Whew! Life is busy as we work on our move, and it’s hard to squeeze in time to write, but OH! The adventures we have to share.

“Aren’t you afraid?” 

My grandmother started most of her sentences this way.

“Aren’t you afraid” … when I told I was getting my driver’s license.

“Aren’t you afraid” … when I said I was driving to Spokane on my own for the first time with that newly acquired license in my pocket.

“Aren’t you afraid” … when I showed her my application to the University of Washington.

“Aren’t you afraid” … when I showed her the acceptance letter.

“Aren’t you afraid” … the words echoed while she stood on the porch waving as my dad drove me to the Greyhound bus station.

And now, decades later I am coming back to tackle a new dream right across the street from where Grandma used to live.

Grandma has gone to her heavenly home long ago but her words have found their way to new voices in new vernacular.

“Wow.  That (growing blueberries) is a huge undertaking. Yes, a really big undertaking.” Finished with a long, doubtful sigh.

“Do blueberries grow around here?” Another doubtful sigh.

“You ever grow anything before?” I’ve learned to simply smile rather than recite all of our growing adventure over the last four decades.

“Boy … you guys are brave to move like this at your age.”  What?!!!? [Yes, someone from church said that to me. Good thing that the very next week I had to argue with someone to convince him that I am over (FAR over) 50.]

“You know, that moose that lives around here and her babies will gulp down new bushes like an appetizer,” I think I heard a smirk in that comment.

I’m learning to listen, yet not listen.  Sometimes there is good advice in the questions … like learning how to amend the soil for our berries who like a little acid with their dirt.

But Mo hit the nail on the head when she said, “Do you think that it’s such a big undertaking for us or for someone who is in their 80’s trying to be us?”


I think that was Grandma too … she tried to image doing what we were doing … truth was, she was the one afraid.  Doesn’t mean I have to be.

The cool thing is that with every step we’ve taken in regards to reclaiming this land left neglected for several years, the skeptics are thawing … and we’re convinced that some are more excited than we are.

On Mother’s Day weekend, Mo drove over to help us figure out what to do next, and we could hardly pull a weed before neighbors showed up with riding lawnmowers, tools, and even started whacking down weeds with us. (One helper is the man who now lives in Grandma’s old house … isn’t that an interesting circle of events?!)

You can see the transformation that took place in less than four hours. We weren’t expecting to get this far for weeks and are still reeling in the bliss that comes from the kindness of others.

Aren't You Afraid (On Rashellbud)
Aren't you afraid? (On Rashellbud)

People may worry and wonder, but it seems like we’ve inspired them a bit and they’re signing up to be part of the adventure.  Now we hear things, like, “When do you think you’ll get the berries in?”  “I know someone who might lead you to the best varieties for this area.”  “You know, I’ve got an idea for the moose problem …”

And then, there is what God seems to be saying.  I came across some verses about building and planting right after we stated talking about growing blueberries. Even more striking to my heart is this challenge from the prophet Jeremiah (which just happened to be part of my devotional reading this week) …

This is what the Lord says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
 Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls … “

I’m learning to let God’s voice be louder than other people’s fears. I have set my heart on Him.

Father, may my fears in following Your path not be terror, but AWE. My heart stays fixed on You and Your ways. Amen.

It’s an Ausmus life!

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