Switchbacks and Waves

This blog was started in 2015. Mostly its been filled with some nature photographs, some lessons on acquired wisdom, and things about family.

Lately, my writing feels somewhat scattered. A post on this, a post on that, then bam, a post about my momma.

What I am figuring out is, grief is not linear.

It doesn’t start on such and such day then make a straight line to an end date. Mine, anyway, feels like more of a zig zag or perhaps like some winding mountain road. Calm on the straight aways, yet intense on the curves.

Another thing I’m learning is, the path of losing someone isn’t all encompassing. Sure, in the beginning it can feel like that. It did for me. At that time, every passing moment was a reminder that my momma wasn’t here.

Now though, instead of grief being a constant aching, it comes more sporadically. One moment fine, the next moment tears. Two days fine, the next one tears. Like waves.

Oh my gosh, waves. For weeks I’ve been trying to remember a song my momma loved. It just now came to me: ”Wave on Wave” by Pat Green.

Now that I think about it, mountain roads and waves have something in common: they go back and forth. They have this beauty and calmness that seem to balance out even after rockslides and storms.

Maybe life is similar. Maybe writing is, too. Maybe instead of me thinking my words have to be all organized into a certain category, I could just let them show up, whenever and however they do.

My back field is full of thorns, stickers, and stumps. Some spots are a mess to walk through. Sometimes my skirt gets snagged and my ankles get scratched. Hmm… that sounds a bit like grief.

But, you know what? My back field is also full of wildflowers and there’s a doe and her baby living back there, even in all those stickers and even in all those weeds.

Perhaps me writing all this on a random Sunday morning is a reminder that the beauty in my writing will prevail, even if the subject matter is out of order and things feel messy.

And, maybe it’s even a reminder, that there can be a beautiful-ness in grief, too. Not on the wind raging, hail filled days, of course, but maybe in the quiet, “a memory brings a smile days.”

What I’m going to do is just trust my writing. Scattered posts or not. I see now that the switchbacks can allow for some amazing scenery and the waves can bring solace.

Thank you for being here.

Jessica

some curvy Forest Service road
a blurry wildflower from my land
and CoCo the kitten
Queen Anne’s Lace standing out
among the stickers and thorns

River Time

You know how sometimes it just feels good to get out of the house? That was us today. So, after running some errands, we ventured north for some river time.

There is a Forest Service area on the Current River, about seven miles from our house. We got lucky and had the place to ourselves. Our only company was some minnows and a little frog.

the most I saw the sun all day
a near perfect rock heart I found
if you look close you can see a frog down and to the right of the top green leaf
reflecting sun
a wildflower’s view
a lower angle of the first picture

Thanks for reading. Hope you have a great day!

Jessica

Yellow Flowers and a Yellow Dress

Long lasting marriages are something I’ve grown up seeing. One set of my grandparents were married 52 years, when my grandma passed. The other set was married 73 years when my grandpa passed away.

That is quite a legacy. Almost 2 lifetimes in the number of years alone.

If you’ve read my posts lately, you know I recently lost my momma. My parents were married just shy of 55 years, when she passed.

Today my husband and I are celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary. We were married on an Ozark mountain top and there were yellow flowers everywhere. It was absolutely beautiful. Mom was my maid of honor and she wore a yellow dress.

When I considered the first year of ‘hard firsts’ without my momma, I never considered our anniversary as being one of them. I think it is though, because I sure am missing her today.

I thought I’d share some wedding pictures from that day with you, just because.

Thank you for reading. Hope you have a great Sunday.

Jessica

me- 23 years ago today
my husband and my mom
veil adjustment by mom
my nephew who is now 23
yellow flowers yellow dress

A Wildflower Birthday Without Mom

On this day, in 1946, my momma was born in an old farmhouse in rural Iowa. Oh how I wish she was here to celebrate this day, but life has taken us on an unplanned, unwanted journey.

You see, unexpectedly, she passed away at the end of March. April brought my parent’s 55th wedding anniversary and Easter. May brings Mother’s Day and her birthday.

For a week, I’ve been trying to figure out how to do a birthday without somebody. She had me when she was 21, so there’s been many years of gift making, card buying, and such for me. Her loss brings all those traditions to a halt.

So, here it is, THE day.

What I’ve decided to do is plant wildflowers. I picked out a place in my yard that’s not a ‘front and center stage’, but more of a ’come and sit for a bit.’ It’ll get plenty of sun and moonlight. Oh, how my momma loved the moon.

The lines are blurred about who started our love for wildflowers first. Years ago, I remember pointing out all types of them on the roadways when we traveled. Perhaps I sparked an interest for her, but it could’ve been the other way as well.

She grew wildflowers in her yard and would show them to me every summer. My, how she loved them. Seeds to colored brilliance is a miracle in itself.

For her services, I made wildflower seed envelopes for people to take. The sign I made read, ”She loved flowers. Let’s plant some.” Love the idea of people growing flowers to think of her, too.

My back pasture is in it’s gorgeous summer bloom. Daisies, wild roses, and more adorn my walking path. What a joy to see them there, especially today.

If there’s such a thing as heavenly birthdays, I hope today is a big celebration there. My family and I surely do miss her.

Here’s to wildflowers and birthdays. Time for me to go plant some!

Hope you have a lovely day,

Jessica

morning dew
I’m going to plant inside the fence
wild roses
some pretty flowers
her favorite color was yellow
my helper- mom loved cats

Kansas Sightseeing

Our trek to Colorado from home is leading us through 982 miles of the midwest. This Kansas roadside has been sprinkled with fields full of sunflowers. If we had time, I’d pull over and take a thousand pictures.

But… all I have to offer is one field shot from my back seat view.

We just left a stop at the World’s Largest Easel in Goodland, Kansas. I’m a sucker for the World’s Largest things. In May, on a trip through Iowa, we saw the World’s Largest Working Windmill and the World’s Largest Ball of Popcorn.

If you like these kinds of things, the easel is definitely worth a look. Roadside America has some interesting articles on its history.

Just crossed into Colorado!! Wahoo!! Give me some mountains!

A Grateful Brain

About a month ago, I saw an article about how the brain can actually rewire itself to think more positively by simply naming three things we are grateful for every day for twenty one days.

It intrigued me, so I tried it. It worked. Two nights ago, I woke up midway through the night and could not sleep. Instead of worrying about this or that, I challenged myself to list out one hundred things I was grateful for. I stopped at about one hundred fifty!

Friday one of our neighbors came by and said one of our trees fell over on their property. After she left, I hiked out to our back pasture to check it out.

Oh my goodness! You should see all of our wildflowers!! Queen Anne’s Lace, Philadelphia Fleabane, Brown-Eyed Susans, and wild blackberries. It is sooooooo beautiful back there.

While one one hand, a fallen tree is a mess and a ton of work, I think my brain exercise made me more mindful to the gifts laid out before me, via wild~flowers.

Honestly, those wildflowers have been there since May, but I haven’t been in them, or looked at them eye to eye, or reveled in their brilliant yellows and whites. They are literally everywhere and they are gorgeous!

I took some pictures so you could see, too. Here’s to noticing more and seeing more things with a more grateful brain. ❤️

(PS I’m 5’11” and some are knee high, others like this picture are about waist high, and some are over my head!)

Summertime Grace

The wildflowers are out in full force. Everyday, when  I look out my dining room window, they seem to be enjoying these long sunny days. They sway in the breeze, hold their faces up to blue skies, and simply look stunning on any ordinary afternoon.

A few days ago on my walk to the mailbox, something caught my eye. First of all, just imagine a field of white. Literally, there are thousands of white blooms all crowded together across an entire field.

Now, that itself is a beautiful scene, right?

Enter unique.

About six feet from the road, I saw pink. Pink, seriously? The exact same plant, but pink. The exact same bloom, in pink. Although that may not appear to be a big deal, around here, it is. It has been a rare occasion that I’ve ever seen pink.

I seriously contemplated stepping into waste-high weeds to get a closer look. I mean, it is tick and chigger season around here. One step off the road could lead to bug bites that itch for a week. Hmm. What’s a girl to do?

My fate? I totally did it. Weeds smeeds!  What are a few bug bites when I got to stand right next to summertime grace? 


Butterfly Bush

Have you ever noticed how sometimes the most goegeous colors almost hide amongst the overlooked and unwanted? 

Yesterday, in a ditch completely submerged with weeds and the notorious “no one ever wants to see” poison ivy, sat the most eye-catching array of oranges. 

Butterfly Bush.