Wild & Precious Life – Mid-Spring to Early Summer 2021

The last I wrote was in April and per usual, the warmer weather drew me outdoors and away from indoor focuses. Gone were journals, left behind were crochet projects, and forgotten were embroideries. We finished the last of our jarred goods from last year’s harvest and the snow finally melted.

Environmentally, this year is something unique to our short time in the Finger Lakes. We had unseasonal lows but so many deep highs that our last sight of snow was earlier than last year, and the blooming of various spring plants happened 2-3 weeks earlier than they ever have in the past. We witnessed flowers blooming in time for Easter and the leaves on the trees pushed their way out much earlier than we have seen before. Suddenly, it felt like summer long before summer had arrived.

We got another summer CSA share and seasonal picks were quickly offered weeks before last year. We had a long, delicious strawberry season this year that provided enough strawberries for a ton of jam, enough for snacking, and plenty to make multiple strawberry shortcakes. I was able to take Ryland to pick strawberries twice on my own before having to call forth Bruce’s help as Ryland couldn’t control himself and often found himself face first into the strawberry bushes with fingers and cheeks stained red.

Prior to our luscious strawberry harvest, we were able to do something we had hoped for since the start of the pandemic: host our parents. It was a busy two weeks as both sets came up one after another. Ryland was immediately smitten and glad to interact with his grandparents, and we were thrilled to see him share his time with them.

A short time afterward, we had the opportunity to travel to the DC metro area to visit with Bruce’s family. All of his siblings were able to fly in and with a full house, Ryland was able to get undivided attention from someone to his heart’s pleasure. He also encountered cicadas for the first time in his life, as we were there during the Brood X occurrence. The summer heat was familiar, even if it was relatively early and before the summer solstice, and Ryland had a thrill playing with water outside with his aunt, uncle, and cousin.

He did well driving to and from the area as well. A six+ hour trip if we were to go straight through without stopping was made into 9 hours due to frequent stops and torrential rain during our road trip. But Ryland handled it relatively well and it gave us the confidence we had been lacking for future road trips.

Backing up significantly, we were lucky enough to visit a local farm in late spring where Ryland was able to pet various farm animals and see them up close for the first time. I had the joy of holding a baby pig and feeding her. Honestly, a life goal made.

But pushing forward once more, we enter into June and the summer heat. It was wonderful to have warm air and sunshine, and I was happy to get outdoors. As mentioned, I took Ryland to farms a few times, but we also took many walks and I was cleared to begin jogging. Unfortunately, this was short-lived as it seemed the moment the summer solstice arrived, we began having frequent and dangerous storms, as well as high humidity.

I have never done well with extreme temperatures or humidity. Prone to fainting, it encourages me to stick close to home, but with thunderstorms springing up so rapidly there weren’t adequate opportunities for the weather service to send out warnings, it made me all the more hesitant after we kept being hit by severe storm after storm.

I am writing this in mid-July and during the two weeks of July we have only had two days of sunshine without foul weather. Every other day we have either had clouds, rain, storms, or a mix of both. Primarily, however, it’s been thunderstorm after thunderstorm. These storms have devastated Stewart Park, the large park in our town which we have frequented since we began visiting this town. It closed the park down for just over two weeks as they worked to clear out debris and ensure the many trees weren’t posing any threats of falling down. Our county has seen nearly daily power outages in various areas and Ryland has developed a deep fear of thunder. Any rain we’ve had has been accompanied with storms and this has happened so frequently that when we had a simple rain shower this week, Ryland woke, expressing fear that thunder would follow.

And so, we haven’t been outside half as much as we would like. When we are able to get outdoors, it’s been a joy, but it’s been unfortunately infrequent.

Ryland, however, has had a busy summer thus far. He has been attending weekly music and swimming classes. With health safety a priority, both classes have been small and spaced apart. His music class is outdoors and his swim class only has three other children partaking in it. He loves both incredibly and it’s so enjoyable to see him interacting with new things.

For my birthday at the start of July, my parents visited for a week. We unfortunately dealt with more rain and storms, but were able to snag a beautiful evening here and there and one full glorious day. Bruce and I had the first opportunity in well over a year to go out for dinner–just the two of us–and we also were able to catch some fireworks we saw on the way home. As a family, we went to one of the state parks to barbecue and also played in the water of Cayuga Lake. It was so refreshing to be able to be out and about, listening to people converse from far away, and splash around in the lake.

Creatively, there hasn’t been much going on. I completed baby blankets that arrived to friends before their babies arrived and that has been about it. I haven’t had much desire to sit with fabric over my lap due to the hot temperatures, and I haven’t wanted to work on any embroidery until I completed the memorial embroidery of Lily.

With harvests coming in already, I’ve been able to get some canning done. Strawberry jam and pickles are the first items completed, as well as a dandelion salve. I purchased plenty of new canning jars and hope to make more canned items to last us all winter and into next spring. We still have plenty of harvesting ahead of us and I hope to make more canned beets and tomato sauces. I’d like to also find a way to store some peppers once they come into season.

Tune in for my next update….whenever. I hope to get back into writing on here more frequently!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s