Puppies, Gardens, and Books

My Road Goes Ever On

Puppies, Gardens, and Books make for a full life. Adopting new puppies was not on my to-do list, though gardening and books are always a happy part of summer. Despite getting older, my overall health has improved, thanks to a saner schedule and a slower pace. Mixing active work with quiet time has been a solution long needed but too often ignored. Modern society pushes a hyperactive existence, which makes me wonder why. What does excessive business prove? Nature in its most innocent forms allows me to focus on the good and the beautiful without an attempt to earn anything. Profit and pups don’t mix well. Gardens may produce, but they respond to slow, steady care best. Books to inform me about the real world or escape into a startling universe offer a fresh perspective to enlarge both mind and soul.

We have yet to name our two newest family puppies, though a vote is on, and, at some point, we’ll all agree. The process of including divergent voices can be complicated. There was a moment when a dictatorship and a firm decree started to look good. But easier isn’t always better. It’s hard to allow for different opinions, especially when they do not align with my own. Many of our cats have been bequeathed with names I could never remember. However, listening to unique, personal voices and appreciating their victories makes for a better world. The puppies don’t appear to have any opinions about their names; they are happy with cuddles, plenty of food, and chew toys to attack.  Feeding, clean-up, training, and daily care will be shared, with me taking the slack when the situation calls for it. Animals, in their innocent need to be loved, offer one of life’s greatest joys. Their response to devotion is devotion. Though we may not agree on names yet, these puppies have lovely spirits, and, on that, we all agree.

Heavy rainstorms and a few freezing nights forced me to wait until late April to plant my seedlings outside. I was rather proud of my efforts. Well-till soil, a few planting tubs and boxes, and even an assortment of tomato and vine cages made the garden bed look nearly professional. Unfortunately, some early seedlings didn’t make it through the transition. I swallowed my pride and humbly paid for a few good-sized plants, in order to have something to harvest before winter sets in. Still, when I stand in the yard and survey the burgeoning little plants, watch the myriads of songbirds swoop from their houses–which I have strategically placed all over the yard out of cat-paw reach–consider the flowering bushes I planted year after year, and appreciate the sheer variety of life buzzing, flying, wriggling, swaying, stretching and growing all over, I am filled with wonder and gratitude. The joy of a garden is not just in the tomatoes and peppers that will be made into spicy salsa in the autumn but in a grand and glorious reality beyond myself. I may tend to plants, but I cannot make them thrive. In that mystery of growth, leading to healthy fruit, I find a wealth of peace, trusting God’s abundant vitality.

I have been reading several biographies that clued me into the hearts, minds, and chosen behaviors of several people involved in the Star Trek television show and movies. I loved the show as a child and always imagined that being in such a production offered high levels of grace. Instead, I was surprised at how troubled lives and insensitive choices were a large part of such an influential force in the world. It reminded me of the DNA that each human being inherits from his or her parents. My husband and I used to say that we hoped our kids got the best of both of us, not the worst of each of us. Yet, in truth, as I look back over our lineage, I see a mix of inherited traits and chosen willfulness. And so it was with the creation of Star Trek. The positive human vision shared by so many was not always reflected in the lives of those who participated in its creation, but it did offer something good to think about and reach toward. Each reader and viewer inherits the Star Trek vision of possibilities but how those are implemented is left to us.

Puppies, gardens, and books are only a few of life’s great treasures and this summer they continue to teach me the value of listening to various voices, focusing on what is beautiful, being at peace with the mystery of trust, and marveling at the good that comes from our mixed inheritance.

Now, it’s time to play…

A. K. Frailey is the author of 18 books, a teacher for 35 years, and a homeschooling mother of 8.

Make the most of life’s journey.

For novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction inspirational books, check out

A. K. Frailey Amazon Author Page

Puppies, Gardens, and Books

Family Stories

For a complete list of books by A. K. Frailey, book trailers, and reviews, check out

A. K. Frailey’s Books Page

For translated versions of A. K. Frailey’s Books, check out

A. K. Frailey’s Translated Books


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