Saturday, May 21, 2022

Beside Quiet Waters

riding past a quiet lake 
during a morning bike ride

 A week has gone by since Gary and I made promises to each other and began wearing our matching rings to honor our relationship. An even deeper sweetness is developing as we enjoy this beautiful gift God has given to us. 

The words to "our song" say it well for us and we repeat them to each other often:

Have I told you lately that I love you

Have I told you there's no one else above you

You fill my heart with gladness

Take away all my sadness

Ease my troubles, that's what you do .....

(Rod Stewart --

We are settling into routines that work well for a retired couple who has no desire to scurry about (although I do tend to run ahead sometimes). One of our near-daily habits is a bicycle ride that has changed from late afternoon to shortly after breakfast due to summer's approach (it's already here in our part of the country). 

I love the feeling of the morning breeze against my arms and legs as I take off down the street with Gary peddling right behind me. He prefers to follow so he can help if I fall. Thankfully, that has not happened, although I have scared myself several times when a tight turn is required. 

The man has a gift, an innate nature, for serving and nourishing. In addition to cooking, housework ("doing domestics" as he calls it), keeping up with outdoor yard work and maintenance on our cars, etc, he watches over me much like a mother hen. As a matter of fact, when his military tour of duty was ending in Korea, he was presented with an impressive plaque commending him as "mom" by the others because he looked after them so well. 

With the season of widowhood that has come to both him and me, I am now the primary beneficiary of his attention to important details of well-being. He chose to take diligent care of his late wife as she suffered many years with Alzheimers. He knew an institution could not manage the responsibility as well as he could provide. Now, although I do not require that level of upkeep, his care for me is "oil of joy for mourning" that ministers to me. 

Maggie and Daisy

I'll let that statement segue me into this delightful picture Sister sent a few days ago of her two Basset Hound puppies. My level of personal peace is like that of the sleeping pup. 

Pastor Charles Stanley has written in one of his books that a friend in his life has been God's ministry of grace to him (not his exact words).  I can rest like this puppy, thankful I am not alone; someone knows where I am most of the time (not in a nosey, intrusive way) and with love, cares for me. 

Granddaughter #5

This week my activities took me to a visit with Surfer Girl. I had been cleaning out the bathroom cupboards at my house when I came across these colorful hair barrettes. Although I did not get to see Granddaughter #5 during this visit, I asked her mommy if she would like to have the barrettes. Leaving them with her, I later got a text message with this picture and a quote from the recipient, "These are HOT! Grammy has excellent taste!" 

Surfer Girl and me

Affirmation, like gratitude, is in short supply in today's harried, COVID culture. It did my heart good to have my thoughtfulness acknowledged and appreciated. 

Internet photo

Taking a turn for the "eeewwww!"..... Some unsavory creatures have arrived just behind our back yard property line. Armadillos (I've learned from research) hatch out of one egg that holds 4 siblings. Their shells are very hard, they have poor eyesight, and (this is the worst part) they carry leprosy! Yes. I read this in more than one article. 

photo taken through lanai screen

Gary was doing yard work yesterday when he saw the 4 kids wandering around just steps beyond his property line, looking for insects, grubs, etc. One even seemed to approach him as if it thought he might offer food. 

armadillo hunters

A neighbor has had serious problems with these creatures, so Gary called him over and the two of them ventured into dense bushes and trees in search of the nest hole. There are a  number of remedies suggested on the Internet for getting rid of them. This time they chose to pour ammonia into the hole. That made Mrs. Armadillo run out and scurry to another yard. (she was bigger than the 4 babies)

Mama Armadillo ran surprisingly fast
into another neighbor's yard
(she's barely visible in the distance)

We can find no evidence of their digging destruction in our yard. It appears that when the homeowner is diligent to apply insecticide and the like to the lawn, these creatures move on to forage elsewhere. 

Before I leave this topic, let me share a groaner of a joke with you:

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To show the armadillo it can be done!

Yes, we see their dead carcasses on the roads here in Florida rather often.

chocolate chip cookies

I'll close out this post with a more pleasant topic. We both cook, Gary more than me, but he says he can't follow recipes because he doesn't understand some of the terms. Baking is turning out to be my bailiwick, although I must be careful to not produce too much lest we gain weight!!

Yesterday I made chocolate chip cookies, which always turn out perfect for me now that I no longer have to deal with high altitude baking from my years in Colorado. They were a hit with my man; I am so pleased.

Goodness and mercy are following me (Psalm 23:6) I am lying down in green pastures and led beside still waters. (Psalm 23:2 and 3)

I hope the same can be said for you.

Until next time, grace and peace.


  1. I smile the entire time I read your blog posts these past months. I rejoice with you and Gary, your love for each other at this most special time in both of your lives. Happy, happy everything!!!!

  2. What a sweet post from start to finish, although even tho the armadillos are a nuisance, they mean no harm, and they eat a lot of insects that otherwise would bother us. But anyway, I understand the need to be rid of them in yards. I love that you and Gary are enjoying such a peaceful and pleasant time together. God has truly blessed you both with each other. What a wonderful love story! (((hugs)))

  3. always make me smile...indeed, I believe summer has arrived, grin.

  4. Another lovely post! I think the barrettes are very cute and I'm glad you granddaughter thought so too.
    I never knew armadillos were such pests!

  5. Prayers for a lovely couple. I am in Florida only because I have grand kids here. Although beautiful, I would never choose to live here…critters and cost of living in this state lol. I have moved 31 times and am
    Happy to be here within walking distance of family.

  6. Enjoyed your thoughts immensely

  7. Your posts always bring a smile to my face and put joy in my heart, Barbara. Blessings!

  8. Your days sound pleasant and peaceful, Barbara. What a wonderful response you received from Granddaughter #5! Have a wonderful upcoming week!

  9. Sounds like a lovely week, Barbara (other than the armadillos!). Hopefully, they have now moved on and you and Gary can continue to just relax and enjoy each other's company. I'm really so very happy for you! ♥

  10. Oh I have enjoyed this post dear Barbara. What a joy to feel such joy that you and Gary have from reading your post. I tried to comment on your last post to tell you the rings you both choose are lovely. It would not allow me to post. I am so happy for you Barbara. Those cookies girl...YES, I need one...or maybe two! Hope you have a lovely week. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  11. I am trying yet again to see if I can learn to add a comment.
    So happy for you. Loraine Marlow

    1. Loraine
      When you go to comment it will say comment as…hit the little arrow…it will say anonymous or give you the chance to type your name…took me forever to discover this…good luck

    2. Thanks, Brenda.

  12. I am late catching up to my dear blogging friends but am happy to read this update from you, Barb! Tell your Gary that I said hello!! Love & hugs, dear friend!

  13. Armadillos are one of the weirdest looking animals. I'm happy to read you are being well cared for and that you can reciprocate...and make cookies...