Now that school has started and we are settling in, we're all reading more. Adam's laptop died (he contests that he will NEVER AGAIN buy a cheap PC machine, and will wait until he can afford an Apple again), so even he is back to pen and paper. Here's a little picture of some of our reading:
You can see that we're delving into Medieval. From "Beowulf," the girls sprung naturally into "The Lord of the Rings." I had them watch portions of the movies, so they could get a visual impression of what a mead hall might look like. They watched the movies, and then wanted to dive back into the books. Anna finished "The Hobbit," and now they're both reading "Fellowship" again. I'm reading Bede; Adam is doing Holmes.
And summer drags on. I know some people adore summer and its warmth, but I find it only exhausting and endless, especially in the South. We plan for tomatoes early in the season, but by the time they arrive, I'm tired of the heat and don't want to be in the garden. I planted these heirloom Brandywines right by the back door. They've thrived, but they are all bush and no fruit. I heard on Sunday that some people PRUNE their tomatoes, and perhaps that would have helped.
After the pool died and was hauled away by the trash men, my boys put together our patio and fire ring, probably permanently. It reminds me of autumn and marshmallow-roasting and sweater-wearing. I find the orderly look of the pavers to be appealing. Summer seems to descend into chaos somehow, a life without order or schedule, the weeds winding and climbing and overtaking. I long for a good, hard frost to beat back the mosquitoes and freshen the air.
In spite of the number of plants we put in, we haven't had a large crop of tomatoes yet. Still, they're beautiful, and I've enjoyed a few BLTs so far.
The garden. I hesitate to show this horror of weeds, but that's exactly what happened to it. However, I must say there's not much in there. The tomatoes are separate. Honestly, there's only potatoes buried in among the weeds, and 3 watermelon plants that didn't do anything. I imagine the next excitement in the garden will be the hummm of a lawn mower.
You see, life is messy and broken. And in spite of the fun and glamor portrayed on many blogs, the truth is that under the order and quiet of our lives, we feel discouragement, despair, even desperation. I did find one beautiful "Mortgage Lifter" tomato (ha! That's an irony!) in the garden today. When I turned it over?
I'll slice off that damaged part and enjoy the good fruit. But I'd better do it today, before the entire fruit is rotted from that hole. Thus I examine the dark underside of my life, and acknowledge it, but I don't give it rein in my life. Cut it away, and relish what is good.