"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Monday, September 24, 2012

Summer Leaves With A List

We are officially two days into fall and I think it's grand. Summer was lovely at our house this year but September is a very graceful month, slipping us slowly into a season of cool evenings and boots with a side of crackling leaves. I am thumbing through the pages of my cookbooks looking at roasting and broiling and braising and thinking vaguely about Thanksgiving dinner.

Before we leave it too far behind though...I think its respectful for us to give Summer her due and remember what she was to us this year. I'm following the pattern I set last year by making a list that details what epitomized the last few months at our house here in 2012.

This Was The Summer Of.....

  • Beets. I grew my first this year. Been trying for years. Woot!
  • Baby Pom. Although he wasn't born in summer this summer season has been very focused on him for us in many ways. We've seen him change from tiny, pink scrunched up person to a very alert, lovely, blue eyed soul with his own set of little ideas and preferences. We're so incredibly glad he came.
  • Mosquitoes from hell. The mild winter and hot summer weather meant they proliferated in crazy numbers, even in our city storm drains. Hello West Nile Virus high for our state! Gah!
  • Our first honey harvest. We had a really small one but it was ours none-the-less. 10 glowing pint jars of honey from our own backyard. Next year I plan to not have a baby right when the supers need to go on for honey loading. Maybe we'll have a real harvest next time. 
  • Cousin visiting. My boys saw every single one of their cousins this summer and made lots of happy memories rolling in sand, toasting marshmallows and giggling. 
  • My great sugar detox. I can honestly say that besides honey and maple syrup on occasion or the very, very rare tiny cheat I am sugar and white flour free. I feel amazing. I am in for life.
  • The heat wave of 2012. We had really high temperatures this summer, breaking several records and stressing plants to the max. Thankfully in our part of the country we also had steady rain too which meant we missed the drought that hit the American Midwest full on. 
  • Our first homegrown tree fruit. See this post for an account of how we finally picked the first fruit off a tree of our own planting.
  • The guest room. We had my parents, A's parents, and even Miq and  Penny come to stay this summer! More company than we've ever had before over the summer! May there be more in the future! So fun to use our guest space.
  • My first art show. I have one piece hanging right now in a local gallery. Just a small one..and only one. But such a coup! Am very motivated.
  • The return of the barbeque! So wonderful that this spring A figured out what was wrong with our grill and fixed it himself so that this summer we could finally enjoy grilled goodies after a whole year or so of wishful thinking.
  • The seared eggplant. I grew two kinds of eggplant this year and they were very happy so we were rolling in this vegetable we were only newly acquainted with so we broiled them, we fried them and we stir-fried them allllll the time. So good. We're in love.
  • Guinea pigs. Even though they really came in the spring before the baby I am letting them be included in the list. They are a very fun addition to the house, happily nibbling bits of swiss chard stems from our hands now after a lot of petting, getting to know them and bringing them fresh grass and maple twigs to gnaw. 
  • Illness. I hate to remember it but its so true. I think we were sick on and off for all of June. So rotten. So bizarrely timed. So not something I ever want to repeat.
  • Lawn "camping." This is a family classic and I realize that, its not like we invented anything in this respect, it was just something we'd never tried that will certainly be repeated as a tradition. Ru's idea. He's a bright boy. 
  • The lily beetle. We had a mysterious influx of these bright red little beetles that eat lilies of all kinds this spring. They were on almost every lily plant we have. Never saw them before in my life....but there they were....way too bright to miss.
  • Birding. The boys have been learning birds busily, collecting and identifying feathers and we've been reading slowly through The Burgess Bird Book For Children which has been the engine and fuel for the fire. So much fun! :) Keep meaning to take them over to the local Audubon Society.
  • The wild lawn. Having a baby + insane mosquito population in our yard has meant that I've spent less time than maybe ever in the history of our marriage in the yard and garden. All that really happened after June was an occasional mowing. Yipes! Its a jungle out there. Looking forward to the frost so I can get out there and hack it into shape.
  • The great mushroom famine. I am pretty much always find a few caches of wild mushrooms over the spring and summer but this year between our very hot temperatures, the mosquitoes again (which stopped the huntress not necessarily the fungi) and having a newborn....we didn't find any mushrooms at all. Not one. Sounds really odd to say that.
  • Computer games. They came. I tried to fight it but they're here, unstoppably and undoubtedly with a long career ahead of them in our house. Ru now has his own allotment for daily game time (its a matter of minutes, don't worry....nothing ridiculously out of control). I cringe, but what can you do? We still have no Gameboys or Segas or Xboxs.

I hope your summer was a good season and if it wasn't I hope Autumn comes into your life trailing a woodsmoke scented  peace and lots of new adventures that will imprint themselves on your memory. Maybe you should make a list of your own to remember this summer's now before it sifts out the door. Or one up me altogether and make one for Autumn at the end of this season. Its a concentrated kind of processing and appreciation to distill your memories and impressions into firm bullets on a list.

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