The path through the Spring Point Preserve on Ocracoke Island, NC
I know for a lot of people summer began a few weeks ago when school ended, and for the more literal-minded among us, summer began on June 21st, the summer solstice. But for me, summer begins now. My calendar is clear. I've been on vacation, prepared for my week-long creative writing workshop, taught my workshop, recovered from my workshop ... and for the next five weeks, I ain't doing nothing.
Okay, so that's not true. I'll be revising a novel, tending a garden, bossing around boys, driving around boys, hopefully making a quilt and putting in some serious housekeeping time. But I'm not going anywhere until the second week of August, when we head to Kentucky for a family reunion, and I don't have much on my calendar except for minor appointments and the like.
It has been a long, long time since I've posted, so let me catch you up on what's been going on or is about to go on:
1. Jack starts behind-the-wheel driver's ed today. He's totally ready. I am totally not.
2. Will has caught World Cup fever. His life currently revolves around the games, especially if the U.S. is playing. I don't understand why the U.S. is still playing. It seems to take a lot to get eliminated from the World Cup. I mean, like you have to lose fifteen times or something. I wonder if everyone gets a trophy at the end, like they do here in Pee Wee soccer?
3. We spent last week on Ocracoke Island, which is part of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Would you like to see some pictures? Of course you would!
The house we rent every year. It's called the Mary Frances,
and it was built in 1920.
The edge of Springer's Point, the nature preserve on the island. The pirate Black Beard hung out here back in the day and is said to haunt the area, but so far I haven't run into him.
One of the ancient live oaks on the nature preserve.
I walked here every day of our vacation.
When I asked the Man if he thought the preserve was enchanted (the trees have a very enchanted feel to them), he said, "No, but it's complex on an astral plane."
I thought that summed things up quite nicely.
Stacks of netted clam shells on the edge of the Point. I've been reading a wonderful book called The Old Ways by Robert McFarlane, which is in part about walking on old roads and pathways in the UK, and these shells made me think of the cairns that he sometimes found marking trails.
Oh, I wanted to tell you about an author I discovered this vacation! Her name is Alice Taylor, and she's Irish. By chance, I picked up her book The Village, a memoir about village life in the early 1960s, at the library, and I found it absolutely charming. Now I want to read her book about growing up in the country, To School Through the Fields. I'll let you know how it is.
4. The garden is growing! Get ready for more pictures!
Butternut squash to the left, black beans to the right.
The world's tiniest cornfield.
Echinacea.We are starting to get tomatoes, and there are peppers on the pepper plants, but it may take awhile for them to turn yellow and red. Lots of cukes, lots of green beans. The watermelon plants are not growing vigorously, nor are the zucchini. It has been a dry summer so far, and I fear they haven't gotten enough water.
5. Big news: I got my braces off! I will end this post with the before and after pictures:
Before (as in about an hour before the braces came off)