Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Covid Journal, Day 139: Tomato Time

67 this morning, a light shower then cool and hazy. Never made it to 80 all day, and not too humid, a real treat.

This morning we were out early to pick tomatoes at a local farm. Came home with five bushels, enough to keep us busy all afternoon and probably half of tomorrow. We're making all of these into tomato juice, which we love, because we have plenty of whole tomatoes, salsa and pasta sauce already. 

These are tomorrow's work.

And one of the many pots today, cooked down and ready for the Squeezo.

The day's work done, and then all the cleanup to do--my least favorite part. This is one of three Squeezo's or Victorio's we own. I cannot remember how I ended up with three, but oh well. There is really nothing like them for tomatoes and applesauce.

We had a brief visit with my son Derek and his daughter and grandson on the way home, then this evening some neighbors came over bringing a gift of food--a favor we returned by giving them corn and cucumbers. I love this time of year, with such a bounty of food to share.

And today was Zoom poetry workshop too, so I got to see other friends as we shared and worked on our work. What pleasure this gives me. This group keeps me motivated to write, and I find myself challenged to try to be a better write because of them. They are all better poets than I will ever be, but I am learning a great deal from them, and they are so generous with their time and input. The best part? I get to read and hear them read their poems. Bliss.

Tomorrow another visit as the friend who bought the Sellers cabinet will be coming to pick it up. We'll share lunch with her and her son, all part of business, of course. Have I said how much I like this time of year? Well, especially since it's no longer July 😊

So a nice day today even if we did work pretty hard, and another one coming up tomorrow. Life is good.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Covid Journal, Day 138: Campfire Smoke

63 this morning, a cool night with windows and doors open, and no AC. What a pleasure.

We had firepit time this evening, after a dinner of our first corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a medley of green beans, new potatoes, onions, squash and carrots, all from the garden. The corn is a fitting tribute to the full moon, called the Green Corn Moon by some--green corn being fresh corn as opposed to dried corn stored for winter use.
The smell of the smoke brought back a flood of memories this evening, of times spent beside a fire. Times like these:
  • picnics with the family when I was a girl, at the Manassas Battlefield Park or a smaller park called Conway Robinson. Mom would pack up a simple dinner, often a pot of spaghetti, or maybe hotdogs or even breakfast foods like eggs and bacon. No matter what we had to eat, there were always marshmallows to roast over the fire. Dad was in his element, hatchet on a hanger on his belt, booted and ready to build the perfect fire. Which he always did. 

Mom at Conway Robinson Park, early 1960's
                                                                 Mom at Conway Robinson Park, late 50's early 60's. 
  • camping with my first four sons. Many weekends when we were looking for a place to move to, we'd take off in our little Chevy van that we had set up for easy camping. We had a big box with our food, all things that needed no refrigeration, and all out utensils. We'd grab the Coleman stove, sleeping bags, eggs and a few other things, and some clean clothes and be out the door in 20 minutes. Then we'd drive to the mountains, usually with a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill tucked in my bag. When we found a likely spot in the national forest or a roadside park, we'd set up camp and build a fire. After the boys went to sleep we'd sit by the fire with our cheap wine and watch the stars. Mornings, we'd stoke up the fire and make eggs, fried potatoes and tea or coffee. What good times those were, full of the promise of the future.
  • camping here on this land before we got our house built. We built a shed and set up a fire ring for cooking. We'd sleep out under the stars, or if it was raining, inside the shed. 
  • New Year's bonfires, which we did for years, and still do sometimes at our son's house. Friends and family, faces around the fire, stories, singing, food, wine...what good times.

  • storytelling at campfires all around West Virginia. Smoke, rapt faces, ghost stories and ballads. Afterwards my hair and clothes smelling of smoke, but I didn't notice it while I was telling.

  • evenings at my friend Kirk's camp at Buckeye, WV on the Greenbrier River. Poets and musicians, wine, moonshine, laughter, stories and stories and stories.
  • and of course the many, many fires in our firepit, often just me and Larry, the dogs and the cats, quiet evenings listening to night descend.

All good memories, and there are many more I've forgotten to list. A reminder that even in hard times there are still treasures to be had that need little to be discovered. Just a firepit, some wood, a match, and time. 

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Covid Journal, Day 6: A Little Thing

73, humid, cloudy. We will probably see more rain today. 

While at the antique mall yesterday, I treated myself. It's funny how when Larry and I go sourcing, he tends to look for things he wants or needs, while I am almost solely focused on buying for resale. But yesterday I bought something just for me, something I've been looking at and resisting for quite a while.

I. Love. Red. Can you tell? Yellow is my favorite color--that light, sunny yellow of real butter and wild primroses, not the highway-department-gaudy yellow. Next favorite is red, good rich bright red. So you can see why this drip coffee pot spoke to me. And here at home on my table with my two other favorite colors--yeah, green is third--it's perfect.

We tried it out this morning. Works just right. I think I still like the coffee press coffee better, but Larry likes this and he's the real coffee drinker here. 

Little things, a bright spot in this not so great summer, make things better. A good, leisurely breakfast with good coffee after, that's pretty nice too. Saturday is off to a good start.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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