwhelmed to be sure. 

So, no rest for the weary. I had to get up or be smothered by their love and affection for me.  I grunted and groaned and grasped every bit of energy I possessed to get myself up off the ground.  Annie, the German Shepherd, thought she could help me, and put her paw on my shoulder thinking it would help. She caught me off balance, and I toppled over again. 

I wondered if I would just have to stay here forever. I mean the dogs just thought this was a game. I’d try to get up and they’d pounce on me, licking and covering me with their love, until I thought I might pass out from it all.  I might just freeze to death out here. No one would ever know. How am I ever going to get up again?

Then a really brilliant thought occurred to me (these things don’t happen to me quite often, as I’m sure you must realize by now…  but it was very timely indeed) … so I hollered out “rabbit” and pointed off in another direction… the dogs twitched their ears, and off they went to seek out yonder rabbit. Whew.  I gathered myself and stood up, brushing all the snow off of me.  I felt like the abominable snowman.  I probably looked like him too…

The dogs returned from their fruitless chase of that rabbit, and happily we continued on down the trail.   When we arrived back at the house, I was panting with the dogs.



I made it to a huge snow bank in our yard.. and collapsed.  It took a while for the air to be able to move freely again through my lungs.  Annie climbed up on the bank beside me to stand guard while I rested.  As we sat there with the sun at our backs, I looked in amazement at the beautiful shadows that she and I were creating.  I couldn’t help but take some pictures of the silhouettes the two of us made as we sat there just soaking in and enjoying the beauty of the day.   









I was struck with the thought as we sat there together how much sunlight and shadows work together. Without the sun, there could be no shadows.  The sun in all its beauty and radiance cannot reach all places at all times, and so shadows jump to the occasion, and bravely create their obligation in silent stillness.  Shadows never seek the limelight, but always cast their glow when the sunlight becomes hidden from view.   






And so, I mused, it is in our lives.  We love the sunshine, absolutely adore its magnificence in our lives. Without the sun we could not enjoy the things of life that we do every day.  Yet, there are shadows that are cast too… and we cannot do without the shadows of our lives, that create a beautiful silhouette of brilliance.  We enjoy the sunlight, and perhaps never want the shadows in our lives, but yet…. Sunlight and shadows do co-exist.  You can’t have one without the other.  And one can’t be enjoyed without the other. 

We need both sun and shadows in our lives to balance our world.  For if we only had sunshine, and never had a time of rest in the presence of shadows from the heat of the sun, we would shrivel up and die.  If we only spent our time in the presence of the sun, we would surely perish from the everlasting heat.  So, we must have the shadows, the times in our life where the outlines are fuzzy, and the details are not clear.  We must spend time in the shadows to allow growth in our lives, and when it is time again, the shadows will flee, and we will dwell once again in the sunshine.

I’m thankful for the beautiful lesson I learned today about the shadows that Annie and I made.  If I’m going to be in the shadows, why not enjoy the moment, and glean from it every bit of wisdom and truth possible.  I rested in the shadow we made.  It strengthened me and gave me the stamina I needed to rise, and again move into the sunshine.

May it be for you today too.  

May you find healing and rest in the shadows of your life until the time when the sun decides to shine again! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Roads, Paths and Trails

  

Roads, Paths and Trails

I am intrigued with roads that lead into the distant beyond. Always have been.  I grew up on an 
island that had beautiful sandy red roads and trails leading to the ocean.  I could hardly stand to 
drive by a trail or a drive or a path overshadowed with trees and shadows, and not stop and wonder… 
where does it end?  There is an irresistible urge within me to seek and to find… the end of the road.    
Where does it lead? What treasures of beauty await down its beckoning way? 
 


I can’t explain this lifelong fascination I have with roads that lead to an end not in sight.  It’s just one of those
things that is never satisfied.  I find the end of one road, but perhaps that road leads to another… and another… 
 
The only thing I must be sure I have as I travel these roads is a compass.  There are a few trails we’ve 
been down that we’ve not been sure we could find our way back out… 
 
So I wrote a poem about roads, paths and trails that kind of sum up how I feel about Roads,  Paths and Trails. 
 
Below I will share with sharing with you some pictures of those roads I couldn’t resist traveling down… 
just to see what beauty they held for me.  And even upon knowing what lays down a trail…
there is yet a beckoning call for me for every tree lined, dirt path or trail… just to know… 
where it goes, and what pleasures await down this road!  
 
Roads, Paths and Trails
Written by "Me" 

The winsome boughs of the overshadowing trees
The dirt lined path with stubbles of grass
The dip in the horizon just beyond
Their voices are echoes calling me, calling me on.

I cannot resist, no I cannot say no
To the call of the path that leads beyond
I cannot see where the path goes
I cannot tell what treasures it may hold.

The mystery of each one summons me onward
There may be heights unknown and depths remote
Shall it be lacy clouds, shining seashore, or mountains sheer
I cannot know unless I go, following the path beyond.

And so through life, we see the paths, the trails, the road
The bends, the dips, the lofty points as we travel
Not knowing what lies beyond oft horizon
Uncertainty does lie around every corner.

Yet in the hands of the Master I walk each path
He has been here before, this trail familiar
I dare not worry at what the bend may hold
His Hand, my Compass, still leads me as we go.

I look ahead to the horizons beyond
Bravely trusting and pressing on
With great anticipation I clasp His hand
With Him by my side, adventures untold await

Not once has He left me to travel alone
No bends, no curves, no shadows forlorn
I wait for His hand to show me the way
No never alone on this road, my life.

 
 
Snow covered mountain road in October

Road leading to town


Mountain trail

Fall colors mixed with ice and snow

Schweitzer Mountain

State Park trails

Stately pine lined trail


On the side of the mountain

Climbing up the rough side of the mountain

Snowy road with view of mountain beyond



Frozen rime trails

Backwoods trail


The road leading to a new adventure...

Trail leading to a  frozen lake

Sunlight shining on the trail


Snowmobile tracks lead the way

Snow covered roads

Footprints along the trail

Tree lined trail

Dogs -n - trails


Ice covered road

Into the mountains we go!

Boardwalks

Frozen rime along the road

Nature trail through the forest

Which path should we take?

Crossing the creek with logs for a bridge



The mountains beyond

A logging trail with a mountain view

What lies around the bend?

Frozen rime and icy roads







So, in parting I'll leave you with a poem much better written than mine. 

May you be encouraged about the bend in your road today.


The Bend in the Road

Author: Helen Steiner Rice

Sometimes we come to life's crossroads
And we view what we think is the end.
But God has a much wider vision
And he knows that it's only a bend-

The road will go on and get smoother
And after we've stopped for a rest,
The path that lies hidden beyond us
Is often the path that is best.

So rest and relax and grow stronger,
Let go and let God share your load
And have faith in a brighter tomorrow-
You've just come to a bend in the road.