Hello, and happy Tuesday! We have had some pretty spectacular clouds of late. Summer storms are springing, for certain.
I read about strawberry infused tequila and decided to try it, pronto! I used 1.5 cups tequila in a pint jar and filled it to the brim with quartered strawberries. I kept it in the fridge for three days before straining it and making the most deliciously dangerous margaritas, probably ever. I used my recipe, omitting the lime juice (I might try half next time) and adding 1.5 cups quartered cold strawberries. The height of splendor, dear peeps.
Lilac season has been amazing this year. This bouquet scented the house for days. The fab vase is from Liz Kelly. Oh, how I love her work!
Juniper is an odd bird. When other dogs are freaking out at the sound of thunder, she is super chill, but at the first hint of high winds, our girl gets anxious. Enter the Mr. Sandman weighted blanket (we bought the seven pounder) and she is instantly worry-free, thank goodness. I hate to see her suffer.
My parents came for a visit a couple weekends ago, and I, as per usual, made a feast! This was the prettiest of the lot, a rum cake from The Red Truck Bakery cookbook. It was also rather amazing in the flavor department.
I have seen this gorgeous style of banana bread all over the internet and decided to try it. Not gonna lie, I would not do it again. For someone whose fresh preference is on the firm green side, it was basically two large chunks of overripe ickiness atop every slice. Juniper was happy to take those bites off my hands, just in case you were wondering if I suffered any.
Yet another treat! Cloudy Kitchen’s Funfetti Sugar cookies. Very, very good (I will reduce the sugar a touch next time, however), and no refrigeration required!
Our library, perched atop a windy hill, has, hands down, the best view of the west side of Colorado Springs!
Greg and I were married thirty years ago today. A long time, all things considered. We had a little celebration at our new favorite British Pub yesterday, high on deliciousness and low on fanfare, before watching a Pink Floyd movie nearly as old as we are. It was a grand day of relaxation. As the two previous days were spent spreading twenty yards of bark mulch around the front and back gardens, it was a welcome respite. The top photo is a glorious first glimpse. All the work rendered us both bone tired and me rather sleepless, too. I kept thinking about how far we have come.
The London Transport photos were the first “in-person” day of our honeymoon, after flying through Newark and overnight across the Atlantic, arriving bright and early in London. It also lets you know how short I am in comparison to Greg, as the photo booth stool was not adjustable.
The serviceberry is surrounded by a whole host of volunteers: goldenrod, penstemon, and evening primrose. Strong plants, like our mostly good habits, flourish when given proper attention.
Gardening is so much like the cultivation of a marriage. The lilac is probably as old as our house, and while it was quite large from all those years in the ground, not all of it was healthy. When we cut out the unruly bits and dead wood, it flourished. We’ve done this so many times in our relationship, with people and habits, and never been the worse for it.
On our trip, we were careful not to have too much. Everything we owned was on our bodies and backs, a repetition of the essentials. Any object that failed to meet the criteria was left behind. The same is true with our garden. We started with such a wide variety of plants! As the years pass, the number dwindles, as weather and animals (wild and domesticated canine) show us which are hale and hearty and worthy of replanting.
I was well into saving for a trip to Europe when I met Greg. After I was certain I liked him, I shared my plans and asked if he wanted to join me. He said, YES! For a time, we thought we might get married there, but in those days before the interwebs, it presented a logistical nightmare, so we made it our honeymoon.
We decided to travel for two months and saved for the nearly two years of our long distance engagement, while still in college (such young things), totaling $3000 dollars between the two of us. It was ALL in traveler’s checks that we kept secured, along with our passports, in pouches that hung around Greg’s neck and my waist. I cannot imagine such thrift nor travel without a credit card now. How we, and the times, have changed.
Then, as now, we still like to try new things, even if we decide they aren’t worth the bother. Topless bathing is one such example. How tan I was from all the walking though!
Thankfully, Greg and I learned early on, specifically when we were in Nice (France!), the value of rest. We had been go-going, walking much of every day and taking overnight trains to save on time, when it hit us. We were becoming crabby and 100% to each other.
So, in this place of great beauty and sunshine, we stayed for ten glorious days, lolling at the beach, reading and swimming, and sleeping in, too. Near the end of our stint, we even moved from a one-star hotel ($20 a night!) to basically an apartment, with a kitchenette, for $10 more a night. We could have cold and hot food and eat it at an actual table. The luxury!
I believe the greatest luxury of these past thirty years is the result of our dedication to each other. We are always striving to be and do better, in the garden, around the house, in how we treat each other. We are keen at observing the weeds and promptly taking care of them. We are better at loving, at giving each other space, at knowing when we are wrong and apologizing. We continue to blossom, and it feels like being the luckiest couple in the world.
I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!
Learn, as you stand at this end of the bridge which arcs from love, you think, into enduring love, learn to reach deeper into the sorrows to come. To touch the almost imaginary bones under the face, to hear under the laughter the wind crying across the black stones. Kiss the mouth which tells you, here, here is the world. The mouth. The laughter. These temple bones. The still undanced cadence of vanishing.