Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Granny's Pantry # 36: New Peacocks at High Rock

You've heard the saying,"While everything changes, everything remains the same, as well" (Aristotle). That's the way things seem to be at High Rock these days. Granny and Granddaddy Cole are gone, as are Uncle Brooks and Aunt Lorene. Ruthie and Virginia (Bid/Aunt Martha) have moved to Fuquay. 



Tommy is keeping the stove warm inside the house, and Brooksie is re-working the grounds. The place is by no means deserted. But without anyone from the generation before mine in residence, High Rock feels a bit...empty. Everything changes, yes.
They were shy, making good pictures hard to get.
And then up walks the new white and gray peacock ladies, and...although different...everything remains the same. As was reported in Granny's Pantry #35, there was a rumor of new peacocks coming to High Rock. The rumor was truth. There are four new ones (all white or gray), two are females, and they are incredibly beautiful. 
Standing just outside of the well house
No, not the same as the flashy, kaleidoscopic old birds...that are still in residence...but no less breathtaking. 
 


Also, there is a new generation that is finding High Rock as intriguing as we all have. Gunner kept insisting that he wanted to see "The Excavator," and his G kept telling him that the excavator was "gone." He and Duncan played on the trailer in the barn lot and hid in the hay bales, 
 

and suddenly...there it was...sticking up over the tops of the trees out in the lane..."The Excavator," after all!  (In reality, it was a track hoe, but that was of little consequence to them.) These little boys may have climbed under the big downed oak to get to it, 
  and they also may have climbed on it just to say they did. 
Thank you, Uncle Wiggly, for that moment of delight.

May many more generations find this special place hidden between the Yadkin River and the Flat Swamp Mountains in Piedmont, NC. 
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  (James 1:17)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession,
and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

(2 Corinthians 2:14).
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship,
with reverence and awe,
for our God is a consuming fire.

(Hebrews 12:28-29). 


Friday, November 11, 2016

Life on a Ferris Wheel

 

Do you ever feel as if you live life on a fast moving Ferris Wheel? 
Slinging faster and faster around and around high above the ground without a way to get off?
Bordering on out of control?
Am I the only one who finds myself at the top, rocking back and forth, heart racing, head pounding, trying not to crash? 

On the other hand, if life were always calm and predictable, sane and without surprises, I'd probably complain of terminal boredom.
What are the options when that overwhelming out-of-control-Ferris-Wheel-feeling threatens to take away the day's peace and joy and sense of well-being? 
Go back to bed and hide?  Not always and option.
Push my personal state of mind onto those around me?  Very easy to do, but not commendable.
Give up and declare I can't handle any of this [whatever it is] any more?  Tempting, but makes things harder for others who have to pick up the pieces of what I scatter around in my wake.    



OR ...           
I can access the peace that is available to me as one justified by my faith alone because "we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

I can rest assured that "Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases" (Psalm 115:3).
I can remember that "In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:10).

I can understand that our "God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control"
(II Timothy 1:7).


I can listen when He tells me, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world”(John 16:33).

I can rejoice in the truth "That people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things" (Isaiah 45:6-7).

I can pray, "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all" (I Chronicles 29:11).

I can accept His promise that "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (John 14:27).

Friday, October 28, 2016

Glory!





And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together.
(Isaiah 40:5)
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.
(I Chronicles 29:11)


For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
(Romans 11:36)

Monday, October 10, 2016

An evening out at the old kitchen

It might have been the original house on this site. 
But we call it The Old Kitchen.
In some old houses, the kitchen was detached and sat out back to keep heat and the danger of fire away from the main house. If it was an old kitchen building, it would have served the little red house (now Martha and Mike's home) that used to sit where our home is now.

Whatever else it has been, The Old Kitchen has served as a dwelling and farm store in its day. 
One day this summer we decided it would be fun to have a family gathering inside--the occasion was a celebration of August birthdays of both Martha and Rachael. 
And so we did.

 

(Granny Cole joined us...by a cardboard cutout from behind an old screen door.)
 


 
 
We love because He first loved us.
I John 4:19



Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wait for it.....Morning Glories at Last

I watch the progress of the vines all summer as they tangle with the undergrowth of less enchanting weeds in front of the barn. When it's hot, they grow. When it's too hot to live, they grow. In the dry, they grow, and when the rains keep coming, they thrive. It's clear that the vines will survive anything short of fire or the lines of a weed eater. 
I read that morning glories are sometimes considered "noxious weeds," but not so my morning glories. Most varieties are annual, but mine re-seed themselves and come back every year. I used try to assure their return by buying the seeds in colorful little seed packs. Not so any more. 
I just watch and wait. And wait. 
Even while I see evidence of other morning glories in bloom, not mine. Their cousins can bloom as early as May. Not so mine...I wait.
Just when I have decided that "This year may be the year they do not bloom," I step out to feed Tully the cat, and there they are! Not yet in abundance. Having to fight for space with the overgrowth. Still, they are there, their little blue and lavender heads finding the sun they so love.
Morning glories are my second-favorite flowers (right behind Queen Anne's Lace).  While another favorite, honeysuckle, Is Spring, Queen Anne's Lace Is Summer. Not so, my morning glories. They sneak in while summer is still officially here, but with no promise that it will last. In fact, they come so late, they may actually help usher in Fall. 

Patience is a virtue that, while important for a believer to have, is difficult to achieve. 
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control;
against such things there is no law.
[Galatians 5:22-23]
Google defines the word as: "the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset."
Bible Gateway defines it as: "The quality of forbearance and self-control which shows itself particularly in a willingness to wait upon God and his will."  

Not easy to do when we want what we want when we want it. At least I don't find it so. 
But we are called to have it...patience.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! [Psalm 27:14]
And the rewards are worth it!
                   The Lord is good to those who wait for him,                  to the soul who seeks him. [Lamentations 3:25]


Monday, August 8, 2016

Granny's Pantry # 35: Granny's Writing on Peacocks

I was poking around in some miscellaneous papers when I came across what is, to me, a treasure...a little manuscript written in Granny's handwriting on five small (3" by 5" in.) pieces of paper. Why these were where I found them, I can only speculate, but they are mine now.    
Just looking at her writing brought her back to me---her notes on cards sent over the years. When she was with us, it was just Granny's writing. I had her in the flesh. Now that she is gone, it is gold.

There was no title, but it wasn't hard to figure out the subject matter. And there was a picture with the little papers, taken at the farm.  
And I quote (with just a few edits):
       Come with me to our farm and let me tell you all about Peafowls. If you have never lived in the country or visited a farm, you are missing one of nature's most beautiful creations. The Peacocks are a large, strong bird weighing 12 lbs or more with the most regal, perfectly simulated (?)& colored feathers you can imagine. The Peahens are not as large and do not have the lovely markings, the plumage and ornamental markings of the cock bird. They are not fully developed until the age of  sexual maturity is reached, which is 2 years of age.

       It is not to be assumed that the bird is less beautiful as a polt and in the   first 2 years of their lives. They spread their tail feathers and strut and are very intelligent. 

      They are often referred to as watch dogs because of their shrill cry as a car, stray dog or anything unusual arrives on the estate.

While there are still a number of male birds still living at the farm, there are no females. I was afraid the reign of the peacocks at High Rock was coming to an end. Maybe I was wrong. I have just heard a rumor that females may be on order. I hope it's true.

Pic from unknown location.
The peafowl at High Rock roam free except when needing special protection.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?   [Matthew 6:25-27]