Home sweet home. After a week away, we are back at the farm and loving every minute of it, soaking up every detail. In fact, our front-gate landing in the wee hours of Saturday morning segued neatly into a week of stay-cation, a July tradition to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
It’s good and healthy to be away, to break from routine and explore a new part of the world. Last week we had the opportunity to see Virginia for the first time, in large part to join my family for a really special family event. (More on that soon!)
Then it’s so refreshing to get back and return to normalcy. Home comforts. Farm chores. Oklahoma heat and humidity, even. All of it. Mostly home-brewed coffee, you know? I mean I’m grateful for restaurants and coffee shops, but…
Nothing compares to waking up at 5 a.m. to walk around in a tee shirt and day-old makeup with the day’s first perfect cup of coffee. Surveying the gardens at daybreak, with that first hot drink, it’s my favorite.
The relief of being home rarely has anything to do with being desperate to end the travel we have just enjoyed. In fact, sometimes the more beautiful the trip, the more fervently we dive back into real life. We are recharged, deeply nourished, and ready for more living.
I ought to write more about what specifically we glean from each trip we take. New Orleans, for example, is a vastly different experience form Virginia Beach, and so the bring-home wisdom and inspiration are totally different. I love it all.
This recent homecoming gifted us with everything we needed. Lots of rest, plenty of Klaus cuddles, some time outside, some time with movies and popcorn. Romance. It is our anniversary, after all. We have enjoyed a few days of slow-paced home-bodiness, having left only for groceries and one dinner out with friends. And I think I have run at nearby paths three times.
Everything has exploded with life and color, texture, fragrance, and pollinators. The growing things are all so big and thick. Lush, although I use that word too often. We walk from the house to any flower or vegetable bed nearby and share the pathway with bees, wasps, butterflies, dragonflies, and bumbles. So far not one sting. Just lots of fly-bys. Yesterday I mixed up some simple syrup with essential oils to offer the bees. Such a thrill to peek inside the hives and see what progress they have made since spring.
One raised bed is filled to the brim with tomato vines. Jungly, unkempt, wild in the best ways. And not a problematic bug in sight. The vines are so thick and fuzzy that a smattering of marigolds and basil plants are barely seeing enough sunshine to grow properly. Ha! But they are trying.
Every morning since we arrived home I collect more green or pink tomatoes, all shapes and sizes, absolutely ugly-beautiful. Some are pale purple, which is cool. Heirlooms. And they ripen more quickly than I expected. The photo below was snapped on Sunday morning, and by Monday afternoon they were all ruby red.
And delicious, I don’t mind telling you. Raw, just salted, is divine. I can’t wait for pasta night to make my own marinara. Maybe a sun-dried version too, soon? And tomato-watermelon salsa? Yes. A tomato tart!!
Quick tomato tip: This afternoon I accidentally broke off a good, healthy branch from one gigantic plant, but instead of tossing it to the compost I just stripped the lowest suckers and dunked the whole thing into a tall, strong jar of water. In a few days, it should have sprouted hairy little side roots and be well on its way to a autonomy. Ready for soil.
Basil plants elsewhere on the farm, the ones not choked out by tomatoes, are lush. (So sorry, it really is the perfect word.) I have lots of pesto recipes in mind for the rest of the month. Come over for dinner if you groove the spicy green goodness.
Tonight we get to see more friends for a few hours. The husbands are installing a much-anticipated Corvette engine. We plan to get some local Mexican food, which is great because last week I suffered some pretty outstanding food poisoning from a subpar taco salad out east. I cannot wait to have girl time with Kellie, too. She dives deep in conversation, and that’s one of many things I adore that about her.
Life is really beautiful right now, even with the unknowns, the lingering petitions. I am keenly aware of how drenched in blessings I am. So happy about our trip and even happier to be home, exactly where we are.
More soon, I hope you’ll check in!
And feel free to send me alternates for the word lush so that I might describe my gardens with more variety.
“Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
be it ever so humble,
there’s no place like home.”
~John Howard Payne