sand, sun & soil


What a beautiful weekend last.  Saturday we went to the outdoor market again to pick up some mushrooms, and we also got a few kale starts from a local farm.  My husband built a garden box on the far side of the red shed (the small hall) to be the home of all the greens, and I can't wait to fill it up.  I've planted some herb starts in the bed out front and started seeds for more.  It really feels like summer could be just around the corner.  It's still dipping to freezing at night occasionally, but the days are getting consistently warmer and sunnier.  Everything is in brilliant color again.  

Sunday, instead of taking Highway 101 south to our usual coastal destination, we headed north and drove along Neskowin Creek, past Nestucca Bay, and into Pacific City.  Blue skies and bright sunshine were tempered by a cold and whipping wind.  Hello, Haystack Rock.  And hello mob of people.  I'll just say here that I don't get driving on a beach.  It seems wrong, an affront to nature, damaging.  (Aside from that aspect, in another sense it's like when you go hiking and a motorbike goes roaring past or when people play loud music at the river.)  We drove a bit further north and took some side roads, finding nice lonely, quiet trails for slow walks and new views, with only the gentle sounds of nature in our ears. 

T had his first day of on-campus school Tuesday!  After a year of planning and moving and hoping and waiting, it finally happened.  His first day review was a good one, and I'm so relieved and so happy for him.  It's been a lonely couple of years for him.  I pray he finds his people here.  

I've been in the yard all day today - raking up gum tree seed pods, planting some lobelia, cleaning drainage areas, obsessively checking on my seedlings, basically looking for any excuse to stay outside in the glorious 73-degree weather.  We have five raspberry plants I'm hoping to get in the ground today, and I have a peony that is going to bloom before I finally decide where to plant it if I'm not careful.  So off I go, back to sun and soil.

slow notes:

  • This, on oak trees.  When we first moved in Salem 13 years ago, I fell in love with these magnificent trees with the massive arms.  Little did I know then how magical they truly are.  
  • This, from Wired.  "...plastic rain is the new acid rain."    
  • I attended a virtual live event yesterday afternoon, Nest Collective's Singing with the Nightingales: Homecoming.  It was absolutely magical, featuring the sounds of returning nightingales to the woods of England accompanied by music and poetry.  Transporting.  You can watch/listen to it here.  

PS:  Wasn't last night's crescent moon wonderful?

slow & steady


The days this week have been mostly sunny and it's been so nice to sit on the front deck or back patio and feel the warmth soak into my very bones.

This past weekend we went to the Salem Saturday Market for the first time since moving back.  It brought back a lot of memories of years past, of little T always wanting shaved ice, of flowers and farms, of so many good things.  Sigh.  

The photos:

Also last weekend, we took a long drive down south to a couple of lakes that we had only been to once before, years ago.  They were beautiful.  We found a short trail through the woods that took us to the edge of one of the lakes and spent some time exploring the shoreline.  Most of the trails we loved to hike between here and Detroit were destroyed in last summer's wildfires and we are having (getting) to find new areas to explore.   

We had a nice Easter dinner with my sister-in-law and her family.  I made Ina Garten's Lemon Yogurt Cake.  So good.  All the lemon things, please.  

Last evening I went with my husband to one of his fishing spots just as the sun was starting to lower in the sky but everything was bright and golden still.  I went off, camera in hand, to see what was around each turn in the clearing or behind the next stand of trees.  I crouched low and gazed into the pond water, observing soft, swaying green pillars of algae reaching for the surface (which made me think of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Johnson Wax building). I watched the concentric circles made by the fishing bobber radiate outward until they bumped up along the shore.  

A woman in a big hat walking a tiny dog called out to me, "What are you finding?"  Ever socially awkward, so wrapped up in my immediate surroundings, and somewhat startled to have been noticed, I stumbled over the words, "Erm, oh, you know, just some birds..."  She said, "Oh! There's some bushtits over here on this side of the pond."  I went over later when I was sure the area was free of humans and was thrilled to see the bushtits.  Thank you, kind lady of the ponds.  On the far side of the trees down low in the bramble were several Spotted Towhees.  I love these birds.  (We have a couple that live in our back yard, and they spend a lot of their day scratching around under the shrubs but also sitting on the arbor and flinging themselves into our big kitchen window.  We've also seen them sitting on my husband's car's side mirror and jumping at the window.  I don't love seeing/hearing them do that, it's rather alarming, but their daily presence is quite cheering.)

It was wonderful to take slow and steady steps, melting into the landscape under the warm evening sun, reflections sparkling in my eyes, birdsong filling my ears and feeding my soul.  


slow notes: 

  • This by Kerri nĂ­ Dochartaigh.
  • This beautiful film by Lynn Tomlinson.
  • This about Spotted Towhees.
  • Can't wait to hear and see more about this.  Ancient Egypt is endlessly fascinating.
  • This about forests, folktales, and imagination.

I wish you a weekend of birdsong and sunshine.

shifting hope


Last weekend we were able to travel to Eastern Washington to visit my family.  All of them have been vaccinated, either by being of an older age or working in health care, and my husband and I have been fortunate to have been here, as well.  I'm not ready for big travel yet, but going to see loved ones sure felt good, and very needed.  

A couple of days last week I spent painting the fireplace room in the basement, including the fireplace.  I've been getting out every morning for a walk in the cool air, exploring the other side of our hill that I'm less familiar with.  We've had suppers outside, Thursday night's around a fire, and I'm reminded that the shed out back that is to become our dining hall has yet to be painted.  Soon.  

The yard beckons with the arrival of warmer days.  It is for the most part shaded, so we are trying to make the most of the parts that get sun and find what works with minimal light.  There's little I love more than a day spent pottering in the yard with a story in my ears (I'm currently listening to The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin).  

Underneath the talk of spring plans and house projects lies a cognizance that reality has shifted and things will never be quite the same, that there are loved ones who have literally given up, feeling the weight of a lifetime and its natural progressions, tipped by a year and a half of isolation and worry.  I don't have the words to make it better.  I can't make someone fight who doesn't want to.  All I can say is "I love you," "I understand," "I'm here for you," and "there is (please have) hope."   


slow notes:  


Wishing you feelings of hopefulness, bouts of merriment, and long stretches of contentment.  Until next time  ~

by mlekoshi