Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summertime Roll

I don't know what it is about summertime, but even as a grown-up it seems so much more relaxed.  More time for everything outdoors.  This  could be the result of being snowbound for 5 months, but the extended evening light energizes even those of us early risers, to prolong our days into the late evening sunsets.

When we were growing up (Billy & I), we would spend a week every summer at a place called the Alisal.  It is a guest ranch in Solvang, CA. and was a perfect place full of rest, relaxation and fun.  You'd turn in the drive and just know you were on vacation, and ready to see the same friends every year.  It has a similar kind of simple care free feeling to the vacation setting in Dirty Dancing.  For many years Brian and I also went there, it was our choice for a honeymoon spot.  

We've often commented that just driving into our long secluded drive feels like we've turned down Alisal Rd.  All we're missing is the landscape dotted with oaks.  We do have one oak tree, but it's fairly hidden, out in the tree row.  Brian just found a baby oak growing which he managed to transplant a month ago and it's doing great.  What a blessing that this is the feeling we come home to!  Our kids get to suspend real life when they come home and play, help in the garden, or dream up a new project (Sidney is currently dying to make a vermiculture).  

Interesting thought... do the kids get to suspend real life, or is it the grown-ups doing that?  We've created this increasingly efficient environment for them to call home and it is their real life.  So is our escape and dream just their cool childhood?  I hope so.

I've been remiss on garden pictures so I've included some of the lushness that is getting larger everyday.  We picked swiss chard last night and leave it to Brian to create a great centerpiece with it the day before we consume it.  

The only downside to this years garden, is it seems to be the blood letters den.  Do not go and peruse the veggies un-protected.  The vampire-like mosquitos will swarm!  We're just waiting, weeding, and watering right now as things ripen and mature.  It is however, berry time!  We're harvesting today, currents, mulberries and raspberries which are all abundant.  As an aside, Brian just left for a morning walk along the train tracks to pick wild blackberries.

As to the cutting garden, I just left it to grow this year.  The time that it needed the most attention, was right when both Brian and Charlie had their separate yet equally traumatic accidents.  I've found that letting all of the wild flowers go to seed last year allowed for a beautiful and natural cutting garden this year.  The echinacea is blooming beautifully right now and the natural "weeds" that have come up in between are gorgeous.  There's something to be said for less is more on the intervention front and just let it grow and flourish.  

Maybe that is what we need to take away from life... less is more, just grow and flourish.

***if you'd like to listen to one of our favorite Janes songs and the inspiration for this blog title go here.

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