Acts 1: 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
After this weekend and the nasty storms, it was time to assess the damage. We had winds I know topping the 70 mile mark and they were sustained winds which meant they did not pause between gusts.
I knew we were crazy to do our planting in May but I was getting antsy. It’s planting season by May right but nothing about this year has been normal weather wise. While some were saying this was a harsh winter here in Nebraska because we had a few nights that dipped down to 20 below, yes, that’s 20 below zero!
I say it WASN’T harsh because I remember a few days in December where Steven was still wearing shorts to work. Then a cold spell would hit then back up to the 70’s. We had no back-to-back blizzards as we had had back in 2009 when we moved up here from Texas. We barely had any snow at all this year.
A harsh winter would have rendered my perennials dead, as in the other years, but not this year. This year my perennials and trees showed signs of life in late February early March. It would dip down in the 30’s and bounce back to the sixties and it did that for a month, so I assumed spring was on the way, the calendar said so, right?
Now anyone who knows me, knows I absolutely LOVE winter, but when springtime surfaces it’s as if a bug has bitten me and infects me with the getting outside and assessing the gardens. But working in the cold and sweating and the wind gusting and blowing your hair all over the place is really no fun. It kind of takes away any springtime planting joy.
I despise summer. Yes, despise! Have you ever baked a potato to an excess and it shrivels? That is what summer is to me, time to bake and shrivel. Not much more enjoyment for me other than sitting in my house and watching the birds and creatures on the farm go about their summer business. I’m relinquished to the house. The heat has a negative affect on my body and some days I can’t even move!
For some reason, people are under the impression summer is the time to walk around half naked and expose their body. I saw one girl walk into WalMart in a bathing suit. It IS WalMart mind you and that is where you can see just about ANYthing and everything, but seriously? A bathing suit?
To the best of my recollection, we have four seasons. In February, people were wearing shorts (in all that eagerness to expose their bodies) and two days later they were wearing their parka!
May 15th. That is the day I was waiting for. It is supposed to be the date where it is safe to do planting because nighttime temps should be safely above 65 degrees; should be anyway. Here it is June 19th at 6 in the morning and it is a pleasant 60 degrees. We’ve had a FEW mornings where we were above 65, but a few to me is three. Yeah, that’s about it. Spring never arrived. It was either summer or winter, but never spring.
Anyway, by May 15th we were ready to plant! We did some tilling, got the soil ready, and planted two rows of tomatoes and two rows of peppers, I went around the outside of the house planting Marigolds and Zinnia’s, my Hosta’s and Hollyhocks had surfaced and we were well on our way, right? Wrong!
We had quite a few cold nights at the end of May (some 40’s and 50’s) and I lost a few marigolds, and the tomatoes were hanging in there along with the peppers. Then the Saturday storm hit and hit pretty hard too.
Assessing the damage. The Hollyhock leaves were shredded with nary part of the leaves clinging to the stems. Marigolds were bent over and the flowers were laying inches away from the mother stem. I had a sunflower growing and all that was left standing was a stem, all the leaves were ripped from the stem.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday was spent raking out the gardens of all the leaf debris that had fallen from the surrounding trees, and assessing the damage to the tomatoes and peppers and the newly sprouts of the Peach trees.
Survival. Truly I got a taste of what was meant by only the strong survive. A bitter taste but a taste nonetheless. I saw as leaves clung to the branches of my plants. I saw the stems standing strong after being whipped through the winds. I saw trees standing as if laughing saying, “You didn’t get ME.” I witnessed the birth of a seedling rising out of the moistened soil. I saw life, new life going on and facing the days in the sun.
We’ve had a 95 degree day and 60 degree mornings. We’ve had rain, we’ve had loss and all that I gather from the entire experience is that there IS life after devastation. It may change perspective for you but you tend to see it all differently this thing called life.
As the Salvia sprouts new blossoms, as the Hollyhocks reform new leaves, as the Marigold releases new buds, as flowers form on the tomato and pepper plants, I see new life being shaped and formed by the devastating blows.
Ever the optimist, in assessing the damage, I see new life. I see all my plants going on and becoming stronger. I see anew spirit coming alive in my garden. They are all singing praises and lifting up their flower to the Lord chanting, “We will survive!” Until the next storm that is, when they get to do it all over again.
1 Chron. 29:12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.