There were terrible fires in the mountain in June burning down memories along with homes. Flames shot high up off of the ridges at night while during the day oily black plumes of smoke boiled high into the dazzling azure skies. A pair of red cardinals appeared, a mother and juvenile. Birds sing to declare their territory and these two lit on every blue spruce and pine tree in sight announcing their arrival with loud slurring whistles that here was their new home. I didn’t think they would survive the impossible heat, but this is September and they come early to eat berries off of the milkweed growing wild on the fence. Now that the fires have burned all the brush away there are the flash floods leaving behind murky tracks of ash. The water simply being there is so incredible sometimes I stop by the river to throw pebbles in.

Last night Number Two Son received a letter for his scholarship. Proud seems so inadequate when it comes to describing how it feels. It was amazing to watch him receive it and to his credit he has earned it largely in his own. My disability began when he was in fourth grade and he has never missed making the honor roll.

Five years ago began a long recovery process from a devastating illness. Even walking to the corner was a challenge, today I walk three miles a day and work out at the gym. In July there was some PT for my legs and hopefully there won’t be any more. Last week I had a check up. My resting heart rate is 72 and the doctor would like to trade cholesterol levels with me. All the tests so far have been normal. Next Monday is the last test an MRI. They are still frightening.

Just a few years ago it was relearning how to use simple things like a can opener and remembering to not throw it away with the can. Last month I told my family I was ready to take over the last of my previous duties, the laundry. It’s been challenging and chaotic with wrong socks in the wrong drawers and the wrong pair of pants hanging in the wrong closet, but it’s been okay.

The air is less humid and you can tell that fall is getting near. I dry some of the laundry on the clothesline and discovered a piece of kibble in the back pocket of my jeans while I was at the grocery store today. It’s not the same kibble that our dogs eat. It’s probably from the neighbor’s back yard because they feed their dog outside. I had found a couple of pieces on top of the wall last week and thought my neighbor was being silly again. Sometimes he does funny little things like that.

There’s a little ground squirrel living under the shed in the side yard. In the mornings her and her little ones scamper across the roof and raise a ruckus with the woodpeckers. I stood there in front of late summer blackberries in the produce section for a while considering all of this then a smile spread across my face. She’s probably storing food up for the winter.

Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
- Psalm 63:7 (NIV)