May 19, 2006

Frogs, Toad and Guinness

It is late evening and I am sitting out on my deck listening to the sounds of the frogs and some toads. The crisp evening air is wonderful. Listening to the frog sounds reminds me of how much I have grown as a mother. While I have always loved nature I was never one to notice frogs or birds much more than in a passing by way, now I recognize the specific sounds of particular species of both. For instance we have American toads, leopard frogs and spring peepers nearby. We also have robins, cardinals, morning doves and swallows. I can tell you this now because I have learned it with my kids. The sounds of toad are strong tonight.

I am also alternating listening to some music on my computer, Toad the wet Sprocket how appropriate. Serona surprised me with tickets to see them this summer for our anniversary. I am excited as they are a favorite band that has been split for quite awhile now but are touring this summer. Toad reminds me of the early days of knowing Serona and the album Pale has special significance to us.

I am also drinking Guinness as I type, my favorite beer and one that brings many memories to mind. I can still remember convincing Serona that dark beer really did taste better than Rolling Rock, a summer drinking Terminator Stout in Portland seemed to do the trick. Nearly every time I drink this beer I think of two things, good live Irish music and the song Home by Deep Blue Something. Also sometimes I remember that when Serona met me I was a good Irishwoman I could drink stout and burn water! I have since become a better cook but still love a good stout now and then.

I love these crisp cool evenings - almost an autumn feel to the air yet the promise of a warm day tomorrow but a relieving breeze in the evening to relax to. A perfect night for a bonfire but I am too lazy to start one up myself right now. We often have weekend bonfires with our neighbors.

We are blessed with great neighbors. Considering we live in a typical suburban neighborhood where most people are gone all day and very into their own lives and duties, we still have developed friendships with one another. From wine and s'mores by the bonfire, to lending tools, to sharing snowblowers and lawnmowers, to helping build swingsets by floodlight the midnight before Easter, to helping with our flooding and sump pump, to crazy practical jokes we get along really well. It makes life that much more enjoyable and I am thankful for our neighbors and our neighborhood, what a blessing!

Of all the places we have lived this is my favorite. The house is a good fit for us, the location is great, our yard is huge and we have good neighbors. Sure it is cold in the winter, but at least it is not 90+ degrees from May until October like it was in Georgia. We also don't have the smell of manure and the challenges of a small farming college town that we had in Illinois. Portland was wonderful I must admit but I think the rain would get to me after awhile and while it was a great place for a young couple I would not be thrilled raising kids there now. I guess I never would have placed myself in Minnesota but here we are and here we are happy, soaking in what God has for us here and enjoying the moments we are here.

Off to listen to the frogs and toads,


  1. Anonymous4:56 PM

    Hi Tenn! My name is Trish and I'm a homeschooling Christian mom of three boys ages 5, 3, and 1. We live in Savannah, GA. I've been reading your blog for a few months now and I must say that I really enjoy it! I've gotten so much inspiration and so many ideas from your family. I have got to say thank you, and God bless you! I love reading through the past posts and coming away with a project, or book to get, or new way of looking at a problem I'm facing. You are wonderful!

  2. Thanks Trish!

    We used to live in Americus so not too far from where you are! I am glad you find our past helpful - it is a fun journey and I am glad to share it with others! Our age spread is pretty close as well as my kids are now 6 (almost 7), 5 and 2 (almost 3). It just keep getting easier and easier and more fun as we go along! Enjoy the ride!