1. Our garden. It started with just two raised beds in the backyard that we filled with mostly tomatoes. The next year added a third bed. Then came the year we had to take down the 45 year old Cottonwood tree that had always shaded our front yard and house, which kept us from keeping anything in front but grass and that giant tree because we knew if we planted things that needed shade they would just have to get taken out when the inevitable loss of the tree came, changing the whole environment. When we lost her, we took the opportunity to turn the lawn into a garden. We took out most of the grass, Eric built three more raised beds, we built a berm along the road and filled it with irises and lilies, I put peonies in where the tree stump had been removed, we built strawberry beds, and we planted squash and zucchini and pumpkins in the spaces between. Right now we are getting lettuce, kale, peppers, basil, and strawberries. Zucchini squash and even a few tomatoes are almost ready to pick, and there are a few tiny cucumbers. Our carrots didn’t sprout and I never did find any rhubarb to put in, but there’s new mint and sunflowers to fill in the cracks.
2. Eric’s hiking pictures. After I say hello and hear about the hike (a few weeks ago, he saw a brand new baby moose and its mama, the other day it was a bear), one of the first things I do is take Eric’s phone, look through the pictures he took, and email myself the ones I like. I like the time home alone and appreciate the tired, happy dogs he brings back, but I also like to see what I missed.
4. Books. As I packed for my trip, I loaded a few new books on my Kindle (MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, and Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch by Brittany Gibbons) and packed a paper copy, just in case (Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala). One of the most consistent, true things about me is how much I love to read.
5. Good food. I made sweet potato and black bean quesadillas for dinner the other night. Eric made a fresh grilled corn and basil frittata last night and he’s making pizza tonight. I ate my first ripe peach of the summer the other day and almost cried. I’m currently obsessed with hummus and sweet potato chips.
Bonus joy: A rainy morning that cleared off so we could walk but had also soaked the garden so we didn’t have to water, the smell of fresh basil, documentaries (some I’ve watched recently: Austin to Boston, What Happened Nina Simone?, Harmontown, Little White Lie), podcasts, healthcare, marriage equity, a president who will burst into song (sound good and look cool doing it), a washer and dryer right in my house that I can use for free any time I want, electricity, clear water, laughter, dog rescues and rescuers, airport shuttles, car rentals, planes that can fly 1200 miles in 1.5 hours, clean sheets, payday, the internet, my kind and gentle readers, my big family.