Six Weeks Until Autumn

Lake Macbride State Park trail – Summer 2019

It’s time to move on. Yet… I would linger in this spectacularly Iowa summer.

It is a summer like those remembered from childhood. Long, warm days that stretch into a vanishing point. Cool nights to greet an early riser well before dawn. A never ending chance to find opportunity in a world which lies beyond the work-a-day society in which careers were spent.

No one can meaningfully say how many more of these days we’ll have before the atmosphere turns humid, making outdoors living unbearable. Despite the lack of rain, it’s been a good summer. A time to reap what we sowed and arrive into autumn.

A couple of things.

I’m tasting the first apples from two trees daily, evaluating sweetness and crunch, background color and appearance. While Japanese beetles invaded the leaves, there will be fruit for the kitchen. One doesn’t see apples like mine in grocery stores because they are small and imperfect from living in a pesticide-free environment. Commercial growers would have culled most of them for juice yet they are a main crop for the production of seasonal baked goods, cider vinegar, juice and applesauce if I need it. Picking and processing them will be a bigger project than usual.

Cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash are winding down in the garden. Soon I’ll pull up the plants, till the soil and plant next year’s crop of garlic. I am only just learning how to cultivate garlic and looking forward to this second year of my own plants.

My bedside table got crowded with too many books so I need to set priorities for the rest of summer reading. Processing garden abundance will take time away from reading, so I expect to complete fewer books this month. I just started the novel Milkman by Anna Burns, which won the Man Booker Prize last year.

Tuesday colleagues from California met with U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) who agreed to add his name to the list of sponsors of the No First Use Act introduced in January by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Adam Smith (D-WA). The bill would establish by law it is the policy of the United States not to use nuclear weapons first, which is what most Americans believe. It was a positive step.

As it usually does, writing daily for Blog for Iowa while the editor was on summer hiatus inspired new interest in seeing the world through a progressive lens. The last of those posts appeared here this week, clearing the palate for new topics and better writing.

However, there are six more weeks of summer to enjoy.

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