Saturday, as planned, we pushed pause and went for a very long walk. I have been overwhelmed and exhausted and needing to breath some fresh air.
So we went to Valley Forge – possibly the most peaceful and breathtaking place to go on a nice fall day. It is vast and though there are dozens enjoying the site – dogs and their walkers, a group of cub scouts, couple upon hand-holding couple, and the obligatory runners and power walkers – a sense of privacy remains. It is silent but for whispers between friends and lovers, and giggles of children. It is vast and it is gorgeous. (And entry is free.)
As we were walking along one of the paved paths, we noticed some chalk writing which turned out to be a wedding proposal. I wondered if he or she said yes and I smiled imagining the experiences we share with those who have wandered here before, and those who will wander here later.
I am ashamed to admit that I know little about the historical significance of the Valley Forge site. What I do know, based on Jim’s commentary on prior visits, is that the site was important for building morale among the troops at a critical moment when what they faced next seemed insurmountable. It’s a place to go to recharge. I know the weeks ahead hold so many celebrations and so much to be grateful for, but that doesn’t negate the fact that we live in unsettling times. I’m sure you feel it too. There’s not a single person I know who isn’t struggling with unemployment or family illness, or both. It seems everyone is broke or sick or loves someone who is. It’s tough to keep everything in perspective.
So we went for a walk. We threw some leaves in the air. We held each other close. We reflected and we recharged.
Here’s to a great week.
Rachel and I spent a ton of time at the garden over the weekend, cleaning up since last weekend’s Harvest Day was snowed out. It was a sun-filled morning, though very chilly, and a good group of us had fun, all bundled up, pulling up weeds, and preparing the pathways for the frosty season ahead. Once the paths were weed free, we laid down old newspapers (a good source of entertainment, looking back on the Donovan days, etc.), then fresh wood chips. Rachel was in charge of making sure the paper didn’t blow away before the wood chips were placed on top.
It seemed that the most intense part of the cleanup was disassembling the rainwater collection system. I wish I had gotten pictures of it. All of the huge rain barrels (about a dozen of them, stacked on top of each other in three rows) were emptied, rinsed out, and placed in storage for the winter. This is something I definitely wouldn’t have thought of, but I guess the whole system, rudimentary as it is, can be ruined it you allow it to collect snow and ice.
Our plot still has broccoli and beets growing in it, so I’ll clear it out a little later. In fact, seeing those few and proud thriving plants in my plot and in others, really brought a smile to my face. By and large the plots are bare throughout the garden, the flower beds are dry, and in the orchard area beyond the berry bushes and fruit trees stand as twigs…except for that one corner of chives that just won’t quit, that one pepper plant that shines like Christmas lights, that one cheerful persimmon tree that won’t be weighed down by its own ripe fruit. Though the place is mostly cleaned up and cleared out, the brightness of life shines through.
This weekend we have lots of big plans. We have Harvest Day at our community garden. I’m not sure what’s entailed in prepping a garden for the winter, but I’m very excited to meet the other gardeners who I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet, not to mention learn a lot.
Lately when we’re at the garden, Rachel gets a kick out of picking up any cherry tomato she sees in the pathway and chucking it over her shoulder as far as it will go. Isn’t she just pure fun? I’m pretty sure this is not what we will be instructed to do as a matter of clean up
We also have some birthday party craft-making to tackle. I have so much more to tell you about that…
And best of all, we have a very special Nana coming to visit. She’ll bring a little change of pace just when Jim and I need it (sigh of relief.)
It is supposed to snow tomorrow! I don’t know what to think of that, except that it may mean I have to learn how to prepare the garden for a first frost before the aforementioned Harvest Day. Hmmm. Any tips?
Oh! And halloween! (Cue fake enthusiasm), if there was such a thing as a half-exclamation mark, I would have to say that’s how I feel about halloween. Personally. I do my best not to pass along my half-enthusiasm to Rachel. We are reading Curious George Goes to a Costume Party a lot these days and we may even decorate some mini pumpkins on Sunday. And she will definitely have a fun costume to wear on halloween. (Yes- I will post pictures!) It’s just to say that we are not doing any halloween parade-ing this weekend…that I know of…yet. It’s just not the kind of holiday that I feel warrants a full weekend of celebration.
…And if you’re the type who does, I hope you have the best time and are super, super safe out there.
Either way, have a wonderful weekend.
Sometimes the best outings simply include sunshine, your dearest friend, some dogs to pet, and a good playground.
It’s almost the weekend. I swear Thursdays are better than Fridays to me. The anticipation is killer. Hope you have some fun plans up your sleeve. One thing I plan on doing is drinking loads of apple cider. What is it about cider? I said to Jim last night, “I think I like apple cider about 20 times more than I like apples.” He said, “I think I like it about 20 times more than I like anything.” Mmmm…agreed.
I am in love with our fall garden. In addition to bok choy, we are now harvesting broccoli rabe. I can’t believe I grew broccoli rabe! The whole community garden has a new look to it now. Everyone has pretty much pulled up their tomato plants and summer veggies. There are some peppers here and there, but mostly it is fall. I have witnessed the transition from season to season in wonder. I did not expect to find the process of gardening so inspiring, or the simple act of tending to plants so satisfying. It’s true, what they say- you’ll never taste food as good as the food you grow yourself. Your care and thoughtfulness are embedded in it.