Thursday, August 20, 2009
It was going to be a summer of travel -to the west coast to visit family, to upstate New York for a week of camping, to Vermont to visit an old friend, to the eastern end of MA to visit the grands. When the longer, larger expeditions failed to happen, it became a summer of pure relaxation.
The vegetable garden, planted in the persistent June rain, failed miserably. Last summer at this time I was awash in tomatoes to be jarred, cucumbers to be pickled, corn to freeze. This summer I had exactly four cucumbers and just enough tomatoes for a meal or two. The good news? I didn't have to weed, to spend hours over a steaming kettle, spend extra on canning jars and lids. There is nothing so bad that some small good doesn't come of it.
The patio garden, on the other hand, flourished. There are five large yellow-orange pumpkins growing from the rogue seed in the compost. I have put fresh chives, parsley, oregano, basil or mint in almost every meal I've made. The flowers have grown splendidly, blooming first in shades of pink and purple and now in bright yellow as the Rudbeckia nitida 'Herbstsonne' reach for the sky. My daughter calls this the "clown" plant as the impossibly tall stalks support rather smallish blossoms in comparison to the height.
I have done some odd jobs from time to time, it's true - I've been tutoring a small boy weekly and spent time with the 93 year old mother of a friend, chauffering her to the doctor, the hairdresser, the grocery store. A former high school student brings her writing once a month or so for reading aloud and suggestions. I've been to see the grands, went to their swim meets and ball games. But the bulk of the summer vacation? I've mainly taken lessons from Parker the cat - eat well, sleep often, and greet each day with a contented smile.