Shining Windows

This is my third or fourth attempt to post about our little supper in the shade last week. I only wanted to show you how easy it is to take a boring supper of brats and taters to elegant and restful. Well! Evidently my new phone isn’t up to speed with how I do my blogging life and refuses to save drafts. Not fun.

So here we go again. Elv and I both read Shining Windows by Kathleen Norris during our last cabin stay. It is one of my favorite books for I think I’ve read it six or seven times. This time I enjoyed the scene where after a hot, summer day of harvest on the ranch the family gathered for supper around a pretty table in the shade of the big trees outside the kitchen door. It wasn’t a picnic. It was supper, complete with real dishes and cloth napkins and pulled up chairs.

We do love a nice table in the evening, even if we all plan to scatter and work on more projects afterward. We talked about how nice it would be to be able to call it a day at this point, read the paper and loaf till bedtime. But, Wisconsin summers are short and there’s not time to loaf away our evenings hiding from the mosquitoes. Repairs on our house, Elv’s current fabrication projects, and cleanup of the house and kitchen for me after spending all day in the garden or my own summer-only projects.

This summer is flying by. I want to somehow save it up and enjoy it. The only profitable, possible way to do this is to gather the crops and store them up as meals for winter. Soon harvest will begin. I picked our first raspberries yesterday, yep, on Sunday. They tasted just as good as any other day. And Elv and I stood by the pea fence and ate snap peas. “This is just what I wanted to do.” He said. I just have a hard time forgiving the deer for coming along and lopping off the top foot of growth and buds so that we have to wait a little longer again for those.

Tonight we shall have creamed peas and potatoes from the garden. Such pleasure I’m deriving from this. Because my poor garden. And because Elv and I worked so hard to improve our sandpile and behold these results. Small, but real. I’m choosing gratitude and continued effort. Maybe, maybe someday I’ll have crops the like of which I dream.

We can have flowers though. And cloth napkins. And elegant music. And any other nicety we want. AC is probably up there on the top of the list right now.

Another top of the the list item is to figure out how to keep the deer out. I stood in the aisle at L and M supply looking at the fencers and wires and insulators. The kind lady instructed me that an electric fence would probably not keep the deer out. She saved me at least a hundred dollars and added to my hard won wisdom. Bears respect an electric fence at least. If we have to have one or the other, I pick bear.

You know, gardening doesn’t save you any money. I knew that. Neither does canning if you add up the dollars you spend to get everything you need to actually do it, and if your time is worth anything, which I hasten to say, is! But this is not the point. Yes, I want to stay out of Wal-mart more often. Am I the only one who goes in for groceries and comes out with a hundred fewer dollars. Am I the only one questioning the wisdom of eating out of Wal-mart? I hope not. But I also want to be able to walk into the pantry, snap on that single light bulb and see the rows and rows of shining jars of green beans, apple sauce, pie filling, jams, tomato sauce, and fruit. I want to stand there and remember the hard, happy work that Elv and I did together preparing the soil of the garden. And the beautiful rows of growing green and fruiting. And the excitement of first fruits. The memories of pitchfork work layering mulch into every aisle between the rows and the side dressing and weeding … those happy times of quiet and even worship. Yeah, I like gardening. The huge bouquets of flowers. The experiments with rooting powder to create more shrubs of roses, honeysuckle and spirea, whether they grow or not. We learned things. Which reminds me, I bought some kale, spinach and nasturtium seed. Just for fun to try. In October, kale and spinach in a smoothie would be quite nice.

3 thoughts on “Shining Windows”

  1. I miss gardening, I haven’t had a garden for a4 years.. and I miss it so much.
    shining windows is a
    Great book.. and deer make
    Me see red when they eat my garden and flowers.


  2. We put up a electric fence to keep out the deer, and it is working. Now I have to figure out how to keep the rabbits out.


    1. We put up an electric fence too. Hoping to ward off bear and coon from the corn. And maybe even rabbit because the bottom wire is quite low. Good to know that even deer respect it.


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