Wonder. Full.

IMG_2813 This box of impatiens and Caladium on the wall at the edge of the back porch reminds me how much nourishing water it requires in our summer heat. Without this shade and daily watering, the blooms stop, the stalks wilt and leaves begin to curl. The container, made of measuring sticks, and the fading sign speak of need, too. Yes, it is a wonderful life, as long as I am refilled with wonder. Wonder.  Full.



Taking the Heat and saying Thank You



Summer’s heat and humidity are  the most common complaints on the South Texas Gulf Coast in the middle of July.In the Spring I hear “April showers bring May flowers”, but there don’t seem to be any comparable sayings pointing to blessings that a 106 heat index brings. However, the gifts are there, and I am reminded to count them.  Here are a few.


Summer’s heat produces these vermilion flowers twisted into a tube with extended stamens protruding from the whorl. Some call the plant bleeding hearts; my grandmother called them Turks’ Caps and always had them in her East Texas yard. I adore these little twisted turbans.  Their scarlet flashes are rivaled only by the red birds that like the berries left after the flowers fade.


Morning glories!  Without the heat from the morning sun, they would stay closed shut. But with morning light, their fragile cobalt petals unfurl so the star in their throats can shine.


Honeysuckle vines reach for the heat and produce sweet nectar- bearing blooms that lure me with their fragrance.

IMG_0580Golden day lilies bare their cheerful faces to sunshine.



Peppers of all shapes, sizes and colors thrive in summer’s furnace along with yellow squash, zucchini, and melons.  All these add nutritious goodness to our summer suppers.


Figs!  Our abundant crop of figs is plenty to enjoy and more than enough to share.


Peaches are at their best in summer’s heat.  My favorite variety ripens in August.

Fennel, basil, rosemary, sage, parsley, and all my favorite herbs don’t even begin to thrive until it begins to get hot. Cutting them just before they go into a light summer soup or salad gives a rich, fragrant treat for the cook!

Still counting…

I am grateful.





Photography by Skye Parker, my granddaughter

These windows at the back of our house mirror a rose arbor covered with blooms just a month ago. But summer arrives today says the calendar as well as the temperature, so the scanty blooms that are still there are pale and dried.  The reflection today seems to say “all gone away.” But I know this rose. It is hardy and tenacious, with a reputation for surviving even a hurricane. I know it will bloom again. I will not mourn for lost blossoms. I will enjoy the many shades of green in its leaves, admire the lacy intertwining of its branches. I will wonder at the raindrops caught in spider webs woven in rose canes.  I will count the bird nests perched inside the arbor’s protection, and rest in the shade it gives me. And I will be grateful for eyes that can see the rose bush reflected in the windows of home.

“Whether one looks at a star, a child, a moment of sorrow, or a time of gladness, blessed is the ordinary…I believe the small moment is the carrier of God’s most endearing gift, and that it must not be permitted to slip away unsavored and unappreciated…If one accepts each day as a gift from the Father’s hand, one may sometimes hear a voice saying, “Open it. I invite you to share with me in these little appointments with myself as we try to unwrap the hidden beauties in an ordinary day.”      Gerhard Frost in Blessed is the Ordinary