Summer’s remnants

tomatoes in the gardenOur summer garden limped along this year, started late and plagued by under-watering (I couldn’t stem my drought fears, not even for veggies, and as we drift into fall our tomato plants are as dry and golden as our once-green lawn). Our exposure on the veggie boxes is not ideal, and our small gardeners prefer digging and whacking over, say, weeding and pruning. We managed to harvest red and gold and the occasional green tomato, chiles galore, huge handfuls of basil and thyme and cilantro, even a solitary yellow squash. Nothing like the careless, constant overproduction of our garden-from-before, but still something. We got our hands dirty, we watched things grow, we understood first-hand the crumbly, deep dryness of the droughtContinue reading

Too fast to fold

JRunsBlurOfColorJRunsBlurOfColor2

If you look closely at the two pictures, you can see our sweet boy. In the first, there is a foot – barely – under the chair on the right. In the second, a flash of blonde and his airplane-blue pajamas, over near the window. Our walls are still covered in forgotten train schedules, Lego people rest abandoned on bookshelves, and he remains “a blur of color!”,  as he shouted triumphantly all summer long, on each race through the house. But now he is racing through mornings at kindergarten, because as Catherine Newman beautifully put it, they leave us in incrementsContinue reading

A particular wish

LulionWith the springtime falling of rain, our yard washed over with dandelions. As each came into its own puffy fluffy fullness, Lucas would find it. Each newly-found dandelion was a discovery, a delight, a cause for celebration. And after each celebration there was a pause, while he considered to what use he should put this particular wish. Then his lips would pucker like a kiss, and with a whoosh the seeds would sail into the air, off on their own adventures and (I suspect) eventually coming back round to our own weed-riddled grass, to sprout and to grow and to flower again. Continue reading

What flowers grow

flowering weedsThe boys have been intent on reminding me this week that THOSE ARE NOT WEEDS! They are FLOWERS! Their insistence comes after I went on a bit of a rampage clearing out a flower bed and into the green bin went a heap of their beloved sour grass. But they are not alone in their enthusiasm; at our market this past Saturday I met a farmer whose entire acreage is given over to what grows there of its own volition. She had strawberries for sale, tiny red ones. In big buckets were curvy-stemmed, three-foot-tall gaggles of weeds. Or flowers, if you’d like. With thoughts of my guys, I brought home a bunch. Continue reading

A nudge

sconesAndLuThere are many brands of maternal guilt that can swamp us. The version I’m currently swimming through involves failing to notice, despite three days worth of complaints about “itchy” hands, that my son was having a life-threatening allergic reaction to an antibiotic. I did notice, eventually – right around the moment he woke up covered in head-to-toe, blistering welts, his eyes swollen to bloodshot slits. Continue reading

Digging in

LuBarbI spent an hour today sitting on the couch, looking out the big windows into the yard. I was holding a slumped, sleeping boy; Alice Munro’s words (What there is time for is looking out the window … ) and the weight of his fever-warm head kept me from propping him against the pillows and Getting Something Done. Instead through that golden wedge of afternoon, I gazed at our fading open-house landscaping and imagined the very chicken corral that of late I am set on building.  It will have Continue reading