Rainy Days ~ A Simple Pleasure

I love rain. Rainy days make me feel like nesting. Maybe that’s because God is taking care of my watering chores, and when I have seeds sown and new plants getting established, I especially appreciate the help that a good soaking rain gives them. Rainy days give this gardener time to catch up on a little housework. I’ll open a few windows, light a scented candle, and do some chores that have been neglected.

Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures, for me, are things that are readily available to most everyone, for free or close to it. Being able to identify and appreciate simple pleasures goes a long way towards leading a happy life.

Cares Float Away Like Bubbles

When my kids were little, I used to sit on the porch with them and blow bubbles. You’d think they’d pop right away, but the opposite was true. They lasted even longer and we watched them float out into the rain, reflecting opalescent light on their way. We’d see how many bubbles we could get going with all three of us blowing as quickly as we could. It was a relaxing way to enjoy the weather with the kids.

A Spring Break to Remember

Once, when we lived on the coast, my sister came to visit for Spring Break, bringing her young son. I think mine were about six and two, so her’s would’ve been about four. Down there on the coast we occasionally got tropical depressions that would bring 10-11″ of rain in a day, and that happened soon after she arrived. We lived in a small canal house at the time, so we were stuck in the house with three small children all day while the rain poured. At the end of the day the rain let up a little bit and we were able to have a pizza delivered. That was the highlight, I think, of her visit.

Puddle Fun

When heavy rains left puddles, I let our kids go out and run through them. They had fun running, splashing, and laughing. I enjoyed watching them, and I still enjoy those memories.

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For the Love of Porches

I’ve always had to have a porch where I could take a drink (or maybe some bubbles), sit and relax, and listen to the rain’s “music.” I also love the aroma of the air. Being able to open some windows while it’s raining is something else that’s important to me. I’ve kept those things in mind while shopping for new homes. I inherited the love of porches from my mother.

Rainy day from the porch.
When Enough’s Enough

Now I live on a hill in the Ozark “mountains.” I don’t have to worry about flooding at my home, but we have a lot of “low water crossings” that can flood and make it difficult to get around. At times it’s very difficult to get to town.

Road closure due to flooding.

We average such a flood about once or twice per year. When the rain lets up, we usually drive down to the bridges to see how high the water is. During the worst of them, there is often a lot of debris floating down the creek-turned-river. Several years ago, during one such flood, a lot of cattle got swept downstream. We were at the bridge and the water had risen quickly, stranding some motorists on the far side who had to wait for the water to recede. Along with them was a tired cow that had pulled itself from the flood waters.

Black cow and traffic waiting for flood waters to recede.
Flooded Low Water Crossing

When we moved to the Ozarks, “low water crossings” were new to me. I was nervous to cross them when they had a little water over them. Learning to tell how much is too much is an important skill around here. They are the first areas to flood.

Another Flooded Low Water Crossing

The Ozarks have a lot of creeks and springs. The springs become more noticeable after heavy rain.

Gushing Spring

I started writing this post a few days ago during a torrential downpour. At one point we lost our internet due to flooding. That’s where I draw the line. (LOL!) I’d had enough. Luckily, it wasn’t off for too long.

Back to the Porch
April Showers Bring May Flowers

Our ducks and geese seemed to enjoy the rainy day, too. They all waddled happily around the yard.

My preference is to enjoy rain at home, watching it water my gardens. Sometimes I’m even blessed to see a beautiful rainbow, reminding me of God’s promise.

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 9:8-16

You can’t have rainbows without rain.

It doesn’t cost a thing to slow down and enjoy a rainy day. It’s another of my simple pleasures.

More Simple Pleasures

Solitude

Open Windows

The Clothesline

Rainy Days ~ A Simple Pleasure

 

Solitude ~ A Simple Pleasure

We all need some solitude. Time to think our own thoughts and dream our own dreams. Sometimes it can be hard to get away, especially if you live in the city. I love being able to take a walk on our farm to enjoy nature and get some exercise. Our dogs usually keep me company and run here and there following scent trails or something they saw or heard. I can take a long walk on our country road and usually not see another person or car. That means I can sing out loud and look my absolute worst. LOL! Inspired by the natural beauty, I usually sing hymns and spend time in prayer. It’s a good time to think of loved ones who need lifting up, as well as unloading my own worries to the only One who can do anything about them.

A Fork In The Road
Solitude: A fork in the road - which way should I go?
Which way should I go?

Sometimes we have big decisions to ponder and pray about. Sometimes, there’s just literally a fork in the road. This is on our private driveway down to the farm. I love walking through this natural tunnel. There’s a small creek running along side it, and sometimes I can enjoy the sound of water trickling down it.

I never know what I’ll discover on my walks and every day is different. Sometimes there are wildflowers or berries. Sometimes mushrooms. There are always rocks and lots of tall trees.

Solitude ~ Rocky Bluffs
Rocky Bluff and Creek Bed

Have I told you that green is my favorite color? I love all of this greenery. I even love moss.

Solitude ~ Mike's Creek
Mike’s Creek

Since our house is on a hill it’s not beside the creek, but it’s a short walk down to it and a delightful destination. The water is crystal clear and always really chilly so it’s pretty exhilarating even just to stick my toes in. (You could stick your toes in some ice water to feel like you’re here with me.) It’s fun to look for arrowheads or interesting rocks. Occasionally, we’ll have an impromptu cook-out and build a small fire on the gravel and cook some hotdogs or bratwurst. I’m so happy to have access to all of this natural beauty.

Solitude ~ Dogs Enjoying the Creek
Libby and Daisy cooling off in the chilly water of Mike’s Creek

Now for the bad news. Are you ready? The walk back home is all uphill!

I hope you enjoyed our walk on the farm! Where do you like to go for a little solitude?

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Oak Hill Homestead
More Simple Pleasures

Open Windows
The Clothesline

Open Windows ~ A Simple Pleasure

Open windows are another simple pleasure. Normally, I only get to enjoy them in Spring and Fall when the weather is pleasant, but right now our air conditioning is out and it looks like it may be awhile until we can get a new system installed, so even though it’s mid-July and steamy, we have our windows (and doors) open, trying to keep our home as comfy as possible. (I’m also making use of another simple pleasure, the clothesline to keep my dryer from heating up the house further.)

Night Air

I especially like sleeping with fresh night air. It seems more oxygen-rich, and the mixed symphony of locusts, tree frogs, whippoorwills, and who-knows-what-else, lulls me to sleep. I don’t usually get to sleep with the windows open because my husband is more sensitive to sounds and light than I am, so I’m trying to enjoy this rare treat. Focusing on this glass-half-full part helps me deal with the I’m-hot-and-sweaty part. In doing a quick search, I found the following research that supports my own feelings: The Effects of Bedroom Air Quality on Sleep and Next-Day Performance. It’s conclusion states that the lower carbon dioxide levels of fresh air are more conducive to a good night’s sleep, and that next-day performance is better. It seems to me that if the carbon dioxide was lower that the oxygen would be higher, but I’m not a scientist. I just know I sleep better.

Home Freshening

Have you ever been gone from home a little while and when you return and walk in the door you become acutely aware that your home has a stale, musty odor? (I know you have, LOL) Out with the old and in with the new. Open the windows and invite in the fresh air!

Special Circumstances

There are times, such as mine now, that it’s nice to be able to open the windows. In past times homes were designed to take advantage of cross-breezes for cooling but with air conditioning becoming so widespread we’ve become dependent on it. Our home really wasn’t designed with cross-breezes in mind. We have plans to do some remodeling, and at least my plans, include some new doors and windows. We need some that are easier to open for when we lose our air conditioning for one reason or another and need fall back on the old ways.

Memories

I remember being about five and waking up to the sound and smell of my dad mowing the lawn first thing on a summer morning. Another fond memory I have is of spending the night at my grandparents’ farm during the summer and sleeping in one of the upstairs bedrooms with the window open for the cool air. Both of those experiences are anchored in my memory because of an open window.

Plan Ahead

If you’re thinking of building a new home or remodeling you might want to think about natural circulation and plan types and placement of windows accordingly. Whether you just want to enjoy this simple pleasure, or have the occasion to actually need it, you’ll be glad you did.

Do you have any memories involving open windows?

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The Clothesline ~ A Simple Pleasure

Country life is full of simple pleasures. Things that often go unnoticed, or seem mundane to some. Hanging laundry on the clothesline is one of my simple pleasures.

Valentine’s Day Gift

The first Valentine’s Day after we moved to our farm, I asked my husband for a clothesline. Checking Craig’s List, he found someone a few hours away that made and sold them, so one afternoon we made the drive down back roads that wound through small towns and hamlets (which is another simple pleasure). They were very sturdy and well-made, just what I wanted. Back at home, my husband set them in concrete and stretched the lines between them. I took on the task of painting them and I chose a shade of green (my favorite color) so that they would blend with the grass and trees. My mother-in-law made me a clothes pin bag, reusing a frame and fabric remnant that she had on hand.

Kitchen Towels
Kitchen Towels Fluttering in the Breeze
What I Love About It

I love seeing the laundry gently swaying in the breeze, and knowing that the sunlight naturally kills bacteria while imparting a wonderful fragrance that you can only get outdoors. While reaching to pin or unpin I’m getting a dose of fresh air and sunshine, as well as some good stretching. I’m often serenaded by birds in the nearby trees, and I enjoy the cacophony of our geese, ducks, guineas, chickens, and turkeys. Occasionally one of our dogs or cats appears to keep me company. My favorite thing to line-dry is bedding. I’ve been hanging out every layer from the mattress pad to the bedspread, so I’m already looking forward to climbing into bed tonight. Sometimes while driving I’ll see a clothesline full of fluttering textiles and have a sudden urge to go home and do laundry.

A Funny Comment

Once we had a few men doing masonry work near the clothesline and I was doing laundry that day. When I went out to retrieve it one of the men said, “We sure are enjoying the smell of your laundry drying.” Wow! Would you ever think you’d hear a man say something like that?! He went on to say that he sure wished his wife would hang their laundry on a clothesline. His comments were so unexpected that I still chuckle when I remember them. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one that appreciates this simple pleasure.

Note: Regarding sunlight killing bacteria, I found an article by a scientist/mother done on this exact subject here.

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