Category Archives: The Book of Me

Decades of Entertainment

#BookofMe2018

I’m hoping people will join me in Julie Goucher’s “The Book of Me” prompts. Julie Goucher of the Anglers Rest blog will be posting monthly prompts, during 2018, encouraging our creative thought process. Join some or all her prompts, privately or on social media. Your choice.

 

What do I enjoy? Immediately family, friends, Genealogy, reading and Bingo came to mind. That is fine, but very generic. I decided to write about what I enjoyed in the decades of my life. Our interest change. Writing about what interest me today does not give you a glimpse of how I became me. Our interests develop who we are, as much as family, friends, co-workers, our environment, our world does.

1950’s:

When we are children our interest evolve around our family, friends, school and play. We really don’t concern ourselves with world events, unless it directly affects us. My Dad served in the Korean Conflict. He was stationed in Osan, South Korea. My parents were married before he joined the Army. I was born in the mid 1950’s. I remember none of this.

I remember playing with cousins, by the lake at my Uncle Art’s house. Visiting cousins in the White Mountains of New Hampshire at my Uncle Fred’s. Visiting my Aunt’s Carrie and Aunt Eleanor. Going fishing with my Dad, boating, swimming, picnicking and feeling the love of my family.

Uncle Fred, Christine, June

1960’s:

WOW, the 1960’s! This is the decade that really started me becoming who I am today. The family trips to aunts, cousins, weekend picnicking, boating, fishing, were definitely a part of my 1960’s. That family love and time spent together felt like a cocoon of safety. Nothing can hurt us. We moved around many times through the years, for my father’s job. He was a mechanic by trade. He was a barter of his services at times. Money was tight, but we never felt deprived.

My interest at this time was, fishing, boating, and working alongside my father planting potatoes at my Aunt Carrie’s in Sutton, New Hampshire. I would work in the junk yard during the summer, helping my father get parts for his service station. During the school year I would work at his service station, pumping gas, changing tires, oil and learning how cars worked. Many summers I camped at my Aunts house, helping out, and playing cards, Canasta or Whisk, into the night. I would play checkers with my Uncles Mark and Wilson or with my cousins Ernest and Clint. Uncle Mark’s second cousin was the world known checker player and writer, Lyman Marshal Stearns. So checkers was a game we were taught very young. It was while we were playing cards and checkers that my PASSION, for family stories and family history began. I loved listening to the stories. I enjoyed learning about my family and where we came from. I’m not sure I believed all those stories. That may be why in later years, I made it my job to disprove them, hoping to prove them.

Many moves, many changing of friends, many new interest were developed. I was a tomboy. You probably already figured that out with my working alongside my father. I loved baseball, fishing, cars (I even helped build a dune buggy and raced it at the track,) and I learned how to use and care for guns. I’m not a fan of guns. I’m glad I know how if I ever needed to use it to live by, but I much rather capture the animals with a camera.

Cross Country skiing, ice skating and sledding were my winter time entertainment. Skating on the marshes of Saugus, Massachusetts at my Aunt Eleanor’s. Going to the local skating rink in Wakefield, Massachusetts; cross country skiing in Sutton, New Hampshire; sledding off the new construction of Route 1, Lynn Massachusetts, are memories I remember with thoughts like…

What was I thinking, sledding into midair that high up, skiing alone in the woods when they are searching for dead bodies in the junk yard, or did I really just skate on the marsh backwards and fall? (Stitches were needed for that last one in a place you don’t want to know about.) I mention these tidbits because they changed my interest to other areas. 4-H became my new interest. I participated in the local agriculture fairs. I entered baked goods, canning, jams and jellies, quilting and photography. My first Blue Ribbon was for Blueberry Muffins at the Topsfield State Fair in Topsfield Massachusetts. During the summers I traveled with my father to the state fairs, serving soft served ice cream. Dad had one of those trucks you would wait to hear that jingle in your neighborhood. [This was when we moved in with my Aunt Eleanor, my cousins Lilly and Jean, became influences of my new interest. (Our home in Maine burned. We lost everything.)]

Music was a large part of my 1960’s. At my Aunt Carrie’s the harmonica, spoons and washboard were the instruments of choice. At my Uncle Fred’s and our home the guitar was the musical instrument. You can tell that country music was a strong influence in our family. I loved going to the local ranches to listen to my mother and her friend, Florence Martin, sing and Yodel. Circle 9 Ranch in Epson, New Hampshire was visited frequently.

When we met Gene Maltais, in 1969, our music became a little more Rock-A-Billy. More about that in the next decade.

Television turn from black and white to color. I watched Lawrence Welk, Art Linkletter, Uncle Bob, Captain Kangaroo, Romper Room, Superman, The Green Hornet and Batman. Sundays included church, Davie and Goliath.

I end the decade with thoughts of getting my driver’s license, working for someone other than my father, caring for my family, entering- yet another school and changes happened in the world. The word “fear” truly entered my conscious. I lost loved ones, the world lost JFK, blackouts, and modern times are fast approaching. I’m starting to be more involved in the world and its happenings. The end of playing is becoming a time of working.

Let’s Jam 1972

 

1970-1979:

The decade of adult changes. Graduation from high school, college, marriage and the birth of my first child. This short sentence gives you a glimpse of how my entertainment change in the 1970’s decade. I go from a school girl to a mother.
The seventies start with independent driving. My friends and I would take drives in the surrounding area. I usually had one or more of my siblings with me. I’m a caregiver for them when my mother worked alongside my father at the service station in Pembroke New Hampshire. The seventies is the first time we lived in the same place for longer than 2 years. The luxury of having friends to do things with was a treat. In the past my family were my traveling companions and “playmates.”

They still are. My family will always be my core of entertainment, love and support. The family members changed through the years; death and births caused those changes. The sense of family never left my soul.

4-H is replaced with Rainbow Girls, Library Club and Dramatic Arts. Hiking, is added to swimming, boating and fishing. Family Sunday Drives “to find a dirt road,” (aka, visiting the aunts,) continues. I love those drives with my family, watching the clouds for animal, faces, and shapes. Playing the Alphabet license plate games with my younger siblings, playing canasta with my aunts, stopping for ice cream in New London (for us kids) and for fired clams in Boscowen, New Hampshire (for Mom) were a must do.
Music changing more to Ricky Nelson, Everly Brothers, the Beatles (Lilly’s influence,) and of course the old staples with Mom, Flo and Gene. Johnny Cash, yodeling, Gene Maltais and Jerry Lee Lewis. Once I met and married my husband my music was broaden to include, Rock and Roll, a little disco and heavy metal. I’m still not a fan of the heavy metal. Give me the late fifties, the sixties and early seventies classic and I’m happy.

I didn’t watch much television in the seventies. When I did it was usually history, movie, and some sitcoms like Doggie Howser, M.D., Ben Casey, ER, or Marcus Welby. Do you notice a theme here? I was never one to race home for a certain time to watch television. My time in school, work, church and societies I joined kept me very busy. I was learning the joy of working and earning money. Later seventies my time was spent being a wife and mother. I will admit that when Luke & Laura were on General Hospital, I did watch. General Hospital was a show I watched with my mother.

The Luke and Laura fad happened around the same time as I was put on bedrest with my first child. I had miscarried once already, I wasn’t taking a chance and not follow the doctor’s orders. My husband even had his hair done in an afro.

Mike’s Afro hair style.

Movies became a bigger part of life after I met my husband. He worked at a movie theater. My younger years of movie going was with the family to the drive in movies. My mother loved Elvis Presley. His movie was shown second because of his hip movements were too suggestive. I always slept through the first movie (kid’s movie) and woke up just in time for the second. Who know I was such a rebel?

I leave the 1970’s as a graduate from nursing school, married, starting life in a new home, yes moving again, my husband, Michael; my daughter, Tyna and second child on the way, (my son, Michael.)

Pease Air Force Base Movie Schedule

1980-1989

My entertainment in the eighties was family gatherings, movies, music, some television, reading, board games and children’s activities. During this time I played the wife and mother role; doing more things that my family loved to do. I loved being part of that interaction. We moved again in the mid-eighties. We moved back to my home state of New Hampshire. I was home.  Yes, home is where the family is, yet New Hampshire is always that place that when I enter its borders a calm, comfort envelops me. I can be me. My entertainment now became Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, teaching CPR, safety and making new friends. This may not sound like entertainment. It is what I loved to do. To teach, participate, learn new things with the ones I love. What greater joy can there be, than just enjoying life.

We continued the tradition of Sunday drives my father started in my childhood. We would tell the stories of our youth, to our children. Show them where we lived, worked, and played.

In the later part of the 1980’s hiking and camping became a large part of our family activities.. My friend Linda introduce me to Bingo. I would go weekly with her. She was the lucky one. I just loved the company.

My love of family stories, history and where we came from needed to be recorded. Scrapbooking the family photos, taken over the years, began. Writing the stories down into my diaries and interviewing my mother of our family history became more important after my father and father-in-law died in 1987 &1988. I grew up with those stories, but never taken the time to record them.

So I leave the eighties passionate about family lore once again. I will record the stories past and present for the future.

Michael, Tyna and Nicole 1986

1990-1999

A time of transitioning for my children. They will leave our home by the end of the decade. Our entertainment didn’t change that much from the eighties. Trivia Games, hiking, camping, Sunday drives, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Little league, movies, scrapbooking and bingo were our entertainment.

We added Canoe Team Mom in there. I was the chase car for the Girl Scout Canoe Team. Memorial Day weekend was the General Clinton Canoe Regatta in Bainbridge, New York. A weekend of canoeing, County Fair and camping. It was a fifteen miles canoe rally race. Every five miles the paddlers were switched. I was the driver that drove along the race cheering the paddlers on and swapping them out for the next leg. Lots of mud, smiles, laughter, fair games, and camping excitement.

General Clinton Canoe Regatta 1992

Cross Country meets, track meets and many baseball games kept us entertained. Family game night, usually trivia games at this point, was a night where the teenagers challenged the parents. I held my own back then.

Derryfield Cross Country Meet

I proceed to the next decade as a couple, Michael and June. Our children both graduated high school. Our daughter, Tyna entered college, our son Michael, entered the Air Force.

2000-2010

This decade brings many changes in how I entertain myself.

Entertainment as a couple is more about the quiet times together. Listening to music, going to the movies, reading, date night continues (even through there are no children in the house,) scrapbooking has turned digital, bingo has exploded. There many more places to attend. Bingo in a church hall has grown to Bingo Halls with nightly games and even twice on the weekends. My passion for bingo is about the giving to charities. If you go there planning on winning every time, you will be disappointed. Go there for the socialization with friends and giving to the charity makes for a happy night out. Of course, when you win, the night of entertainment is even sweeter.

A decade of health challenges, making those evenings out more of a treat. The time with your husband and family are precious and priceless. This is the decade my mother died, my husband’s brother died. I was dealing with cancer and mini strokes.  There were days that listening to music, especially the songs from my youth, brought comfort. The strength to watch television, go to a movie or even read was a challenge.

My passion for photography grow during this time. I was the one that usually wasn’t in family photographs. I was taking them. I graduated from film photography to digital. I entered photography contest, traveled with my husband to photograph my home state of New Hampshire, and New England. If it captured my eye, I needed to photograph it.

I end this decade, alive, passionate about photography, family history, and learning more about social media, you-tube and webinars.

2010 Photography Scavenger Hunt

2010-Present

Wow! Who knew that social media and webinars could take over your life? My son introduced me to Facebook. This would be my way of communicating with him while he was stationed overseas I started a personal page and a page that I called, Where in the State is Mom. The second page was about my travels, trivia and a way for my son to feel part of my life and not feel so homesick. My passion for family, photography, traveling and trivia all rolled into one package.

My entertainment became more sedentary in nature, due to my physical limitations. I’m thankful for my passion of reading and family history. It allows me to entertain myself, while still feeling productive.

Genealogy Webinars are now all the rage. DearMyrtle and Legacy Family Tree Webinars have kept me well entertained. I’m learning how to best research, find sources, cite those sources, for my family tree. Learning about how DNA can support your paper trail findings and break through that brick wall, is a Happy Dance all on its own.

I still listen to music, watch television, date night with my husband, travel to visit family, and go out with my friends to play bingo. Most of my time is watching the webinars and learning, researching my family and cuddling up next to Ninja Buddy, my dog.

Over the years my entertainment changed, as did my life. My core entertainment did not change. Doing things with family, friends and being passionate about what you’re doing is what is important. Just enjoy who you do those things with throughout your life. Friends and family will change over the years; stay true to yourself, enjoy life.

Cape Neddick, Maine

 

 

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What Do I Look Like?

June Stearns Butka and Tyna Butka

I’m participating in the “Book of Me-2018 Series.”  Five prompts are given monthly by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest. You can see her monthly prompts and earlier posts HERE.

This is my second prompt for January 2018. You can see my previous “The Book of Me” series posts HERE .

What do I look like?

You would think this would be an easy prompt. Just give a description of yourself. Five feet three and half inches tall; more of an apple shaped body than pear; dark blonde hair with graying highlights; fair complexion; blue eyes; pleasant smile and smooth skin with freckles, age spots and skin tags.  My weight ranges between 200 and 211 pounds. I just can’t break that 200 mark. I will keep trying.

That is the physical description of me as I am today. That’s fine, yet it does not tell me how others see me as or what I looked liked over the years.

June-Who Am I? What Do You See?

Here is a photo collage of me from 1954-2018.

June Stearns Butka

I’ve had many looks over the years from no hair (after chemo,) wigs for those times, short hair, curly hair, buttercup blonde to sandy blonde/brown, straight hair, curly hair, even a brunette and a redhead with my wigs. I embraced each “me” that I was.

I posted a request on Facebook asking how my friends and family see me. I will update this post if I get any response as to how others see me.

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Who Am I?

 #BookofMe2018
I’m hoping people will join me in this “Book of Me” prompts from Julie Goucher of the Anglers Rest blog. Julie will be posting monthly prompts encouraging our creative thought process. I posted this prompt on January 1 at 3:11pm  to my Facebook page. May goal was that others would post or respond in kind for themselves. It didn’t have to be public.

“Who am I? Name 20 things that describe you.”

Just one of my list. You don’t have to share if you don’t want to. Just type done in the comments if you keep it private.

1. Mother of two
2. Wife to Michael
3. Grandmother of 1
4. Sister- the eldest
5. Friend
6. Optimist
7. Retired Nurse
8. Family Historian
9. Dog owner
10. Niece
11. Cousin
12. Lover of History
13. Breast cancer survivor
14. Positive Mental Attitude
15. Avid reader
16. Over weight
17. Short stature
18. Can drive a standard car
19. Love games
20. I believe in myself

Bonus: bingo player and avid webinar watcher of all thing genealogy related, including DNA.

For more  information on The Book of Me, go to Anglers Rest  . Yo can see her prompts and past series of the Book of Me links.

I the theme of “The Book of Me,” I choose to post this from Facebook.

I may have screwed up as a girlfriend, wife and sometimes as a daughter or as a friend, because I don’t always say or do the “right things”. I have a smart mouth, I have secrets, I have scars because I have a history. Some people love me, some like me, and some people don’t. I have done good in my life. I have done bad in my life. I go without makeup, or shaving my legs sometimes. I don’t get dressed up half the time. I am random and I am silly. I will not pretend to be someone I am not. I am who I am, you can love me or not. But if I love you, I will do it with my whole heart, and I will make no apologies for the way I am. I AM ME!!!
Ladies, I dare you to put this on your status, with a picture of yourself, If you’re proud to be who you are.

I am Proud of who I am. I’m a caring, imperfect person who hopes she learns from her mistakes. Accept who you are. Embrace who you are. Be you.

Celebrating turning 60 years old

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Welcome 2016

#365daysofJuneday1

I is for Iris

Iris

In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, a messenger for Zeus and Hera who rode the rainbow as a multicolored bridge from heaven to earth. In ancient times, the Iris was considered a symbol of power and majesty, the three petal segments representing faith, wisdom and valor.

May I be like the Iris, representing faith, wisdom and valor. When the time comes I will ride the rainbow bridge from earth to heaven bringing messages to loved ones. May that time be long in coming.

I am Here.                           I am Loved.                                         I Love others with my whole heart.

My goals for 2015 were: The Percent of achievement are in brackets)

  1. A Positive Mental Attitude (99% )
  2. Listen to my body: Pace myself in all I do (85%)
  3. Exercise in moderation (walk dog)
  4. Make intelligent choices in my diet (90%)
  5. Make informed decisions (95%)
  6. Improve my genealogy skills (95%)
  7. Accept what I cannot change with grace (95%)
  8. Spend more time with family (95%)
  9. Encourage and support my family and friends in their choices (99%)
  10. Most of all Enjoy every moment life has to offer (99%)

I’m human, not perfect. I continue to strive to reach those ideals daily.

Happy, Healthy New Year to all my family and friends!

Remember to enjoy every moment of each day.

Ninja Buddy and I greet the New Year with a walk on a mild 36 degree morning with a light wind and cloudy skies. The snow covered ground reminds us it is winter after the above normal temperatures in December.

Only one goal for 2016:

Take each day as it comes with as much love and gusto that life offers.

Hugs and love.

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Regrets? Not for me! DREAM-EXPLORE-DISCOVER all the way In!!!

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Anglers Rest “the Book of Me”

 

Anglers Rest  In Deep with the Book of Me

Prompt 2 – February 2015 – Explore. Dream. Discover.

”Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did…….. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

 

Julie Goucher prompts are always thought provoking. This one more so that the others in my mind.

I have made tough choices over the year. Some I was sure was the correct route to take in life. Yet when I look back on those choices, I find all the positive, learning, growth aspects it provided me. How can you regret something that helps you become you?

  1. Career choices: Nursing or English teacher?
  2. College: Take time off before going or start right away in the fall?
  3. Marriage: Straight from High School or make your way in life on your own?
  4. Children: To have or Not?

I am confident the decisions I made were what I needed in my life at the time.

June 1978

June Lee Stearns-Butka

 

  1. Career: I chose Nursing. My mother was happy at that choice. She regretted not being able to go to nursing school and carry on her grandmother’s profession. I look back now, part of my decision to enter the field was to please my mother. Giving my mother that sense of accomplishment through me is a decision I will never regret. I am a caregiver by nature, no matter what I do in life. I am physically unable to work in my beloved profession; it doesn’t prevent me from still providing care in different ways. Supportive eyes and ears are sometimes all that is needed.
15710054

Nelson & Shirley Stearns 35th Anniversary 

 

2. College/Nursing School: I took time off to work as a caregiver, CAN (certified nursing assistant,) mental health worker and other odds jobs before deciding to start a three year diploma nursing program. Near the end of my first year my parent both became ill. Dad had his first heart attack, Mom her first round of cancer. I quit school to care for my parent and younger, still at home siblings. The youngest was only five years old. I do not regret that decision, even though the school Nursing Director, would not accept me back because she thought it was immature of me to leave a paid program to care for my family. NO REGRETS, I was there when my family needed me the most. Family comes first in my book every time. I did go on to obtain my nursing license and worked until my body failed me. Disabilities can slow you down but they cannot stop you from learning new things, new ways, and how to adapt to life challenges. I can provide care with my thoughts, loving support and just being there even if I can’t walk any distance or lift anything more than 30 pounds.

 

 

Mike & June's Wedding Day

Mike & June’s Butka’s Wedding Day 

 

3. Marriage didn’t happened to me until I was 25 years old. I learned to stand on my own two feet, make decisions on my own, take care of a household with the support of a man and many other abilities too numerous to mention. I was the oldest child, I needed to have that alone time, before I could be a partner to someone with the support needed in a lifelong commitment. Did I kiss a few frogs? Yes. Do I regret what I learned from them? No. Those relationships give me the strength and knowledge of what I was looking for when the time came. I found a partner who accepted me as a person first, not doormat, do as I say, stay barefoot and pregnant. We built and are still building a strong loving relationship that provides support to each other. Yes, sometimes more so on one side than the other. That rotates back and forth depending on the circumstances we encounter. A roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Enjoy the happy times-support the sad times that is what makes us stronger.

The Butka Family

The Butka Family

 

4. Children: I don’t think there was ever a time that I didn’t truly want children at some point in my life. I wasn’t ready to have them when I first graduated high school and was considering a serious relationship that included marriage. You see I am one of those woman who grew up straddling the fence of “Father knows Best” and “Burn your Bras.” I needed time to find out who I was first before taking on the job of raising children. I had been a second Mom to my siblings, I didn’t want to be a young mother. When I met my husband to be, I was in nursing school, her was in the drafting program at the same college. We met in September, started dating in January and were married in April. No regrets. He moved after graduation to New Jersey to start working for Bells Labs. I followed after graduating my nursing program two months later. I did not accept the next level of college I had applied for. I would apply in New Jersey schools and continue my education. Best laid plans…. Our first child surprised us. I never looked back. I have two intelligent, productive, independent adult children who provide joy in my life every day. DEFINITELY NO REGRETS.

DREAM-EXPLORE-DISCOVER: I do that daily. I cannot regret what something that hasn’t happened yet, because life isn’t over. It may not be what I planned to do, but I can assure you that it was meant to be.

 

To not dream, to not explore, to not discover what life or path there is, would be the regret.

NO Regrets that is for sure. Welcome world. What do you offer me today? I’m ready to learn.

The Stearns Family

The Stearns Family

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In Deep with the Book of Me- Prompt #1: Rose of Sharon

#Pt1BookOfMe2015Blog

In Deep with the Book of Me

In Deep with the Book of Me

In Deep with the Book of Me can be found HERE

I have decided to continue with Julie Goucher’s “The Book of Me” project, “In Deep with the Book of Me.”

Prompt #1 for January 2015: Imagine you are planting trees that represent your family history.

  • What trees would you plant?
  • What part of your family are represented by a specific tree.
  • Why is that the case? – Location, image, name?

It has taken me 18 days to decide what tree to choose, partly because what I think of in regards to my family is not so much a tree, but a bush, called the Rose of Sharon. I considered the mighty Oak (its strength,) a Weeping Willow (family tragedies) and the Sugar Maple (its nourishment, strength and vibrant hues.) None of them fully captured my family as I see them. Yes, I could have chosen different trees for each family. It felt like a separation of us not one tree that flourishes and grows with each generation.

I continued to return to the “Rose of Sharon.” Family tradition is that my parents planted a Rose of Sharon bush when they first were married. They brought a piece of that bush to each home that they lived in. If not possible they would plant a new one. That new one would come from one of our family member’s yard. The siblings of both my parents also have Rose of Sharon bushes in their yard. It was the foundation of faith to them. The following two Bible verses were taught to me as a child. Lily of the Valley was my mother’s favorite flower. A well-grounded choice in our family history of gardening included the Rose of Sharon. My mother brought a piece of her Rose of Sharon as a gift when I purchased my first home.

Song of Solomon 2:1-2

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. The thorns from the Rose of Sharon protect the delicate lily of the valley. In return the lily of the valley brings love and comfort in early summer while the rose of Sharon strengthens and prepares for blooms in late summer and fall.  Just like in our family Protection and love throughout our life’s cycle.

Isaiah 35:2
it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.

 

It is described as, an erect, deciduous shrub that produces colorful, cup-shaped flowers in summer and fall when few other shrubs are in bloom. Flower colors include blue, pink, red, lavender, purple, and white. A delicate pink with varying hues are what I remember at my parents’ home, white at my Aunt Carrie’s and blue at my Aunt Bea’s. The different colors are like our family with different personalities and opinions. The fact that they bloom when few other flowers can tolerate the changing season shows how our can adjust to life changes. We make ourselves known while other remain silent in times of need. That doesn’t mean we are vocal or in your face, most time it is through gentle hugs, sharing of what merger supplies we have or an ear that listens and not judgmental. We stand strong against our adversaries. Choose our battles and continue to fight another day.

 

Like the Rose of Sharon we are easy care/low maintenance. Well most of us anyway. One needs to take time to select a place with full sun to light shade and moist, well-drained soil. In my mother’s word; “Remember to follow the Lord and her will nourish and guide you.”

Plant in spring or fall:  Remember to plant the seed of the Lord early and plant again to strengthen our line in the fall of life.

Space plants 6 to 10 feet apart, depending on the expected mature size of the plant: Remember to give each person room to grow. Allow them to find themselves, but with a guiding hand until maturity.

Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide:  Remember to provide a sound base of family and surrounding them with others who can also provide love and support. It takes a village to raise a family.

If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you’ve removed from the hole with a small amount of compost: You need to fertilize and adjust nutrients for each person. We learn in our own way. Reassure that you are there when needed. Some may need the Lord’s guidance but will fight it. Don’t preach, show by example, in this way you nourish and strengthen the soil and soul.

Otherwise don’t amend it at all. Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill it half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of hole with soil and water thoroughly: Just be there with comfort, nourishment and support, they will grow.

 

Continue spreading your comfort, nourishment and support to each new family member, prune back a little (don’t be an airplane and hover over them.) Allow them time to make mistakes on their own. It is how we learn to become independent and start our own branch. We will learn to remove those dead flowers or branches (throw away what doesn’t work and try something new that will.)

With the nourishment to our body, minds and our soul; comfort and support as needed; and the strength of our love will blossom and grow for years to come, just as we have for years before us. From those who left their native land to traverse the unknown angry seas to a new land of plenty in the Lord’s garden to present day America we have survived, adjusted, strengthened our family our country and grown to maturity that is far beyond what we thought was possible.

 

When you see the Rose of Sharon bush growing wild at the beach or neatly trimmed in someone’s garden you will remember it is constantly adapting, changing, and growing stronger each day. It will survive. Some believe it is with God’s love and care, others that Mother Nature watches over her children. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are-care, support and love are there each day from someone or some source to allow the Rose of Sharon to grow and endure.

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

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