summer’s end

For the final weekend of summer, I spent it in some very summer-y ways.  Apropo, I must say.

On Saturday, I made my first pilgrimage to the Farmer’s Market since we returned from WI two and a half weeks ago.  (How can it be that short of a time?)  On Sunday after church (for which I played organ and for which the girls sat on their own for most of the service – way to go, daughters!!), I decided that it was a good day to work outside.  Which, it was.  The weather was just perfect.  With some token help from Lyd, I swept up all the areas that can be considered our personal areas here on the church property.  As my dad can attest, it’s a sizeable chunk of pavement to be swept.  I also mowed our front lawn for the first time.  Remember how we now have front lawn, rather than just a dirt patch?

[WHAT??? I have not mentioned this new lawn on my blog???  I must not have, because I can’t find any post in which I wrote about this.  Well, the short version of the story is that we haven’t had a front lawn for the 8 years we’ve lived in this house; we only ever had a front dirt patch with a few paltry weeds growing on it.  A similar large dirt patch was located next to church and playground.  This summer, a few people from church decided to fix that situation, and one man, who worked for a landscaping company, told his boss about it, and the boss decided to donate a whole boat-load of sturdy sod for us to use!!  For free!!  Score!!  After the sod was laid next to church, there was quite a bit of sod leftover.  Since it was donated, they decided to put the remaning sod up by our house, which also needed grass.  There was enough sod to fill 3/4 of our front dirt patch, and as the dirt patch already had a sprinkler system installed, it was no trouble to keep the new sod adaquately watered.  So, we now have a lawn!  It is decidedly wonderful. 🙂 ]

Well, this was my first time mowing our new lawn, as well as my first time mowing any lawn at all in at least 10 years, probably closer to 15 years.  I was gratified to realize that I still remember how to do it!  I just have to remember not to wear my regular shoes…

I was pretty tired after all that raking and mowing, but after a 5pm shower and some leftover BBQ pork ribs, I felt much better.

This Labor Day morning, after everyone slept in until 8:30 (bless you, daughters of mine!), the girls and I went to OSH [Orchard Supply Hardware] and bought a bunch of seed packets as well as a few more late annuals to plant.  Lyd and I replanted much of the garden this afternoon.  I don’t have pictures (our digital camera has died), but our garden didn’t do as well as I had hoped.  The peas, lettuce, and onions never grew beyond about two inches tall, and some thing/animal ate the bottom of the climbing beans, so they never did real well either.  The zucchini plants are still full of blooms, but some thing/animal is eating that off, too, and I have yet to see one zucchini start growing.  However, I also think that in my fear of under-watering the plants, I actually over-watering most of them.  So, I’m going to hopefully learn from my experience and try again.  The one thing that did grow well were the pear tomato plants that I bought at the Farmer’s Market back in May.  I have been getting lots of sweet little pear-shaped tomatoes off of those plants.

So, today I planted beans again, but this time bush beans, not climbing beans.  I also replanted lettuce and onions, and we planted a few “Easter Egg” radishes, which should come up in various hues of pink, white and red.  I also think I figured out what was wrong with the carrots, and I replanted some of those.  I replanted peas, too.  Our growing season will last for quite a while yet, and the temperatures only get down to freezing about one or two nights a year, so it should be a nice growing season.  Hopefully the lettuce will do well with the cooler temperatures and a bit less sunlight.  We’ll see.

Tomorrow I have the flowers to plant, and then I’ll be done with my outside planting until next spring.  It’s amazing how little packets of seeds and small flats of flowers can be so much work to plant!  But, it’s fun.

After my day spent digging in the dirt, I again took a shower at 5pm this evening, after which JJ and I loaded up the girls and headed west to the ocean.  We ate at the Flying Fish Grill, a little seafood dive about which I had read a good review.  We weren’t disappointed.  For the first time, JJ and I tried fish tacos and found them surprisingly good.  It’s deep-fried fish in a corn tortilla, with shredded cabbage, guacamole, a bit of cheese, and a “secret sauce.”  We liked it!  We also shared an order of deep-fried cod, shrimp, and calamari.  Not super-healthy, but the seafood was all fresh!  Lyd really liked our calamari; I didn’t have the heart to tell her that calamari are small octopus. 😉

After supper, we drove south along the coast down to a local beach.  As my family and I watched the sun literally drop below the horizon on San Gregorio Beach, the sun’s changing shape reminded me of a scene from the movie “Fiddler on the Roof.”  At about mid-movie, the townspeople are assembling for Tzeitel’s wedding, and there are scenes back and forth between the people walking and the sun setting.  Watching tonight’s sunset reminded me very strongly of that scene, as well as the song that follows it: Sunrise, Sunset.

Sunrise, sunset; sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze.

Sunrise, sunset; sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly flow the years
One season following another,
Laden with happiness and tears.

Isn’t that just life?  Life is such a mix of happiness and tears, and you can’t have one without the other.  No wonder I cry every time I hear that song.


And with that sunset, summer is over.  The school routine begins in earnest now.  This is my last week off between sessions of my music teaching, and this week is not even completely off.  I have two demo classes to teach, as well as an all-day workshop on Friday to somehow manage to attend as much of as I can.  JJ has four airplane trips planned between now and December, two to WI and two to southern CA.  Life is going to get back to its hectic routine again, and I hope we can keep on top of things as best as possible.

At least we had a fun summer with lots of good memories to buoy us up for the next school year!