Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Welcome Summer

A welcome steady rain falls this morning after spectacular thunderstorms last night. The sound is so peaceful. Rain in tomorrow's forecast is a good way to usher in the summer. I love a good thunderstorm that doesn't involve property damage. Do people everywhere begin conversations with the weather? Just yesterday I greeted a technician working on internet connectivity. After saying hello, we both remarked on the gray sky and impending thunderstorm. Weather is part of life on the prairie and it is a nice neutral connection.

A week or so ago, I planted flax seeds in my perennial bed. I love the blue flowers and have tried several times, unsuccessfully, to grow them from seed. This time I spaded up the spot, added composted soil, and watered faithfully on 90 degree days. I was so happy to see seedlings push up from ground. Sunday I walked by and noticed half of what I thought were flax plants are actually volunteer tomatoes. The compost must be rich with tomato seeds because they are volunteering all over our yard. I put several in pots on the patio and they are growing better than the plants from the nursery. There is a lesson here somewhere.

This week most of my knitting comes in pink/rose/lavender shades. Funny how that happens. I knit some on the cowl from scraps. The yarn made nice fingerless mitts but this fabric feels stiff so I bumped up a needle size. Washing will soften the yarn some. I am going to knit to the end of the pale pink and see what I think. I am also unraveling a shawl. The pattern is beautiful but I have never worn it. The shawl is long and skinny with ends that wrap forever. Someone taller could wear it well but on a good yoga day I am five foot one. Our lifestyle is casual. If I can't wear a shawl to places like the farmer's market, grocery store, book group, or church, it doesn't get worn. I love the yarn and so am reclaiming it. Fittingly, I join Kat and the Unravelers, to unravel a project.

I finished reading Emily Dickinson: Selected Letters edited by Thomas H. Johnson. The letters are divided into chronological sections. Each section begins with a short description of Dickinson's life during that time period. Most letters are briefly annotated with relevant information about topics or quotations she included. The book is a fascinating view into most of Dickinson's life. Rather than reading a biography filtered through the lens of another writer, these letters are written in Dickinson's own words. As a reader, I was freer to come to my own ideas about her. This seems like a good way to learn about Dickinson in light of all the speculation about her life. The letters present a witty, intelligent, well-read woman very much engaged with her world. Late in life as her health failed and she wasn't writing poems, her letters remained rich with prose. I have been reading from this book on and off for about six months. Now I plan to read from an annotated collection of her poems.

Tomorrow is officially the first day of summer. Welcome summer reading, rainy days, warm days, long evenings, and even volunteer tomatoes. 


  1. Welcome summer indeed! Enjoy the tomatoes - homegrown are always so good. The Emily Dickinson book sounds fascinating; adding to my list.

  2. The weather here (funny how that topic comes up regularly on my blog and in conversations too!) has been Summer on Steroids... much too hot and humid for early June. But, our pepper plants in the garden are loving it.

    I recently also reclaimed some yarn that I love that was languishing in a never worn shawl. It will be cast on again on Friday in a new project that I hope will be loved as much as the yarn is!

    Thank you so much for joining us!

  3. Weather is a big topic here also, at least for me. I care about whether it's going to rain and how much as this affects whether I can hang laundry outside, take a walk, and if I have to water the garden or not. I was excited to see Summer Story in your photo; I had to run upstairs and look through the other Brambly Hedge books. They were big favorites of both my younger son and I, with such lovely illustrations.

  4. soft rains falling here In Wisconsin. We lucked out for our fundraising golf outing yesterday. The only dry day in the last 5!

  5. I'm not far from Kathy B, so we are having rain on the first day of summer. It's pretty cold, too.
    I admire you for unraveling such a beautiful shawl. I have shawls I haven't worn, but I can't bare to undo all that stitching.
    The Emily Dickenson book sounds really interesting. It's a nice approach.

  6. your emily readings sound soothing and illuminating. I adore your rosy knits, they looks summer like!! Today is a very rainy day and I'm trying to decide if I'm staying in or going out :)