Panorama

It is lovely out tonight- a cool breeze, but still the warmth of the setting sun to run and play games by. As I look across the backyard of our beautiful home, I see a myriad of summer stories I can tell.
Looking eastward, I see our treeline, a popular place for our children to play. This evening they were pounding at the bare earth floor, creating quite the dust storm and likely earning a midweek bath. “We were playing ‘Dirt People’,” Anna says.
My eyes move to the crabapple trees, whose blooms have been a subject of Aliyah’s beautiful photography. They haven’t borne much fruit this year, nor have the berry brambles, possibly due to the harsh winter we had.
I glance at a pile of corn husks thrown into the weeds- a dear couple at church are having some health issues and graciously gave us five or more dozen ears last weekend. I had such excellent help shucking that I was able to get 80 percent of it done and put in the freezer, all while Luke was gone on a bike ride.
I see Kenan next. He is such a mama’s boy- every time I would try this evening to walk a trail, he howled after me lest I stop and “way up” for him to come along, holding my hand. What a blessing to have such a clingy child. I know someday I might not have a hand to hold when I want to take a walk.
Caleb is spied running into the back trail. Its entrance is canopied by these thorn trees that are growing up quickly. I remember my brother coming home from school one year with a tree like these planted in a styrofoam cup. My dad put it in our backyard; it grew to be quite tall. Though the tree was supposed to produce them, I don’t think it ever had thorns. These here definitely have thorns. But I appreciate how speedily they have grown.
The little girls can now be seen in the center of the backyard, with all their favorite blankets and pillows spread out on the grass. They are careful to stay out of Bella’s (wireless fence) territory, not wishing this unwanted, hairy guest on their bedding. Adon has run to join them, shouting, “Me have my banky, too!” Soon I’ll have to start coaching him to say “I” instead of “Me”, but for now I find it cute. I do some quick math- he is only nearly two months into his third year. It was not long ago that he was two, and he really talks quite well for as young as he still is.
My eyes pan the garden. As every summer, we had grandiose plans for what we would grow there. Even with my advanced pregnancy, we were checking things off our list of goals. Spray weeds? Check. Till? Check. Lay down landscaping cloth? Check. Plant tomatoes? Check. This is when our plans went awry. A rabbit got to every tomato plant. Okay, no problem. Luke plants more tomatoes, and steps up his rabbit hunting. The second plantings virtually disappeared- this critter even dug out the roots and ate them! Luke planted a third set of tomato plants, and these survived because he shot the plant eater. The tomatoes will be late, but they will be good. Sam planted some watermelon. There are quite a few growing, but none of them have gotten very big. His hope is to enter one in the Bellville Street Fair. Aliyah has had a long and illustrious winning streak at the fair with sunflowers and photographs, and Sam wants in. Aliyah’s sunflowers are growing well, and are a gorgeous orange this year, but they are the really tall ones, with lots of blooms on one stalk. We’ll have to see if any of them are ones she can enter. She is narrowing down the photos she wants to enter, from the hundreds she took this year before her camera broke in June. By Christmas, she ought to be in a position to buy a new one. She has really missed it, and, I hope, learned her lesson about keeping it around her neck!
As I continue westward, the sun sets into pink, orange and gold. This is nothing compared to last night, when after a thunderstorm the entire sky was pink at sunset! We were watching the last hour of Sound of Music when the living room came alive with rosy color. I love our position on the hill that allows us beautiful views of the setting sun. It gives me a sad feeling to see it go, sometimes, when I think about another day gone, that I cannot get back. The time flies by, and I cannot do anything to slow it. Maybe that will be one of the highlights of Heaven- the moment will never be over!