15 May 2003

Well, the flowers had exactly the effect on Mama that I had hoped. She seemed quite pleased. As I walked up on the hill behind our house, on which most of our backyard is situated, with my mother tonight, I was thinking about man's dominion over nature. My mother and father, with the help of a hired hand as they are middle-aged and need someone with a stronger back, have tamed that yard. It's about 3/4 of an acre, which for a residential area of this state is not bad. When we arrived 12 years ago, it was barren and covered with weeds that took simply ages to kill. Now it's got pine, redwood, spruce, oak, and maple trees, a vegetable garden, roses, iris, rosemary, huge bushes and groundcover, a gazebo with climbing roses, and tiny patches of flowers here and there. On a warm day, the scent of the jasmine that climbs up the patio cover could almost knock you flat. A spot of the yard that was once my garden where I could plant anything I wanted has now been put to better use as a plot of garden for the glorification of Our Lady. It was inspired by the statue of Our Lady that I placed there, I'm proud to say, but the rest was my mother's idea. There's a japanese maple shading it, and all the flowers are blue and white. Lots of forget-me-nots, which of course are also known by the name "Mary's eyes."

Just as they tamed the yard, they tamed our pets. As we walked up the hill to admire the garden's beauty, a little parade consisting of a dog and two cats followed us. Well, they weren't following me. If I go up by myself, the dog might follow me if I called him, and the cats would ignore my absence from the house. But if Mama goes, boy, everyone goes. My mother has been given stewardship over that plot of ground and those animals, and she cares for them well.

Unfortunately, I am not as inclined toward gardening as either of my parents, or my grandparents for that matter. I generally prefer to stay indoors. Part of it is probably that my eyes are very sensitive to light and so it seems much brighter out to me than it does to other people. If I don't wear sunglasses on sunny days I walk around squinting. Hot weather is also terribly uncomfortable, and as I am pale I get sunburnt easily. Ohh, so many reasons not to go outside, at least in summer. Mama likes to walk in her garden each day, admiring her flowers. I prefer to walk in the garden today with a pair of scissors, so that I can admire the flowers tomorrow without the unfortunate necessity of leaving the house. I do make an exception in my preference for staying indooors: going for a walk at twilight or after dark. Especially down between the lake and the river, with the noticable lack of street lamps... Ahem. (Hi, sweetie.)

The Holy Father's 83rd birthday is this Sunday. He's three months younger than my grandfather. It's amazing to see him still going as he is. We're pretty proud of Grandpa who bowls twice a week and plays golf at least that often, but he doesn't have Parkinson's. The Holy Father travels all over the world and gives speeches all the time. That is amazing for anyone, let alone an ill 83-year-old. I would venture to say that the Holy Spirit keeps him going. Obviously God isn't quite done with this man yet. How I do wonder what He's got in mind for the Holy Father.

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