One thing that I’ve learned in this crazy life and hold dear to my heart is to do what you love. I’ve learned by trial and error how to follow my passion and steamroll forward without any worry about anything or what others think. It’s my journey and mine alone and others may not understand it…for it’s not theirs to own.
My loves of gardening and writing complete me and are sacred to me during this phase of my life.With that said, my life has been hurried the last month or so and I haven’t been doing what I love continuously. We had Florida and Massachusetts family visit for a few weeks and with that came nice sessions on our new deck and delicious meals made by my mother- in-law and sister- in- law. School started and with it came changes within the staff, forcing me to adjust to a new teacher working with me. It’s been fine, more than fine and I’m happy how things are going now. But somehow I disconnected from this blog and all of you, who I consider good friends. Because of this I’ve been empty a bit and the longer I went not writing this, the harder it’s been to comeback. Does that make sense?
One special thing we did when my mother-in- law Theo was here was going out to eat with Butson’s friends. Years ago we all worked together in the supermarket, some in bakery, deli or produce departments. It was great to catch up and connect and especially to laugh!
I hope to catch up with you, post photos of my garden and what I’ve been doing the last six weeks. I know I’m back now…pursuing what I love and sharing it all with you. I have missed you all and hope your lives have room for what you love!
While I was on hands and knees a few days ago, suddenly I spotted a green bean swaying ever so gently in the breeze. It’s always like unwrapping a present and a surprise reveals itself. I know I’m meant to garden and dig in the soil, for I never tire of nature’s gifts. I’d rather spend my summer kneeling in the patch rather than being anywhere else.
When I think of green beans, one vivid memory comes to mind. Years ago, when my son Dylan was a little boy, he discovered snapping off beans and eating them right away! He frequented the plot with one main intention…to pick green beans. Picture a young boy with no shirt, barefoot strolling through the patch in the blazing heat of the day.
To this day Dylan will take a sandwich bag of snappy green beans to munch on. Last year I gave him and his wife Lexi a bag for their dinner and he ate them all on the way home! Today once again he asked kindly for his green beans and I obliged with love. I love my son and the fact that he loves green beans! Here are some ways I use my fresh green beans:
Toss them in a salad
Sauté with olive oil and slivered almonds
Serve with sausage and potatoes
Have green beans with cooked ham and mashed potatoes
Goes great in a stir-fry
It doesn’t matter how you use them for these versatile veggies are wholesome , healthy and delicious straight from the garden!
Last year I successfully grew a sunflower patch. There were golden ones, rich reds and maroon hues as well as sunny yellows. They stretched tall from eight feet to about 12! I remember seeing people in cars slowing down to admire their beauty. They definitely bring some sunshine and happiness to my day. I look forward to seeing them grow up, probably emerging in a month or so. I will pick some for inside and leave some in the patch.
Do you grow sunflowers? Do you pick them or enjoy them from your yard?
I have sat down three different times to write this post and each time I was almost done and it got erased! It’s frustrating because I was satisfied with it yet now I begin again once more. Hopefully the last time. Has that ever happened to you?
As a young child I didn’t give a hoot about gardens. I remember being around the age of 10 and my dad proudly tried to show me his garden at our Haverhill, NH house. The plot sat in the back of our yard bordering blackberry bushes. Dad tried to put on a tour of all his vegetables and coldly and uninterested I ran away to play. Oh how I regret that with my every being! If I could turn back time I’d listen to soak in the moments as he went through his garden. But I can’t and that’s that.
Now as a mature adult, I’m a gardener like my dad. I guess it all came full circle! It took me half a lifetime to appreciate a gardens peaceful presence and it’s magical qualities. It all started with my paternal grandfather ( actually my maternal grandparents gardened too), progressed to my father and now I continue the tradition. My sister has a vegetable garden too.
Years ago Tom tilled and tended a huge garden for his employer, Mrs. Geneen. He didn’t enjoy it though, for it was his job. I didn’t have anything to do with it until one day I was strolling through the rows of growing green plants. Suddenly an interest sparked within me and from that day on I have tended our gardens. We maintained a garden at the farm for about twenty years and about five here, on our land.
It’s more than a hobby, but as a profound passion of connecting with the earth and growing and nursing vegetables for our family. Digging in the soil of the plot makes me feel alive! It’s calming as I stoop and pull weeds, check the leaves for growth or hoe the narrow rows of dirt. It’s my therapy in life, a special sanctuary to be still or to move among the plants. Sometimes I twist and turn, other times I rest and weed. Whatever I do in the garden, it’s sacred.
As I wrap up this post, I wish to thank my dad for all his gardening advice and for our phone conversations that are focused on gardening. It’s these moments that mean very much to me, times of connections that have strengthened our relationship. Maybe he’ll see this and maybe he won’t and that doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that this hobby has brought us a little closer. I’m grateful for that.
A few weeks ago I turned fifty and I really have no problem with it! People I chat with about it almost compare it to going up a tedious hill and how it’s the start of the aging process. Sure, I guess I am closer to retirement now within 15 years and perhaps I’ll start seeing physical and mental changes. But maybe I won’t! Maybe I’ll continue to feel great physically and keep learning about myself and be stronger than I ever have been! That’s all I can strive for, to climb that mountain easily and smile because I conquered it!
Months ago I decided that I wanted us to go on a milestone trip marking the big 50. So we traveled to Las Vegas and had quite an adventure! Next Tom will turn 60 next July and he’s thinking of where he wants us to go to. I also wished to have a little get together with some family members, friends and co-workers to celebrate. It was a great party with my music coming from Dylan’s speakers, good food such as meatballs, a vegetable tray, quinoa salad from my friend Anita, guacamole and tortilla chips, macaroni and pasta salads.
I feel blessed to be as healthy as I am, happily married to a wonderful man who is my friend and a mom to two amazing sons who have conquered the world with hard work and humility. Even though my age is half a century, I still feel like a 22 year- old but with an aged mind and a whole lot of life experience that has brought me wisdom. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. All the stupid mistakes I’ve made have seasoned me and have propelled me to learn and grow.
I’m in the Fifty club now and it’s entirely okay! I look forward to coming years as I age. Hopefully I can remain healthy and happy!
My sister and I rode South today to our cousin Lisa’s beautiful home in Ashland, New Hampshire for a cousin’s reunion. The day was steamy and sunny, perfect for sitting on the screened porch. We all caught up over iced tea and lemonade, appetizers such as Artichoke dip and tortillas, a delicious Quinoa salad my sister made ( made with quinoa, feta cheese, avodaco, tomatoes), a beautiful cheese and cracker tray with Fontina and Pepper Jack, Michelle’s chocolate peanut butter cups, my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and Holly’s cream horn medallions( recipe to follow on my next post).
We didn’t have all the cousins there as many live far away. The cousins who could come caught up with our stories, ones of our family and careers, getting older and the dread of finding white and gray hairs and about nostalgic memories at Grammy and Grampa Doyle’s house. We reminisced of Grampa or Poppy (as my cousin Mary calls him) would lay on the couch and grab us children and begin the tickle war. He would stick his tongue out and laugh with such glee. My Grammy had a grinder business ( sub sandwiches for those of you who have never heard of the term) in her house and I remember once or twice seeing her make them. There were races sledding down the hill when you couldn’t stop and banging hard on the out of tune piano on the porch. We all have fond memories of those days on the hill in West Fairlee, Vermont.
My Uncle Mel brought boxes of pictures for us to look at and encouraged us to keep a few if we wished. It was fun thumbing through our dad’s photos and his family growing up. In the photo above my dad is the tallest boy on the right. I didn’t recognize him at first but we decided it truly was him. It does my heart good to see these precious moments captured and I’m thankful Uncle Mel brought them.
So it turned out to be a fun successful day celebrating cousins. Many of us have been busy raising families and haven’t always connected. Even so, we have our childhood memories and our blood lineage to connect us. Perhaps we will have this event again and maybe even more Doyle cousins will attend. It’s something special to look forward to and maybe when all of us have grandchildren they will come too!
Now I know I have your attention with that title! There are many amusing occurrences in this life, moments that stop time and trigger a good and hearty belly laugh. This happened the other day when I came home with a car load of groceries. I hurriedly opened up the hatch and started grabbing bags to bring inside. Tom was helping too and came in the kitchen and asked me what I was doing with the watermelon. Huh? What do you mean what am I doing with it? He told me to go back outside and check it out. There on the cusp of our gravel driveway and the tarred road was the watermelon. It laid lopsided several feet away from the car. Apparently it took a rolling ride out of the back of the car. A runaway watermelon! Ha! I must say it made my day!🤣🤣🤣🤣
Thankfully it didn’t burst open!
Have you had something hilarious happen to you lately?