Adapt, Create, Nurture, Ponder

August. When you kind of want to go to the pool but not really. When you sort of want school to start but not really. When you feel like you should go to the farmers’ market but you don’t.

Maybe it’s OK to just sit back and be super lazy for a week or two because we have been pretty busy. I drew up a “summer bucket list” recently and was happy to see that we had already checked a lot of the boxes. I’ve wanted to take the kids to the Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University forever, and now we have. I’ve wanted to go back to Atsion Lake forever, and now we have. We went back to Ocean City and did the beach, the pizza, the rides and the ice cream, all five of us, so we can cross that off the list, although we aren’t precluded from doing it again. We rafted at Raft Night at the pool.

Best of all we have hung out with many friends, both the kids and me and hubs. Cousins. Old college friends, new(er) neighborhood friends. Friends who do mean renditions of “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Paul Revere.” And we’ll be seeing more folks in August.

In between heat waves, I’ve done some real cooking and baking: roasted chicken legs and thighs from Hillacres Pride with great baked potatoes from Savoie Farm, nectarine cornbread skillet cake with nectarines from the farmers’ market, gravy, pesto, meatballs. I’ve frozen a bunch of farmers’ market tomatoes, including some really nice looking sauce tomatoes. (Confession: I’ve gone overboard at the market a few times and had to compost a fair amount of produce. I feel bad about that but I just consider it my small subsidy of the farms.)

 

 

I learned this week that the small grocer that opened downtown is closing after about a year. People were taking it pretty hard on social media. I must confess that I didn’t frequent the place nearly as much as I thought I would. Parking was tough; also a handful of times they were closed when I wanted to go. My feeling is that if that place couldn’t make it, then nobody can. I guess we just aren’t destined to have a grocer downtown. 😦

I’ve been going to NYC for work recently and here’s some stuff I wrote while there last time:

I’m in New York again for work. I’m staying overnight tonight, working out of the office here again tomorrow, then heading home. So right now I’m at a hotel near Grand Central Station, in for the night. Can I tell you how glorious it is to be in a hotel room alone? That hasn’t happened since probably 2013. I remember one time, before I started blogging, I stayed at a local hotel one night just to get away. And I spent most of the time eavesdropping on an unfolding situation in the room across the hall where the occupant got crazy drunk and dislocated her shoulder.

No drunks tonight, so far, but plenty of sirens and horns, even on the 33rd floor. Otherwise, nice and quiet, just me and my laptop. The hotel gives you some money to spend in its little market and so I had a fabulous chocolate mousse from there a little while ago. Soon I’ll put on the TV and watch . . . whatever I want. I talked to the kids on the phone when I got back here and Sebastian asked, “How’s your apartment?” LOL. But for tonight, yes, it’s my apartment.

 

* * *

I continue to have global warming on the brain. I keep thinking about whether the time has come to seriously consider planning a move to another area. I don’t want to be caught off guard. Maybe I’ve seen “The Day After Tomorrow” too many times. I don’t mean moving anytime soon, but down the road, 10 or 20 years from now. In essence, we’re talking about where do I want to retire to. Hint: probably not Florida.

So I’ll spend some time looking at properties in other states… then I get sad over the prospect of relocating, and start thinking about adaptation. Don’t we have wonderful abilities to adapt? I think of my friend who adjusted to living in the Marshall Islands for two years: constant heat and humidity.  There will be ways to escape the heat, for most of us. And N.J. winters might become rather mild. Maybe hubs and I can just become “heatbirds,” and fly away north every summer, in our (theoretical) retirement.

Out of curiosity, I visited the website for the farm I worked at last summer. I know that last year, the heat and rain were big factors in their output. Looks like it was the same this year:

“Due in large part to the warm April we enjoyed (the 4th warmest in New Jersey’s history), we were able to open our pick-your-own strawberry fields earlier than last year… [B]y late May we had suffered through one of the wettest Mays on record. … By the end of June, we concluded the second wettest twelve-month period in central Jersey since records have been kept.  During wet springs & early summers, transplanting of crops are delayed, as in our successive plantings of summer squash, beets & cilantro, so harvest dates are delayed. These crops and many others are going to be harvested, but later than what used to be our normal (we are in our third straight year of overly rainy springs/early summer).”

My small garden is doing OK. My basil plants, which have been hanging around since way back when, are finally taking off. They like the heat. The sage plant is doing the same. The thyme is struggling. The rosemary seems to never change. I haven’t looked up any info about the sage, thyme or rosemary, just winging it for now. I have one tomato growing. Kind of depressing when I think about the bounty of years past, but at least it’s something. Something to tend to.

* * *

I haven’t been reading much but I get some time in at the pool. Borrowed these hard cover reads from my mom:

“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert is really giving me something to think about. Recommend for you creatives and would-be creatives.

Today: lots of cleaning; pack for another NY trip tomorrow; pool, hopefully; and play some more rounds of 500 rummy with Sebastian.

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