We see evidence all the time of the tender care this land was once lovingly given. The landscape is mature and fruitful... if only we can find it. Every time I walk around the yard, I see something new. I am ever discovering.
Last week, I peeked over James's shoulder at the video game he was playing and beheld a lush, gorgeous, peaceful retreat on his screen.
"Where's that?" I asked.
"Rivendell," he replied casually.
"That's where I want to live," I commented. "Rivendell."
"You want to live in Rivendell?" he asked, confused. "I thought you liked living here."
I backpedaled. "Well, I do... I just wish this place looked like that."
"It does," he said matter-of-factly.
Later that week, while James lounged on the couch beset with fever and lethargy, we listened together to one of his kid CD's because his eyes hurt too much to keep them open long enough to watch TV.
He chose Benjamin Bear. If you're an Idahoan, you might know who I'm talking about. You might not. I don't think this Benjamin Bear has achieved worldwide fame yet. He's not the one with the TV show. He's a puppet bear who talks to his real live pastor, Leroy, about life and theology. My parents knew the real live pastor, and they sent the CD's to the boys, who have always, always loved Benjamin Bear since before they can remember.
I heard something new on Benjamin Bear last week. Poor little Benjamin says he is terrible at math. But Pastor Leroy gives Benjamin a new perspective on his flaws and imperfections. He tells Benjamin, "Don't say you're terrible at math. Say, 'I'm getting better at math all the time.'"
I liked that. There are tons of things I think I'm terrible at (like math), and tons of things I am dissatisfied with. But instead of stating what's negative about those things, or even pointing out those things at all, I'm going to put a positive spin on them, just like Benjamin Bear.
How are the dishes coming? I'm getting better and better at doing the dishes all the time. And I am, actually. My sink is shiny.
How is fibromyalgia treating me? I'm finding more and more sit-down-and-rest activities to engage in all the time.
How's it going with the fixer-upper?
That's our standard answer. Lame.
I realized that calling our property a fixer-upper was like saying I am terrible at math.
The truth is that underneath all our overgrown grasses and shrubberies and rivulets of blackberry brambles, there is Rivendell. And we are discovering it.
Here are some recent finds.
This is in yesterday's post, but I took the picture for this post, so I'm including it. This is our pond. We like it. We are excited to clear a path to the other side of it and make a seating area there.
These bulb sprouts were covered underneath a three-foot height of last year's blooms, giant thistles, and tall grass. I rescued them. You can sort of see the clippings on the driveway.
I don't know what this is. Do you? It looks important.
I collect red things.
Tree. Tall. In the meadow.
I should have had my hand in this shot so you could see how big these pinecones are. They are the biggest I've ever seen. Let's see... each one is roughly the size of a pop can.
I may have mentioned that red is my favorite color. This is on one of my rosebushes.
This is in yesterday's post, and I took the picture for yesterday's post, but I'm including it anyway because it's a Rivendell discovery.
25 I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the LORD your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.