Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Second Chances

Scoop, lift, unload.  Three shovels in rhythm as new stone makes pretty.  Three pairs of strong arms take turns as another smooths and shifts rock with hands and feet.  It's that season again:  landscaping time.  We work together side-by-side, as families should.  Sometimes laughing, sometimes squabbling.  But enjoying. 

We live in the middle of farm fields.  My parents are just down the road, on the corner.  My mom said if they ever named the place, she would call it Windy Corner.  A truly fitting name.  And since we live on the hill of the same farm, our little section should be christened Windy Hill. 

We built on this land four years ago.  We took down the two old scrub pines in front of the house -- the only two trees on the property where animals were once pastured.  It's a beautiful place, but it's wide open to the weather.  We've planted several trees that are doing their job of growing each year, but they're still fairly small, so one can only expect so much.  We feel every breeze and gale that blows.

Last year, we finally got to the job of landscaping the front.  A new sidewalk was poured the year before, and I was ready to make pretty.  A design was drawn, shrubs and flowers purchased, mulch chosen.  We dug, planted, prepped and poured.  We struggled against a strong breeze to lay plastic weed control and to scoop mulch, but when it was finished, we were pleased with the sight.

Enter the wind and a science lesson on how it changes the landscape over time.  By the end of the year, our mulch was scattered to the far corners of the world, the plastic was shredded and the weeds were having a heyday.  It wasn't pretty. 

Take two.  This summer, as we laid new plastic and scooped sturdy rock on Windy Hill, my husband several times said with a grin, "I wish we'd done this last year."

And I remembered my mom saying often to me, "We learn from our mistakes." 

Yes, we do.  We learn that sometimes we're not as smart as we thought we were.  We learn that "where there's a will, there's a way" doesn't necessarily hold true.  We learn that there are some things stronger than we are.  We learn that practical is sometimes more important than pretty (and can actually be pretty too).  We learn that doing it right the first time saves time. 

And we learn that second chances can still be enjoyable, especially when you're surrounded by people you love. 

What sort of second chances have you experienced lately?



Lucy said...

My brain isn't working very well tonight. But I have had plenty of second chances and today I am just happy to be alive. Beautiful post.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Stopping from SITS! I get second chances to be a better parent everyday. Thank goodness.

Charissa Steyn said...

Yes! Without second chances I would not be here today. I feel like everyday God gives me another chance, since I seem to be making mistakes left and right :)

Cranberry Morning said...

On mornings after I've eaten DOTS during a movie the night before, I feel like I'm given a second chance to STOP EATING JUNK!!!!! :-)

Your place sounds lovely. I used to think that mature trees were crucial on a building lot, but after watching several of them snap off during a storm, I've come to think that younger trees are the way to go.

Enjoy your landscaping venture. If it ever stops raining here, I'll get outside and work on my flowerbeds!

emily wierenga said...

this is what i hope to write about tomorrow! i depend on second, third, fourth chances... the opportunity of grace. beautiful.

This Daddy said...

I hope all of the hard work pays off and it sounds like it already has. Enjoy it. Also, I loved the Fathers Day post you did. Very sweet!

the shoafs said...

and thank goodness for those second chances because i'd be in some serious trouble without them!

at our old house, we lived on a hill. my husband spent the whole 8 years that we lived there fighting the wash every single time it rained. by the time we sold the house, he'd just about gotten it all figured out. lesson learned? oh yeah....the property we just bought is as flat as can be. it's also a haven to a multitude of rattlesnakes, but we'll deal with that later....

Michelle said...

I feel like God gives me second chances every day!

ActiveMamainAZ said...

I'm blessed because I get a second chance at love. God has seen me fit enough to bring love into my life and, for this second chance, I'm grateful.

Monica Fernaays said...

I believe that sometimes second chances are like unanswered prayers! "It" wasn't meant to be the first time, "It" wasn't part of the plan.
I hope that came out right, sometimes it's hard to put feelings/thoughts in to words. :)

GlowinGirl said...

ActiveMama, a second chance at love is a gift!

Monica, I think I understand what you're saying. My husband and I have talked about something similar . . . wondering if we did something that we weren't supposed to do and God protected us through it or if that WAS part of the plan for us to learn something. I'm not sure we can know the answer here. :)

Monica Fernaays said...

Exactly! Thank You!! :)

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