Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header Picture for October shows another favorite place to visit anytime of year, but especially this month. This photo of mine shows you "AUTUMN in the SMOKY MOUNTAINS of Tennessee".

Monday, April 13, 2020

What is Happening THIS April in 2020, so far!!!

Daffodils still blooming-- 4/3/20;  They don't know there's a wicked Virus out there!!!!
Dear Family and Friends,  WELL---due to the COVID-19 CoronaVirus,  our Spring so far has been quite different in many ways from previous years.  YET---when it comes to our yard/flowers/plants,  things are normal!!!!  No matter what pain/suffering we go through as humans,  the flowers still BLOOM in Spring.  That is GOOD news!!!!

As I write this,  I am experiencing a very different Easter Sunday from most years.  There was no church services and no family dinners.  However,   George and I (although here alone at home) were fine today.   We had our own Easter Devotions;  we watched a service by Rev. Franklin Graham with music by Michael W. Smith;  and  I spent most of my day listening to Easter Hymns  (courtesy of You Tube) as I re-lived many memories of days-gone-by.

I especially enjoyed my two favorite Easter Hymns/Videos:  "Hail Thee Festival Day" and "Christ, the Lord, is Risen Today".   I even shared one of these videos on Facebook on Easter Sunday.  BUT--I also listened to more beautiful hymns/music.  When my mother's favorite hymn  ("In the Garden") started playing,  I had to shed some tears just thinking about how much I miss her (and Dad)...

BUT--through all of this today,   I know now that my Risen Lord,  Jesus Christ,  brings me so much HOPE... Even in this time of trouble in our country and world,  I KNOW that I have Christ is with me and that all of us,  through HOPE,  will come out of this pain and hurt,  and will be stronger and have a better future ahead for us... God Bless us all!!!

Here are some pictures of our April so far!!!!!  Hope you enjoy them!!!


A beautiful Pink Tulip in our yard,  4/3/20  (We are usually at Biltmore this week checking out the Tulips and  Azaleas.   Glad we have some to enjoy at home!)




We had some entertainment on 4/5/20 when this hawk visited and captured a little Blue Jay (see the feathers?) for his lunch... Poor BlueJay!!!!  There were about 10+ Crows flying around the hawk,  screeching at him--but this Hawk just ignored them!!!!  Hawks are beautiful birds --but I hate seeing them having lunch in my backyard with my little birdies!




We have two beautiful Red Bud trees in our yard... This is a close-up of one of them,  taken on 4/3/20.





Our new Bird Kitchen,   4/5/20;  We moved our feeders to the backyard since they have made such a mess on the deck --including some wood damage, thanks to the Woodpeckers!!  




More EXCITEMENT:  We are getting some leaves on our big trees.... Yeah!!!!!  (4/9/20)




On a beautiful evening in the Glade,  these little does are getting a little rest!!!!!  (4/5/20)




The Hosta is growing!!!!  (4/9/20)




Our Pink Dogwood tree is blooming and SO pretty!!! (4/9/20)





More April Excitement:  Another Hawk (or maybe the same one as before????) came to visit  on 4/11/20 --but this time he didn't find any lunch (thank goodness)... This time,  the crows were successful in running him off!!!!!!  I have been trying to find out what kind of Hawk this is --but so far,  I haven't found any  Hawk-Experts who will tell me!!!  We usually have Cooper's Hawks around here --but this doesn't look like a Cooper's.  ?????



Our FIRST IRIS, named BLATANT  (of many to come) bloomed on 4/9/20.  I love these colors,  don't you?





The DECK LILIES are looking good so far this year (4/10/20)!!!!  Many of you remember a year ago when we brought all of our Lilies to the deck, put them in containers --so that we could keep the deer from eating them... It is working so far again this year!!!!  Yeah!!!!



Pretty Pink AZALEAS in bloom in our backyard (4/10/20)




UH OH....  As happens in Tennessee the first week or two in April almost EVERY year,  we had a Freeze Warning issued to us (4/10/20)...  We covered the Lilies 'just in case' ---and luckily,  the next morning when we got up,  we realized that we had been spared--as of now... There's another possibility coming this Wed. --so we'll probably cover them again JUST in CASE!!!!!   'Tis life here on the Cumberland Plateau!!!!



Our Beautiful Front Yard with the Pink Dogwood showing off for us!!!  (4/9/20)





This last picture is a close-up of one of our Pink Dogwood Blooms (4/9/10).  I put this picture on Facebook today (Easter Sunday) wishing all of my family and friends a Happy Easter...


April is usually a 'travel' month for us  whether they are long trips or just day trips...  April in the Smokies is a gorgeous month---new spring growth and flowers,  little bear cubs running around,  and fewer people around (between the March Spring breaks and Summer rush).   I will never take all of this for granted again!

I'll close with a question for you today: "What have you MISSED the MOST during this Quarantine time?"   You will probably think that I would say that I miss our travels the most...  WELL--that is a close second ---but most of all I miss my FAMILY.   I cannot wait to see them again,  hug them --and tell them all how much I love them and have missed them!!!!

Have a great week,  and search for that HOPE for all of us.  Hope is all around us --if we just LOOK.... It's in the flowers,  the sky,  the sunrises/sunsets,  and even while watching the little birds making nests and feeding their young.... God's blessings on YOU.

Hugs,