The Disappearing Summer
How oh how is it already August 23? Just a second ago, the days were getting ever longer and now sunset comes faster than I want it to.
This summer has been a whirlwind and only now is the dust settling. For the first time, I feel like I can catch my breath – and catch you up to speed.
So, here’s summer so far:
- The Big Move: the main event of the summer was The Move. At the tail end of June, we closed on a house and commenced the fun fun fun process of moving. Thankfully, this move was only across town rather than across the country. Our first order of business after all the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed was to head over to our new place with Sawyer, pick cherries and raspberries and eat a picnic on the back porch.
And that, my friends, was the last leisurely evening we had for two months straight.
2. The Fence: the new place is just under 3 acres, none of which was fenced. Our dogs are hounds – which means they routinely forget words like ‘Come’ and ‘Stay’ when there are more interesting things to explore/chase/sniff. So our first priority was fencing the property …. all of it. In case you’re wondering, the best time of year to fence in several acres is the first weekend in July. Not only is it unbearably hot but there is also no breeze. Perfect fencing conditions.
3. The dogs meet the land: We worked until long after dark (and by we, I mean Andrew) to get the last bit of the fence done and then we brought the dogs over. It was so late, we went straight to bed. The next morning was like Christmas. I could NOT WAIT to let the dogs out to explore their new domain. Annie was the happiest I have ever seen her, running all over the place. Sasha quickly located the apple tree and set to work on cleaning up the windfall apples. The beagles sniffed to their hearts content and Sawyer sampled all the best spots for rolling in the grass.
4. The Garden: our new place has a huge garden plot which already had green beans, potatoes, onions, kohlrabi and raspberries growing when we moved in. I’m not sure there is anything much better than the simple pleasure of walking outside and picking a fresh raspberry. Sasha certainly agreed with me – that dog is a berry fanatic. I constantly had to shoo her away from my freshly picked prizes.
Before we knew it, green beans exploded (and are still going strong). We’ve given many away to friends and Ella has certainly helped out with eating a few (hounds are equal opportunist eaters … if I eat it, they want it.)
We’ve planted winter squash and pumpkins that are coming along nicely (despite the dogs’ best efforts to trample them).
5. House Projects: ahhh, house projects. The last two months have been a constant blur of painting, wallpaper-stripping, sanding, patching, caulking, measuring, cutting, re-measuring, cutting again, and a thousand and one trips to Home Depot. Pretty much every morning and every evening, we have worked on the house. And when you’re pregnant and itching to have a nursery all set up, it is THE BEST to be surrounded by unpacked boxes, sawdust, and general chaos.
The house projects deserve their own post and now that I can finally see the light at the end of the DIY tunnel, that post should be coming along very soon.
6. The Chickens a.k.a The Ladies: now that we live in ‘the country’ it’s only right that we have chickens. Some friends who live in town had two chickens who were just a tad too vocal for city life so they moved in with us. For now, they are known as ‘The Ladies’ mostly because my brain is too tired to settle on a pair of great names for them.
The dogs are (as expected) fascinated with them, although at this point, the shine has worn off.
We had another Christmas morning… well, afternoon, the day the first egg was laid – talk about excitement!
7. The Flowers – So many lovely flowers have popped up during the short time we’ve lived here. And of course, rather than keep it simple, I added even more flowers to care for as soon as we moved in. With great beauty comes great responsibility …. to squash the insects and diseases that seek to destroy said beauty.
The main battle has been in the rose garden. Powdery mildew reared its ugly head and after a great deal of effort, it is finally (knock on wood) under control.
Now, war is being waged on the budworm caterpillars that are intent on decimating my petunias. But they too have underestimated the wrath of a pregnant lady in her third trimester who does not want to offer up her petunias as an all-you-can-eat buffet.
8. The Mower: for now, much of the property is grass … .which means it must be mowed. We lucked out with buying a used riding lawnmower just down the road from us but boy, it still takes a long time to mow everything. I have a feeling next summer will be the summer of The Tractor.
9. The Baby:
Somehow, amidst all this chaos, time has flown by and I find myself in the third trimester. We have a name picked out, progress is being made in the nursery and doctor’s appointments have become a regular part of life. My thoughts have increasingly focused on the nearness of October and of meeting this little guy. It is wonderful and terrifying and amazing. So far, his favorite things (as judged by when he moves the most) seem to be music (in particular the electric violin played at church), ice cream and waking me up during the night. It’s beyond comprehension how much I love this child … how will my heart even contain this love when he is born and I can hold him and watch as he learns and grows?
10. The one who makes it wonderful: through all of this chaos, the one constant has been Andrew. It’s been a summer of hard work that has left us drained much of the time. But during those late nights of painting walls and cabinets and long days of weeding and planting, we’ve laughed and sang silly songs and held hands. We’ve sat on the deck and looked out at the world as the sky turned violet with dusk and felt grateful for each other. I’ve asked a lot of Andrew and (mostly) without complaint, he has every time done what I’ve asked – whether it was moving electrical outlets, putting in new lights, installing wainscoting, laying new flooring, moving furniture around, fixing an irrigation line – the list goes on and on. I am very fortunate to have married a very handy guy who also happens to go along with my ideas. He’s the best.
There is still a bit of summer left and it is my full intention to enjoy it. There are still projects to complete around the property but we’ll get there. In the meantime, I’m going to set my paint brush down and soak up some of this beautiful Oregon summer before fall rolls in on a wave of pumpkin spice and apple cider.
Right after I go battle those darn caterpillars again.