It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ode to Summer

This summer weather just doesn't want to end... and the weatherman says it's going to get hotter this weekend. So I'm going to try a positive post about Summer. My heart is not in it (because of the heat), but here goes.
We will have good memories of the summer reunion in Manteca and our friends that came up to see us the day before the "party". We have known these two for a very long time. Al was the Prospector's best friend in high school and his best man at our wedding. That's was fifty years ago.
Ginny had never been up here since we built a house on this mountain. I'm so glad that they bothered to drive up here. They flew from Seattle and landed in Sacramento. They went out of their way to come up and see our place, even though we were going to see them the next day in Manteca. Now, that's what I call friendship.
It is the same with my friend "C" who lives in Sacramento. Remember her little dog Max?
 The other day she drove up here with Max and her ninety six year old mother, just for the day. Just to give her Mom a special ride in the Foothills and lunch at her friend's house. Now I know why friendship is so important... in so many different ways. It's a process. It's keeping in touch anyway you can, which is so easy these days. Email makes excuses lame.
 My mother was only able to see this farm of ours one time.  Having "C"s mom here was a reminder of how fast life goes by and how much you miss those who are gone. This visit meant a lot. "C" gave me a gift without even knowing what it meant to me. She brought her mother up here on a beautiful summer day and brought me memories of my mother too. It's hard to explain.
I'm going to frame our grandchildren's summer art creations and hang them on our walls. I love these gifts of beauty and talent from "the Beans". The years are moving by so fast and they will grow into other activities. Hopefully, these artful expressions will continue, but they will never be as innocent as they are now. These are the master works of the unfettered minds of their childhood.
Like the bird that my oldest grandson made for me, when I was down there a few weeks ago... A giant lavender bird with drawings of the wind on its wings.
...designed with creativity, craft paper and cloths pins.... with a smile on its face.
 A winged creature made from my Bean's imagination... and with love, just for his Noni. Yea... I get to be the recipient of his generous little soul.

So, this has been a good summer. As much as I complain about the hot weather, I love this summer for lots of reasons.
The way the earth smells at night and early in the morning.
The lizards...
 snakes and frogs that wander into, or live in, our garden.
The constellations that I watch every night from my bed. The open window over my head.
I'm thankful that...
Fire didn't find us this year.
The Rattlesnakes were few.
We only lost one old chicken.
And... our pump didn't go dry.

Our new chicks are reaching maturity and one left us a gift last week.
One perfect brown egg. The "roadie" won the race. She was a bit older that the other newbies... so she had an advantage. This summer was slim on egg production. The oldsters weren't laying anymore. We had to BUY EGGS for a while. It was awful!
The tomatoes are coming all at once. So I boil water...
 Drop the tomatoes in for 30 seconds.
 Then into ice water for a minute.
And the skins slide right off. It's amazing. Then I make spaghetti sauce and freeze it.
It's got to be done. I've given away all I can. Folks aren't saying "Thank you!" anymore. There's a limit to the generosity of tomato giving.
And still they come...
This is the morning's harvest. I've dried the little Tomaccio sweet tomato raisins but we don't like them. I had to use the oven, for lack of a food dehydrator and I think they got too "dried". Live and learn.
The basilico is beautiful this year. The heat makes it grow like a weed. I've made lots of freezer Pesto. I dried the basil too. I also dried some sage. Sure smells good around here. Sure is cheaper than buying dried herbs.

So that's my tribute to SUMMER.
Now it can leave, heat and all, with a promise to return next year... but, it needs to leave.
I'm ready for wind, rain, baking, knitting, wearing sweaters, chilly hikes and maybe... if I please the gods and don't kill anymore rattlesnakes... some SNOW.... glorious SNOW.



6 comments:

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

It was a good summer, wasn't it? And how nice to spend a late summer day with good friends.

I'm wishing for you and pleasant Autumn that leads into a perfect Winter with a few evenings of softly falling snow....leaving behind just enough to play in!

Brian Miller said...

see there are good things about the summer...minus the heat...ha the power outage def ranks up there with the summer memories i wanna forget but....love all the art of the grands...i that you are going to frame it...what a cool butterfly....

i hope it cools off for you...

Terra said...

I agree with your words about the sweetness of friendships, and I envy you those red globes of tomato goodness. Our tomatoes want more heat and sun altho our basil is thriving. How fun to see an egg from your very own chicken.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

I too am ready for the chill of autumn...we haven't had any rain here since July 4th and I'm amazed our well hasn't run dry. No rain in sight. But today I went out and bought $40 worth of roving for both wet and needle felting! I want to settle in and have a REAL rainy day for a change.

Tombstone Livestock said...

I'm with you, I want this heat to go away until next year, hopefully late June or July next year.

Pauline said...

I like your tribute to summer, it's like a fond farewell. I'm waiting to welcome it to my part of the world, but it is slow in coming. Love your grand-kiddie art, it really is something to be treasured, isn't it? I hope your dreams of winter come true.