Thursday, May 7, 2009

Love Thursday:Surprises

There is little I like better than a good surprise. Not the "Surprise! It's your 40th birthday!" kind. Or the "Surprise! Your dog peed on your pillow!" kind. Or the "Surprise! You thought you were done having children, but guess what?!" kind. (Although that one worked out pretty darn well...)

No, the surprises I'd rather receive are the small ones, planned by Nature, that make me smile.

In the almost 18 years that we've been married, we've lived in three different homes. Each time we've moved, it's been in the very late summer or in the fall, never giving us a real chance to appreciate the plantings that surrounded our homes. I've discovered, however, that this leads to wonderful surprises come Spring.

When Spring comes, I get to be surprised nearly every day by some new thing that's budding or blooming or poking it's way through the earth. I get to be surprised by knowing little things about the previous homeowner that you can't discover at a closing--things like "Oh! They really enjoy tulips!" or "Chives and raspberries? I'm guessing that they didn't eat those two things together!" or "No wonder this house was a mess when we moved in! Who plants three plants that spread so easily all in the same space?!?"

We moved into this home in late October of last year and it required many, many things before moving in just to make it habitable. It had been sitting empty for two years when we purchased it, so all of the landscaping was overgrown and there were a lot of "volunteers" and suckers coming up that needed cutting back--or out. That was the extent of my landscaping work last fall-- pruning and trimming and hacking and chopping. I didn't pay much attention to what I was pruning and trimming and hacking and chopping. So I received some very nice surprises this spring when Nature decided to show me what she'd been hiding.

This spring I was surprised by the beauty of the Bradford pear tree blossoms. And I watched with joy as not one, but two, flowering crabs showed off their hot pink flowers. Then that overgrown shrub by the patio that I forgot to prune? Hydrangea!! Crocuses cut their way through the soil before anything else and helped me begin to thaw while there was still snow on the ground.

And right outside our backdoor, I found these: Hollyhocks. The kids discovered the heart-shaped leaves before I did. Now when I step out my back door, all I have to do is look at the hollyhocks and I'm reminded again to look with joy at the many surprising things that life has in store for me.
Happy Love Thursday, everyone! May you be surprised (in a good way) today!

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