Renee Weatherbee
Writer

Renee's Ramblings


Posted:  August 27, 2012

Home

When living in Virginia, we turned the house we rented into our home, but it never quite fit right.  It was a lovely home and we did a good job of making our “farm house” feel warm and cozy, thanks partly to some hand-crafted treasures we received from family members.  (A little secret – Al is the better decorator between the two of us!)  While there were some amazing benefits to having lived in Virginia, we couldn’t help but long for our home, our little house that backs up to a cow pasture and the horizon outlined on three sides with views of the Black Hills dotted with pine trees.   

Our stuff – our décor of all things that remind us of South Dakota, such as Native American art, themed items that center around horses, buffalo statues, seemed out of place on the east coast where many decorate their homes around water and ocean themes, which are beautiful.  Our friends, Cindy and Butch, turned an old store into their home, where boat anchors and buoys are a central part of the theme, and wood worn by salty air, looks weathered and homey.  It stands picturesque, jacked up and put on stilts to protect it from rising waters of future hurricanes.  Their home is cozy and interesting, with so many pieces of coastal and beach type items in view.  Decorated with antiques sitting in front of a gas fireplace, everything complementing in soft colors of the sand and the sea, it is an awesome place to sit and visit and view through big picture windows the water inlets where they dock their sailboats.   Their place, while a work in progress, is a home you should be proud to share with friends and family.

That’s how we felt about our home back in South Dakota.   Back home again, we feel blessed to be able to provide a warm, cozy place for our friends and family to come and just enjoy hanging out.  A place where they feel welcome to stay as long as they’d like, because we want everyone to feel that our home is theirs, too – we are looking forward to more holiday dinners and thinking up excuses to have another garage party.  It will be our pleasure to host some of our new friends from Virginia, and we especially look forward to our visit from Ms. Alice Council, and her sister, Shirley, next summer.   We keep reminding our old friends they have a place to stay for fun or when needed, because of doctors appointments or loved ones being in the hospital out here.  

We want people to not even think twice about coming – our home is their home.  Believe me, Al and I mean that from the bottom of our hearts.   Al has several friends from North Dakota and Virginia who want to come during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally next August – we say, “Come on out!”  Not only do we look forward to sharing our home with our out-of-state friends, but we look forward to sharing our home state even more. I am a quiet person by nature, but pretty vocal when it comes to telling about all the great things to see and do in my home state.  But even more than that, I look forward to being a personal tour guide for those who want to come experience our “land of infinite variety.”  The Weatherbee home is now put back together and open for visitors!



Even this prairie hawk likes to "perch" on our place...



Just another beautiful sunrise provided by the "Man Upstairs" seen from our kitchen window. 



Al's favorite place to sit and have coffee and watch the sun come up in the morning.



Come on in and take a load off...



 


Posted:  August 22, 2012

 

How Flowers Are Like People

Having thought about one of my favorite spots to photograph for several weeks, Saturday ended up being the perfect day, so I grabbed the camera and headed to William Noordermer Gardens, located behind Bacon Park area, in Rapid City. 

I had photographed these same gardens last year and thought about how hard it would be to improve upon some of the amazing floral shots I'd gotten then, but I am pleased to say that some of this year's flower photos have blown me away and gone way beyond the expectations of this amateur photographer, as I hope you can see in the slide show above.  It is my hope that some of these snapshots take your breath away, as they did me.

This morning, as I walked around the flower garden choosing where to point my camera, I thought about how flowers compare with people.   I decided that it is all a matter of perspective. 

If you look at the whole, as in flower bed or group of people, you get a whole different perception than if you look closely at the individual.  For example, a particular flower bed might be attractive to the eye or it might lack something as a bunch.  If it is lacking, a closer look might be in order.  If it is particularly beautiful in its function as a flowerbed or effective as a group of people could it be because there is focus and cooperation from each individual flower or person in the group?  Could it be the planning that went into the design of the flowerbeds or the placement of people and their function in the group, for instance a work team that has been chosen carefully, each for their individual talents?  For the perfect flowerbed or complementary group, someone has to pay particular attention to the detail.  Does one type of flower or person complement the other? 

While gazing at the flowers I was reminded, that as mankind, while some may try to lump us into one group or another or one race or ethnic background, or put labels on us, when they do that, they are missing out on the very uniqueness and beauty of each individual that makes up the "group of people."  Some of my photos zoom in on individual flowers that while they are pretty in the group, don't necessarily stand out, but when you get a close-up, you see just how special they really are.  That's why we all need to take the time to get to know people outside our own circle.  If we don't, we are missing out of some very special individuals that can bring numerous gifts into our lives. 

While staring at the flowers, I noticed that just like people, some age faster than others, some lose their petals which remind me of my thinning hair.  Some are just starting to bloom while others are in full bloom, which reminds me of my young daughters who, compared to me, are just beginning to bloom in their individual lives with their families and their plans for their future, while, other people I know, are in full bloom in the peak of their lives and on the outside look the best they ever have and on the inside have much of life's mysteries sorted out and they know who they are and what they want.  Still other flowers remind me of myself - they are starting to wilt and dry up on the outside, going into maturity at a fast pace, however, even if you look closely at them, there is a wonderful story to be found and their presence in the whole group was definitely needed.  I know like other dying flowers in a bed, I have also contributed to the whole. 

Much like flowers, some people are more colorful than others.  They may not fit the same mold as we are made from - they may speak out more than we do, they may not have the same standards and morals that we do, but imagine a world or a flowerbed where everything is the same color.  How boring would that be?

Other flowers remind me that some people get trampled on their whole lives.  They are needy - hungry and thirsty, not just for food and water, but for some value to their lives.  They get beaten down by circumstances around them, much like when flowers get attacked by a hail storm.  They are drooping and they just need someone to step up and take the time to give them the necessities of life...someone to sprinkle some water on them or in the case of people, someone to shower them with encouragement and love.  Just like flowers, they need to be fertilized with words in order to grow as human beings.  Not false words, words that ring true.  Sometimes, as with drooping flowers, they might need to be braced up.  With flowers you do that with a stick or rod.  For people, it's as simple as giving them a hand up - it could be teaching them something they didn't know, giving them a little money or gift to get them something they need to get them started on their path to a higher level, or  just reaching out to meet a need that lifts them up. 

If we can do this for each other, just like lovely flowers in a garden, we can be dancing in the wind.  We can watch what once was not that attractive turn into something that will take our breath away.   And yes, just like flowers, some climb high above the others.  We shouldn't stand there feeling jealous, but should rise up and stand tall and be proud and happy for them, for we all have our purpose or function in this world, and if we trust that we are where God means us to be, there is reason to always celebrate others successes, along with our own.  How can you not trust the God that not only designed a mass variety of colorful flowers for our enjoyment, but also created each of us uniquely to be ourselves, for us to interact with each other, living and accepting one another and loving one another?  It's all in the plan.  Just as the gardener plans out they lay out of their flowerbeds, God plans out the layout of our lives...we just have to dance in the wind and hear what He is telling us. 

 


Posted:  August 15, 2012

 

Wild Sunflowers

When I see wild sunflowers growing up out of the ground, sprinkled in the oddest places, often the only thing of beauty around, I’m reminded of my childhood and the years we lived in or near Interior, South Dakota, next to Badlands National Park.  Just seeing their bright, golden-yellow faces invokes a mood of melancholy in me.  It brings back memories of feeling both lonely, but hopeful of something I'm unsure of in the future and can't quite grasp.  There are visions of standing in an expanse of mostly barren ground, except for a few dotted wild sunflowers and plucking them out of the ground saying, "He loves me, he loves me not." 

I couldn't even tell you who "he" was at that time of my life.  It could have been a handsome young cowboy, Tom, or a young boy, Johnny, who liked to Indian wrestle and who I often pinned with my long legs or a handsome kid from country school with a crooked smile, called Pat.  These were just school girl crushes where I never even scored a first kiss.  Even then as a young girl, I was unlucky in love usually having my ritual of plucking petals ending with “he loves me not.” 

In spite of not being loved, I marveled at these wild sunflowers and just looking at their bright color could change my blue mood to a sunny disposition.  They could be the reason that I have always been drawn to the color yellow.  Their leaves aren't particularly attractive and the plant grows up spindly and sparse of much green vegetation.  Their stems are hairy, almost prickly.  Most of the time, their leaves are full of chewed out holes from the grasshoppers around.  But out of that unattractive plant, the yellow that catches the eye from great distances and colors the often dry, stark landscapes it grows up in, is special to me.

These yellow masterpieces bring back memories of playing with my many cousins, some who lived in the area and others who came back for visits in the summertime.   I lost count of how many cousins I had, but on both Mom and Dad's side, there were oodles of kids.  Summertime meant there was no lack of playmates.  We'd run around outside uninhibited by the possibility that rattle snakes could be lurking nearby.   If we were in the town of Interior where my Grandma Helen lived, on my Mom's side, we'd run over to our favorite climbing spot, Town Butte, at the time, to us kids a seemingly enormous clay butte that loomed above us challenging us to walk, and for the braver kids, run along its trails that wound along the side of the thing.   If we were at Grandpa Lange's house, on my Dad's side, across the White River and remotely located in the country, we'd run along the creek bed.  Always no matter where we were hanging, in the summertime we’d find wild sunflowers.  Sometimes we'd pick a bunch and give them to our moms or grandma - which weren't always appreciated, because the brown centers were often full of ants. 

I know that I didn't always appreciate the beauty of the prairie and the Badlands area while growing especially in my teens, when I found it boring and ugly.  I took it for granted as I spent so much time there as a kid.  It wasn't until I took my own daughters back to the area to show them where I came from and had not much desire to return to, did I gain a full appreciation of how truly magnificent and stunning it all was, because I saw it through the questioning eyes of my daughters who were all in awe of the scenery and the mystery of it all, the tall buttes jutting out of a sea of prairie dotted with yellow specks of color dancing in the wind.   

So even today, when I spot a wild sunflower, I can't help but smile, and at the same time, feel a little tug of nostalgia that can bring a tear to my eye.   Ironically enough, where do I want to be laid to rest at the end of my life?  In a cemetery just outside of Interior where the view of the Badlands and the prairie running up to meet, in my opinion, the magical formations bring great comfort to my soul, a place where I thought I’d never wish to return.  It is my hope that wild sunflowers will sprout up around me so I can enjoy them waving back and forth in the sun.

 



Posted:  August 12, 2012

First of all, I am sorry that I didn't get anything written and posted for the month of July.  I ended up with some mystery illness that had me down for weeks and then my Internet device was kicking my butt, too, to add insult to injury.  I just couldn't get the thing to work out at the campground.  Good news is I am nearly 100% recovered from whatever it was I had and I am back in our home and it looks like we never left!  And fortunately for this little Internet device, it works, otherwise I was going to have to kick it's little ass all the way out to the pasture behind the house...just kidding - I am happy, very happy right now, which leads me to my latest posting...

Happy Things

My latest read I purchased for my Kindle is a book titled "14,000 Things to Be Happy About - Revised and Updated Version" by Barbara Ann Kipfer.   It isn’t going to be at the top of my list of favorite books, but it got me thinking about things that make me happy.

There are the obvious things--spending time with my husband, daughters and their husbands, grandkids, and friends, which will always be at the top of my list, but there are hundreds of little things that just make us happy, put a smile on our faces and a tickle in our tummies, even if only briefly.  These little things make life so much sweeter, especially when you develop the art of appreciating them. 

Following is my partial list.  I hope it is unique from the above author's list, but any items that match are unintentional. 

It is my hope that readers of this posting will share with me their "little (and big) things that make them happy" so that I can add to the list for us all to enjoy.  So if you are willing to share, please go to my contact form tab and fill it out.  Let me know if you want your full name posted or just your first name.  Let's see how long we can get our list!  It is good for the soul to ponder these things and just reading a list like this can turn a frown upside down.   Let's spread some happiness!

End each of the following items with "...makes me happy!"

- The feel of the sun beating down on my back while lounging on a damp towel at the beach...

- Getting behind the wheel of our car and settling in with the lumbar support bar all the way out against the small of my back, listening to my recorded CD collection at top volume and heading anywhere on a road trip...

- Seeing the outline of the Black Hills as I'm driving toward home...

- Hearing my husband say, "You were right”...(its sort of a joke between us)

- Climbing into a bed made with newly laundered sheets, especially my own bed, especially when Al is home...

- Watching my granddaughter, Emry Jo, scrunch up her nose trying to breath out of it...

- Drinking a refreshing glass of raspberry tea as long as it has just a hint of raspberry...

- Reading in bed on my Kindle as I love the convenience and the fact that I can load as many books as I like and go back and forth reading them and it all takes up minimal space on my nightstand...

- Watching my eleven month old grandson, Gunner, take six steps across the floor...

- Giving gifts when people least expect it...

 - Waking up in the morning and starting my day by reading the Bible...

- Going on a scenic hike with my husband...

- Writing and sharing my writing with others...

- Hearing my eight year old grandson, Michael, say, "I miss you, Grandma" (a rare statement from him)...

- Sitting in our matching rocking chairs on the front porch with my husband, as corney as it sounds...

- Watching my grandson, Tukker, wrestle and seeing the look of determination on his face...

- Taking a long soak in a bathtub with the hottest water possible and lots of bubbles, listening to them as they make quaint and faint little popping sounds...

- Taking Holy Communion at church...

- Sitting with my arms around my sweet granddaugthers, Emilee and Nancy, who are both very quiet young girls, and just holding them (when they let me) glad for the moment as the moment may come when they won't let me...

- Petting a dog and remembering the great dogs who have been a part of our family (immediate and extended) throughout my lifetime...(Sparky will be forever missed.)

Just looking at my sister, Melinda, which brings back memories of helping to take care of her when she was little and remembering how great it felt just to have her in our lives, my baby sister…

- Hearing about my husband's grandson, Lucas, and all the success he is having on the football field and the honor I felt when Lucas added me as his "grandma" on Facebook...

- Just sitting there gazing at my daughters, Angel, Arin and Amber and amazed at the women they have turned out to be each unique and special in their own ways...

- Having my husband in bed next to me, as due to our circumstances, we spend many nights apart...

- The taste of warm mayonnaise...

- Having a drink, specifically a wet, cold, Cranberry vodka (oh lets get real, change that to many) with my old friend, Vickie, and catching up on all the latest...

- Rubbing my hand up and down a horse's nose and listening to him snort...

- Watching horses run...

- A new haircut...(because I always push getting one to the limit and don't go in until my hair is completely unmanageble)

- Rainbows and taking pictures of rainbows...

-Typing and composing on my notebook computer while laying in bed...

- Taking scenic photographs and having one out of a hundred turn out the way I hoped...

- Stepping on the scale and seeing that I lost weight since the last time...

- Yellow kitchens...

- Yellow anything...

- Hanging out with special people like Bobby and Julia, Homer and Ginny, Cindy and Butch, West and Heather, Pastor Garry and Becky and others from Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church in Ordinary, Virginia, who know how to extend love and hospitality like Jesus meant it to be...

 - Riding around on my husband's riding lawn mower smelling the fresh cut grass singing theme song from "Green Acres"...

- Hearing my friend, Alice, from Virginia tell a story with her Southern lady flair and accent, boisterous and outspoken, but with some real down home common sense and no nonsense point of view...

- Getting a loving and gripping hug from our friend Cindy from Virginia...

- Taking the first bite of an Ultimate Supreme Pizza at Big Time Pizza after anticipating it all the way on the twenty mile scenic drive just to get to it...

...Watching Pastor Garry Livermon give a sermon at Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church and seeing the love and passion he has for Christ glowing off his being...

- Sitting on my back patio and listening to the birds sing, looking over the expanse of prairie and then trees in the background, with the sky deep blue and contrasting against the dark green of the pine trees...

- Getting the weather report from my friend, Karen, who lives 180 miles away, but always knows what is going to happen in my area and also getting sound, practical advice from her when I ask for it...

- Being able to help my grandson, Baine, by helping him with his registration fee so he can go off to Civil Air Patrol camp and learn the basics of living without cell phones, computers, telephones, and television, all the while learning how to make a bed so he can bounce a quarter off of it and exercising until his muscles are bruised and sore, all for the outcome of teaching him to become a better man knowing that he asked for it...

- Listening to my friend, Arnell's, stories about her new exploits with online dating and offering her advice and laughing with her...

- Trying on a smaller size pair of jeans and discovering they fit...

- Going to work and knowing I put in a good effort to get things done on time and to the best of my ability...

- Knowing that mine and others healing prayers were answered for baby Lawson, my aunt Marilynn, my friend, Karen, Al's son, Jimmy, and knowing that the Lord will hear and answer ours (and many others) prayers for our friend, Butch...

- Spending time with my friend, Cheryl, and her daughter, Stephanie, especially when we are sitting outside star gazing and in awe of the beauty of the world around us...

- Letting my son-in-law, Tyler, get his little digs and jabs in at me, his mother-in-law - really, it makes me happy, because I know he really loves me and that he's only teasing me - I love that he's comfortable enough with me to do that.  Oh yes, and then there is Brent who likes to get his digs in to...I love them both

- Knowing that all my daughters married good guys (Brent, Tyler and Jeff) that are responsible and love them and are good fathers to my grandkids...

-  Counting my blessings and thanking God for each of them...

- Getting a higher score than my brother-in-law, Brad, in a computer game called "Bloobs."

- Coming home to a clean, organized house or in this case (motorhome), with the laundry and dishes all done...(oh that phase of my life is over now - I am home!)

- Sitting in front of our gas fireplace when it is snowing outside watching snow pile up...

- Getting the snowblower or the lawn mower to start on the first try...

- Eating Reeses Peanut Butter Cups - shut up, Tyler!...

- Sneaking Schwan's ice cream sandwiches out of my daughter, Angel's, freezer and eating them behind their backs... (Is it stealing?   Oops, I do believe it is...shut up, Tyler!)

- Seeing the look of pride on my husband's face when he talks about his sons, Jimmy and Tommy, proud of each for who they are, Jimmy with his career of working in a hospital as a respiratory therapist and his beautiful singing voice and musical talent and Tommy, for his excellent work ethic and parenting skills with his sons, Lucas and Dominique...

- Getting together with old friends like Michele, Donna, Lois, Arline, Vicky, and Maureen and reminiscing about many fun times together, including all the idiotic foolish things I did and knowing they still like me in spite of my stupid self...

- Hearing my friend and co-worker, Melissa, laugh and laughing with her as she shares her funny sense of humor and unique way of looking at things...

- Having grandkids in common with Holly and Randy Nemec knowing that they love my Tukker as much as their own, little Miss Emry Jo, and their others, and sharing pictures and stories about our times together...

Being almost over whatever mystery illness I just come out of…

Spending time with my sister, Carrie, and her husband, Brad, doing just about anything...

Being back home in our house with no visible signs of ever having left…

Seeing my grandson Joseph follow around his two brothers and two sisters and watching him knowing that he’s the top dog in the house, because he’s the baby…

Shopping for bargains for the house with my husband…

Being able to pull one over on my husband, as in, the surprise 60th birthday party…

Finally being able to post writing to my website, because my Hot Spot internet device actually works at home and doesn’t kick me off…

Seeing that the United States won the most Gold Metals in the 2012 Summer Olympics…

My good friend, Cheryl Hill's "HAPPY THINGS"

Reading your blog my dear Friend, as you are my favorite writer!

Spending the summer with my grandson Quade!!

Going for rides with Steph to see the clouds or stars!

Hearing the stories about my grand dogs from Jacque who lives in Reno!

Having a girls day with my Aunt Jeanne!

Being retired and doing whatever I want to do!

Being healthy makes me very happy!

My love and respect for the Buffalo! 

 

 


Error: Component not initialized. Please retry.

All photographs and posted writings are the property of Renee Weatherbee and cannot be copied or used without permission.  If you would like to purchase the rights to use any of these photographs or writings, please feel free to contact me, by clicking on the Contact tab.