Sunday, August 23, 2009


Dill Smells like August. I love that connection.
I am canning for the first time. I made apple sauce from the tree that I have written many a love letter from. We are friends from way back, that tree and I.
I then pickelled green beans with as many spices and sprigs of dill as could cram in there. The house heated up and moisture filled the air but Kenny Rodgers and I kept plugging away (Kenny Rodgers is good music for canning, it helps put emotion into the food...if you don't know what I am talking about read "like water for chocolate", you will never cut an onion the same again).

August is the most alluring of the summer months, a dance of trying to pack everything in before the weather turns we have to do our harvesting, swimming, picking berries, preserving food, and trying to find time to rest.
There is a sacred place in August, a place where I feel young. It is watching my mom lift out the steaming jars of jelly from a water bath. Sleeping outside on top of the new stack of hay. It is in the last jump into the the lake. It is in the middle branch on my faithful apple tree where I am writing a letter to someone who will never see it. It is here. It is home.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Water at Hodge Podge Cottage

Today we have, after 3 years of waiting, running water. water. life. The first thing I did was give my thirsty tomatoe plants a drink. They were grateful. I also ran into a lady at the hardware store that grew up near my grandmothers' family homestead in Glengary ID. I drove home thinking how grandma and her mother and her mother lived in this area for years without running water, and I felt at this moment like I was actually clipping a connection to yesterday. I would be part of the modern world, I would flip a switch and a light comes on (we got electricity in may). A simple twist of a knob would bring water to my sink and no longer will I need to carry 5 gallon buckets from the well. Life is easier.

As happy as this day is I will miss those moments before a meal when I am carrying water up through the cedar trees and see my grandmothers feet tredding below me instead of my own.

We cannot always keep every connection. So I try to preserve things in other areas.
I will bake my own bread this week. I will bathe with my handmade soap. I will listen to the radio stories on NPR since I refuse to get television reception (I have enough reality in my life I don't need to get caught up in others'). And when the house gets too hot to sleep in next week I will pull out the old white painted Iron bed and sleep under the Fir trees until the end of August. And in all these things I will connect to yesterday.

It will be nice to have a bath in the house. It will be nice to not have to heat that water on the woodstove. It will be nice to live in the modern world for somethings.

But who knows...there is a storm predicted for tonight and they say that the valley could loose power...