For the past few weeks, Tim has been traveling, but by Friday he was back, and I was relieved to return to our usual routine. After Olivia’s ballet class on Saturday, we checked on the garden. The California weather has been warm enough that we still have tomatoes, some strawberries, the ever-growing hot peppers, and our favorite old-standby, Meyer lemons. While Olivia and Mateo played “fort” and “chase” and “Miwok Indians” under the weeping willow, Tim and I weeded the beds and picked the fruit, filling our baskets and buckets to overflowing. That afternoon we made jam, which the kids ate by the spoonful; and a huge vat of tomato sauce, which, I have to say, is among the best I’ve ever eaten. California’s climate is forgiving. Even when Tim is away and I ignore the garden for a few days, our hardy plants manage to thrive.
On Sunday, after church, our parish hosted a pancake breakfast. Olivia asked me to take a picture of the design she made on hers, and to post it on my blog. Afterwards, we went to the church’s annual book swap. Unbelievable! Within five minutes, I’d scooped up What is the What (Dave Eggers), White Teeth (Zadie Smith), The History of Love (Nicole Krauss), Let the Great World Spin (Colum McCann), American Wife (Curtis Sittenfeld), Shopgirl (Steve Martin), and The Autobiography of Johnny Cash. And this was just the first table! The kids each walked out with bags so heavy they dragged on the floor. People in our neighborhood read some fantastic books, and are generous by recycling them. I’m still pinching myself.
Mateo just got home from a Lego birthday party, while Olivia and Tim are squeezing the last Meyer lemons for lemonade and sprinkling salt over homegrown tomatoes. Homework is done. Laundry is folded. We’re ready to face the new week.
I once read a poem that began, “Be happy if there’s something to be happy about.”
Right now, I am.