Sometime in July, all my good intentions fall apart. I consistently don’t make any jam in July, despite it being prime jam season. I also start to forget about the garden. The cilantro and arugula bolted. And now, writing. I haven’t been.
It’s the Dog Days of Summer.
The Romans referred to the dog days as diēs caniculārēs and associated the hot weather with the star Sirius. They considered Sirius to be the “Dog Star” because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog). Sirius is also the brightest star in the night sky. The term “Dog Days” was used earlier by the Greeks (see, e.g., Aristotle’s Physics, 199a2).
The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as sunrise (heliacal rising), which is no longer true, owing to precession of the equinoxes. The Romans sacrificed a red dog in April to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather. (Wikipedia)
Now it’s early August and I’m working on getting back on track.
Last week I made some blackberry sage jam, tarragon pickles, dilly beans.
We harvested from the garden and made french onion soup, basil pesto, and grilled zucchini. Today I’ll pick some eggplant and check on the peppers.
I’ll be back. This weekend I think I’ll knock out some jams: peach-habenero, peach-blackberry, nectarine-lime. Next week I’m going blueberry picking, and picking up some materials for a project I’ve been wanting to write about!
Few weeks ago I remembered something: My Grandparents House.
As you drive up to it, there is a split-rail fence and a long row of evergreen bushes with a bright green mailbox at the end. Turn right and drive down the l-ong driveway, 50+ feet of flowerbeds to your left. On your right, two centurion Sycamore trees shading a lush green lawn and the front of the house. A small dogwood and a pie cherry tree next to the house.
The house boasts 3 porches.
A small one out front, a larger one on the side off the kitchen dining area. Around back is the third, at one point it wrapped around an above ground pool.
In the backyard there’s a crab-apple tree, the sugar maple that they planted when I was born, and a giant evergreen the quail like. On the left, a couple rows of raspberry bushes and the strawberry patch. Everything is watered via a system you turn on and off with a giant claw.
From the back porch you can look back to a 3-bay garage/barn. Just beyond that is a generous garden space, a small fruit orchard, and a pasture. At the very far end of the pasture, is a creek. I can only remember a handful of times I saw the actual water through all the grass. We didn’t go all the way back all that often.
Even the inside of the house calls to me. Woodstove. Big open kitchen, with a bar. In the basement, an vintage wood-panelled basement and bar set-up. A master-suite with a ridiculous length of mirrored closet doors.
I realized that it is exactly what I want. Logistically.
And I realize that I miss that house a lot. (I was just a few years too late!)