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August transition

2017 August 11
by Rachel Turiel

The rains have come, the evening grosbeaks have returned, the zucchini plants are spitting out slender, green fruit, and I just bought a hefty bag of school supplies for Col and Rose. (Rose did a good job of calming me down in the school supply aisle of the Store That Will not be Named when I was possibly over-reacting about the 75 pencils Col is supposed to show up with. But really. 75?).

Which is to say, transition is brewing. Sigh. School starts in 10 days. Archery season starts soon after. Our beloved foster dog is getting adopted today. Mornings and nights carry a chill. And as per mid-August usual, I’m pacing the garden, certain the tomatoes will never ripen before first frost.

Best recipe for fermented pickles here.

I spent much of June and early July trying to keep the garden alive, stopping just short of fanning the spinach on the hottest of days. Now, after steady weeks of rain, mushrooms are sprouting under the ash tree and our bathroom door has so swelled with moisture that we can’t shut it. Not that we ever did much anyway. The rain has made me so magnanimous that yesterday a pair of grasshoppers flagrantly mated in front of the chard—the same nemeses who’ve all summer had a 25 cent bounty on their head—and I just shrugged and laughed.

At home, Col reads and reads (this series, lately), while Rose fills the chicken’s water with fresh mint leaves, trims her own hair, strums through her small repertoire of ukulele songs and leaves a thin, but accumulating scrim of clothes on the floor so that the earth’s crust is no longer its outermost layer.

We leave tomorrow for our weeklong Farewell to Homeschooling Colorado Tour, which is centered around camping, farmers markets, fishing, and some ceremony and acknowledgement around our years of homeschooling and the big transition ahead. The theme is fledge.

Tying flies for fishing. Dan to Col: “My grandfather taught me that when you’re tying a fly you want to make it durable.”

Right now we’re packing: the recent overabundant crop of zucchinis, the last of the wild meat, many books, and Dan announces he’d like to bring (in our already jammed up Subaru) his 3D foam, lifesize deer archery target. I wait for him to laugh, letting me know this is a joke. “I could remove the legs,” he suggests.

With love and affection in these waning days of summer,


p.s. From the “there you have it” files:

9 Responses leave one →
  1. nancy t permalink
    August 11, 2017

    Thank you for always making me smile!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      August 11, 2017

      So happy to hear that.

  2. August 11, 2017

    We’d sure love some of that rain up here in the northwest! Seattle area hasn’t had measurable rain in 55 days…

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      August 11, 2017

      And heat waves, too I hear? Ack. Hoping for green days ahead for you.

  3. Mary permalink
    August 11, 2017

    I always feel grateful for your gardening observations and reports. N and I are the same “did you pollinate the pumpkins” “were there slugs this morning under the beans?”

    We’ve blanched and frozen the first picking of beans (yellow, green, and purple/yellow “dragon” beans). The neighbour brought over 2 bags of apples, 3 kohlrabi, and a ZUCCHINI…
    We pick our fill of raspberries.
    It’s time to start drying more herbs (rue, cilantro, savory, 3 types of oregano, thyme, chocolate mint).

    Any the brain and heart are filled with lots of happy and sad these days – process, and as you say, Feeling all the Feels.
    Hugs to you and your lovely ones!

  4. Nasha permalink
    August 11, 2017

    Love you guys. I hope to see the target strapped to the roof of your subie as you drive away:)

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      August 11, 2017

      It’ll probably fall off our car right in front of your house. :)

  5. Kathy permalink
    August 11, 2017

    Rachel, I remember the angst my older daughter and I had when she chose college at 15. She found the perfect program at the local community college. We bought her Anatomy & Physiology textbook and took it on vacation to Durango that summer. That fall I drove her into town for two classes a week. Sarah and I did arithmetic and I don’t remember what else in the college library (this was 1994 or 5, I think). Then Robin had her license and could drive herself, once we found a vehicle for her. So I know what you are feeling! All in all she was a successful student, graduated sum cum laude at 18. So I KNOW your children can succeed too, because you gave them opportunities to learn to study, a sense of deep curiosity and logic, and thinking for themselves. They will be wonderful students who will wow the teachers with their home-grown abilities that are developed beyond their ages. Congratulations to everyone!

  6. Judith Ann Henry permalink
    August 12, 2017

    Blessings and thank you to you each and all as you begin to celebrate the : FLEDGE:… much learning and adventures to come….especially with 75 pencils…..thank you for your garden and Lives…..we moved a praying mantis yesterday so she wouldn’t harm the hummingbirds….and the grasshoppers have long lives here…. ever grateful for our communities of be:ings…..

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