Temperatures plunged into the twenties last night, officially ending the growing season around here. Ruby and I ran though clouds of our own frosty breath to collect hundreds of green tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers. The rest will be be ok for a few more weeks. Even though the sneaky deer delighted in my open gate and helped themselves to the beet tops.
While I am always blue to see the garden mummify, I also feel relief and excitement as well. With the rows of tender plants officially crossed off my caregiving list, I get to shift my energy elsewhere. And, of course, begin dreaming of next year's plot. Continue reading →
When I stand before trees weeping with a summer's fruit, I experience a primal shift in my guts. I am energized, electrified, entranced. Like, I'm 100% in. No waffling. Attentive and certain.
My feelings are because of three things.
1. It is nothing short of wholesome wizardry. A bare, dry branch shoves out a bud in the spring. And that bud turns into a bee-laden flower. Hundreds of them. Three months later every single flower has morphed into a fistful of fruit.
2. I love the thrill of plucking plums, cherries, apricots, apples, pears, peaches. Even more, I love climbing to the highest branches that carry the largest, most colorful fruit. My legs get all scraped up as I ascend nature's scaffolding into a honeyed storm of leaves, twigs and this winter's nourishment for my family. I shake the tree and it shakes me back. We dance together and I laugh every time.
3. I get to do this mostly because of the generosity of friends and neighbors. People who share their abundance with me which feels so so lucky. Continue reading →
She threw up before she could even try the squash soup she asked for. The powerlessness and humility of being on knees, a fistful of her hair in my hand while she leans on the toilet, her body rejecting the little bit she ate that day.
She sleeps pretty well but I don't. I've been wide awake for several hours every night this week. Tonight's cyclical thought: did I close the chicken run all the way? Could a raccoon slip in there? At 1am, I reluctantly get up. I slide my feet into my red rubber clogs and trod to the coop under the huge, bright moon. It seems the moon has been full for days. It wasn't all the way closed. I climbed into bed with her and she's breathing fast. She's hot. I refill the essential oil diffuser, move her body onto cool sheets, kiss her freckled eyelid.
google search: average breaths per minute 8 year old Continue reading →
We're home after many weeks away. My garden plot and laundry piles competing for attention. The garden wins.
The baskets make excellent forts anyway.
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I've been saying and I'll keep saying it. This summer is nuts. Company and travels have us rushing about more than we're used to. All good things, all good things. But holy! Weddings, reunions, camping and adventuring have the Clines moving and shaking over these warm, river-dipped, suntanned months.
Our most recent adventure was a big one. Andy and I packed mules into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Andy's boss and our friend, Chris Eyer, has nine mules and three horses and dude is passionate about his craft: swaddling gear and packing with giant, beloved, hooved animals deep into the wild. Continue reading →