The weather has been incredible lately. High 60's, even into the 70's. Short sleeves in a warm breeze but with crackling underfoot and naked branches stretching overhead. A few geese remain... confused and honking on ponds. Wondering...should they stay or should they go? No need to haul wood yet or to feed the fire. Every day, one more day to celebrate not wearing a coat and not even considering throwing shoes on when you go outside. The most perfect weather. I only miss the colors of summer and fiery blazes of long-dropped leaves.
We went for a walk in the woods the other day. Andrew climbed up an old rotten tree and discovered a treasure.
Well, if you consider bloody carcasses and tufts of fur treasure.
Well, Adele's face says something different but, generally, we do.
Not the home of any owl, we are thinking eagle, hawk or falcon. All of which have been spotted right around our pastures and this part of the woods. We have even spied a bald eagle or two this past summer.
I very much detest the getting dark at 5:00 pm bit but the morning skies have been particularly beautiful lately. I love waking up to pink or golden hued curtains.
And puffy lipped little boys in the golden glow of morning.
We planted garlic the other day. It was later than I had hoped to plant, but it worked out well because the weather has been so grand. It isn't hard to find excuses to be outdoors these days and garlic was a good one. The children all helped because bending over these days doesn't come as easily or as gracefully as it once did. Neither does getting up from hands and knees. ;-)
I got the garlic from a friends' spring crop-they always grow monstrous heads. We planted 168 cloves. I write that down only so I can determine how much we need and should plant. Will it be enough? Will it be too much? Is it even possible to plant too much?
The tomatoes lining all our window sills are continuing to ripen. I canned a few more jars last weekend. Nine windows, still lined with tomatoes though and some cherry tomatoes in a pie dish for salads.
Judah came running inside one evening while I was working in the kitchen- he grabbed my hand with gusto and began pulling me outside, shouting "Mama! Gwab yo camwa! You HAFTA SEE DIS!" This was his beautiful sky. And yes, I did have to see it.
When I grab a jar of home-canned this or that, as I do almost daily here, I have to pause and look at all the beautiful colors lining those shelves. The colors of fall. The tastes of summer. The hours of work laying in wait for when I need them back.
I remember when I used to stash my canned goods on a little shelf. And, as the years passed, the jars spread out more and more. Then, Matt built this canning cupboard for me a few years ago and I wondered if I would ever fill it. Time passed and canning jars spilled over into nooks and crannies and now this is one of three heavy laden spots that I hide home canned goodies- with need for more space.
I think how different a person I was back then and how much I have changed. I think of how those first nervous steps were necessary to prepare me for the life I lead now. Canning is only one example of course. I remember the first bit of sewing I did for fun and that I clothe children now with those skills I began once upon a time. The first dinky garden plot using straight manure on a concrete trailer pad. I remember the first pictures I took (horrible) and the immense joy snapping photos brings me now. There are a million different things that have shaped who I am without me realizing that is what was happening.
I wonder what little steps I am unknowingly taking today that are growing and preparing me for a future I can't yet see.
Who will that girl be? Where am I going?
It is a wonderous thing to have the hope of a future, even if we can't see it.