You could look at an overgrown lawn and think about another task that needs doing.
Or you could find a memory nestled among the dandelions and such. So it was last week.
Randy called me and told me about little purple flowers he saw at his old childhood home. It's where we have our shop and the bulk of our farm tools and equipment.
It had been years since he'd noticed them. We're not sure whether that's because we don't usually let the lawn get that tall or whether weather conditions were just right for its growth. (I use the term "lawn" loosely in this instance.)
"They're where the wash house used to be," he told me.
"O ... kay...???" I replied. "... That was WAY before my time."
"It's where the clothesline and sand pile were," he further explained. (Same answer from the wife.)
Last fall, when Randy's brother Lyle died, I found this photo of Randy as I was looking at an old scrapbook. I thought of that photo as Randy was describing his memory of childhood.
"Would you please take a picture?" Randy asked. (People are always remarking about how cooperative Randy is with my blogging and the constant photography. He is. But he also prompts a fair number of the photos himself.)
Later, I asked my friend, Diana, who's a Master Gardener, if my identification of the plant as a grape hyacinth was accurate. It was.
But for Randy, who spent a lot of hours in the tractor cab last week planting corn, I figure that glimpse of pretty purple flowers in an overgrown lawn was about a lot more than that.
Maybe those memories were further prompted by the recent placement of Lyle's stone at the Stafford Cemetery.
Our friend and funeral director, Jay, told us it was in place, so we drove out to the cemetery after church. (He also told us Fritzemeier was spelled correctly, so we wouldn't need our WhiteOut. What a relief!)
Later last week, an email devotional arrived from Guideposts.
I got another reminder as I glanced out our window at sundown. Yes, there were those infernal dandelions in an overgrown lawn - at our house, too. But the light was causing them to glow as if they had halos. I was drawn outside for a closer look and heard the birds serenading me as the sun went down.
The complexity and delicacy of a dandelion is amazing - even if it is a weed.
There's always something to be thankful for and something at which to marvel.
It may be as close as just outside our door if only we look at things in a different way.