July 15, 2013

summer’s simple taste

Dill is my favorite herb, and I let it grow wild everywhere in my garden. In summer, I put it almost everything I cook. (When I cook, which, I admit, isn’t often.) These stems are as tall as I am, like so many other plants in my garden. All the rain we’ve had has made everything twice as high as usual.

The kiss me over the garden gate is already above my head.

I spent yesterday weeding and mulching two more beds in the side garden, laughing at how far behind I am in my chores, but enjoying the process all the same. I usually aim to have all of this done by Father’s Day, but this year, I couldn’t make it happen. So now, I will putter my way through the beds all summer and tidy up as I go.

I also spent a lot of time reading this weekend, I’ve discovered a series by Nancy Turner and I am just loving these books. Last weekend I read These Is My Words, and this weekend, Sarah’s Quilt. There is one more in the series, The Star Garden, which I can’t wait to start. The books chronicle the story of a woman who traveled through Arizona and Texas as a child in the 1800s and settled there–they are very much like grown-up versions of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series, and honestly, I couldn’t put either one down until I had finished. I know that I am going to miss Sarah Agnes Prine when I am done reading them all. Those are the best kind of books in my opinion, the ones you miss.

Reading these stories made me marvel at how easy we have life compared to the way people used to live. We take so much for granted, all the technology and conveniences we have that allow us to rise above simple survival mode. We grow food in our gardens because we choose to, not because we have to. We don’t have to boil water in cauldrons to do our laundry. We have air conditioning and indoor plumbing and electricity, and we only pay attention to them when they don’t work.

We tend to think about the “good old days” in terms of all the things we wish we still had and did, but we forget how hard it was just to get through life. Reading these books has certainly made me appreciate mine.

Life is good, even when it’s not easy and carefree.

That’s my lesson for the summer.

Savor the simple things.


Wishing you a week filled with summer’s flavor.




July 16, 2012

it could be worse, it could be raining…

And yesterday morning, for a while, it did. Not nearly enough, but at this point, I have to assume that anything at all will help. Our grass is very thirsty. The trees are very thirsty. My garden has been watered, but that is never the same.

When I got out of bed, instead of the sunny day that I had intended to spend gardening, I found grey skies and soft rain. And just like that, I changed my plans. I decided to take a day off, from everything.

I puttered and perused, drank tea and relaxed, curled up in my favorite chair with a book. And oh my, what a book.

I chose The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, after hearing many good things about it. And it was perfect. Just exactly the book I have been looking for these past few weeks. An unforgettable book. A beautiful book. A book that will change you just by reading it. In many ways, it’s a very sad book. A heartbreaking story that made me cry more than once.

I finished it last night at around 10:00 o’clock. And then I sat in my chair and thought about how blessed I am to simply be here. Alive. In a comfortable chair. Inside a home that has air conditioning, even if it is only window units. Well-fed from the simple, lovely dinner my husband and I cooked together.

Life is hard for all of us at times. But it is so easy to forget that even when it is hard, it is still life. And no matter how hard it gets, it could always be worse.

I sat in my chair and I was grateful. For nothing at all except the breath I was taking.

I walked outside and stared up at the stars, and I couldn’t find even one fault.

For that, John Green, I thank you.



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