|old and young feet|
We’ve been living in the Maryland countryside for two weeks now, and only today did I have enough time to start a post here, time to even think of writing more than a shopping list.
We’re taking care of four grandchildren while Pearl and Nate are abroad. They are energetic and happy-family-robust kids between the ages of eight and fifteen, who should help me stay young if they didn’t make me feel so old and tired by comparison.
The heat and humidity are enervating as well, though today when I was driving (alone, for the first time) a road that curves along under tall leafed-out trees and with lush bushes and vines on the borders, I was able to contemplate the agricultural resources of heat and humidity and summer rains. I stopped along the way at one of the numerous produce stands to buy big peaches and some squash, and drove into the driveway past the neighbors’ hibiscus with dinner-plate blooms.
|a Natchez berry|
Last week in preparation for Mr. Glad’s birthday we all went to the berry farm to pick giant thornless blackberries in stark contrast to the little wild things we usually have to pick for hours to make a couple of pies. We had more than enough berries in about twenty minutes, but it didn’t feel right to us, to pay with so little time, so we picked some more, and ended up with more than enough for three big pies that I spent most of the next day baking.
Mr. Glad fell in love with a German striped tomato at the farm store, so we brought it home for the dinner.
That day Aunt Kate and Uncle Soldier came to celebrate with us, and their youthful energy was very welcome. Some of that energy went into making sushi for the birthday guy.
Lots of things are different here in the East from what we see on the West coast. A groundhog wandered across the lawn yesterday, a huge creature that we had only seen in “Groundhog Day.” And Mr. Glad found a large butterfly that was new to us. Fireflies and cicadas liven up the back yard in the evenings, when the temperature drops a little and we can actually stand to be outside with them.
Neither of us had been on the sort of Atlantic beach where people play and swim in the summertime, so we made the effort of a long drive to Fenwick Island State Park in Delaware and the grandchildren loved it. It had been a while since their last experience of the ocean and some of them had listened to many scary jellyfish stories in the meantime. The lifeguard told us that those unpleasant creatures aren’t a problem until the ocean water has been warm for a few weeks, usually not until mid-August.
We also loved being able to really relax in the warmth of the sand and sun — nothing like our local beaches back home. We wished we had more time for playing in the waves and watching the exuberant and laughing body-surfers we had brought with us.
The children are off in four different directions today, one of them with his grandpa down in Washington, DC checking out the sights there. It’s the first day I have had time alone other than a few minutes before falling asleep at night, and it’s been the most healthful thing. I feel like an olive tree that’s been getting a little too much fertilizer for about two weeks, and suddenly has a day with just water and sunlight. I may be old for a tomato, but olive trees live on and on.