A Visit Home: Pink Lady's Slipper

We've had lots of rain this spring, with a fair amount of cool, damp weather. But this day arrived with a sparkling blue sky and a sun-drenched morning, followed by warmer temps and a few clouds in the afternoon.

I didn't have any meetings on my calendar at work, so we took the day off and went to visit my parents, who live about an hour and a half away. I have only visited one other time since Christmas - back in March - and things have really greened up since then!

My parents will celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary next month, which is pretty amazing, I think. Many people don't get to even LIVE that long, let alone be MARRIED (and happily married, to boot) for that many years.

They are well blessed, and so are we, to have them both with us. On this day, they seemed well and in good spirits. Those who are interested may see a photo of them in the "extras" from my prior visit in the link above.

I also got to see my brother and my little sister; my brother actually took a half-day off from work to be there. We had a nice lunch from the local Creme Stop, as well as lots of talk-talk-talking. When you get my family together - or even part of it together - good luck trying to fit a word in edgewise!

Before I left, I took a quick tour of my parents' spring yard. In addition to several other things, I came across an amazingly profuse bleeding heart, dripping with bright pink locket blooms. Beside it, the lily-of-the-valley were filling the air with sweet perfume. Overhead, a bluebird carried a fat worm to its babies in the nest.

I took a short walk out to the spring drain to visit with the lady's slipper orchids (also called pink moccasin flower, scientific name Cypripedium acaule) that bloom there every spring, in lovely shades of pink. Some years there are more than this, but this year I spotted just four of them, and so I took a few pictures.

It amused me that I could hardly get a picture of the beautiful pink flowers without including "the shack" (you can see it on the left) in the background. My father built the shack when I was a child, I'm not really sure I remember why.

But we kids - my brother, little sister, and cousins - took the shack over and it became like a little clubhouse for us. We were small enough that we could fit quite a few of us inside on a rainy day, playing cards or some other game, or even just talking, with punkie (or punk) sticks - lit to keep the bugs away - dangling out of our mouths like cigarettes.

Oh, man, how lucky we were. We had our very own shack to hang out in. We had our family and our cousins, and the great big outdoors. We had punkie sticks lit like cigarettes. We were SO COOL. Will any of us ever be as cool as we were back then?

The song to accompany this image from home is Bruce Springsteen's Growin' Up.

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