Ripping it off.

The thing about living in old houses is that something always needs work. The back porch was iffy when we bought the place twenty years ago. But as long as it stayed relatively intact, it was the house repair can we kicked down the road. Until one day this spring when a sizable enough chunk fell off that we realized there was no more putting off getting a new back porch. A temporary repair was made with a sheet of plywood, but clearly, the porch needed attention because someone, most likely the dog, was going to fall through it sooner rather than later.

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Summertime Rolls

We are at that point of July where the Fourth is a pleasant memory and the lazy, long, hot days of summer roll together. The other day, the 5:00 p.m. parking lot at Barracks Road had more parking spaces than cars in it – a tell tale sign of exactly how things slow down around here this time of year.

Without the structure of school, our days feel looser –alarms aren’t always set so mornings are quiet and casual. No rush.

No matter how hot and muggy the day is, there is an outdoor happy hour in the front yard practically every afternoon/evening, while a steady stream of teenagers/friends/neighbors and their dogs pop through to say hello. Dinner involves some version of corn/squash/eggplant/tomatoes with herbs from the garden that we linger over while we watch Betsy beagle lay in wait for lightning bugs as dusk sets in.

Bathing suits and towels hang on the line in hopes of drying between afternoon thunderstorms to be worn to the water again tomorrow. Walking the dog after dark, you can feel the heat of the day still rising off the pavement. There are always popscicles and Klondike bars in the freezer, melons, berries and peaches in the fridge. Summertime and the eating is good.

The lazy, hazy days of summer seem to stretch on endlessly, when in reality, they are fleeting at best, their time cut short by the responsibilities of work and school.

But we soak them in while we can, squeezing in as many picnics, barbecues, baseball games, berry picking, road tripping excursions as possible, swimming every day. The magic of summer may be fleeting, but thank goodness it comes around every year.

Holiday Postcard.

I thought about sending a holiday card this year, I did.  But then it fell through the cracks of everything else going on around here, as is the case in recent years. It occurred to me at one point, if I was ever going to write one of those holiday letters, this would be the year to do so, as it’s been quite the eventful year for us.  Which is when I got the brilliant idea to just do one of those in this space, seeing how pretty much everyone that reads here regularly are either related to us or friends. Continue reading

In which patience starts to pay off.

Gardening is one of those hobbies that requires that so-called (and overrated if you ask me) virtue known as patience. It can take years to realize a vision as plants settle in, establish themselves and finally, spread out.  It’s a constant work in progress, with mother nature ultimately the one in control.

My friend Anna, who is a gardener to which I dare not hold a candle to, posted a photo of her bluebells yesterday, which made me go look in the backyard for mine. I had checked last week, but there were little signs of life back there at the time.  It was after all, snowing two weeks ago then warm enough for an outdoor happy hour under a blooming pink tree one week ago, so this week, there finally were signs of life all over.


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