Up 6 cement steps from our front walkway, there's a small landing and the front door. The area at the top of the steps is small enough that if the kids go up the steps in front of me it can be tricky to actually get to the door. Of course, despite the lack of space, I've got planters all along the perimeter of the landing, making it even smaller. And, at the bottom of the steps, there are three hydrangea shrubs in pots. Hydrangeas are my favorite family of plants, and I think the picture above shows why. Here it is November and this cluster of planters is one of the high points in my yard. The shrub on the left, w/ the scarlet leaves, has burgundy flowers that fade to all different colors. The shrub in the middle, with purplish flowers, blooms blue. It was given to me as a baby shower present when my Dear Son, who's 9 now, was born. And you can just see the third shrub at the far right. It's one that came from a cutting from a really big hydrangea that used to be outside the 5th floor entrance at Seattle Children's Hospital. The groundskeeper there is really cool and sold me a couple starts at their annual plant sale. That was several years ago, and honestly the poor thing spent a few years planted in a very unhappy place until finally year before last some kid or pet or other landed on it and broke it in half. I took the bigger half and put it in this pot, where it looks better than it ever has. From the other broken half I took 4 cuttings and rooted them, and now they're growing fairly well in 4" pots along the edge of the landing at the top of the stairs.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DaFgADkOwk
On a completely different note, here's a link to a video I posted last night. It's Dear Husband and me singing a song at his cousin's wedding reception in Aspen. It was recorded by my brother-in-law on his little camera, and the picture quality isn't great. The sound's ok - you get the gist of it anyway - and there are a couple of places where I'd like a do-over on the tuning. But, it shows the moment, and I love the song, and I really loved working with Dear Husband on it. In his own band(s) he doesn't sing lead much (great back-up singer, though, with a huge range and generally in tune) and doesn't really play the guitar much, although he's probably the best bass player I've ever worked with. So this was a bigger stretch for him than it was for me (Resident Diva), and I totally admire him for it.
If you listen to the lyrics, it might seem like a strange choice for a wedding reception, but it really catches where we're at after 13 years of marriage. And at the reception, we found that while the bride and groom were pleasantly confused by our choice, the married couples in the crowd totally got where we were coming from. Recently I read a blog post by Sister Julie, an IMH Nun who writes about being a Nun in contemporary society. In this post, she has asked Sister Candyce Rekart, IMH about whether she's ever reevaluated her vocation. The post includes a video clip of Sister Candyce responding to the question, and at the end of her response, she talks about how there are times when she gets up in the morning and reaffirms her commitment to her vocation, then gets up the next morning and has to make the same reaffirmation. I'm not able to show the depth of her response here, but the point I heard from her response is that her commitment is a daily process. And I was completely struck by how closely that compares to marriage. There are times when it's really easy, but other times when it takes a daily reminder of my vow. And there are times when I know staying married takes a level of Divine Intervention, because it doesn't just come from the two of us.
And finally, here's a photo of the chickens that live in my back yard. I had an idea for this when I uploaded the pix, but now I've lost it. It's not that important but I can't figure out how to delete the image. Their names are Eight Ball, Lacie, and Beulah Mae. And they do lay eggs. In Seattle. It's cool.