Category Archives: Uncategorized

THE VELVET FOG

Today we said goodbye to “The Velvet Fog”.

That was Bob’s nickname.

Given by his church choir.

Earned by having a smooth velvety bass voice.

Bob was by profession

A pediatrician.

The only pediatrician in this  part of the state

For many years.

Known for his ability to diagnose

Difficult and little known

Ailments in children.

He was beloved.

My friend Linda recalls a childhood bout of scarlet fever.

And knowing when she heard that gentle deep voice

At her door – making a house call.

That everything would be all right.

I sang in the choir with Bob and his delightful wife Betty

For just over 40 years.

Now anyone who has ever sung in a church choir

Knows that we are the quirkiest collection of people.

Ours is no different.

It goes something like this.

The sopranos – of which I am one – catch on quickly.

Not because of our superior musicianship

But because we get to sing the melody

Most of the time.

The altos have the rich part.

The harmony.

The dissonant notes

That resolve into unexpected places.

The tenors – well there are never enough tenors.

All church choirs need them

To add to the fullness of the music we sing.

Then there are the basses.

Bob would be there

With that mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

Usually sitting on the back row

And having a great time.

Now I won’t say they don’t pay attention

But one year when our choir director, Charlotte

Gave out “awards” at the Christmas party.

Bob got the “where are we, Charlotte?” award

Because he never really knew where we were.

In his later years Clark did his best to keep him on task,

But what can I say – he tried.

So today we sang all his favorite hymns.

Eddie Lou, our choir director,

Invited everyone who had ever sung with Bob

To come and join our choir for the funeral.

His favorite anthem  – the one he asked to sing

Almost every week

Was “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

In SEVEN parts!

A piece of music sung by so many of us

Since high school.

We filled the choir loft

More men than women

Unusual for a church choir.

And we sang

Our hearts out

For Bob and Betty.

They have been married for 72 years.

I’m so thankful they shared so many of them

With us

The choir.

Gail

 

 

 

 

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Five Fruitful Years

Last week

Loaves & Fishes celebrated

It’s 5th Anniversary.

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That doesn’t sound like very long.

But if anyone has ever

Built a non-profit from scratch

They know what has gone into

Those five years.

Lots of work

Lots of mistakes

Lots of love.

For those of you who don’t know

Loaves & Fishes is a client choice food pantry

That helps to feed our hungry neighbors.

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Lots of our hungry neighbors.

About 752 families each month

We strive to give them healthy food choices

Things they can’t always afford.

The food comes from

Our “Mother Ship”

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

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From local residents who contribute to our food drives

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From generous donors who believe in our mission

From local grocery stores who give us their leftovers.

The work is done by

A great staff

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Led by our forward thinking Executive Director Carrie

And dedicated volunteers.

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It takes 20 – 25 volunteers to open our doors each day

To drive the truck to pick up food donations.

Load and sort the food.

Stock the shelves.

Do the intake interviews.

Be a shopper helper helping clients make smart food choices.

Committed Board of Directors members

Nutrition class teachers

And those of us who work in our garden.

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All of this so that elderly neighbors have good nutritious food

Given to them out of love

By someone who cares.

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And young families working hard

But not quite making it to the end of the month

Knowing they have someplace to get help

So their children can eat.

And it’s done

With amazing efficiency.

It costs about $33.00 a month to help a family.

Families come to us for help

On average 4 times a year.

It’s been an amazing ride.

Those of us who were there at the beginning

Were smiling all week long

Seeing what so many have worked so hard

To create.

Loaves & Fishes has been a big part of my life

Over the last years.

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I can’t think of anyplace I would have rather been.

Thank you to all of you who have done your part

And more.

So, if you are within shouting distance

I hope you’ll come and see what we are all about.

Maybe even think about volunteering or donating.

It’s an amazing place

Filled with God’s love for all.

Gail

http://www.loavesandfishesnwok.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A SUNDAY MYSTERY

I don’t surrender my fall weekends easily.

John’s 50th class reunion

Certainly justifies

A non gardening weekend.

586 graduates in the College High Class of ’67

13 National Merit Scholar Finalist.

Pretty impressive.

And a fun group of people, too.

So with little to report

From the garden.

I’ll just leave you with this

Mystery to solve.

We found this suspended in the Mandavilla

Just before we left on Friday.

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It’s still here this evening.

It’s not attached,

It’s just hanging ,

In the midst of a web

Connected to the plant.

I’ve been observing nature

Up close for a very long time.

This is completely new to me.

Anyone know what’s about to hatch

Right outside my back door?

Gail

“He who finds a thought that lets us a little deeper into the eternal mystery of nature has been granted great peace.”

                                                Albert Einstein

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Filed under Fall, Gardening, late summer garden, Mandavilla, Miracles, Mystery, Nature, Uncategorized

PLAY DATES

Ours is an “arranged” friendship.

When Bay and Debra moved to town.

Bay’s mother, Jean,

Was concerned that Debra wouldn’t have time

To meet new people.

What with two toddlers,

A new medical practice

And studying for her medical boards!

Jean asked if I’d give her a call.

I did.

The four of us went to dinner

And have been friends for decades.

Early on we decided we needed

Scheduled “play dates”.

This often consisted of trips to

The city.

Clothes shopping for kids

And long lunches.

During which we discovered

That we had been living

Somewhat parallel lives.

Over the decades play dates

Turned into scheduled weekly calls

When Debra moved to the city.

There were years where life overtook us

And we didn’t have much time to

Keep up with each other.

But ours is an easy friendship

Since we see the world

Through many shared life experiences.

Friday was the first scheduled play date

For quite some time.

The plan was to go to the city.

Run errands together

Have lunch

And great conversation.

But mid-week

I realized that my garden

Is full of bugs

This time of year.

And Debra is in full-blown

“Macro bug mode”.

Her Instagram tag line is

“Read images while at work.

Take images while away from work.’

She takes the most amazing pictures.

Birds in the winter.

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June flowers in Giverny

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And now bugs.

Early in the week.

I had spotted three orb spiders

And a big praying mantis.

But by Thursday night

I was down to one orb.

I feared I had gotten her here

Under false pretenses.

Friday morning she arrived

At sunrise.

Bearing gifts.

Her famed cookie dough.

The Holy Grail of Chocolate Chip cookies.

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I directed her to the surviving orb.

She began to click away.

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John couldn’t resist

Getting in on the day.

Catching bugs

To feed to the spider

For Debra to photograph.

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And before we knew it

Orbs began to appear.

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Totaling four in all.

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Next I found a praying mantis

Or two.

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So she clicked

And I scouted for bugs.

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She sees the garden through her macro lens.

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I see it as a gardener.

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I know where the bugs

Hang out.

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We were a good team

As usual.

It was a delightful morning.

Play.

It’s as important now

As it’s ever been.

Gail

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Monterey – 2010 with Debra & Kristina

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Bugs, Butterflies, Fall, Garden Photography, Gardening, Gardening Friends, late summer garden, Monet's Giverny, Nature, Orb Spider, Praying Mantis, Uncategorized

IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE

This has been an unusual summer

On many fronts.

I’ve been gone half the summer.

Two weeks here

A week there.

Grand kids will do that to you

I’ve learned.

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Not that I mind

I don’t.

But I’m not used to flitting around

Like that.

Then there was August.

Days turned into

Weeks of mid-80’s

And there was the rain.

In a month when it might not rain

At all

We had 6 inches!

So…

Combine my absence

With cool temperatures

And gentle rains

And what do you get?

A jungle.

The Cockscomb is officially

Growing out of its mind.

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Zinnias have popped up

Everywhere.

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The Asters are blooming,

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And Cleome is still going strong.

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Then there is the crabgrass.

If you don’t pull it.

It just keeps growing

And growing.

I think I’ve filled

Four poly carts

With the stuff.

Yesterday I managed

To get about half way through

The weeding process.

With a little deadheading

Along the way.

That’s really all there is

To do out there right now.

That and enjoy Mother Nature.

Yesterday was a tough day

To be one of these.

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Not sure if it’s a moth

Or a butterfly.

First one was eaten for lunch

By a Praying Mantis.

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Then this Orb spider

Had another one

For dinner.

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I was still

In the garden

At dusk

When the locust chorus

Began singing

A familiar song.

Fall

Isn’t it yummy?

Gail

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Filed under Bugs, Butterflies, cleome, cockscomb, Dead Heading, Fall, Gardening, Grandchildren, late summer garden, Nature, Orb Spider, Praying Mantis, Rain, self seeding annuals, Uncategorized

SUMMER LOVE

There’s something about the flowers

Of late summer

That I love.

Maybe it’s because they are sturdy enough

To thrive in the normal August heat.

With the cool days

And unprecedented rain

We’ve been having

This year’s August garden

Is lush.

Out of control really.

The cockscomb is doing it’s usual thing.

Blooming EVERYWHERE

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Zinnias are beginning to bloom.

They didn’t get planted till around the 4th of July

So they are just now kicking in.

 

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Endless Summer hydrangea

Are putting on new blooms.

While their cousin Annabelle

Has never stopped.

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And Cleome is still going strong.

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The thing that I notice

Is how different each of these flowers is.

Their forms.

Their needs.

Their appearance.

Yet when you put them together

In a simple vase.

They not only

Play well together

They encourage one another.

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How can you not love a garden?

Gail

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Filed under cleome, cockscomb, Hydrangea, late summer garden, Perennials, Rain, self seeding annuals, Sunflowers, Uncategorized, Zinnia

MERCI

No one goes on a triunnamed (2)p of a lifetime

Without the help of

Shall we say “a village”.

First in my village

Is John

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Chief “encourager”

And underwriter.

Without him

I would have spent June

In my own garden.

And Merci to Elliott

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Who went from being an involved

Parent of not yet 3-year-old twins.

To being the one in charge.

Giving Kristina this opportunity.

Then come Debra & Kristina.

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A trip like this should be taken

With friends

Good friends

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Who are willing to share your excitement,

Travel through today’s stressful airports,

Laugh until you loose control,

Not keep count

Of croissant consumption,

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And give each other a little space

When we need it.

And yes,

A mother-in-law

And daughter-in-law

Can be good friends – great actually.

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Much to the amazement of many!

On the subject of friends.

We made many new ones.

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And we learned that a few of us

From the middle of the country

Had much in common with

The majority of travelers

From the West Coast.

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A late night conversation

On the first night

With Bonnie and Annette

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Proved that.

Not to mention

A few bonding misadventures

Along the way.

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And Merci

To Elizabeth.

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For inviting us in.

Actually drawing us in

To her dream

That has so enriched her life.

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She’s going again next year.

If you have dreams of

Dew laced gardens

In the early morning light

Of the north of France.

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Au revoir,

Gail

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece”

Claude Monet

http://www.elizabethmurray.com

Photo credits to Kathleen Hurley, Duncan Berry, Elizabeth Murray, Debra Mitchell, Kristina Wynne and whoever else I have added to my files and gotten jumbled together!_DSC7657

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Filed under Garden Photography, Garden Travel, Gardening Friends, Generations, Monet's Garden, Monet's Giverny, Uncategorized