Around here, July feels like that moment when you reach the top of the roller coaster and you know the pace of life is about to speed up and possibly get a little bit scary.
July is the start of garden harvests and preserving, when you can expect the temperatures to soar above one hundred degrees most days, when the grass and trees and creeks dry up, and fire season begins in earnest. Our creek stopped flowing two weeks early this year, and I can see the water level slowly dropping.
Things are picking up in the garden. Our tomatillo plants are doing extremely well, and I’ve canned six quarts of chile verde so far. The plants are much happier since we added compost, though we do have a new bunny infestation to deal with (and skunks, deer and ground squirrels). The tomato plants are full of green tomatoes and we’ve been eating zucchini and yellow squash most days. It’s probably a good thing I haven’t found a good way to preserve it! By the end of summer we will be happy not to see another zucchini until next year.
We are in the middle of an unexpected home project. Last year I was a part of a preschool group and we took turns hosting in our homes. My area has one preschool – one of the drawbacks of living in a small rural town – and it’s full. This year we decided to turn our warehouse into a schoolhouse, and last weekend we (and my awesome dad 😊) cleared it out and put flooring down. I’m very excited!
Over the past few days there has been a fire growing in the nearby mountains. Each evening a smoky blanket covers us; forcing us to close the windows; the taste of campfire in our mouths as we try to sleep in the stuffy house. This morning a fire advisory was issued – a warning that the fire is traveling in our direction and we should be ready to evacuate – so I spent the day preparing the camper, cleaning out the rain gutters and clearing off the deck and porch. It’s lonely with my firefighter husband away at work. I look around my house and wonder what I will miss the most if we lost the house in a fire. What will I remember later that I didn’t think to take with me?