1397. August brings into sharp focus and a furious boil everything… ~Excerpt from a quote by Henry Rollins

“Heat, ma’am! it was so dreadful here,
that I found there was nothing left for it
but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.”
~Sydney SmithScreen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.34.53 PM.png
The month of August had turned
into a griddle where the days just
lay there and sizzled.
~Sue Monk KiddScreen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.24.55 PM.pngEvery year, August lashes out in volcanic fury,
rising with the din of morning traffic,
its great metallic wings smashing against the ground,
heating the air with ever-increasing intensity.
~Henry RollinsScreen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.26.38 PM.pngAugust is one of the great and awful tests
of one’s endurance, sanity and stamina.
~Henry RollinsScreen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.27.53 PM.png

Mr. Rollins has also said that August is the summer’s last messenger of misery, but I would have to beg to differ with him on that at least here in Texas. Our heat “misery” can and often does extend into September, sometimes even into October, and upon occasion it has also been known to infiltrate part of November. And so try as I have all day, I can think of nothing else to say about July’s departure and August’s arrival but goodbye and good riddance and a begrudging hello to the year’s longest month. For me August moves at a snail’s pace and seems to go on forever and ever. And though I never fear that summer will be short, I love this quote by Emerson as it reminds me that the next season is autumn, and I rely on the Word of God to be as faithful about that and all thingsas He always is!

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.30.38 PM.pngWhen summer opens, I see how fast it matures,
and fear it will be short; but after the heats of
July and August, I am reconciled, like one
who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn.
~Ralph Waldo EmersonScreen Shot 2017-08-01 at 9.32.33 PM.png“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
~Genesis 8:22 ✝

**Sunflower photos taken by Natalie in her yard

1394. I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. ~John Steinbeck

There’s a vastness here(Texas) 
and
I believe that the people who
 are born
here breathe 
that vastness into their soul.
They dream big dreams 
and think big thoughts,
because 
there is nothing to hem them in.
~Conrad Hilton

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 3.45.57 PM.png

I wasn’t born here in Texas although my mother was, and we didn’t move here until I was 13 years old. Then in college I met and married a born and bred Texas man who put an end to any dreams I might have had of ever leaving here. But I’ve come to love much of the mystique and the vastness of the unique Texas experience just NOT the intense summer and sometimes into autumn heat. It has always very been difficult for me to withstand these excessively sweltering temperatures as well as their often accompanying high levels of humidity. So until it begins months later to subside again and being ever-so-thankful for air-conditioning I incarcerate myself indoors. Unfortunately my self-imposed imprisonment lasts much longer than I would like. However, the Lord in His goodness always answers our calls of distress and finds ways to provide that which we need in some way. So it was when I bought a house with lots of windows so I can still see outside and then later purchased a digital camera to record outdoor scenes and store them on my computer for indoor viewing. Now at least I don’t feel so totally cut off from nature. How blessed are we that the work of His hands is as apparent as ever in His world.

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress… May He send you help from the sanctuary… May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your praise offerings. May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy…and…lift up banners in the name of God. May the Lord grant all your requests. ~Excerpts from Psalm 20:1-5 ✝

Well it’s bulls and blood
It’s dust and mud
It’s the roar of a Sunday crowd
It’s the white in his knuckles
The gold in his buckle
He’ll win the next go ’round
It’s boots and chaps
It’s cowboy hats
It’s spurs and latigo
It’s the ropes and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing rodeo
These are excerpted lyrics from a song
by Garth Brooks entitled RODE0

**All but two photos in my collage above were taken by me

1293. We strain to renew our capacity to wonder, to shock ourselves into astonishment once again. ~Shana Alexander

Human life is as evanescent as the
morning dew or a flash of lightning.
~Samuel Butler

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 6.13.37 PM.png

The disciples are drawn to the high altars
with magnetic certainty, knowing that a
great Presence hovers over the ranges …
in the primal patterns of nature,
a magical union with beauty.
~Ansel Adams

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 6.14.10 PM.png

Beauty is truth’s smile when she
beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.
~Rabindranath Tagore

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 6.33.25 PM.png

The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars,
the trail of the sun,
the strength of fire,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.
And my heart soars.
~Chief Dan George

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 6.14.33 PM.png

He(God) performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. ~Job 5:9 ✝

**Images via Pinterest

1288. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!! We did it…

‘tis almost mid-autumn and the last day of this month!
And as of today we’ve set a record here for having
the warmest October ever! The wind yet blows from
the south so I’m still wearing tank tops and shorts!
Yay! Yippie! Hooray! NOT!!! Where oh where
is our cool autumn for goodness sakes!

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 4.12.36 PM.png

O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.
Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air–
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and rounds the grapes.
Cut the heat–
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.
~Hilda Doolittle

And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. ~Luke 12:55  ✝

1285. Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Bittersweet October.
The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking,
perfect pause between the opposing
miseries of summer and winter.
~Carol Bishop Hipps

Screen Shot 2016-10-27 at 2.45.01 PM.png

Do you see any leaves turning autumn colors in the photo above? Do you get any sense at all that it’s cool and crisp outside the window, the window that’s right here where I sit to work at my computer, the window from which I shot that not-so-great photo through the venetian blinds? Sadly neither do I! It’s almost November and that “opposing misery of summer” of which Hipps speaks has NOT gone! I’m certain because when I went out in the yard just a few minutes ago to take some photos, I came in just as dripping wet as I had all summer. It might be about ten degrees cooler our there than it was in August, but with the high humidity we are STILL having, it continues to feel like I’m walking into a sauna when I open the door to go out! So where or where is Autumn??? Did it get lost somewhere along its way to Texas??? Perhaps so because according to the National Weather Service the ending of the year and throughout the winter for much of the US will be warmer and drier as the result of another “La Niña” that has set up in the Pacific. (See the photo below where it shows the predicted varying degrees of heat and lack of rainfall as the year ends in the US.) And that makes for an oh so unlucky me because I’m here in north central Texas. Yippee, huh?! That’s why when I read your blogs about cool, crisp days that include photos of lovely autumn leaves, I either begin to salivate like a rabid dog or my eyes start tearing up because Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year and I’m so ready for it to come! Oh, I know, who wants to listen to a whiny old lady rant? So off I go to find a way, despite the “misery,” to self-soothe and seek the presence of things for which to be grateful. Breathe, Natalie, just breathe…

Screen Shot 2016-10-27 at 3.14.13 PM.png

“But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” ~Jonah 2:9  ✝

**I added the border around the photo I took out my window so you would get the feel of looking out a window.

1280. October inherits summer’s hand-me-downs… ~Rachel Peden

I know the year is slowly dying…
Ah, ‘tis then I love to wander,
Wander idly and alone,
Listening to the solemn music
Of sweet nature’s undertone…
~Excerpted lines from a poem by
Mortimer Crane Brown

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.55.37 PM.png

Though October grows long in the tooth
a measure of summer’s steamy heat lingers on
and so the dance of sweet glories of the morn waltzes on

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.54.59 PM.png

The full, harvest moon has come and gone
but the sultry high humidity of August yet remains
thus dance on still the satiny, white glories of the evening

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 8.37.44 PM.png

Morning’s are cooler, some even quite crisp
but afternoons revive September’s persistent misery
keeping at bay the last dance of all the glories in the garden fair

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.56.13 PM.png

The grass is showing patches not quite as green
though it’s not dead enough to slow the hum of mowers
near arbors and trellises where scramble high the twining vines

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.54.34 PM.png

The promise of autumn rain has not been fulfilled so far
which keeps the gardener’s feet scuffling along the dusty paths
but it has yet to halt the dance of the morning glories and moonflowers

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 8.36.12 PM.png

The sun’s trek from east to west across the yard continues
and days grow shorter and more golden as November draws nigh
but still the flowering vines dance perkily along the chain-link fence lines

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.56.49 PM.png

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. ~James 5:7  ✝

**All the photos taken by me in my yard today

1258. Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears. ~Barbara Johnson

When expectations delay for too long,
doubt draws nearer in haste and
and patience grows far more tiresome .
~Edited quote by
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 8.53.27 PM.png

Where, oh where, is autumn,
Beautiful, comely, colorful autumn
With its crisp, dewy mornings,
Its big, bright, orange pumpkins,
And leaves of prettily tinted hues
That blow around willy-nilly on
The urpsurges of its blustery days?
And when, oh when, will we see
That huge,  yellow harvest moon?
What could be the cause of such delays?
Could autumn be lost somewhere
Along the way, or could it just be
That ancient earth is slowing down?
Or, is it because the “heat beast”
Is disinclined to let loose its hold?
I’ve observed the sun and moon
And the stars changing places above
So I know autumn must be on its way.
But could someone please tell me
When this steamy heat will leave!
~Natalie Scarberry

How my impatience grows when I’m this heat-weary and uncomfortable! But since there are no real guarantees for more of life or anything else than what I already have, it is really foolish to be impatient. Happily-ever-after is elusive in all things, and a certain measure of joy can be found in and on all the roads we travel through this thing called life. And interestingly it is in our discomfort zones that we often increase our spiritual awarenesses. Genuine peace comes from accepting what is and in looking for the promised gifts within each of our days whether they are spent in comfort or just the opposite. And so I’m reminded as I write this that Scripture tells us this is the day the Lord has made and so rejoice in it not whine in it.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. ~Romans 8:25  ✝

**Photo by Mandy Disher