Living in Society

Postcard from Summer Holiday – #2

Wildflowers on the state park trail.

Entering the last week of July, the garden is coming on strong. The refrigerator is full, the freezer is getting full. There is a lot to do in our kitchen garden every day.

Last night’s dinner was what I’d call garden soup. I harvested a bin of vegetables and as I cleaned them threw bits and pieces (cauliflower leaves, broccoli stems, peas and cabbage leaves) into a soup pan along with mirepoix, bay leaves and seasonings. It was occasion to use up veggies that had been in the refrigerator a while, like wilted lettuce, zucchini, kale, green beans, kohlrabi, and sweet corn. I added a couple of cans of prepared beans, a handful each of lentils and barley. Soup like this always comes out good. I froze enough for two future dinners.

I adjusted to being on holiday. That means I am getting more sleep, exercising daily, eating well, and spending my days as productively as possible. There are naps… in the middle of the day.

Reading consisted of two books this month, Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler. and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I didn’t care for the violence in either of them. I started Loretta Lynn’s memoir Coal Miner’s Daughter and set aside books that require deep engagement in social or historical facts. I’ve been doing “summer reading.”

My work at Blog for Iowa turned into covering for much of the month of July. I hope readers enjoy the writing I am cross-posting here. I’ve been posting at Blog for Iowa since February 2009 and as long as the publisher continues to have an interest, so will I.

This July has been exceedingly hot. There has been good rainfall but the heat makes going outside in the afternoon oppressive. I attended an evening potluck dinner at the nearby city’s park and the breeze took away the oppressiveness. For a while it felt like summer I remember from being a grader when our home did not have air conditioning. It was a positive feeling.

I’m not back from holiday and will continue at least until Labor Day. For the moment I’m enjoying what days I can and living a life. The direction I hoped to find has been elusive yet there is time. Sometimes we need to simply drift and get our bearings.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!