In My Garden

Yesterday morning I took a little walk in my garden, to see how all of my plants were doing after the hail we had had the night before.  The little beans, peas, and greens looked unscathed, but my onions were horrible.  They looked as though they had been stepped on in places, while others had been chopped off cleanly, 6″ above the ground.

“How strange,” I mused, wondering if the dog was responsible for the mess.  Just then the neighbors cat made it’s presence known, and my dog ran through the onions barking.  It was not the dog.

“Lord, what caused this?”  I prayed.  The answer came clearly that I had little creatures wreaking havoc.  The same little creatures I had been told about a few days before, when I asked why it was so difficult to pull or dig root crops from my garden.

Frustrated, I told the creatures to stop!  They were no longer allowed to cause trouble in my yard.  Almost audibly, I *heard* them ask, “Can we go there?”  and knew they were pointing to the neighbors yard. 

I told them to go back where they came from.  They left for the neighbors yard.  I continued to survey the garden, then stopped to pull some weeds.  I *heard* laughter, as something rushed past me.  Looking around, I saw nothing.  I continued to pull weeds.  Then something landed on my head.  I reached up, expecting to shoo a bug away, but I found dirt.

A little handful of dirt was in my hair!

Glancing around, to see which child had snuck up on me, I realized that they were all in the front yard, playing.

“Who did that?”  I asked.  Again I *heard* laughter and the sound of little feet running, scampering through my garden.  “Didn’t I tell you to leave?”  I demanded.

“Why can’t we help you,”  came the response.

“Help me?  You were causing trouble before”  I reminded them.

“We can pull weeds.”  “We can help flowers to grow.”  “Do you want the peony plants to get bigger?”  “Would you like more iris and raspberries?”  The voices rang out. 

Not knowing what to make of the commotion, I continued pulling weeds.  I could feel the presence of these little men, and their desire to be useful.

Soon the weeds were coming out of the ground by the handful, roots and all.  Quack grass was pulling up, with 18-30 inch runners in tow.  The ground felt alive and loose, even in areas that have only been worked by hand, and not yet this year.

After observing these creatures for a few hours I came to a few conclusions about them:

  • They are similar to Leprechauns or Mono-pods, in their original state.
  • They are generally happy.
  • They can cause trouble, if given orders to do so.
  • They live above the ground, but have great ability with what is right under the ground, such as root crops and things that grow by tubers. 

If you have had any such visitors to your yard, I would love to hear your tale.



100_4699Several years ago, we bought a beautiful, antique piano.  It had been refurbished and was in excellent condition.  The case had some wear–dents, chips and softened edges–from years of use; but the keys stood tall and straight, each spaced just right.  All broken ivory had been replaced, the ebony had been refinished.


I was proud of the instrument we had acquired; but, several months later, I noticed the keys had begun to sag and tilt to the side.  Some keys were close together and gaps were found between others.  Ivory mysteriously turned up broken, when no one had been playing and the piano was closed. (I never have found so much as a chip of what has broken off.)  I found this turn of events very upsetting, and vowed to take better care of this instrument.  I set a humidifier and had it tuned.

A few days later, the keys looked normal again.  I had solved the problem by stabilizing the surroundings.  Or had I?

Right before my last child was born, the keys went haywire again.  When he was about a month old, they straightened out again, without any intervention from me.  That got me curious:  what was really going on?

I began taking note of the keys, when they sag, how much they sag or tilt, and when they right themselves.  For the most part, they stand straight and tall, evenly spaced, and the piano sounds good; but, some days they are a little off. 

On these days, I have learned to be aware.  It seems emotions run high and feelings are hurt easily.  It seems poor financial decisions are made, or items that I should know right where they are at, turn up missing.  It is an indicator.  It is a warning system.  A bell to be heeded…

Many people have different warning systems.  A friend told me that her mother’s left ear burned every time two of her daughters were about to do something they shouldn’t.  These two girls could not even get into spontaneous trouble while in college–their mother would call and say “What ever you are up to–stop it now–my ear is burning again.”

My sister has ‘weather cracks’ that appear on her hands in different places, to indicate different things…not all of which she has identified.  We used to drive a car that would give hints to the quality of a person’s character. 

Indicators are everywhere.  They speak of the things that our eyes and ears can not tell us about.  They alert our attention to things we need to be aware of.  Things that will have an impact on us.

When my piano goes haywire and the keys appear to never have been restored, I can be sure some sort of disaster is coming.  A natural disaster, that no man can prevent.

The first time they leaned like crazy, there was a tsunami in Indonesia.  The next time, an earthquake killed thousands in Pakistan.  Then there was the earthquake in China last year–it did not register as heavily on my keyboard as the other’s had, but it was there:  One key in particular, the one the kids call the ‘dead key’, had sunk all the way down just days before that quake…

Two days ago, the keys went haywire again and the sound became unbearable.  Today they are better, though not perfect, and the sound is good again. 

What happened?  No earthshaking news has made the front page or broken the airwaves…

Is my piano off?  Have I misjudged it’s ability to predict?  Has man intervened or God been gracious and turned His wrath?  Or was my piano warning me of the shaking I felt last night?

While it did not and will not make headline news, we had a 3.8 quake last night.  9:20 pm, local time.  The epicenter was 7 miles from my home.  As far as I know, it caused no damage.

Update:  Within minutes of publishing this, the keys began to lean again.  Then the highchair broke.  The keys are still leaning, and I am off to pack an emergency bag.  We have our routes worked out.  Are you prepared?

A New Door

100_4566Lately I have felt like there was a highway running through the middle of my home.  Not the kind cars travel on, but the kind spirits travel.  It didn’t seem to matter what I did, I was always running into something.  Then, I got the feeling that the spirits were trying to get me to move.  To go into hiding.

Finally, I called my sister, only to discover she was having a similar problem.  We decided it was time to find out exactly what was going on, and began to pray.

The idea we were give was that something we had been discussing was acting like key words for a search engine, and those words were driving the spiritual traffic.  We asked God what it was that we were saying to attract this attention, but all He did not tell; however, He did show us that although the words were part of our conversation, what the spirits were ‘searching’ for was not.  The picture was of doing an Internet search, and the words to a phrase showing up in a paragraph that has nothing to do with what you are looking for.  All the right words are there, but not in the right order or context.

We next asked what to do about this, and God, in His goodness, showed us some other topics to discuss that would help to deter such traffic.  We also told the spirits that we would not hide, and if travel this way they must, they could go over or around us – not through, and not under.

That night, I woke up at 3 am, and could not go back to sleep.  I decided to get the next day’s meals started, and so got out of bed, leaving my husband to sleep.  In the living room, I could smell something burning.  The baseboard heater, which we never use, was turned on to 70* F., and things that had been stuffed up against it were extremely hot.

Earlier that evening, before going to bed, I had found plastic measuring cups up against another heater.  I had not thought much about it, only wondered who had gotten them out, and hidden them so carefully, where they would melt.

But, back to 3 am… I turned off the heater, put away all the stuff, and went to get meat out of the freezer.  As I neared the pantry, I could see a light coming from the study.  Thinking I must have woke up my husband when putting things away, I went to check on him.  The room was empty, but the computer had been turned on within the last few minutes, as it was still running through its start up.

That is when I realized that none of these things were the result of mischievous children.  I prayed for God’s protection on our home, and suddenly was very tired again.

In the morning, the living room was a mess.  Toys, blankets and clothing were every where.

I was disgusted, and wanted to know who was up playing without permission!  Then I started to look at the mess, and realized there were things from every room in the house.  There was even laundry that had been folded and put away the day before.  The room looked just like it had before we began folding the days wash.

My husband and I prayed earnestly for God’s protection, and thanked Him for waking me up at night.

For the next few days, I remained extremely vigilant.  Then, that Saturday, my husband and a carpenter friend installed our new front door.

My husband found this door, new, at a secondhand shop, and brought it home to replace our drafty old one.  Somehow or other, it never became a priority to get the job done, until cold weather set in!  My husband and his friend worked like crazy to complete the job in one day.  The door is in, but still needs to be trimmed.

I love the way it changed the look of our home, but more so, I love how it changed the feel of our home.  I no longer feel like I live on a highway.  The door seems to say, “Wait.  You need permission to come in here!”  In comparison, the old door felt like it belonged on a store, and anyone who wanted to could come waltzing in, any time they pleased.

Still, the trouble is not over.  I ran into something sinister again last night, and immediately prayed to God for it to leave.  I don’t know if it did or not, but, either way, its hands are tied, so to speak.  It cannot harm my home or my family.

Fiction’s Problem:

“Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.”

-Mark Twain

or, said another way…

 “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

 -Mark Twain


Waking early one Saturday morning, my brother and I were anxious to play.  It had rained hard all night long, and the yard was full of puddles.  We hurried through our Saturday chores, and raced outside.  All that wonderful water looked glorious to us, but my mother, she saw mud.  

We had planned on staying in the yard, but my mother, well, she saw mud. Mud, mud, mud…ready and waiting to be tracked in, and was therefore grumpy.  Now, when my mother was grumpy, she was prone to handing out extra chores, especially if one looked like they were idly enjoying life.  So, as not to be called back for anymore chores, we took a walk through the cattle pasture, glorying in the adventure of being the first to make foot prints in the rain dimpled ground. 

We headed to a low spot where water ran, forming a small pond (we called it The Buffalo Wallow)–it would be even better than playing in the large puddles in front of the house.  We pretended we were great explores, the first to ever see the land!  In so doing, we sought out an animal trail to follow…knowing that animals know where to find water, and carefully left our footprints in the soft earth, for history to follow!

As we walked in this fashion, our imaginations roamed to the time when the land was roamed by Indians, and fences were unknown.  We tried to imagine what it would be like to travel the plains, with no trees or land marks, and wondered how the Indians managed not to get lost.  As we walked along, we came upon some foot prints, made by someone not wearing shoes.  The foot prints were slightly bigger than mine, and had apparently been made shortly after it stopped raining.

We followed these bare footprints for a ways, debating whether to go find Dad and show them to him, or try to catch up with the person who made them.  We decided it would be more fun to find the child, than return home and risk:

  1. Not being believed. 
  2. Being given more chores. 
  3. Losing all chance of catching up with this person. 

So we continued on.  After a quarter mile or so, the foot prints stopped, and there was a very neatly drawn picture, in the soft ground.  It depicted a turtle, a moon and a sun, and a camp fire.  Then there was three or four more foot prints, and another picture, depicting a turtle, a moon and a sun, a tee-pee, a campfire, animal tracks and a snake.  Then there was more foot prints.  The pattern continued, until there was five pictures, each one slightly different from the one before.   The last picture depicted a tee-pee with a thunder bird above it, and after it, we found a tiny twig unlike any wood we had seen before.  The twig had evidently been used to draw these pictures.  We took them to be a day by day account of what had gone on in this person’s life.

After the last picture, the foot prints continued to The Buffalo Wallow, where the person had waded around quite a bit, and finally left out the east side of the pond.  There were no prints in the stiff grass. 

* * *

We never were able to show those footprints to anyone.  As we left the pond, knowing that the person was beyond our reach, and headed for home to get Dad, and show him, we were met by Grandpa.  He was out checking the cattle, in his beat up old truck, and had driven over the tracks. 

* * *

At the time, we were sure the prints must have been made by an Indian boy, of the Lakota tribe, ten or eleven years of age, who apparently was traveling alone.  Looking back, I have no idea who might of made the prints.  All I know, is the pictures were typical of what is considered Indian.

 We had no neighbors who were children; and it was early spring, when outsiders rarely came to the area.  In the years that followed, we occasionally came across other foot prints, but never a person.

A Blessing

“May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.”

-George Carlin

The Hill-man smiled knowingly, as he took the pouch, and leaned back against the dragon.  From a side pocket he withdrew a packet of small, white, thin papers and carefully separated one of them.  The rest he stored away, his lips pursed, and eyebrows knit tightly.  How he wished that he could have brought a pipe, but Kassandra had been against it.  She had said it would not travel well, and was better left behind.  Now, as his leg throbbed, he wondered how he had ever been talked out of leaving his home.

He opened the pouch, and inhaled deeply.  Inside was a mixture of Hare’s Mirth, Orange peel, imported from a tropical out-cropping of his native continent, and some small green sticks.  He gathered a small amount, and crushing it in his fingers, evenly spread it on the paper.  Then he rolled it, like a cigarette, and lit it with a twig from the fire.

As he inhaled the fragrant smoke, the pain in his leg eased, and his mind cleared.  For a moment, he was very aware of their situation:  Of Kassandra’s intentions, and of the monks coming up the mountain.  Then his mind flew far away, and he knew even more.

* * * * *

What was this strange mixture he smoked?  What properties did it have?  Was it just a pain reliever, or was it a hallucinogen, and what affect did it have on the hill-man?

As we considered these questions, we were reminded of other times when we had seen a similar mixtures.  Once we saw someone meditating, with the aid of an incense made of these ingredients.  We had quickly left that scene…not wanting to know any more.  Another time, in another story, a group of men, who were traveling in the winter had stopped at an empty cabin for the night.  Just as they were retiring for the night, the leader had thrown something of the sort into the embers of the fire, and sleep had quickly taken the group.  So, what ever this was, it was not uncommon, and evidently, used for a wide variety of things.

I found this very inspiring, and decided to make up some of this mixture.  The results have been delightful…