After I did some spring redecorating of our blog, I just sat and looked at the incredible beauty of the multi-colored pansies and the purple iris for a long time. When I remember Penrose, I tend to think mainly of Penrose in the summer--the smells and sounds of the river, the smells of the green fields and the miracle of the irrigation water that made the crops and gardens grow. We were gone to the protective custody of the schools all winter, away from the daily activities of home, and arriving home just before dark from the long bus ride twelve miles from town, a ride lengthened into more like 20 miles or more by the time we went up and down all the side roads to take everyone safely home. Then when summer came we were turned loose in our little protected corner of the world to roam the fields, hoe the beets, go get the cows, stack the hay, watch mother grow incredibly beautiful dahlias and gladiolus, eat fresh corn and peas and beans all summer long, go to sleep to the sounds of orchestras of legions of crickets and frogs. But I often remember the iris growing along the path to the barn. I always called them the orchids of the desert--proud and regal and not a bit humble in their beauty. The iris always were supposed to bloom by Memorial Day to provide some remembrances at the Penrose cemetery, along with a few sprays of purple lilacs.
We have all been through a few challenges this winter. Ann had to get patched up and put back together again, Liz had to get her twitterpations under control, Judy had to watch 300 hours of BBC videos and get her 200 acre garden ready for spring, Steve was working on his Saigon photo show which we all wish we could see but Buffalo is a long way off, Louise has been doing quilting marathons. We have all been trying to remember how to walk, how to stay optimistic in the face of somewhat terrifying challenges, how to keep the Bosch mixer from dancing to the floor, how to cope with and keep in touch with all of our far flung families and offspring, how to keep our hearing aids from blasting our heads off in the noise, checking our pacemakers, listening to the some times terrifying news and trying to cope with the evils of the world, and waking up each day to new challenges and opportunities. "Weeping endureth for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Proverbs 30).
The greatest blessing of all is that we six Blood children are all still here. We know that as our lives lengthen and the days shorten, this blessing will not always be realized. Despite our myriad fraying at the edges and dimming of eyes and loss of petals here and there, we are still here. And I am thankful every day for this fact and for the conversations we have and the thoughts that we share and the nonsense that we use to gloss over the weariness and aches and pains of father time. We may not talk to everyone all the time, but we are each in the others thoughts and prayers constantly. Let each of us cherish the time that we have left to share our lives and love with each other.