Sunday, March 8, 2020

Nature's Awakening

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are keeping up spirits 
as we move towards a brand-new season. 

Hope and faith is what we all need right now
as we try to weather the storms of life. 

As nature celebrates new 
beginnings, it reminds us that even the bleakest winter 
eventually gives way to the warmth of spring. 

Nature's resilience reminds us that we, too, are resilient,
and that we must draw on our faith to guide us
through these perilous times.

Hope springs eternal.

I think of my Scottish immigrant Great-Grandmother,
who's husband committed suicide,
leaving her a widow with nine children to raise.
Her four year old son died of pneumonia, shortly thereafter,
a bag of garlic tied around his tiny neck - the only
known 'remedy' of the times.

My own grandmother, Beatrice Euphemie,
 her eldest daughter, had to work as a household helper,
far from her Vermont home, in a seaside Connecticut town.
There she met her future husband, my Irish Grandfather,
 at the only fun she had - a Saturday night social.
It just so happened he was at port as a commercial
fisherman. The rest is history.

My Great-Grandmother found work as a cook
 and laundress in a logging camp,
after farming out her oldest children, like my Grandmother,
to whomever could offer
meals and lodging in return for hard work.

She fell in love with the foreman of the camp,
who used her and left her with child,
and thinking she would never recover
from the shame and despair,
found a savior in the guise of
a gentleman logger, who stepped up and
made her his wife.

He took her to live on his small Vermont farm
 and raised her children
as his own, and loved her 'till he died.


We all have family stories in the archives, of
struggle, and strength through resilience, despite incredible odds.
Our country was built by these brave souls who
kept the faith, who believed in tomorrow,
who were kind to those in need, or needed those in kind.
Who have persevered through feast and famine,
war and peace, poverty and prosperity, sickness and health.

I especially love the English stoicism
through the bombing of World War II.
'Keep Calm and Carry On'.

Good advice in these difficult times.

The plum trees are blooming, lifting the sagging spirits
of all who pass by. 

My country roads are filled with such beauty, I can 
hardly keep my eyes on the road. 

The wild plum, seeded by hungry birds,
light up the somber forest as it awakens to spring.

The delicate blooms last such a brief time, it seems 
a travesty of nature to tease us with such beauty, 
only to leave us forsaken so soon. 

I gather the branches in a futile attempt to 
prolong the inevitable - proof that despite 
our most fervent attempts, all things must pass.

Which, in some respects, can be a good thing. 

I have been sneaking outside on sunny days to 
get some fresh air, find peace, and contemplate 
the beauty of nature. 

My favorite Irish prayer comes to mind
as I go about my gardening tasks. 

'God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.' 

I also pray to the Archangel Raphael, 
patron saint of illness, defender 
of groups of people and nations. 

My hydrangea hedge required a whole afternoon of 
careful snipping to remove all of the dried blooms. 

I quickly filled a whole tarp.

My helper keeps a watchful eye.

 I leave it under a tree for the Mr. to haul away. 

It looks rather like a messy bunch of twigs right now,
sort of like my hair in the morning :)

This little sweetie kept us company. 

We are still getting snow in the higher hills.
Winter is lingering...…..

My first Camellia flower of the season.

'Everything that slows us down and forces patience,
everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. 
Gardening is an instrument of grace.'

-May Sarton, poet and novelist- 

I've started a spring embroidery. 

My rosemary survived the winter with self-seeded pansies. 
The large pot holds an evergreen clematis, tiny daffodils 
and a persistent dandelion that provides spring greens. 

'As in nature. And in the arts, so in grace; it is 
rough treatment that gives souls as well as stones, 
their lustre. The more the diamond is cut the brighter 
it sparkles, and in what seems hard dealing, God
has no end in view but to perfect our graces. He
sends tribulations, but tells us their purpose,
that tribulation worketh patience, and patience
experience, and experience hope. 

-Thomas Guthrie, clergyman and philanthropist -

Storms make trees take deeper roots. 

- Dolly Parton -


Thank you for visiting, Dear Friends. 
Stay safe, stay strong and keep the faith. 



  1. Hi Karen! I always love seeing your gorgeous pictures!Hugs and blessings!

  2. A post of beauty and coincidence! When looking back to our ancestors' past, it's amazing that we are here at all! The plum trees are a fantastic froth of pink, just think of all those plums to come. x

  3. Thank you for sharing the poignant story bod your great grandmother and then of Beatrice, your grandmother. What survivors they all were! Your photos of your emerging Spring made my heart sing!

  4. Greetings Karen, glad the weather is finally starting to warm up. I always enjoy your pictures and post. Love the family history. Stay virus free.

    Hugs Diane

  5. What a lovely post, filled with family history, beauty and thankfulness. I was blessed and inspired. Thank you ~ FlowerLady

  6. Such a lovely post, Karen! I enjoyed reading your family stories...all of us have trials in our lives, but it was a very hard life for many of our ancestors. Your photos are so lovely...hope springs eternal. You have a very beautiful spring where you are! Hoping you all stay well! xoxo

  7. Hello beautiful Karen ~
    The stories about the amazing women in your lineage were inspirational and touching. You could write a book Lady!
    And the photos of your country roads fill my Spring starved soul! Although it's been pretty mild here. I hate to say it out loud and jinx it...but I think we may actually have an early Spring this year! I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm itching to dig in the dirt. Sigh. Still snowbanks for now though. Thanks for the inspiration you share in each day dear Friend. Blessings to you always. 💜 🙏

  8. Oh Karen, this post is so beautiful in so many ways. Certainly it is a visual treat with all those early blooms and gorgeous views, daffodils in a giant tin. How I love it. But I equally love the rich stories of your family that you share with us. You are so lucky to have this history so close, to know it, to have the photos and the stories. You come from strong people. We should all take lessons from their lives. Thank you so much for this -- and for your visits to the Gypsy.

  9. Indeed a wonderful post, dear Karen. Spring is arriving there with all its beauty (here not yet) and your flower photos really cheer us up.
    The stories and the precious photos of your family history should become a book.
    Thank you for your interesting comment today. I was thinking of you yesterday: I still don't see your new posts in my blog list even though I have tried to find out how to resolve the problem. (Yesterday a Finnish blogger wrote that her new posts are not visible in many blog lists and tired of waiting for help from Blogger, she's moving her blog to WordPress.) Your posts are truly an inspiration.
    Blessings and hugs! xx

  10. I loved seeing the pictures and hearing of your ancestors that endured. I like coming here to hear your everyday poetry, and to be reminded of the timelessness of beauty.

  11. I enjoyed reading about your family and looking at the pretty photos. It looks like spring has sprung in your home and I know you are enjoying it. I love the daffodils and the pretty pansies in bloom. Spring is such a pretty time of year and I always love seeing your mountain and land. Take care Karen.

  12. Hi Karen. Aren't the fruit trees beautiful this time or year. We haven't had the winds and rain that usually come and ruin them yet. I love your family pictures. I have one with my grandmother and her chickens too. Did your grandmother ever wring their necks? Not a funny question, I saw my grandmother do it once. Not a fun sight. We must keep calm and carry on and hope for the best. It is sad to have to say that in the country we live in. I always really enjoy reading the words that you write..Happy Tuesday..xxoJudy

    1. Hi Judy, thank you for stopping by! I always love your sweet visits. Yes, my Grandmother did murder her chickens - LOL! I think most of our Grandmother's did - at least the ones who had chickens. I could never do it myself. I would be a terrible farmer. All my animals would become pets. Haha! Stay safe, dear friend. Hugs xo Karen

  13. Family history is always fun to learn. I am seeing lots of things starting to blossom here! Color is returning!

  14. So wonderful to hear of stories where some men stand up and do good after others have left behind.
    Oh your flowering trees look wonderful, I can't wait for that to happen here, I am so excited to see some color other than shades of browns. Your embroidery looks cute, will you be making into a pillow for your day bed?

    1. Hi, dear Connie - thank you for your sweet visit! I hope spring comes to your area, soon. My embroidery is going to be a tablecloth, although a pillow would be nice, too. Hmmmm, now I am thinking I could make a pillow, too. Thanks for the idea! Hugs xo Karen

  15. What a wonderful post!! Loved hearing the story of your family, seeing all your pretty blooms and Spring embroidery and reading all the words of encouragement!! Stay healthy and stay safe , my friend!!

  16. i am in awe dear Karen how beautiful and peaceful this world can be with some more sublime souls like you
    your words are touching and i found story of your both grandmas INSPIRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thank you for treasured pics :)
    your world reflects your inner peace and beauty powerfully my dear friend!
    i can watch you working in your garden while taking breathes filled with joy and gratitude :)))
    Lord is graceful and his grace has no limits specially for those who keep in in their thoughts and their not just words but actions also reveal this love of them with Lord mightily
    your spring embroidery is splendid
    more love peace and happiness to you and family my friend

  17. Karen, your lovely words are a balm to my distressed soul. Trials do make us stronger. Thank you so much for sharing your world and heart with us. ♥

  18. Karen, I'm so sorry to hear about the story of your great grandmother having to raise 9 children on her own after her husband died. Yes, we can surely learn from our ancestors, and I thank you for reminding me of that. My grandmother lost her husband from a train accident, and had to raise her 5 children on her own as well. Your country drive is beautiful, and the plum trees are so lovely. I love the photo of the plum trees near the white fence. Your first Camellia is such a vibrant color and is so pretty. Karen, the quote "as in nature" brought a tear or two and really got to me. Struggles do make us more patient and give us grace. It seems that some hardships come all at once, and sometimes it's hard to deal with. But God is always with us through the struggles, this I know for sure. I love seeing all the beauty around your neighborhood, and it looks like March is treating you well. : )


  19. So lovely to read your post and see your photographs.
    Spring is such a lovely season.

    All the best Jan


  20. Holii !!
    I just found your blog, and you have some beautiful photos.
    From now on you have a new follower on the blog. Does he follow you follow you?
    You have a good day!!

  21. Lovely post Karen!! Indeed the first immigrants had a hard life. Your photos are so lovely and good for the eyes and soul! Glad Spring is going well where you live. Here we got some snow and the temp today is 20 degrees. We had some days of 40 degrees and snow was melting but we regress a bit today. Have a wonderful day!!!

  22. Thank you for sharing these bits of your family history. Vermont is my hone state and the place where both my father and mother were born. My maternal line were long-time New Englanders, my grandparents and g-grandparents having moved 'across the lake '[Champlain] from upstate New York in 1913. My Dad's family were French Canadians, leaving Quebec in the 1870's and settling in the Champlain Valley. My Dad and his siblings were the first generation to grow up with English as their first language. We need to pass along our family heritage, both the triumphs and the struggles.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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