Years ago, my Older Son took swimming lessons at the home of a marvelous teacher.   She was stern, but very encouraging.  The children made huge advances in their swimming and she made them strong in spirit.

It was often a harrowing experience for the mothers on the side.

On the last day, the children had their test.  One of the challenges was to tread water for five minutes, using three different styles when the teacher called them out.

These students were determined to pass on to the next level and they worked so very hard.  While the mothers clenched their teeth, gnawed their fingers, and practically wept, the children paddled and treaded and bobbed and struggled to endure the five minutes.  I will always remember one child in particular, whose little moon of a face was the only thing sticking above water.  The teacher shouted and shouted “You can do it!  Keep going!  Only one more minute!  You’re doing great!” the entire time.  It was very moving.

Sometimes I feel like that child.

That’s why I haven’t written lately, or read your posts, either, friends.  But my list of Things to Get Done Right This Very Minute will be whittled down soon, and I’ll be back!

Meanwhile, I’m so thankful for my flower garden!  This is the first time in years I’ve felt well enough to keep on top of that physical work (yay, celiacs!).

This peony bush was supposed to be dark red instead of the pale pink it is.

Coreopsis lets the weeds crowd it out, but it gives a great spot of color in the garden.

The chives and clematis are done blooming, and the peonies are starting to finish up too.

Very few weeds exist here!