23 April 2016

Tulips: Modest Grace - Missoula, Montana

" I love tulips better than any other spring flower; they are the embodiment of alert cheerfulness and tidy grace, and next to a hyacinth, they look like a wholesome, freshly tubbed young girl beside a stout lady whose every movement weighs down the air with patchouli. Their faint, delicate scent is refinement itself; and is there anything in the world more charming than the sprightly way they hold up their little faces to the sun. I have heard them called bold and flaunting, but to me they seem modest grace itself, only always on the alert to enjoy life as much as they can and not be afraid of looking the sun or anything else above them in the face." 

22 April 2016

One Day Later - Missoula, Montana

"...Her early leaf's a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf..."

- from Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

I kid you not - this is the same leaf cluster as pictured in yesterday's post, on one of the trees I say hello to on my mostly-daily lunchtime walk. The amazing daily changes of spring inspire toward incremental possibles - yesterday doesn't have to the same as today - and for this visible hope we are thankful.

21 April 2016

Focused Up - Missoula, Montana

"Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed." - C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Magician's Nephew (The Chronicles of Narnia)

I could possibly stretch the 'focus up' aspect of today's spring leaves in contrast to the quote topic, but 'stretch' would be the operative word. Today's quote doesn't really have much anything to do with the picture, but it did make me laugh out loud yesterday, while listening to the audiobook during my lunchtime walk. Laughing from a place of empathy and personal experience, of course. Lewis aptly put into plain speech the fallacy of trying to make ourselves believe less than what we know to be true. And yet, we often insist on taking the long, dusty road to learning that vulnerable honesty is so much simpler than clutching tightly to our so-called pride. May Heaven help us to persist in shortening that worthwhile journey.

20 April 2016

Happy And Healthy Place - Butterfly Herbs - Missoula, Montana

Mom-and-Pop health food stores have always been a happy place for me. When I was quite small, my two oldest sisters had just such a shoppe, aptly named Happy House (still open for business and promoting health and happiness). To this day, the sight of fragrant jars of warm, colourful spices and herbal tea mixtures, and the methodical measuring of dried herbs into take-home bags, cause me to smile and unconsciously relax. There is hope for a better outcome within reach - please bring the jar to the counter and we will gladly measure out the right dose! 

When you make it to Missoula, my sisters and I highly recommend that you stop at Butterfly Herbs and take home at least a few ounces of signature Evening In Missoula tea.

19 April 2016

Spring Cleaning Project - 1968 Yamaha YJ60 - Missoula, Montana

This week's vintage chrome photos are courtesy of the combined enthusiasms of The Best Husband Ever, Big Brother #3, and Neighbor Dan. 

Spring cleaning has propelled Neighbor Dan into a fervent offloading of excess possessions, including a 1968 Yamaha Y2J that had belonged to his dad but sat unused long enough to sink into the dirt a fair bit. It needed a new home and a little TLC - and it is one of the grooviest little motorcycles ever to roll off a production line. 

Although admiring, The Best Husband Ever begs off - he has already employed tools and elbow grease and chrome polish and old toothbrushes and endless hours in refurbishing a 1970s vintagey motorcycle - also redeemed from unification with a patch of dirt in Neighbor Dan's side yard.

Enter Big Brother #3, lured by talk of motorcycles and the afternoon sunshine glinting off a (potentially) shiny object. He is charmed by the wee, stylish motorcycle, and succumbs to a strain of spring fever different from that affecting Neighbor  Dan. If BB3 buys motorcycle needing TLC from ND, will TBHE work his obsessive cleaning magic? A deal is struck and grown men grin the optimistic, goofy grins only a motorcycle project can elicit. (Or maybe in your neighborgood it's snowmobiles, model trains, elusive golf scores, motorboats, ham radio, fishing gear, or ______?) 

The camaraderie was a beautiful sight to see - maybe a similar scenario prompted King David to point out, '"Behold , how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity...". Once the bike was finally cleaned up and running well enough, the lads certainly had a good and pleasant time buzzing up and down the (paved) back alley, while Neighbor Dan smiled from the garage door of his simplified life. And I was delighted at new, shiny photo prospects. 
Can anyone say 'win-win situation'?

18 April 2016

17 April 2016

Sunlit Green - Missoula, Montana

"I saw the sunlight in a leafy place,
Bathing itself in liquid green and amber..."
- Ernest Rhys (1859-1946), from "April Romance", The Leaf Burners and Other Poems