“Jars of Clay”

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Nestled beneath some False Indigo Baptisia, along our eastside garden, lies a weathered, broken clay pot–– which, no longer serves the purpose for which it was designed. But from a gardener’s aesthetic perspective, the shattered shards and damaged pot remain a purposeful part of the over-all plan. I just recently read that in the first century, it wasn’t unusual to …

“Traders”

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Outside my office window here at the church― a cluster of common day lilies along Dickinson Street gently sways in the warm summer breeze. Across the street, another clump of these familiar orange flowering perennials are growing along a row of shrubs. During this time of the year, they can be spotted in many of our gardens, along the roadside …

“Soothing Aromas”

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I recently was running the back-roads between Quinton and Salem–– with the car windows wide open. It was a warm day and there was a steady breeze blowing along Quaker Neck Road. Suddenly, the air was filled with the sweet scent of a freshly cut field. Having grown up in a small, farming community–– the fragrance of newly cut field …

“Resurrection Lily!”

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This time of the year–– outside almost every window here at the parsonage… you can spot it: Lycoris squamigera (try saying that quickly, three times in a row!) You may not recognize the name, or even its distinctive green foliage, which typically emerges after Easter. But later during the summer, after all of the foliage dies back–– a pencil-thick flowering …

“The Mourning Dove”

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One of my favorite spots to sit in the parsonage is on an over-stuffed chair by one of the windows in the dining room. This comfy, high back chair is adjacent to a large, clear, molded-plastic bird feeder attached to the outside windowsill. In the early evening hours— mourning doves often join me, as they rest or feed at the …

“Pruning Shears in Hand”

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Looking back on it now, I think it was a rather drastic move, on my part. With my trusty, sharpened garden pruning shears in hand and then–– only six or perhaps sevens strategic snips later… the leathery foliage; some tattered fronds and leaves fell to the wayside around my Lenten Rose. This herbaceous perennial in our patio garden has faithfully …

“Make the Most of Every Opportunity!”

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Before leaving the parsonage this morning–– I couldn’t help but notice, just outside my window, the noisy gaggle of Grackles (not geese) and Starlings that invade our bird feeders and backyard this time of the year. There were dozens of these opportunistic traveling companions in a frenzy of activity at our feeders and on the lawn; some with iridescent heads …

“Sound the Horn”

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On my way to the office today, a rather disgruntled driver blew his horn at the car that was in front of me.  I’m not sure what precipitated his “laying on the horn”–– but it certainly got my attention!  Did you know that, according to the Jewish calendar, there are some folks who feel we are just coming out of …

“Joy!”

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  During the next week, many of the neighborhood’s decorative porch flags will be swapping out fanciful fall leaves and bountiful basket motifs reminding us to “Give Thanks!” They will be replaced with colorful banners portraying snowmen, Santa and all of the other (secular) seasonal symbols, which have managed to wiggle their way into this season that should be marked …

“Giving Thanks… When the Cupboards are Empty”

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Just outside my office windows, both at home and here at the church–– neighborhood gray squirrels are scampering around the lawns… each one storing away provisions (primarily acorns) in their private little cache. Later this month or next, they’ll do their best to unearth the stash that is stored away so hastily today.  For the most part, I’m told the …