A Summer to Remember?

One of my absolute favorite quotes is by Anais Nin, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”  It’s why I have enjoyed writing the blog for the past eight years…because it helps me remember and relive the experiences all over again. But I don’t write much these days.  I didn’t like the taste of this summer the first time around, so I sure don’t want to taste it twice!  Is it a summer best left to fade into the cobwebs of my memory?  Or are there small tastes worthy of savoring over again?

Sunsets on the farm are definitely a redeeming factor. I try not to miss any, as even the cloudless ones are still beautiful. And on a Full Moon night, you can see both sunset and the opposing moon rise at the same time.

Mom and I have worked hard in both the vegetable garden and flower gardens. In the “summer of social distancing,” the garden has been a saving grace for spending time with family.

Without a doubt, the highlight of my summer was seeing my favorite niece Hannah graduate. (I’ll likely catch hell for this photo given the beauty salon is closed!)

Hannah has the unfortunate distinction of being a graduate of the “COVID Class of 2020.” Sadly, no formal graduation, so her friends and family had a “drive by ceremony” to show her all the love.

I’ve been in a perpetual bad mood for longer now than I would like to recall. My life has evolved around travel since I was 22 years old when I went to work for the airlines, a job that launched a career in the travel industry. After 43 years of constant dreaming, saving, planning and packing, it’s impossible to fathom that it has all come to such an abrupt end. And for who knows how long? It’s particularly frightening to look at the future for a travel addict from a 65-year old’s point of view. Tick Tock!

This may be the first summer that I can recall looking forward to it coming to an end. RVs aren’t meant for triple digits. Even the beastliest of ACs can’t keep up when it’s a heat index higher than my little Winnie thermostat will record. The reading on the internal thermostat tops out at 99, a mark reached every day before noon. RVs only make good “tiny homes” when the livingroom can be comfortably located outdoors, in my opinion.

Another highlight of late spring was the reward of seeing those tiny seeds sprout through the earth. All the intelligence they need to turn from a tiny seed into nourishing fruit and back to a seed again.

Mom taking advantage of the last rays of sunlight to get in a little watering.

Celebrating our first harvest with a glass of Rose’ as the sun sets.

No matter what we are working on, we stop what we are doing to catch the last glimpse of the day.

Our first harvest — spinach and onions.

We also had an abundance of radishes. Unfortunately in spite of how much we watered, they were just too darned hot to eat.

Summer hasn’t been made easier being a blue-blooded liberal in a hot-headed red state. There are at least three giant trump flags flying within walking distance of the farm.

I signed on to the local town Facebook group, “The Buzz” to keep abreast of what’s taking place in town. Who’s requiring masks, who’s closed down because of the virus. Who’s reopened. This one group has become a microcosm of everything that’s gone afoul in our society these days. It’s not only a boiled down version of life in Small Town Texas, but pretty much the entire country these days.

An innocent (or not) poster will start out asking for information. “Does anyone know if Walmart is enforcing wearing masks?” A few legit answers will spring up. Then the conversation turns testy, with talk of “freedumbs.”  From there, the thread deteriorates rapidly, plunging into the depths of racism, even suggesting the color of one’s skin might determine who is or isn’t allowed into Walmart without a mask. It turns into a veritable dog pile, with the filthiest, scrappiest dogs in the yard, teeth gnarled, tearing at each other’s flesh until finally the administrators wake up and delete the thread.

This happens over and over again throughout the day, just like the microbursts that build from the heat and humidity gathering across the hot central Texas plain. Thunderheads grow out of nowhere. They cover the sun, then suddenly turn violent pelting hail and throwing lightning bolts, and then they are gone as quickly as they came. It’s a daily event in the local “Buzz.” Not even high school football can bring out the rudeness, insults, and general disdain turned fury that has ensued over this pandemic. I raise my arms in bewilderment daily, pondering the question over and over, “WTF, Texas??” (Or the entire US, for that matter.)

Checking the growth progress was a twice-a-day ritual.

Soon, we had more spinach and kale than we could harvest.

Tomatoes came on fast, but were slow to ripen.

I spent more time grilling this summer than ever before. Featured here is Pork Tenderloin recipe courtesy of Allison of Retired Bicycle fame.

I also used the extra marinade on a side of grilled Brussels Sprouts. Grilling helped keep the “heat out of the kitchen” in more ways than one.

As spring soared into summer, I decided to try once more to embrace gardening. Like bread baking, DIY renovation, and home gyms, it seemed like the “Pandemic thing to do.” While I never have been a fan of gardening, it’s Mom’s favorite pastime. So I functioned as her artificial limbs to do the heavy lifting, digging, and planting that at 91, she can no longer do. I do admit initially, I was extremely grateful to have something to do during “lock down.”

Unusual sunsets happen frequently on the farm.

NOW we’re talkin’!

What is it about fruit on the vine that makes it so photogenic? I took A LOT of garden photos over the summer!

Mom shows off our first tomato bounty. But as tomatoes began to ripen, the mockingbirds took notice. We had to start picking them while still unripe before the birds had their pick.

We finally got fed up with the birds, and built a frame with netting around the raised tomato bed. (Note Mom through the net, busy at implementing her design.)

We had so much zucchini, I couldn’t give it away. Made my first loaf of Zucchini Bread. Then another and another. Thankfully, it freezes well!

I look back on those first initial photos of the garden where I was so excited at the first signs of little shoots poking their little green heads through the soil, and I wonder how I lost interest? But then I look a little more closely and realize I was sporting a black fleece hoodie in that first spring harvest photo. Once summer arrived, no matter how few clothes I wore in the triple digit heat and humidity, it still felt like I was wearing that black hoodie.

But central Texas is not a friendly environment, no matter the season. Harsh weather conditions and insect infestations of biblical proportions bring on a lot of heartache to the north Texas gardener. Ever heard of a “vine borer?” A moth lays eggs at the base of your squash vines. Larvae hatches, and a worm sneaks up inside the vine and sucks the life right out of the squash, days before it’s ready to harvest. These vile creatures desecrated our entire crop of squash. And the greens – spinach, kale, chard have to be picked clean, leaf by leaf to remove worms and their eggs. A sight after which I haven’t been able to eat them since.

A lot of Texas weather forms over these plains, so interesting cloud formations almost always make for a good show.

More grilling, this time salmon and bok choy, marinated first in sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce.

Harvest the tomatoes asap after a rain, otherwise the rapid increase of water causes them to split.

By now, the garden has reached the “pretty stage,” that narrow window of opportunity to beat the insects and pests to harvest.

Squash blossoms make the garden not only edible but beautiful. They are famous in Oaxacan cooking. Wish I knew how to prepare!

Yellow crookneck squash, pre-squash borer stage. They were good while they lasted.

Rapidly approaching the “Unmanageable Stage.”

Even a flower garden has challenges in north Texas. Periwinkles succumb to the fungus causing “Vinca Sudden Death Syndrome.” Aphids are on the attack resisting all attempts at eradication save for the harshest of chemicals that wipe out all pollinators at the same time. Impatiens wilt daily.  Even the heartiest of flowers, the perky petunia can’t stand up to the scorching Texas sun once summer heats up.

My conclusion:  “Gardening is for the birds!”  And the bees. And the borers, leaf hoppers, yellow jackets, wasps, worms, and chiggers. As a modern day “Lisa” would rewrite the Green Acres theme song, “Keep my nails clean, just gimme me a Farmer’s Market! “

Garden Centers are about the only places I feel “safe” shopping during the COVID, because they are outdoors.

I have always been a sucker for a hydrangea, any color will do. But these fuchsia ones really caught my eye.

I also fell for these Cone Flowers. Photo is blurry, but I want to remember them, so in it goes.

These are Passion Flowers. Mom liked the red one so much…

…when I found a purple Passion Flower, I bought that one too!

But I think my favorite flower we planted this summer was this petunia. I loved it for it’s name as much as anything. “Night Sky.”  Hard to tell in the photo, but they were a midnight purple covered in tiny white “stars.”

Farm chores completed, I spend evenings escaping through countless hours immersed in youtube videos. My guilty pleasure is following cruisers as they make their way circumnavigating the globe. I’ve gotten lost scanning the blue water horizon, surfed downwind in the big swells, and observed local cultures on distant islands. I’ve reeled in giant tuna, showered on deck in a rainstorm, and trimmed sails to the wind all while confined to the keyboard. If I can’t be on a boat, I will at least follow those who are. I’ve certainly had the heat and humidity to simulate the weather.

“Travel is not some panacea. There is no place far enough away to escape your problems. Your baggage comes with you. But, what travel does is give you the space to work out your problems away from their root causes. It lets you be a blank slate. Sometimes that’s all you need.” ~Nomadic Matt

56 thoughts on “A Summer to Remember?

  1. I hate gardening too. I’m ashamed to say my backyard shows it. Your garden and flowers are so nice . I agree with you about a good farmer’s market. Hopefully , we will all be able to get out again soon.

    • Hi, Annie. Nice to see you in my comment box, and glad to know it’s not just me! haha! Hope you are hanging in there in these challenging times.

  2. It certainly has been a summer to remember, and depressing as it is we may well have another one before this sorts itself out.

    Your garden looks great and all that lovely tasty produce and spending time with your Mom is priceless.
    But as you say having a garden and space is a saving grace for keeping ones sanity. For me cycling has also been a godsend and has given me freedom. We may think its been hard but my heart goes out to those living in a high rise apartment with young children

    • Hi, Dave. Nice to hear from you! Yes, my Mom and I both said that many times, that we were fortunate to be able to at least get outdoors. Having lived in an apartment the size of a bread box in Manhattan, I can’t imagine how I would have coped. Glad you have cycling as an outlet. It’s a bit of a danger in Texas where no one goes anywhere outside their pick-up truck! Thanks for saying “Hello.”

  3. Every day . . . “Where is Suzanne and what is she doing?”.

    Today . . . Yay! There she is!!! And Mom, too. Those gals are the feistiest ever! Their fabulous bounty made my mouth water, fur sure!

    Love the smiles on Mom and Niece – one day our world will be returned to us – hopefully she opines.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

  4. So beautiful! It’s beyond the imagination what you did with the old place. Thank you Sis from the bottom of my heart for giving Mom a summer to remember throughout the ages! The pleasure you gave her with all that gardening and magazine-quality back yard sancuary is beyond anything I could have ever done. I am forever grateful to you!

    And what will happen to the old place we once called home? What a crazy place it is these days indeed and certainly one that taxes both our souls to the extreme. Some say a Civil War is brewing if Trump loses and others way we will slowly enter a long rein of dictatorship emulating Italy’s Mussolini if he wins. Either way the people, goodness in general and our future is closest we have come to losing the Democracy we have tried so long to maintain. Who could dream such a thing could ever happen to our beloved USA? And what is it at the root? Some say an inevitable rise to Fascism in troubled times and some say it’s Christian Nationalism or perhaps it’s just the devil having his due. God be with us all (the good one and not the fundamentalist/Falwell Jr variety)

    • Thanks for the wonderful compliment, my dear sweet brother. True, with tax-free industries encroaching, the family farm is sure to be as unrecognizable as our own country!

  5. I used to enjoy gardening in Washington. Well, enjoy is not the right word, we engaged in chemical warfare to keep the roses going. The aphids ate the nasturtiums, and the constant drizzle made the ground cover that was supposed to grow between the step stones rot. West Seattle finished me off. I can count the number of plants I’ve put in pots since leaving there on one hand. Right now we have two bottle brush plants in the side yard slowly dying. They’re going to be replaced with some sort of metal yard art. So, yes, I do feel your pain about the fickleness of growing things! It did look nice for awhile.

    • You sell yourself short, my friend! I see all that beautiful bougainvillea and flowering cactus photos on your blog that serve to balance out the ugliness in this world! I love watching the desert bloom from afar!

  6. So nice to see you posting again. We are all suffering this year and hoping that things will be better next year, who knows!! So many people I know are suffering from depression because of the pandemic. We are headed to VA and NC soon to camp and hike and get the hell out of town (we are in Fl). Agree with you and your brother on the political situation. So scary!! Some hope…some of my Texas Republican cousins are voting for Biden!

    • Judith, that is very hopeful indeed! We can only hope, though it’s tough not to get discouraged when we see things like boat parades that lead me to think the whole state has gone mad! Hope you avoid the hurricanes and have a good trip to VA and NC!

  7. We are cooped up here in Maryland like Texas but with better weather. Our July recorded 90*+ every day and almost no rain. The rains finally came, our tomatoes are going gangbusters (tomato sandwiches every day since late July) and my second planting of beets is just up. A squirrel ate the first ones right down to the ground. Chicken wire is covering them now. We are taking long day cruises in the rig sometimes, others in our car but seeing anew the local scenery and backwoods we have overlooked for years. Glad you got out finally and had a good time with Mom! Stay safe and we will see you again one day for sure, maybe this winter?
    Ed and Marti

    • You know, I’ve never eaten a tomato sandwich. Too many years as a “Cowman’s daughter” not to ask “Where’s the beef?” LOL! Hope to see you and Marti again soon. I’ll keep the bourbon supply topped off just in case. 😉

  8. Good to see you here, Suzanne, and doing what we are all doing I guess, just trying to get by. Gardening, making bread, all that homey stuff. I have a few friends who are avid travelers as you are, and they are having a terrible time adjusting to a life without travel plans. Some of them continue making plans, buying tickets, setting up tours, planning cruises, knowing they may never happen. We go camping. Locally because our gardens require water and our well is touchy so leaving them to friends isn’t an option for more than 3 days or so. I was feeling as tired as my flowers, zinnias all blown out and faded from the heat, roses scant and lackluster, dahlias drooping in the afternoon heat. I realized as I came upon some photos of the promise of Solstice back in June that it was gorgeous then, lush and full of color and life. It is August. Smoke season which held off for months this year has finally arrived. Wait, it is September!! August is done…I forgot. Covid brain. Now you got me started, I will cruise through old photos from early summer before everything gave up, including me. Thanks for writing, and your mother is a lucky lady to have you.

    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Sue. My perception is that everything grows beautifully in abundance in Oregon, the “Oz of the PNW.” So I am sad but also comforted to know that gardening has its challenges there as well. Solstice seemed to be the turning point for us as well. Hope smoke season is short-lived, but then it’s 2020. Take care, and thanks for saying hello.

  9. The tiny garden in our SoCal back yard has produced more zucchini and cucumbers then we’ll ever use, but like you the mocking birds and Japanese Beetles have enjoyed most all the tomatoes.
    It’ll be nice to get back on the road for the short trips we can still do safely once this blasted heat lets up … we’re about 20F over the Sept average – it’s pretty warm at the beach.

    • Hi, Jeff. Thanks for the comment. Wow, what a crazy year CA is having! I have seen all kinds of records breaking. Between the heat, the fires, and the virus, CA needs a break! Hope you are finding some pleasant short trips to dodge the adverse conditions!

  10. In the moment and in retrospect…..your writings are a joy. What you’ve done with your time during this summer (that doesn’t seem to end and one that I would prefer to forget) was admirable. Love seeing photos of the farm and of your mom and niece… a few snapshots (happy moments in a difficult time) that will be treasured.

    “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
    ― Anaïs Nin

    I can only hope that we all become better people during these worst of times.

    • Thanks, mi amiga. I share your same hope, though sometimes I wonder. There’s a lot of self-reflection I need to do in that quote. Thanks for sharing it.

  11. So good to hear from you and to know all is well in hot, humid Texas. Your vegetable garden is beautiful. I don’t enjoy flower gardening but I did love having a vegetable garden. I loved going out to pick dinner. The squash bores are the worst. They are impossible to get rid of once they set in. I’m sure your mom loves having you home for so long.

    • Hi, Pam. I sure am enjoying living vicariously atop your pool float! Yes, I agree it was rewarding picking veggies and having them go from the garden to the sink to the grill. But then when the worms got to them first, I wasn’t up for the fight. That was my first encounter with the squash borer, which sent me right back to the produce aisle. haha!

  12. Good to have you back on the interweb!
    I think we all have great gardens or in our case lawn & flowers this year. The early pandemic yeast & flour shortage were over-come as was our need to heat up the kitchen baking. Travel… what travel ? Every two weeks to the super market, while the RV sits and suns itself in the drive. Oh our little New England town’s “squawk-box” on Facebook had to add extra “monitors” just to police the political rhetoric – folks seem to be folks no matter where.
    We are all in this together – keep writing we all need (and miss) you!

    • Thanks, John. I miss you and Mary too! We are going to need another night of good wine, steaks, and music in Bisbee when all of this is over! Give Mary a hug from me.

    • Hi, Doris. Thanks for visiting the blog. My friend Allison got the recipe from a website “Fifteen Spatulas.” I am going to post the link here, but will also post the recipe below in case the link doesn’t work. Allison is not a fan of rosemary, so she substitutes oregano. But my family loves rosemary, so it was perfect for us. I just put the Brussels sprouts in the left over marinade, and grilled them. I think it would work to roast in the oven as well. Hope you enjoy!

      https://www.fifteenspatulas.com/pork-tenderloin-marinade/

      Ingredients
      1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
      1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
      zest of 1 lemon
      5 large garlic cloves pressed (about 2 tbsp)
      5 sprigs fresh rosemary minced (about 2 tbsp)
      1 tbsp Dijon mustard
      1.5 tsp salt*
      1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

      Instructions

      Place all ingredients in a bowl, and whisk to combine.
      The marinade is now ready to be used. I find it’s the optimal amount for 2 standard pork tenderloins (about 2.5 pounds total). Place the marinade and pork in a zip top bag for about 2 hours**.
      Remove the pork from the marinade, then cook as desired. I like to make Roasted Pork Tenderloin, but you can also grill the pork. Enjoy!

  13. Have been wondering how you were doing! It looks like you and your mom have been keeping busy throughout this “very unusual “ summer. It seemed like we were always fighting off something this summer with my small garden from Japanese beetles , tomato hornworms, hungry birds, extreme heat or no rain. I just chalk it up to 2020 is the year that just keeps giving and giving! Thanks for supporting the pork industry with that delicious looking pork tenderloin. It’s defintely been a tough year!

    • Hi, Mindy! I loved following your insta photos of Ouray this year. Looks like you had another fun time.

      And what we did for the pork industry ain’t nuthin’ compared to what we did for the corn industry! haha! My Mom and I got hooked, and every time I took an ear out of the microwave and sliced off the “butt end and squeezed the tassel end,” I thought of you! At one point, it went on sale six for a dollar, and we filled the freezer!

      Hope you and Chris are hanging in there. Sorry your camping season got cut a bit short, but hope you got in some fun times. Nice to hear from you.

  14. It will be both a summer to remember and a summer up will never forget. Someday you will look back on this summer fondly remember all the time you got to spend with your mother and the lesser pleasant aspects of it will not take center stage in your thoughts….

    • Hi, Jim and Barb. I trust what you say is true. Though it may take me some time to forget living inside the RV during those triple digit days! I hope for the pup’s sake, Barb comes home soon. haha! Thanks for saying hello!

  15. Tremendously enjoyed this post Suzanne, the pix of your mom at sunset watering the garden, the flowers, the grilled meals, you two are very lucky . . . considering the rest of the world. Know what you mean about Texas, too, having lived in East Texas for 28 years, being an outspoken Yankee, I’d joke that Texas was my “charm school” where I learned to keep my comments in check and to be sweet and kind and sociable, but always on the alert for a backstabber. Someone gave the backstabbers permission to come out in full force 🙁

    • Yes, Terri, so true! Beware of the “Bless your Heart” in Texas, as the sentiment rides on the back of that sweet, kind, and sociable arrow headed straight for your back! Thanks for your comment, and for your support on the blog! Haven’t seen a post from you in a while. Are you still in Salem?

  16. What a special summer for your mom that you can look back on with special memories. We have been traveling around the Colorado Rockies and have found most of Texas’s residence are here. Yep, many brought their “special” flags to “Putin’s Agent Orange”.

    • “Putin’s Agent Orange” is close, but I would have changed it to “Putin’s Orange A__”. (Gotta stop there. Mom is reading. LOL!) Hope you two continue hanging in there. Enjoy those L.A. hiking trails!

  17. Your mom was fortunate to have you there too make this summer special. I am sure you will look back on the summer of 2020 with fondness in the future. We are spending time in Colorado taking hikes on trails we missed when we were living here.

  18. Glad to see you back on your keyboard, and with plenty of photo’s to boot. Not sure where you are in Texas, but I’m just north in Oklahoma…yep, winters here are not bad, but summer temps are brutal…..at the humidity and wow…..I wonder how we did it as kids, staying out all day long all summer.

    • Hi, Greg. Thanks for the comment. Mom’s farm is about 45 miles due south of DFW. I haven’t lived here permanently in many years, and I was surprised this summer by the intense humidity. I don’t remember it ever being this humid as a kid. My cousin who has seashells in his water well has a theory that this area is returning to the tropical reef it once was, and I am starting to think he’s right!

  19. Very good to read this post and know that you are coping, if not having the summer you expected! Any day you get to eat tomatoes off your own vines is a good day! Hang in there and we’ll all see what comes next!

    • Hi, Jim. Yes, I agree there is no tomato like a home grown tomato (Though HEB’s “Campari” brand grown in Marfa, TX comes darn close!) Hope you and your family are having as good a summer as is possible under the circumstances. Thanks as always for following along!

  20. Unlike you, I’ve never sailed anything bigger than 10 feet long. That hasn’t stopped me from getting lost in Youtube sailing, refitting, and wood boat restorations. One can dream!!!

    • Yes, John! Never too old to dream! And with your skills, I am certain you could have a pretty nice day-sailer built by the end of the week. 😉 BTW, if you didn’t know already, the Wooden Boat Festival is going virtual this year. Next Saturday, 12th! I am curious to see how they will pull that off, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world! Give my best to BJ!

  21. Good to see that you had a productive summer during our unique 2020. We tried a much smaller garden and did get some good veggies. Glad too read your blog, we missed it. Even here in MA our little town went for the trumpster in 2016 by 7 votes, I’m interested in seeing if stupid is permanent.
    allen

    • Hi, Allen. So good to hear from you. I have missed hearing from you too, as one of my longest “regulars!” Glad you are making it okay through the summer, and even had a productive garden! I wish I could understand how “stupid” got to be in fashion these days, but those that choose it certainly have the ideal role model! Give my best to Deede, and hope you two continue to enjoy the garden!

  22. Good to see your post, cuz. Yeah what a strange trip we’ve all been on this spring/summer. We did a road trip to Kerrville and San Angelo a couple of months ago and are tossing around the redneck riviera over Thanksgiving. Dying to fly but still scared to.
    Loved seeing all those hummer feeders! I know who’s idea that was 😉
    Well the good thing is that summer 2020 is almost over. Hopefully we all can get together before the end of this dreadful year! Hugs to all xoxo

    • Yes, leave it to your “Bird Nut Aunt” to put up one hummer feeder per square foot, and leave it to my “Bird Nut Cousin” to spot them in the photo. haha! Nothing wrong with that Redneck Riviera, it has been good for both of us! Hope to see you again before long! xoxox

  23. SO nice to hear from you!!! I can certainly relate to your summer gardening…and the travel bug. I’ve spent the last 2 years (it seems) trying to get “rid” of my travel itch, so I can settle down and be more normal. I think it may a lost cause. But I did have more luck gardening…my moms old green thumb is somewhat genetic. And French soil helps.
    Will you be traveling this fall? Do say yes…I need to be whisked away, even if only digitally.

    Nina

    • Hi, Nina. So good to hear from you! I know your “travel itch” is just as chronic as mine is, so I find comfort in seeing how you cope. Your’s and Paul’s timing to “go French” was good, as it’s a challenging time to be a nomad in the land of deniers.

      I do hope to do some traveling this fall. Just waiting for my bro to decide if he is coming up from Mexico before I pick a direction. I am like the shark that drowns if I don’t keep moving!

      Looking forward to a report on those homemade bagels, and if they are as “NY Deli” as they looked!

  24. So good to see a fresh new TTTH posting, Suzanne, and to know you are hunkered down safely in Texas with your mom. What a lovely garden y’all grew with yummy produce bearing witness of diligence in toiling the soil. As always, I enjoyed your food photos…nothing like hot meat and veggies straight off the grill! And those Texas sunsets…my, how pretty!

    As others have mentioned, this was a year for back yard gardening here in middle Tennessee, as well. I so enjoyed the first batches of fried green tomatoes, and continuous sliced tomato and mayo sandwiches throughout the summer. Our peppers were also prolific so I have strands hanging in the kitchen, along with bunches of herbs that couldn’t be contained in our raised beds. Rounding out the bounty was a pretty “moon garden” bed (I so named for brilliantly shining under cloudless nights) of “Beacon White” Impatiens and white Angelonia. I’ve gotten a bit lax here at the end of summer so the bounty is looking overgrown and out of hand…but what a pleasant diversion gardening has been from the front and center divisiveness of our country’s people these past few months.

    I’m happy to know I’m not the only You Tube aficionado of sailing videos. It’s so relaxing to watch the Wynn’s and Zatara and other sailors who entertain with worldwide adventure among glorious shades of blue and green.

    Thank you for this blog with its lovely photos and touching prose. It is another sweet diversion from the jagged edges of the news these days.

    “Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.” ~Sigmund Freud

    • Well, figures we share something else in common. I LOVE white flowers! In fact, I planted a whole big pot of “nothing but white.”

      I like the Wynns, though Zatara is bringing out a little too much “Texan” in them for my taste. LOL! My former sailing instructor recommended these guys to me. They are a couple of sailing instructors who started sailing around the world on a Cat, and stopped mid-way to have a baby. Now they are stuck in Canada, waiting to get back to their boat in Thailand. I like their vlog because they always incorporate some crazy adventure in addition to sailing. https://www.youtube.com/user/FindingOurParadise

      Thanks for dropping in to say hello, Rhonda. I hope you continue to weather the storm amidst beautiful flowers!

      • I’ll put Finding Our Paradise on my list..thx 🙂 By the way…I must have hit a wrong button; my other email with my pic is not showing up. I’ll try to figure that out.

  25. Your garden looks lovely and prosperous, it’s good it gave you something to do!

    Your description of the online nightmare of local FB pages mirrors my experience here in Prescott. I am so afraid for the long term health of our country, the disparity in our views seems insurmountable.

    • I agree, Lisa, it does seem insurmountable. But I liken it to an illness which antibodies and fever must escalate to eradicate. At least we have to hope. I miss your blog, but enjoy following you, Hans and Rosie on FB to see how you are getting out and loving nature and expending energy for the good!

  26. Seems there were many people waiting to see if you posted again. And sure enough, you did. I’m a new reader, but kept checking back and back, and sure enough, here you were. You have my empathy/sympathy. As a resident of central Texas (25 miles from the geographic HEART, which is a big claim to fame) it is indeed discouraging in regard to the socio-political climate. I’ve got a few old lady friends who disagree with the majority, so we cling to each other as if we were life rafts. That may be over stating it a bit, but it’s odd going about where most people you meet think so differently. And people you’ve known for years….many years. At any rate, you have done well by your mother and fighting the exhausting fight of having a nice garden in Texas. Been there done that, too many years on that job. But it was rewarding once in a while. You have taken some lovely photos. Thanks. Life’s going to be interesting, one way or another, in the coming months! Hang in there.

  27. My eyes immediately lit up when I saw “Take to the Highway” in my mailbox, as I know I’m in for another vicarious treat. I love your writing, so this post from home was equally delightful.

    I echo Don’s concerns and your political sentiments; meanwhile, I sits and thinks.

    So great to hear from you.

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