Life abundant and beautiful

May 7, 2008 at 3:17 pm | Posted in art, blogging, country life, country living, dating, faith, family, gifts, Holidays, knitting, Life, love, marriage, Mother's Day, photography, relationships, romance, travel | 20 Comments

The barn and yard at fireflys farmWhen my husband and I married two years ago, he flew to Los Angeles to pick me up. We stuffed my Ford Explorer full of as many of my belongings and as much of my clothing as we could possibly get it to hold, secured everything else in my storage unit and headed off toward New York on a nine-day cross-country honeymoon drive.

We arrived at the farm in Western New York in the evening on May sixth, where our new life together began with a relaxing night of sleep with the sound of peepers in the background as I drifted off, and song birds in the morning as I woke.

Though we were tired from the cross-country trip, my husband hoped I would go with him to church because, as he said, he wanted to show me off. Mind you, he had not told anyone other than his sister and other immediate family members, that he was getting married. No one where he worked knew what he was up to on his “vacation”, nor did anyone at his church.

His church, our church now, is a small tight-knit congregation of the most loving people you could ever hope to know. He has known them since he first started going to church many years ago and they are like family to me (to me now as well). The congregation is predominately older than we are, and the ladies there all loved him as if each one and all of them together were his mother.

Flowering crab apple tree on fireflys farmWhen we arrived at church that morning, we began mingling around in the fellowship hall and I came to know something about my husband … he doesn’t introduce me to people. He has very good manners, but he is a quite and private man and is not accustomed to introducing people to one another. So, I started introducing myself as people came up to welcome me … “Hello,” I would say and then I would give my first name and my new last name. One lady in particular, Grace, said, “Hello …” and then her mouth dropped open and her eyes became about as large as Florida oranges as she said, “You mean … ????” “Yes, yes … I am his wife. We were just married a few days ago.”

Well, that started quite a hub bub. Private man though he is, he was smiling and chuckling at the effect he had created on his church family by lobbing a surprise wife right into the middle of them all. I fell in love that dear group of lovely country people that morning and now, some two years later, it feels as if we have been good friends for years and years.

A full view of the flowering crab apple tree at fireflys farmBack at the farm, later in the morning, I started the long process of getting to know my new home both inside and out. Outside of course there was the barn, and then I came to realize the grandeur of our huge willow tree out toward the north east end of the lawn. My husband pointed out the various trees on the property and told me the names of the varieties and gave a bit of a rundown on when any flowering trees would be displaying their wares.

Centered in the midst of everything between the barn and the outlaying trees was a scrumptious delight … a flowering crab apple tree. Tall, full, and lush it was the epitome of life abundant and beautiful. The flowers don’t last very long–only a week or two–but my, oh my what beauties they are.

The petals are a deep pink-red, with a richly divine texture that makes me want to eat them. I fell in love with all of the trees around the farm, but I have to say the flowering crab apple won an especially dear place with me.

Last year, just as the crab apple began to show opening buds we suffered a hard frost and the tree made almost no showing of flowers at all. It was sad, and an unfamiliar experience for me because in the Los Angeles area you can pretty much depend on a flowering tree to flower each year.

Fireflys crab apple tree in golden morning lightThis year I hoped and prayed each day of spring as I saw the crab apple begin to show her buds. The tree was literally covered in wall to wall buds and I hoped, hoped, hoped and dreamed that this year a frost or freeze would not come take them all away. Please, please, please …

My prayers were answered and the crab apple, as you can see from my photos, is lush and deliciously covered with scrumptious blossoms throughout her abundant canopy.

I have actually noticed that all of the flowering plants this year have many more buds and blossoms than last year. Rhoda, the tree peony, has close to thirty buds this year (I might have already told you that in another post).

Our lilac tree out behind our barn is also showing signs of being heavy with blossoms. Everywhere around the area lilacs are beginning to show in wanton abundance.

I even have an abundance of flowers inside. My husband brought home the most wonderful bouquet of flowers I have ever received. A while back I gave him a list of flowers I like, and some notes about flowers for me indicating that I most love wild flowers. He took the list to the one florist shop in the village where he works and this past Valentine’s Day the girls at that shop did a fantastic job of creating a bouquet just for me that matched me to a “T”.

For our anniversary he went back to the same florist and said, “It is very important that there are daffodils in it … and, add some other stuff too.”

Closeup of crab apple blossom on fireflys treeThe result was a magnificent bouquet that was even better than the Valentine’s Day bouquet, and it could not have been more perfect for me. Delightful bonus of all — the bouquet stayed fresh and beautiful more than a week. Though some flowers have of course faded there are still many in there that look as fresh as the day he brought them home, almost two weeks ago. Sometime I have to stop in at that florist shop and thank the ladies for their craftsmanship.

Yesterday we hung the two new paintings I completed at Zambistro Restaurant. The chef loved them, and they do love very nice on his walls. I also completed a smaller painting (10″ x 10″) which I am calling “Corner Bistro”. I’ll post it on my painting blog later. For your info, I recently started an Esty shop as an experiment in yet another venue for selling my art and related products. I listed the “Corner Bistro” painting there this morning as well as some note card sets I put together featuring some of my artwork. You will see note card sets with paintings from the “Beginning with Barnum” paintings, some of my newer pieces and even a set featuring the monochromatic painting from last year of beautiful “Rhoda”.

Speaking of flowers, I am now going to shift gears and paint two large paintings of sunflowers for the restaurant. I also plan to do some watercolors as well as oils of some of the flowers around here on our place. It should be a beautiful adventure.

Hope you have a beautiful adventure this weekend, coming up.

Most importantly, happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who read my blog. May you always be treasured as the beautiful flower that you are. I dedicate today’s blog to my dear, sweet mother … she is the loveliest rose I have ever known.

~firefly

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20 Comments »

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  1. Firefly,
    Thank you for sharing your world with us. Your pictures and paintings are lovely.
    I do believe your husband likes the “shock and awe” factor, the quiet one’s usually do. LOL That makes it more effective. You are so blessed to have found each other.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you too.
    Stay blessed.

  2. I enjoyed every word and every flower you posted.
    And I know that your Mother would love that tree if it were possible for you to send it to her.
    Keep painting, photographing and bloging for your work is so beautiful and inspirational. I enjoy it so much. Love, Aunt Ruth
    Happy Mothers Day to you too.

  3. Firefly,
    What peace you have in your world. The trees are beautiful! Reading about your crab apple tree has made my mouth water thinking about the crab apple jelly I used to make when my daughters were little.
    I am so happy for you that you have a man that adores you. He may be quiet, but it sounds like he has a heart that just swells with love for you.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you too……………
    God bless you and your family!

  4. What a great review of your life with your husband! What a very special guy! You were surely meant for each other. The farm is such a wonderful place for you to enjoy the beauty in the world around you and do your creations! That crab apple tree is so gorgeous! The color is so rich. Thanks for sharing it with us all!

    I know your mother is very touched and so appreciative of todays blog. She is surely very dear and precious to you! Thanks.

  5. Lovely memories, lovely flowers. Coming here is always like a pleasant, invigorating walk through a favorite garden.

  6. What a joy it is to read your thoughts and share your photos!! Indeed you are a very blessed lady!! SO HAPPY for your happiness and joy!!

  7. I have to agree this has been a beautiful spring. I think it has been a while since we’ve seen such beautiful trees & flowers in Indiana. I know that this year I especially needed it. I’ve noticed that from reading your blog I have really begun to take notice of the progression of flowers etc…I walk my dog at least twice a day and its been a delight to see it change daily. Thank you for the mother’s day greeting. I hope that you have a wonderful Mother’s Day too! Ann

  8. I found your beautiful blog this morning and I’m so glad I did. I enjoyed reading your post today!

    Your paintings are just beautiful!♥

  9. Thank you so much for all the beautiful photos the colors are so beautiful.
    Have a great Mothers day and many Bleesing

  10. I always enjoy your posts, they make me reflect and always appreciate what I have. Beautiful pictures. i love the crab apple tree, what beautiful colors in it’s flowers, glad it bloomed this year.

  11. Thank you for sharing the stories about your life and home. Loved hearing about your first visit to your church!! Beautiful photos.

  12. What a beautiful tree and a beautiful life. You are truly inspirational.

  13. Elizabeth Thomas wrote in the Southern Review (1993) of a crab apply tree thusly:

    “You may say the tree is a spring snow cascading to earth melting itself away. Or a wondrous fountain overflowing its branches, never emptying its life. Is this the beginning or the glorious finish?”
    Yours is exceptional…glad that you get to enjoy it daily!

  14. My dear firefly – I believe I have the most amazing and talented sister there could be. Mama is proud of you, I know, and your gift of flowers for her is the best kind of bouquet she could receive. I sure love you, sister!

  15. And I sure love my sister too … 🙂

    ~ firefly

  16. What a wonderful story! How romantic your hubby is. The pics as usual are great too!

  17. Very nice, firefly. Your story is a Cinderella fairy tale come true. I never tire of hearing how you met one another.

    Gorgeous tree. My neighbor’s down the street have a beautiful cherry tree that I took photos of this week and up on my blog. Trees are so amazing; awe-inspiring!

  18. Lovely story and lovely pictures! I enjoy them very much.
    Amazing this husband that makes you discover his ‘life’ instead of telling you…

  19. Love reading about your farm & your life there. If life offered “do-overs” I’d go back to the time my husband & I lived on our 20 acres in southern Indiana, had hens, sheep, barn cats, etc. One of the best times of my life.

  20. I have just caught up from the past few posts. I feel sooooo much better as usual. I loved your post about the kittens. And the beautiful things you wrote today about your mother in law, it warmed my heart. Life is so special and so much joy in remembering and sharing. Thank you for sharing your world one more time.


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