Homestead happenings: now
Um, have your kids grown leaps since we met here last?
And your gardens, too?
I don’t know if it’s the transitory nature of summer—flowers to seeds in a blink—but I’m already nostalgic for the moment that just passed. I’m wistful for these long, sticky days; for the insanely gorgeous blue larkspur flaunting itself above winding squash vines; for my own two children and their very childhoods even as we’re all together down by the river, the un-capped sun pouring heat on us.
Yesterday I was coming home from a bike ride and on a whim I stopped at Col’s friend Mathew’s house and invited him to ride back with me and hang out with Col and Rose for the rest of the morning. Mathew got the OK from his parents, strapped on his bike helmet, hopped on his bike and we were off – me and this dear boy I’ve known since he was stuffed in a sling, gumming watermelon with 3 teeth. And it’s not like, say, me and my friend Siana at 17, borrowing my mom’s Mazda and heading south on Hwy 101 for spring break for a week with no set itinerary (postscript: immense gratitude to Ellen and Ike for trusting us even if your jaws never unclenched that whole week). But still, Mathew’s mom waved him off cheerily without so much as thrusting a bag of sliced apples in his hand.
Of course, nostalgia is a trickster, laying out a sumptuous feast of delights, enticing you with its sweet buttery smells; then the moment you grab your fork, everything disappears.
On New Years Eve, the brink of 2005, 24-weeks pregnant with Col, I spent the weekend at a silent Buddhist meditation retreat. We wrote our intentions for the new year on slips of paper and then burned them in the red-rock desert at midnight. I scrawled: my intention is to accept all circumstances surrounding this pregnancy. Two days later my water broke.
While my emergency flight soared above a rollicking snowstorm, the words of Eugene Cash, our wise weekend teacher, pinged in my head: “the only ground you have to stand on is this moment.” And really, that is the good news, it helps me flip the channel from nostalgia to now.
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On the homestead, now:
The garden is at a gawky adolescent stage. The lettuce and spinach are gangling up lanky and seedy and rough-edged. The broccoli leaves are growing as fast as a 15-year old’s feet. The beets are a bunch of pre-teen girls, all clumped together, wishing for more curves.
Yesterday I spent the morning tucking lettuce seeds into the negative spaces of the garden, where they might wriggle up in the dappled shade of a row of tomatoes, because after eating garden salads daily since February (thanks, coldframe), I still can’t help but announce at dinner “guys, can you believe this lettuce?” as if we’re all on vacation gazing at some tropical novelty, instead of actually eating salad VVXIIX.
Col and Rose are like hungry magpies, plucking each strawberry, pea pod or cherry tomato about 3 seconds after they’re officially ripe, which is exactly what I hoped they would do.
Raspberries on the make:
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Friends, it has been hot here. Dan keeps stringing tarps up around the yard to make little pockets of shade, which is a fantastic $5.99 solution to 90F. No can bear to cook (except candied pecans, apparently) and I’m testing out a new diet: iced coffee, watermelon and hippie peanut m’n’m’s.
Last week we got our first rain of the season. A fast, hard and brief dousing, what we call a t-storm ’round these parts. Precipitation in the Southwest is always a celebration and an event. I’m one of those people who sticks my head out the window, hollering at the first pitter-patter, inciting every neighborhood dog.
When the rain let up we ran outside. Col built a dam to capture some of the gutter-flowing water.
Rose and her friend Tjarn were in the middle of dressing up, and like damsels at a ball called out to meet an eligible prince, they fled outside without even enough time to put their glass slippers on.
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On one of our recent scorcher days we drove up to 10,200 feet to bask in the loveliness of the mountains with dear friends. First, we stopped to fill our 5-gallon water jug (and water guns) with spring water.
Kati is another friend I met through the blogging world. She invited me over last summer to identify some weeds in her backyard and Col and Rose promptly threw off their clothes, turned on Kati’s hose and made a big mud pit to roll around in. Kati never so much as raised an eyebrow; I’ve loved her ever since.
Iris and Rose in the thimbleberry (wouldn’t it be cool if we all had flower names? What would yours be?)
Mine might be glacier lily:
Thanks so much for all your encouraging, supportive words on my last post. And even if I wasn’t asking permission to spend my summer drinking iced coffee and epic-ing over cucumber tendrils instead of being on the computer, I love that you all want to keep me outside as much as possible.