When I was little, my grandfather would always tell us kids to be thankful for everything because this is what the Scripture tells us. I couldn’t tell you how many times he read the Bible, but often he would quote Scripture and use examples. We were constantly reminded to count our blessings.
Every now and then, my mind goes into another direction. It’s true that I’ve suffered anxiety and depression in my life and sometimes I have a hard time pulling myself out of it and I start to think about the glass being half empty, rather than half full. I always try to stop and reflect on what my grandfather always taught us.
Fall is such a wonderful time of year and usually by now, we are harvesting pumpkins from our patch to sell or gift to family and friends, canning tomatoes, and making our last minute jams for the winter cupboards. Typically, spring is full of growing and lots of hard work. Here’s a picture of our greenhouse from Spring 2016.
Except this year is very different, I decided to downsize my gardens and we only grew a few pumpkins for ourselves. I cut back on tomatoes and didn’t grow much from seed this year.
As I was walking around outside by the gardens, I was looking at all the weeds and thought to myself how lazy I’ve been this summer. I started feeling pretty sorry, but this summer, I wanted to spend more time with my kids, read, and relax, and so I did. I didn’t keep up with everything like I normally would and we did have fewer yields because of it, but as I looked around, I saw so many beautiful things. Just look at this hibiscus flower which comes back every year.
These flowers are huge even surrounded by weeds!
I also realized just a few weeks ago that we won’t meet our quota for the canned tomatoes required to get us through until next year. Normally, I put up about 125 quarts or more of stewed tomatoes for chili, spaghetti, and soup over the winter. With what I’ve canned so far and with what’s left to still harvest, we will probably get about 40 quarts of tomatoes.
Then, one of our friends that my husband works with decided that he and his wife didn’t want to can this year. He told my husband to come over and take whatever we wanted. We received three more five-gallon buckets of tomatoes for canning including some beautiful green peppers to mix in.
And there’s plenty more where that came from. We will meet the quota after all. Not only did they give us tons of tomatoes, but also 4+ buckets full of apples for canning. It’s truly amazing…
I didn’t plant sunflowers this year, but there were some beautiful volunteers which will leave plenty of seeds for next year.
Our peppers were fairly small and we didn’t get as many as usual,
But we have some great spaghetti and winter squash.
I couldn’t help but pause to look at the sky either. Fall is here…
The sedums are in full bloom…
There’s so much beauty if you just stop to take the time to look.
Then, this morning the most amazing thing happened! We were out in our woods looking for one of our cats that’s been missing for a few days. We noticed this huge pumpkin vine growing way out in the back of our woods where we used to have our compost pile. All of our pumpkins from previous years would get dumped here. A seed decided to grow and the vine is growing all over and up into the trees.
I looked down and saw this…
A perfect carving pumpkin! It’s perfectly round and larger than a basketball.
I started to follow the vine around and looked over about 20 feet to see this…
Another pumpkin, this one much larger and hanging out of a tree. I was so surprised! It took me awhile to get to it, but it was so worth it.
I got to thinking about this sign I came across in my neighbor’s backyard this summer.