Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On the Move in May

After months of hanging out in Kingston, it seems my mojo is on the move and May is a very busy month. To start the month out just right, David and I headed to Healdsburg to visit Kyrsa and Dave in their new home. What a wonderful vacation from the wet and damp of the northwest. California was beautiful in it's spring colors. We were able to enjoy it from the vineyards and botanical gardens of  Dry Creek to the whales at Point Reyes lighthouse and the sun-sprinkled waters of Tomales Bay.

This was our first visit to the house on Grove Street. Most of you have been there so know what a wonderful space it is. Kyrsa and Dave have worked hard to put their mark on it with a comfortable, clean and California-classic feel that perfectly suits the 1930's home. The "grounds" are amazing with wonderful plants and trees already established and new garden spaces beginning. I love that I can know think of them and know where they are sitting for dinner and where they are having drinking on the patio. I smile just thinking of it all right now.

We are so lucky that Susan and Colin are "kind of" in the area and they were able to join us for dinner and a slumber party. We played badminton in the back yard (I haven't done that for many years), drank Dave's famous Margaritas and ate some great food too- really the hallmarks of a family gathering. The best part is always relaxing, hanging out and talking about crazy stuff with my amazing children.

May really is Mother's Day month for me. It began with Kyrsa and Colin and ends with Erin. As I write this, I am almost finished packing for my trip to New York. This is the best month ever; time with all of my children! And in case I have not been clear, they ARE all pretty amazing, generous, strong, courageous and hard working people. I am a very lucky mom and I recognize that all the months of the year, not only May.

So, West Coast to East Coast and then in the middle. On Mother's Day I hung out at the lake with my mother, Anita Sarah Haspedis or ASH. We started the weekend right with a burn pile behind the cabin and a little clipping here and there. We ate clams and corn just like a summer day which it really was- 80 degrees and sunny was better than most of last summer! I even went into the water without cardiac arrest. It was under the guise of pulling in the dock from the middle of the lake but still, not bad at all.

The neighbor boys came over to catch up after the winter in town.Cam is getting to be a "cool" middle schooler and not as chatty as in past years. Good thing Jacob has taken up the slack! He conned Anita into playing Monopoly with him which was hysterical. Watching Anita play with Jacob made me realize how it was we girls learned to learn during all those years at the lake with no TV, phone or even a car much of the time. I still wonder how Anita survived but she always was a strong advocate of nap-time.

As I finish packing for the last of my May travels, I am thankful for the patterns and examples of living set for me by my mother and father. I see my children using many of those patterns, goals and values to take their own dreams farther yet and say : "We are one very lucky family."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Well, at least I hope so. In an hour David and I are speeding our way toward northern California to preview the May sunshine and avoid a few days of Kingston showers. Still, it is hard in many ways to realize that it is already May. March and April just slipped by under the rug.
Anita and sister Mary An
Robert Kent

I suspect it was the dull thudding of losses that encouraged me to ignore time moving along. My uncle, Herbert Kent died. He way 93 so it was not really a big surprise but it was still a surprise. Anita and I went down to Benge for the memorial service in March. It was great to see family that I hadn't seen for many many years. It was also interesting to realize how important Herb and Dorthy were to my sisters and I. They were the essence of our extended family- the kind with aunts, uncles and cousins. We had Father George and Betty in Spokane; San Dee and Gail as cousins. But Herb and Dorthy's family were are  first cousins and the people were stayed with when we drove into Benge. They were our home-base for Anita's family. Ellen spent a week at the lake with us, skiing and adventuring every summer. Dorthy  told us stories about the Grange and Herb instigated our now family obsession with homemade ice cream. I remember vividly the hand-crank ice cream maker on their front porch where kids "got" to help.Herb was Benge's version of Tom Sawyer with a white washing brush or ice cream crank or weeding bucket.
Nancy Hohn and partner
Cousins Ellen (Kent) and Deborah Bruhl
Hoop gardening in Kingsto
At home in Kingston, March and  April were wet and cool but that is such the norm that I decided to accept and live without summer. To that end I have constructed a garden under plastic. This may be the wave of the future here, until global warming finds Kingston. I have a large hoop garden in the vegetable space and a smaller one in the front yard. There are a  few starter spaces for experimentation but I am not sure they will be successful. They will go away in May in any case.

The gardener's eternal hope in Spring never fails to amaze and surprise me. Despite the limited summer successes, I still keep trying new approaches. But hope was marred a little this Spring with the loss of 2
of my lovely goat friends. I lost my old friend Bucky and a new friend,
Loretta,  both to old age. It happens but it was a slow couple of months while I tried to get them healthy. They were just too tired out. Now we have Mary, who might be too mean to get sick, and a young guy, Dewey. Hopefully, they will have an active and happy summer!

As I leave for a few days, I leave Kingston at its annual BEST. The flowers are always spectacular in the Spring and the cool weather means they hang around longer, overlapping colors and fragrances. Nothing to complain about unless it is that the beauty of dandelion yellow in not always the most appreciated color in the palette.

With this new ambling, I am ready to greet the rest of Spring and the upcoming summer with much enthusiasm for new projects in the garden and at the loom. I had better get to that fiber stash because the fiber fairy paid me a visit when I was at school and left at least "10 bags full" of wool, angora and mohair. I guess she thought those other 20 bags were empty! Gentle nudges to "GET GOING"!

Happy Spring breezes to you and a final glimpse at Angora Acres in Spring.