Thursday, February 20, 2020

February's Winter Sunshine

My last post about Winter generated a lot of talk about the pros and cons of Winter.  I thank each of you for taking the time to share with me your thoughts about Winter.  Depending on where you live, Winter can take on a totally different perspective.  For us living here in North Idaho, our winter this year for three months has mostly consisted of dense fog and cloudy days, much like in the picture above.  Each day the dogs and I would walk, and lift our faces to the skies.  Many times, both at sunrise and sunset that would be our only glimpse of the sun.

During our evening walks, the fog would clear off, and the sun would peek through in an abundance of color to end the day with.

I can understand why many people dislike Winter's long dreary days.  But when the skies fill with color during evening's last curtain call, how can one not be thrilled at the sight? 

One evening, after the skies turned to liquid crimson flowing through puffy billowing clouds, I captured this picture of my neighbor's horse waiting to be fed.  

And when the sun was coming up one morning... the pine trees glowed as they soaked up every drop of that precious sunshine, creating a beautiful contrast between land and sky. 

And even many days, especially in January when the fog was our constant companion throughout the day... 

When the fog lifted... the sunshine was joyfully welcomed. 

Our resident entertainer spares a moment out of his busy day, to share a little smile for the camera.  

In the midst of our winter here, I took a little detour to Texas. My mother underwent knee surgery, and I flew down to be with her for a week after the surgery.  One evening while I was there, there was a magnificent sunset at my brother's home. 

I enjoyed the spectacular bloom of this beautiful plant that my dad was growing.  

Beautiful Texas sunset

Enjoyed several games of scrabble with my Mother, who is an avid Scrabble player. 

My dad and I visited a Texas tulip farm not far from their home while my Mom rested at home after a session of exercise. 

The tulip blooms were just beginning to fill out, and were beautiful to see. 

I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful varieties of tulips that they had planted. 
Enjoying the tulips and the sunshine! 

Also not far from my parent's home was the site of the horrific Sutherland church shooting.  

The memorial was open to the public, and was beautifully done. It was an incredibly horrific scene that had been painted white, and red roses placed on a white chair at the place of each one's death.  

This was the saddest rose to see, a pink rose placed under a cloche for a child unborn. In the midst of this horrific tragedy, though, the grace of the Lord was shining through, and through the generosity of the community, and the Southern Baptist church group, the church had a beautiful new building built for them to worship in.  The lady who opened the memorial shared with how the Lord continued to move in their community despite the tragedy, and it was wonderful to know that the grace of the Lord was at work in the midst of such sorrow. 

I enjoyed a tea party with my mother and aunt.  My aunt brought over a wonderful cream pie, and we enjoyed tea and pie together, using my mother's Lavender Rose china. 

Mom was gifted this china for her wedding present close to 50 years ago, and it is still in beautiful condition. 

My brother's home on a gorgeous Texas winter afternoon, with 70-degree temps and bright sunshine.
I enjoyed soaking up the beautiful rays of sunshine while I was there. 

All too soon, it was time to fly back home.  Mom was doing really well, her pain had lessened, and her rehab was going well.  I was so thankful to have been there with her as she recovered from her knee surgery. 
Back home, the mountains welcomed me as we drove towards home. 

And while I was gone... signs of Spring had sprung up along our daily walk! 
Sunshine had begun to melt back the ice and snow as blue skies opened up and allowed the sun to shine through. 
Perhaps I had brought some of that Texas sunshine back with me... as the sun had come out the day I returned,
and it has shone faithfully for two weeks now! 

I visited a local state park on a beautiful sunny afternoon and hiked down to the creek bed. 
One of my favorite places to visit, this little wooden bridge crosses the creek,
and is a delightful place to visit any time of the year. 
The sunshine had melted away much of the snow, and the creek was merrily singing along its way. 

A bit of a treacherous crossing over the bridge with melted snow that had turned to ice. 

Such beauty in the forest on this fine Winter's afternoon!

At the local city park, I watched the train as it passed through, and enjoyed the warm spring-like day. 

A miniature Lady Liberty statue stands tall in this park, a gift to the city from a local family's estate.  The statue had resided in the family's garden, and upon their mother's death, they donated it to the city.
She stands beautifully highlighting the incredible backdrop behind her. 

An adventuresome soul and his dog took to the waters to enjoy the beautiful day. 

As the snow melts, and bare ground appears, the chickens are out happily enjoying their reclaimed territory.  

Valentine's Day was enjoyed as a special treat this year as our church held a Valentine steak dinner. 

And speaking of Valentine's, my dear friend Cheryl shared some beautiful love stories of couples on her blog during the month of February. She was so gracious to share our story, and you can read it here. Be sure and visit Cheryl's blog, and be inspired with all the inspirational stories she has shared there. :) 

As Winter seems to have abated his claim over the landscape, and Spring's warm breath hovers in the distance, I am looking forward now to Spring, and that time of seed starting and planting, and all the excitement that comes with Spring.  I have enjoyed Winter so very much as it is a time of rest and quiet.  But now that Spring is teasing us with her arrival, I am indeed quite ready for spring blooms, flowers, and warmth.   How about you? 


  1. What a beautiful post crammed with such stunning photos, I scrolled up and down a few times to take them all in. I was deeply saddened about the shooting but thank the Lord his love was in abundance and healing and faith is still there. I was so glad to read your Mum is recovering and that you had a wonderful visit with her. It as a delight to visit.

  2. Such beautiful photos! I am thankful that you were able to visit your mother and I am thankful that you are enjoying the spring like days. I can't imagine the fog there as I know how much I dislike the cloudy days here. I miss my sunshine in the winter months!!

  3. Great post. I am not a fan of winter but, living in WI, I don't have much choice. We are in FL for a bit but it has been chilly here, too....but at least snowless. lol
    Glad your mom is doing so well with her rehab and not having so much pain.
    Have a great weekend. xo Diana

  4. It seems Idaho and western NY have very similar weather, smiles. I am glad your mother is doing great (or better?). I enjoyed this post and the thoughts of the sad.

  5. One beautiful photo after another. The purple one is beyond stunning.

    How wonderful that you were able to be with your mom for that week after surgery. Your visit must have made it all a little easier to bear.

    The paragraphs about Sutherland Church were sobering. Thank you for sharing them because we so often hear about the horrific events, but do not hear about the ways The Lord has been working in the aftermath.

    Enjoy your winter days; they are dwindling down now. I, for one, am more than grateful. Winter has a wild beauty, yet it is long and hard.

  6. Beautiful pictures and a beautiful love story!

  7. I did read your love story at Cheryl's place, Marilyn, and was so touched by it. Your photos are terrific as always, and I'm so glad you could be with your mother as she was recovering. I know that was a blessing to both your parents. The memorial is so sad, yet it is hopeful, too, in the way God is moving mightily in that community.
    Blessings to you!

  8. Loved this whole post, including your "love story"...that was really sweet! You make a beautiful couple! So happy you were able to be with your mother during her convalescence. I am sure she got better quickly because of your loving care and the prayers of many. What a blessing to be able to do that for her. Loved the tea party and that tea pot/set. So beautiful!! Thank you for sharing this whole story with us. Loved it all.

  9. A very beautiful selection of photos. You seemed to have moved from one season to another! The sunset photo was particularly lovely. How nice for your mum to have you there.

  10. I always love seeing your photos of the beautiful part of the world we live in, although our snow has been gone here in town for several weeks now. The blue sky is very welcome. I read your story on Cheryl's blog the day it was posted. What a beautiful love story Marilyn. Is that city park at Sandpoint? I don't remember seeing a Statue of Liberty. We may need to take a drive up there and see the sights, it's been a year or two.
    I also enjoyed reading about your Texas trip and I'm happy to hear that your Mom is doing well. Her tea service is so pretty. I didn't realize that they live so close to the church. I've been praying for them since the shooting and your update is very good to hear. The memorial would be so touching and I appreciate knowing more and can pray even more specifically.
    Wising you a lovely Friday my friend. Enjoy the sunshine today! It's gorgeous here.

  11. Wow what beautiful photos! I so love sunrises in the pines. (but your sunsets are stunning!) And what a nice escape that mush have been - TX sunshine in winter.

  12. The photos are spectacular, Marilyn.

  13. Marilyn, you are a gifted photographer. I love visiting and seeing the world through your eyes. Unfortunately, I guess that means seeing the sad moments along with the happy. Of course, it's the whole picture that makes up our world and while it's normally my instinct to look away from the sadness, somehow you've managed to capture the beauty in that as well.

  14. I enjoyed all the winter pictures, even the foggy, misty ones are lovely although I, like most, prefer clear weather. I hope you get more Springish weather as we move towards March.

  15. I just read your love story and that is just so special. God had a hand in that very first meeting. I love all your photos. You show that even winter has incredible beauty. Having said that, I am very ready for spring to come.

  16. Absolutely gorgeous photos today! I so enjoyed each one. The little squirrel is so cute.
    Glad you were able to enjoy time in TX. The memorial is so touching.
    Our church had a Valentines supper too and served prime rib. So good and such a fun evening.

  17. I am SO thankful you shared your beautiful, amazing love story with us, dear friend! It was so inspiring and such an encouragement to all of us. And, your photos are beyond amazing, as always! Oh, I could just sit and stare at them for hours! That was SO incredibly sad about the church you visited. That day will go down in history as most horrific. I don't think anyone will ever forget it, and I am so thankful you shared what God is doing there now. I am so grateful your Mom is doing so well and you could be there with your parents during that difficult time. Sending much love and many blessings to you tonight!

  18. Oh, I am always ready for spring after a long winter. Glorious photos of both Texas and your Idaho, Marilyn. I don't know how I would cope with months of no sun...BUT....I must say your little wintry patch is beautiful. How lovely to read of God's grace in that little church in spite of all the sadness. Such a horrible and tragic event in your parent's town. That is good news that your mom is recovering well. Such a blessing that you were able to spend precious days with her and you dad and enjoy a Scrabble game or two and drinking tea poured from pretty teapots.

  19. A lovely blog posting with beautiful photos!๐Ÿ’–

  20. was a beautiful love story and I did comment on your story featured on Cheryl's blog. I wanted to share too but just not enough time to get it together. God is simply amazing isn't He? Love all of the pictures. Girl...I can't imagine living in that winter. I love the snow but only for a visit. I do wish we had seasons in Florida like we should but we don't. It might be 80 today and 40 tomorrow. So crazy. I leave out winter and summer clothes. LOL! That ROSE.....just makes my heart so sad to think about that tragic event. We just never know. All the more reason we must trust an unknown future to a known God. Hope your mama is on the mends. God bless you and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  21. Oh Marilyn what gorgeous photos you took! I love the ones with the fog. It reminds me of when we lived in LaPine, Oregon, about 70 miles south of Madras. What a different climate there! So much more snow, and much more fog and low clouds than here. I took some very similar pictures when we lived there! We've had such a mild winter here in Madras... have had many 60 degree plus days in January and February and lots of sunshine... not as many gray days either and not that much snow. I love it! But I also love looking at your beautiful area... and bet it was fun to go to Texas for some sunny, clearer weather. Reminds me of when we go to Portland, OR in the spring from here... it is always way ahead of us in the flower department. There will be all sorts of flowers coming up and blooming there, when here in Madras it's still dry, cold and brown and not a peek of any flowers! I love the footbridge you get to walk to and on. So so pretty. I remember how exciting it was, after a winter with snow on the ground all the time, to see the patches of ground beginning to appear, and seeing little green shoots coming up! I'm kind of ready for Spring, but not so much the yard work. I should be doing things now but can't get myself to go outside much yet.. other than to take a walk now and then. xoxoxo Marilyn

  22. Hello Marilyn, thank you for sharing your trip to Texas with us. Thank you for sharing the memorial with us. Very moving and we need to remember.
    I have family that live in Texas as well. My aunt shared with me that the wildflowers are starting to bloom. Bluebonnet time :-) beautiful.
    Hope your family is all well. Hugs and Prayers, Carla

  23. Wow!!! What an interesting post and your photos are prize worthy.
    Thank for your prayers.
    Connie :)

  24. I just read your beautiful love story over on Cheryl's blog! What a sweet sweet story! I can't wait to hear more about it in person. ;)

    I love all of your pictures. It makes me so excited, and restless, to get out and explore! We live in such a beautiful place. I still have to pinch myself sometimes. God is so good and so amazing!

    I'm glad your trip down to Texas went well and you mom is healing up quickly. I think you did bring back some sunshine with you! Although today we are back to the grey clouds. My mom is down in LA right now visiting her family. I'll make sure she packs some sunshine to bring back with her. :)

  25. For me, there is something really special about having tea with your mom (and Aunt) and using her wedding china...precious!

    I know I'm not the only one who admires your creative and artistic skills with the camera.

  26. Oh what a contrast in the climates! Stunning winter scenes that you shared from your area and then to see those gorgeous roses growing out the fields in! I do hope your mom has a quick recovery from her surgery as well! Thank you for sharing those bittersweet photo and story of the Sutherland church shootings. You know, as horrific as it is when these awful things happen, it never ceases to amaze me how the Lord is always glorified in one way or another. Beautiful post, Marilyn.

  27. Marilyn, as I grow older, I think I enjoy each season for what it is. Oh your wintry photographs are so beautiful. I have always been fond of fog! I'm glad you had a delightful and sunny visit with family in Texas! xo

  28. Wow. Spectacular images!! Your brothers place is beautiful. And I loved the fountain picture. I don't mind winter but I would really like to live somewhere that gets a couple of decent snows if I have to live where it's cold. haha :-)

  29. It always takes my breath away seeing the glorious skies and scenery where you live, Marilyn. That second photo of the snow and purple sky is just beautiful. I'm sorry to hear your Mother had to have knee surgery. I hope she is healing nicely. So good of you to be with her during this difficult time. It's so sad what happened in Sutherland, and what a lovely and thoughtful thing to do by placing a red rose at each chair at the Memorial. Love your Mother's china, and the dessert looks Yummy.

    I hope the new year is being good to you so far, Marilyn.

    Happy March days.


  30. Amazing post and stunning pictures! I loved visiting your Mom with you.I do love your Love story too...Made my day!Hugs and blessings.

  31. Marilyn, this was such a beautiful and interesting post. The photos of your winter wonderland are amazing and make me wish for a white winter. However, that is not to be in Northwest Louisiana. So glad to hear your mother is doing well, but what a blessing it was to you and her for you to be there. Spring is springing its pretty head down here and we should have green grass soon and those beloved azaleas will be blooming before we know it.

  32. Gorgeous photos, Marilyn, another wonderful post. I'm almost embarrassed to say how much I like winter when ours is so much milder than yours. You will probably think it a pleasant autumn day :-)

  33. HI! I just love gazing at all the pictures you share! How wonderful to be able to share a cup of tea with that special china! Also I just love that bridge! For some reason I like bridges over small rivers/ creeks. In a way it makes me feel like exploring.

  34. I was utterly awestruck by the first four photographs in your blog Marylyn. The hues of blue are incredible just like a beautiful painting. Your Texan photos were stunning as well. The Sutherland shooting does reminds us of horrific episode , but seeing the memorial serenely adorned soothes our mind. Glad to read that mother is recovering well. Her Lavender Rose China is a piece of art!!


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