I am sitting inside a warm and cozy cabin on Johns Island watching the rain and wind playing through the madrona leaves and whipping up the ocean into whitecaps. This is the first rainy day we’ve had since arriving May 31st. It has been sunny and warm enough to jump in the ice cold (ok, 57 degree) water and run out again gasping for breath to lie on the hot rocked shore. The kids love it here. We spend our days playing in the cargo net and swinging, exploring the island, working on projects that need done around the cabin, reading books that are new to Ayden and Willow but that I remember from when I was a child, and preparing and enjoying our meals.
We are rebuilding the garden area bit by bit. It is kind of a hobby project since it is not on our list of projects to work on over the summer. That list includes rebuilding a deck, scraping moss off the roofs, repairing minor leaks, and picking up the constant battle with the bats and mice in the bunkhouse, to name a few. But there is something about the garden that reminds me so much of Grandma Betty. I remember walking through the door, weighed down to close automatically with a bucket of rocks on a pulley system, and along the stone pavers to where the snapdragons grew. Grandma getting down on her haunches and showing me with arthritic fingers how the flowers opened and closed when squeezed lightly from behind. The garden has been left for years and just a couple weeks ago the rotting posts were ripped out and the metal fencing rolled up and put away under the house. Ben has done an awesome job rebuilding the fence and all we need is one more door a bit more weeding and shoveling to be able to transplant our lettuce, cabbage, and herbs already growing in pots on the upstairs deck.
We are enjoying digging for clams on the far point and eating them fried or in clam chowder. We also get a couple handfuls of mussels from a beach around the corner and throw them on quinoa salads every so often. One of our neighbors has a flourishing garden and we are getting fresh greens and onions from him as well as strawberries and eggs from his chickens. We supplement our meals with red wine, delicious Oregon and Washington micro-brews, and dark chocolate. Life is pretty simple and pretty darned beautiful right now. We’re living high.