Yesterday we began our Labour Day weekend with a list of "need to do" and "want to do" we outlined on Friday evening. Well, that cold I thought would come arrived yesterday! Chilly, chilly, chilly. Today it is back up a bit, and looks like higher temps tomorrow. Friday we had pouring rain!! Only sprinkles yesterday.
That means our ultimate need to do, finishing the exterior painting, will be delayed just a bit longer.
So, instead of climbing up and down ladders, we turned our focus to the ground level. Our front yard has been a thorn in our side since moving in. While the house itself is shaping up, the landscaping is dreadful. Years of neglect, plus our own priorities in different directions this summer made it look bad. I tried to justify letting some Queen Anne's Lace grow because it was pretty. The reality? It is a weed. But, a pretty one.
So we raked out black lava rock, screened out the dirt, trenched next to the grass, sidewalk and driveway, and pulled weeds. Today we did more of the same while Tom took our handy trailer for a load of mulch. That has been spread on two of the front beds. In addition we had Peter remove two trees and a stump from the space in front of Tom's den. It looks pretty bare right now, except for fresh mulch, but at least it isn't full of weeds and gangly volunteer trees.
Oh, and we opted for cedar mulch, even though our across the street neighbors said we'd have to replace it next year. I know, I know, I know. But, lava rock is not exactly what I call mulch (though many of our neighbors would disagree.) At least the cedar will contribute to the soil and compost in.
While we were out yesterday buying casters to tranform one of our yard sale office chairs into a work chair for my hobby room I spied all the fall plants. Though tempted, it won't be for this year. I did see several bulbs for spring flowers ... and it reminded me I need to dig out the tulips and daffodils we saw bloom in May so they can get to better spots.
While working in the yard, pulling weeds, digging, raking the craziest thoughts come to me. One of those thoughts had to do with how much emphasis is placed on talking to teens about sex. It comes from the market place wanting to sell stuff, as well as schools wanting to stem teen pregnancy. We talk so much and listen to so much about sex, gosh, couldn't that have something to do with teens seeming to be obsessed?
While we have never sat down with any of our children for "the lecture" they have been well grounded in normal human physiology and psychology all their lives. As far as mechanics, it is not something we believe need to be made into a special lecture. In fact, I would tend to believe more that when it comes to reproduction, a young, first married couple can pretty much figure it out on their own without an instruction manual.
No, what we have tended to is teaching by example how to be treated, how to treat others, how to dress to show respect to yourself and others, etc. We have emphasized that sexual activity outside of marriage will only lead to heartache. Those folks who say otherwise are usually wanting to sell something, but won't be around to heal torn heartstrings. Last night it came up again on the television with pushing young women (who were openly saying active sex lives were the "norm" outside of marriage.) This was a commercial for the HPV vaccine. Okay, well, guaranteed that if their "norm" is played out, there will be worse things than getting HPV to worry about. I am not naive, but does this all need to be the "norm"?
Those were yesterday's thoughts. Today I was thinking about the Sunday gospel. Luke 14:25-33. During Mass I was able to compare the words the were spoken to those written in my September Magnificat. Living in London means that the readings are not from the New American translation, but rather from NRSV text. Of more interest was the Day by Day reflection I read in my little magazine.
The author was Blessed Angela of Foligno, who like me, was a wife and mother. The one thing she wrote in her beautiful meditation was that when we thank God, as we should, for the good that happens we need to remember that ultimately this life is about embracing our cross and when the sad, bittersweet happens, we have been blessed far more. Christ suffered for our sins ... and that didn't just mean a mental acknowledgement of our sins. It meant real suffering.
If He loved me enough to suffer for me, then do I desire to love Him back by thanking him for my sufferings? Fortunately, Blessed Angela put if far better than I can. I need to remember that my goal is not to make my life as easy and carefree as possible, but rather to seek out my cross, shoulder it, and struggle beneath it as a sign of love for the cross of all our sins that Christ carried for each one of us. It is in solidarity with Jesus that I will ultimately cross into the next life, and truly enjoy peace. Shalom.