These late summer days have found a familiar rhythm that I once knew, only this time it is less rushed.
My gardens in this climate are amazing and the height of the weeds is pretty astonishing too. Once I could no longer find the corn stalks I donned my clippers and headed into the mess snapping down the towering weeds and unearthing beans ready to dry for winter stews. Orange and white orbs of pumpkins appeared and I set them on squares of straw to keep dry. There is more to harvest than we can eat and I am busy preserving. The root cellar takes on the comforting image I love of pristine stained glass rows of beets, corn, tomatoes. Green beans, relish, and jams. I am in my element.
Sometimes I cannot believe that we own a house that we seemingly handpicked before we ever saw it. An old adobe house with a root cellar, wood stove, chicken coop.
I lean down and give a chicken massage to Eloise. They got into the seeds I was drying and who knows where the shisho and radishes will be popping up!
I dash around from task to task, starting bread dough, canning tomatoes, harvesting herbs, teaching classes from my front room. The people of this beautiful place have already heard of me. A young woman comes to my front door with a hurt shoulder needing a salve. A large black lab (and his mom) comes for eye medicine.
I have a housekeeper that comes once a week so I can spend more time doing what I want to do. When she arrives I have one pocket of my Mennonite apron filled with beans and the other with a few eggs I have gathered. The clothes on the line dry quickly in the warm sun behind me. She told me, “My granddaughter asked me what my people are like. I said, ‘Oh, they’re like Amish.'” I stifled a giggle. I asked her if she knew where I could get a cord of wood.