School ended June 16; I'm using the end of the year as my excuse for not blogging since May...
The garden went in as planned. There have been some moderate successes: we've eaten radishes, lettuce, swiss chard, sugar snap peas, spinach, herbs, and broccoli rabe from the backyard. The only things growing happily are the chard, lettuce, and herbs. We got 14 whole sugar snap peas...with some carrots, they made a nice little side dish. I'm hoping for more success when I plant out at the end of the summer.
We're still awaiting tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and melons. Keep your fingers crossed for us! Of course, we're not in any danger of starving. Our CSA shares have begun, and we're eating amazing vegetables each week from a farm in Amherst.
Some highlights from the spring/early summer:
-the cardinal pair that have nested in the wisteria outside the kitchen window;
-the new climbing rose out front;
-the three new rugosa roses from North Creek Farm in Maine (they're doing spectacularly). I've included a picture of the Polareis shrub;
-not having to transplant a shrub I thought I would have to...meaning I got to buy another plant for the place I thought I was going to put the shrub. :)
Mom came to visit the week school let out. She's always wonderful to be around, and we had a great time walking, talking, gardening, cleaning, and eating together. Mom's really good at gently goading me into getting projects done, so my front porch looks great. She also helped me plant a new bed out front, which seems to be doing well. (Liatris and lamb's ears are the current stars, but they'll be joined by others next season as I see how they fill in.) On the Wednesday that she was here, Larry had the day off and we went to Concord for the afternoon. Mom wanted to see Orchard House, home of the Alcotts, so we toured that and also the downstairs of the Concord Museum. We picnicked in Minuteman National Park, and it was a beautiful day.
Saturday we took her to Gloucester and Rockport, and she was just thrilled with both of them. They are quintessential New England sea towns, and their quaintness factors were very high. It was fun to hear her keep exclaiming over things. Mom and I stuck our feet in the water in Rockport. Cold like ice, but not too bad as we stood there awhile.
This past Wednesday Beth and Rebecca came up from Orlando. One of the first things I said to them as we made plans Wednesday night was, "I don't drive in Boston." Famous last words...
On Thursday, we drove to Walden Pond, had lunch in Concord and visited two bookstores. Rebecca said she'd like to see Cambridge, and feeling brave I decided to attempt it. I knew Mass Ave. went from Lexington to Cambride (heck, almost to the house) so I thought I 'd just hop on and keep my fingers crossed. While I didn't actually manage to stay on Mass Ave., I did manage to get us to Harvard Square, where I parked so we could walk around the grounds of the university. I never get tired of Harvard Yard. We went in another bookstore, and had coffee. Then I managed to find our way to Jake's Seafood for dinner, and then on home.
As if my derring do on Thursday wasn't enough, on Friday I drove into the city, parked under the Commons, and then at the end of the day drove them (and Susan, their principal) to Wellesley where they're attending a conference. For some reason, having them in the car didn't make me nervous about attempting the driving. Normally, I'm terrified of getting lost or screwing up in the city, and it's exacerbated by company. I felt pretty darned proud of myself!
We had a great visit. It was nice to be with friends that are the comfortable kind, because we've known each other so long. (Well, I haven't known Rebecca that long, but she's been part of Beth's circle for so long it seems like it.) The conversations were easy and flowing, and silence wasn't a problem. Not that I don't have friends like that here in Massachusetts, but Beth and I go back to the summer of '97 and the Central Florida Writing Project, so it's different. It's like family.
Today has been chilly; never above 68 and cloudy. Tonight the fog has rolled in off the water, and it brought with it the smell of the ocean. Salty, with decaying seaweed. I will forever associate that smell with Hough's Neck. I love it.
Just finished reading The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman. It is set in Massachusetts, which is nice. Every so often there was the familiarity of places or events that I know firsthand. It was a good story about family and redemption for the many ways that families hurt each other while loving each other. There was a bit of the magical about it, in the special "gift" that each Sparrow girl received when she turned 13, but also in Hoffman's descriptions of places. Her use of the flora and fauna of the New England woods and marshes made the setting very vivid for me.
I'm hoping for some sun tomorrow. The lawn needs mowing, weeding needs doing, and so does some transplanting. A gardener's work is never done. Yay! :)