Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Peaceful August in Amish Country

It's been a comfortable and peaceful August so far (well, except for my car breaking down/needing expensive repair in the beginning, but I won't talk about that). I enjoy the cooler temperatures (while they last, after all, it IS August in Ohio), and having my windows wide open to let the breeze in. So far, this month has been very laid back, the way I like it. Dad's health is improving, which is a big relief! Seeing him with color back in his face and life in his eyes again means so very much to me. I never, ever take my wonderful father for granted, because he's such a good person and after all he's been through, it just shows how fragile life can really be. One day at a time, and he's happy so I'm happy.

Mom's been busy gardening and with her various projects. She's enjoying the summer, too, and we all will miss the great outdoors when winter rolls around (we all pretty much hiburnate in bad weather). It's great to see her garden full of birds and butterflies, it's a little nature preserve! I love that my family loves nature and animals so much. It's one thing we all have in common.

At my house, the birds are busy chowing down at my bird feeders. It's so cute to look out and see five male goldfinches pigging out on nyger seed, the white-bellied nuthatch running up and down the tree and my latest additions, the chickadees, going to the feeder to get one seed at a time, fly off with it, and then return for yet another single seed. I have to chase off the sparrows from time to time, as they bully the goldfinches like a band of little marauding thugs. And, they ate nine pounds of bird seed all by themselves in one day, so I decided that they can have the food on the ground, but no more messing with the songbirds on the feeder. All I do is clap my hands from my chair as I work, and the sparrows fly off (for awhile, at least). The finches stay put, as if somehow knowing that the clap wasn't meant for them. I think birds are smarter than we give them credit.

My cat Beau loves to lay in front of the room fan, letting it blow his fur like crazy. He's a Southern cat and used to love the fans when I had them down South so his fondness of fans has stuck with him even after living down there. Matt, on the other hand, winces at the wind. He doesn't like his beautiful fur blown at all. Two distinctly different personalities.

My garden is doing pretty well, some things really thrive while others sort of just hang on. The Portulacas, butterfly weed and dianthus are really going nuts. Even the double yellow hollyhock is now settled in well and looks happy. The first year of planting is always the hardest but they are establishing themselves and hopefully will come back bigger and better next year like the wild geraniums did.

I love the country, it's so perfect for my parents and I, after all those years in living in busy, stressful suburbs. Out here there is nature everywhere, tractors and horse trailers go by my house every day, and Amish buggies pass by, too. People talk about composting and county fairs with excitement. I buy jams and produce from Amish vendors at a local farm market from time to time.

The neighbors in the big, fancy house across the street have bonfires and I love the smell of the burning leaves. It smells like fall, which is my favorite season. Mom and dad say how they wished we'd moved out here years ago. Well, we're here now, and loving every minute of it.