A lot has happened since I last wrote. The sugar snap peas have come and gone. The six chicks we picked up in late May have moved from Alex's office out to a little coop, where we can hear their pecking and clucking through the yard.
Nora has discovered salt water. We've picked our weight in strawberries and made enough jam to share with my mother and sister and packed forty jars of sliced berries into the freezer besides. The mulberries are ripe, and the first raspberries, and a handful of blueberries in the new patch we planted along the drive. The black raspberries look to be coming right on cue, just after the 4th of July.
Meanwhile, it's getting busy at the restaurant and I have two girls who are almost two and almost five. They are frustrating and wonderful and terrifyingly smart, and I understand now what my sister-in-law meant when she said that as they get older you want to be with them more of the time. In some ways this part of parenting is the opposite of how I imagined it to be—exhausting and exhilarating and most days so consuming there are simply no other moments, none of that snatched quiet time.
We have our best hours in the garden, in the early morning or late afternoon. There are no meltdowns there, hardly ever tantrums or arguing or pinching. There is just dirt to play with, dirt and weeds and water, and therefore no fighting over toys. Sally has a patch she has claimed as her own, where she is growing beans and now a volunteer tomato we found in between the radishes and the beets when we pulled some out for supper the other night. Nora mostly plays in the path, moving mountains of dirt and digging holes and brushing her hair back from her brow until dust stains her cheeks and around her eyes. It is a respite from the world of summer that some days seems to involve constant arguing about snacks and manners and bedtimes; it offers everything and nothing at the same time. We had an excellent crop of radishes and are having success for the first time ever with beets and kale, and very soon it will be tomato time.
I'm not sure when to expect eggs—September I've heard? October maybe?—but I'll be back long before that. I miss being here, and I have some proper recipes I'd like to share—these chorizo-laced mussels, for one, and hopefully a rendition of these whole wheat rhubarb scones. All in due time, I can hear my mother's voice. Everything in due time.