1. The weather. No, I don’t necessarily love the eight months of gray drizzle. I do like a good hard rain storm a lot, but we seldom have that – just drizzle. What I will miss though is the summer weather. It is so perfect. It is generally around 80. We get a handful of 90 and even 100 degree days and a smattering of 60 degree days, but mostly it is just warm enough to swim or play outside but cool enough to feel totally comfortable or to take a run even if it is late in the morning.
2. Blueberries. I had no idea how much I loved them until we lived here, but that is because in the past I only could have bought an expensive small container. Just today the kids and I picked 5 lbs. in a few little minutes and it only cost us $6.25. Plus, they are pleasant to pick. Even Abe, who doesn’t like berries, likes to go pick them. They just pull off easily and there are no prickles. I bought some at Costco before they’d ripened up here and as good as they were, they couldn’t match our huge popcorn bowl filled to the brim with totally fresh ones!
3. Blackberries. As long as I’m on the berry subject, I can’t neglect these. Unlike blueberries, they are miserable to pick because they grow on the thorniest bushes imaginable, but you won’t pay a thing for them up here because they are free free free. In fact, most of the state spends money trying to get rid of them because they are a horribly prickly invader. They are EVERYWHERE. I’ve even caught the little bushes sprouting up as weeds in my own flowerbeds. They really have taken over the state and people dislike them all year until about the middle of August when suddenly you can stop by any park or any road if you like and pick the most delicious berries ever. Really. I’ve heard some people talk about blackberries needing sugar to be sweet, but not the crazy weed-like variety up here. They literally almost dissolve in your mouth they are so juicy. I can hardly stop myself from picking them and eating them all along my runs, and if the kids are in the jog stroller they demand I do for them.
4. Our garden. I had no idea how much satisfaction having our own thriving garden would bring me. My dad always planted a big garden so fresh produce shouldn’t be anything new to me, but I must have taken that garden for granted. Now that I have been away from home for nearly nine years I find it shocking to see that tiny seeds can really turn into huge bushes of beans, giant cornstalks, zucchinis, etc. I know you are supposed to eat five servings of veggies a day and I seldom do because I am lazy at preparing them, but it would be nice if it could just be cumulative over a year’s time because I keep steaming myself huge yellow zucchini and slicing kohlrabi, and we eat beans beans beans every night for dinner so I am probably getting about 20 servings a day lately. Daisy had been asking for stew for dinner and so I finally planned to make it yesterday. Then I sadly remembered that I had forgotten carrots at the store. Stew doesn’t seem right with out carrots so I was about ready to tell Daisy we’d have to have it another night when it occurred to me that we could pick carrots right out of our own garden! It was a marvelous thought. I have loved it and it makes me so sad that we will be leaving before fully enjoying all of our produce. (Also, I must give credit to Mike as I myself have had little to do with the garden. I can scarcely believe that our first attempt could turn out so well and it has been all Mike’s doing – along with some help from Daisy who is the most interested in our vegetables). Here is a lovely minute and eight seconds worth of bean picking footage for those of you who could find such a thing entertaining.
That's all for now.