How My Husband Spent His Birthday..

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. As it is with other days, we make no plans and see what the day will bring.  He had previously purchased birthday presents, we have no surprises here.  I said he needed new running shoes so that was from me.  He also got a wallet and a foam bed from Costco so he can nap outside on warm days.

But who knew what was going to happen when I mowed the front lawn?  There was a 6-year-old Nishiki Willow tree that was growing horizontally instead of vertically.  As beautiful as the new growth was with its white, light green and pink foliage, it was a tree that neither of us liked because it needed constant pruning.  In winter I was out at 3:00am shaking and knocking snow off the branches because they had flattened to a pancake.  But getting back to yesterday,  I was mowing the lawn and once again had to duck under the branches, so I asked husband to trim some of them off.  As he trimmed we talked about how we no longer liked the tree so in agreement, he got out his sabre saw and branch by branch down it came.  Then we looked at it and said “what have we done” because clean up was such a mess.  And as we cut branches into smaller branches and bound some of them up, neighbours came by and said “what did you do that for? it was so beautiful”..    but they didn’t have to mow around it nor do major trimming in Spring and other times of year, nor shake snow off at 3:00am.

After it was all cleaned up husband said “we are not going shopping to Dinters (a great local nursery) today to look for a new tree.”   But I know him, and he doesn’t like to leave things undone, so after lunch he suggested we go and “have a look”  which I knew would mean more than a look.  We looked at Japanese Maples but we have 8 varieties of those, so we finally agreed upon a Smoke Bush that has been grafted onto a tree trunk.  It was blooming and just beautiful!  I asked one of the people working at the nursery if the lovely soft blooms would hold up under a heavy sprinkling and she said that they have overhead sprinkling, so with that we purchased the tree and brought it home.  Then we went down to a local feed store to buy stakes for either side.  Below is the result.  Husband always has to have a project and I know that even though he was tired, he enjoyed doing it.

Photos taken at 6:00am, last night’s sprinkler drops are still on the blooms.

I think that it is beautiful..   below is a link to a page on Nishiki Willow so you can see what we had if you don’t know what it is.

http://www.midwestgardentips.com/hakuro-nishiki_dappled_willow.html

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Bicycle Riding on the Cowichan Valley Trail

Today we went back to riding our bicycles on the Cowichan Valley Trail.  We have been riding on the Somenos Dyke Trail but with hot weather coming, the Cowichan Valley Trail is much cooler.

I have been thinking about just how much the Cowichan Valley Trail is like life.  There are shadows and sunlight, as there are dark times in our life and bright times when everything is going well.  The way is narrow, and for a Christian, we are to follow the “narrow path”, not the wide path that leads to destruction.

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

The Cowichan Valley Trail can be a dangerous place.  Sometimes cyclists come up very fast with no bell to let you know they are coming, and if you are not riding right on your side, it could be a disaster.  Life is like that.  Sometimes danger comes upon us that we cannot see coming.  According to the Lord’s will, he may deliver us from the danger, or we may have to go through it and be a testimony of God’s grace to us through difficult times.

There are wonderful sights, sounds and smells on the Cowichan Valley Trail..  wildflowers, the green trees and shrubbery,  the sound of roosters crowing, or sheep, the smell of freshly mowed hay at the farms beyond the trail, the smell of horses in the pasture of a farm near the trail, this is beautiful to some.  As with life, all of Creation if we just look around us, the sound of a pouring rain or a gentle rain, the sound of thunder, the sight of lightning.  The fragrance of flowers, or puppy breath, or a baby..  all of life.

I am thankful to be back on the Cowichan Valley trail.

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