Living in the Big Woods, Part 1

During all of my growing up years, I lived in both small towns and large cities. We moved a lot. I lived in Iowa, Oklahoma, Illinois, Indiana and South Dakota. I’ve lived in Michigan now for 58 years.

For all but the first five years of my married life, I’ve lived in the woods! For 19 years I’ve lived in the woods where my husband and I live now. Ah, living in the county and in a woods can be and is so exciting!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our log home

We have all kinds of wild life, which we love, so I’ll try to write about them here. We have deer, raccoon’s,  opossum’s,  turkeys, coyote’s, foxes, lynx, rabbit’s, owl’s, eagles, hawks, all kinds of birds, squirrels, snakes, bears (?) and more!

I’ll start with the bear! I was sitting upstairs in our loft, in my lazy-boy recliner, with the window wide open. It was late, I was getting very sleepy and was about to go to bed. But suddenly I heard loud growling, groaning and moaning, mumbling and plundering through the woods! The motion light turned on but I couldn’t see what the animal was. The next night, the same sounding animal went through, but the motion light didn’t turn on. Whatever it was it was good-sized, not like a raccoon or other small animal! Then Jerry noticed a tree near the pole barn that had some branches broken and hanging. It looked like an animal had climbed the tree and was too heavy for the light branches. A bear could have caused that! A couple of days later we saw a picture, in the newspaper, of a bear lying in a ditch… dead, only about two miles from where we live! Could that have been our bear? Another consideration was a wild boar. They’ve been known to be around our area.

I’ll write about our turkeys next. My parents came to visit us from Washington state in September of 1998. They wanted to see our new log home. They would be here for a full week and I was a little concerned with how to entertain them! No worry! Every day, between 5:00 and 5:30 PM, 14 wild turkeys came marching through the woods, up our long driveway! There were three hens and 11 young ones. I called the young ones teenagers because they were big enough to fly into the trees at night. They would wander around our yard, especially under the bird feeders, eating whatever they found, that they liked. Then between seven and seven-thirty PM they flew up into some trees, right beside our house, to roost for the night! My parents were entertained every day!

Sometimes they flew onto the roof of our house. One evening I was upstairs and could hear the turkeys on the roof. I looked up through the sky light. Oh my goodness, a turkey was staring down at me!

Early in the mornings we could hear the gobble, gobble, gobble as they woke up, flew down and went on their way!

The next year a few turkeys came to roost in our trees but not as many. Now days we have a few who come to find food but they don’t stay long and they don’t roost in our trees!

I think my favorite wild animals to visit us are the deer. We’ve had many, many deer come wandering into our yard. They are so quiet I often just happened to see them when I glanced out the window and there they’d be! I would stop whatever I was doing just to watch them. Such beautiful creatures standing quietly, eating leaves off the trees. Sometimes just one, or sometimes several deer would be here. What I loved the most was springtime when a doe would come into the yard with a fawn, or two! It was a thrill to watch them nursing from their mother.

One day our grandson, Armon, came running, “Gramdma, Grandma, you’ve got to come quickly! A baby deer is by the pond! It was just born!” We went running to the pond and sure enough, except there were two fawns!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Twin Fawns

Twin fawns born beside our pond! It’s kind of hard to make out the second one. We were all so excited! A little while later I went back out by myself to take a better picture…they were gone! The mother must have been watching us and when we left, decided to move them to a safer place, one that we didn’t know about! Several times, as they were growing, they came into our yard by our house. It was so fun to watch them running and skipping about! Sometimes we got to watch them stop for a little nourishment from their momma!

I’ve seen several deer sleep in our woods by our house! It’s very exciting to me to see them before they get up for the day!

Well, more stories another day! Good night!

 

 

Happy Birthday, Armon

Happy Birthday, Armon! Armon - wedding I can’t believe you’re 11 years old today! In this picture, you were all dressed up ready for your big brother’s wedding! It was a big day! Here’s a picture of you and me together, on that day! Grandma & Armon  I’m so glad I got to go to the wedding! I’m, most of all, glad I got to visit your whole family for a whole week!

Now today is your 11th birthday! This is the first year since you’ve been in the US, that I’m not baking and decorating a cake for you! That makes me sad! I loved how you loved my cakes! It’s also the first year I’ve not celebrated with you! But I’m with you in spirit and I know you’re having company for supper. So, with your family and your company, I’m sure you’ll have a good birthday!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Armon! He’s growing up so quickly! Please be with him, reveal Your love for him, help him to give himself to You completely. Please keep him safe and well. Help him to make good friends who’ll influence him in good positive ways. Help him with his school work. I love Armon so much, and You love him even more!

The Wedding – Ty and Re Buck

Here is the wedding of my handsome grandson, Tyler, and his lovely bride, Rebecca. This makes Rebecca my new granddaughter-in-law! I have two granddaughter’s in-law now! I’m so glad I got to be there for the wedding! Ty & RE  It was beautiful!

Getting ready for the wedding is perfection! Jessica, mother of the groom!  Jessica dressed for a wedding      A special hair-do!    Jessica's Hair Rob and Jessica. Rob & Jessica  Haleigh and Elmise, sisters of the groom! Haleigh & Elmise   Armon and me! Armon is a brother of the groom and I’m a grandma of the groom!  Grandma & Armon

Sometimes the waiting is so hard! Waiting  But it’s worth it in the end!  Parker, a brother of the groom, sitting patiently, waiting…Parker waiting

The church was beautiful. The long aisle was also beautiful!  Wedding Ty & Rebecca  Tree twigs, gathered by Rob, Jessica, and Armon, and spray painted white, in tall vases, lined the aisle, covered with a white runner and flower petals strewn all along the way!  As a surprise to Ty and everyone else, instead of Rebecca walking down the aisle to the traditional wedding march, the theme from Lord of The Rings, was played! It’s their favorite and was requested by Rebecca!

Ty & RE  She’s been given to Ty, by her father, and the ceremony begins! Ty & Re We did it!  Oh, look! They did it! Ty and Re are married!   Here they come into the reception! 100_5876 100_5878  100_5880 Tyler and Rebecca, first dance, as a married couple!  100_5882 Father, daughter dance.  100_5883  Mother, son dance. 100_5872  Enjoying the reception: Christy, Megan and Cameron.  100_5873  Armon and Parker, brothers of the groom, but technically, not brothers of each other! Hmmm, interesting! Best friends!

The wedding cake! Perfect for the TyReBuck theme! 100_5871   Buck TyRe    Away they go, being showered wth flower petals, on the way! Ty & Re being flowered I love you, Ty and Re Buck!

Goodbye Again

Goodbyes are so hard. We’ve had so many lately. Christy, Mason, Maddie came on Tuesday, surprising us by bringing Elmise and Armon, children of Rob & Jessica. They left today after dinner today.  Tim and Shauna came on Thursday about six and will stay until next Friday. Pam and Gene came on Friday at noon and left today after dinner. Ted, Sydney, and Isabella came today! They arrived while we were all at church.  Ted left today, but Sydney and Bella will stay until next weekend when Ted comes back to get them! Here are the grown-ups having dinner together. IMG_1093                                           Jerry, Shauna, Tim, Ted, Gene, Pam, and Christy. We let the kids fill their plates and go outside to eat!

We had a very good week and weekend with some of our children and grandchildren. But today while some more came, some had to leave.  So we had to say goodbye. IMG_1097  These are the grandchildren, four are leaving and two have just arrived! Sydney-16, Maddie-8, Elmise-13, Bella-13, Mason-13,  Arman-10.

IMG_1096                                        Four siblings, one missing. Christy, Ted, Tim, and Pam. Rob is missing.

IMG_1094                                Grandpa (Jerry) is praying just before Christy and four kids, and Pam and Gene leave. IMG_1095                                         The rest of the gang, heads bowed in prayer.

IMG_1092

Ashlynn and Elmise, Good friends. Goodbyes are hard.

There They Go…

The day I didn’t want to come is here. Rob, Jessica, Elmise, and Armon are on their way south to live. Haleigh is staying with us for a couple of weeks and then she’ll also be gone. They have lived next door to us for eighteen years! But life goes on… So while I’m sad, I’m also excited for them. What does life have in store for them?

We had our last breakfast together. Bacon, pancakes, orange juice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last breakfast.

They loaded up the truck Friday and Saturday. Loading the truck

Today, early this morning, they drove off. Elmise in the car with Jessica.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rob is securing the motorcycle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There go Jessica and Elmise, Jessica driving.

Armon, in the truck with Rob.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Armon and Rob

Good-bye…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They’re off…

I Don’t Like Goodbyes

Time is going far too quickly. Goodbye is coming. The two most important families in my world, here in my city, are leaving…  Moving away…   Within the next couple of months, they’ll be gone. I’ll be here. They’re excited. I’m sad.

My youngest son, Rob; daughter-in-law, Jessica; granddaughters, Haleigh, 18 and Elmise, 13; and grandson, Armon, 10, who now live next door and have lived here for 19 years, are moving to Georgia!

My pastor, David, and his wife, Leah, are moving to accept a new challenge and position. They, having ministered here to us for 20 years, are moving to Kansas!

I love a challenge and I’m not one to back away when one is presented to me! But I’m the one being left behind. The future, in my world, looks blank.

Where would I be without my personal faith in my loving Saviour? I would be kicking and screaming, heartbroken and crying!

While I am sad, I’m trusting God to take care of Rob and Jessica and family. They’ll need good jobs (Jessica, R.N. has one); nice home; good schools; good church; Haleigh as a college freshman, settled into dorm life; good friends and neighbors. They are trusting God. He knows all about their family and their move. I’m trusting God for them, even though it hurts.

While I am sad, I’m trusting God to go with Pastor Dave and Leah. Pastor Dave having just earned his Doctor in Ministry, PH.D and will be pastoring a church and teaching ministerial students in a college. Pastor Dave will need just the right treatment for his MS. As far as delivering sermons, I think Pastor Dave is the best preacher I’ve ever heard! He is truly used by God.

Because I am a true believer, I’m trusting God to give us just the right neighbors next door and to send just the right man to fill the position of Lead Pastor of our church. Pastor Dave told us Sunday how God has been leading them to this point in their lives. So…is God working on just the right man to move here and minister to me, to us?

While I still have to say good-bye, I’ll be saying it with hope in what God has in store for me…for us.

The Butterfly House

Butterflies in Bloom! Here in Midland we have a Butterfly House in Dow Gardens. It goes from February 27 to April 19. I’ve actually been there three times this year! It’s a good thing I have an annual pass!

The first time Jerry and I took Pam and Gene, our daughter and son-in-law. IMG_0713  Gene with what I think is a Grecian Shoemaker on his shoulder.  PTD0A8~1  This is a Tailed Jay. The next time I went was with Elmise and Armon. Elmise1  Elmise is holding one but I can’t tell what it is.  Armon '15  Armon has one on his finger.

My third trip was with Sydney and Isabella. IMG_0873 (2)  Sydney with a Grecian Shoemaker. IMG_0881 (2)  Isabella has a Tiger Swallowtail.  IMG_0890 (2) A Southern White Butterfly landed in my white hair! There are many different butterflies. A couple more pictures are of  IMG_0868 (2) Blue Morpho,  PTD0A8~1  Tailed Jay, IMG_0896 (2)  Grecian Shoemaker.

Leaving is always the temptation to take a picture beside the waterfall. Dow Gardens J, A, P, G Jerry and me. Pam and Gene.

Dow Gardens Falls  Can you make out Armon with his orange jacket?

IMG_0914 Sydney and Bella sitting at the top of the falls. A very good time for everyone.