"I often wonder how you can find time for what you do, in addition to the care of the house; and how good Mrs. West could have written such books and collected so many hard works, with all her family cares, is still more a matter of astonishment. Composition seems to me impossible with a head full of joints of mutton and doses of rhubarb."~Jane Austen in a letter to her sister Cassandra, 1816

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Outside In

We’ve got cherries! Lots of them. They’re the sour variety but juicy and tasty nonetheless. Thanks to a cool and rainy spring, the boughs on our big cherry tree are dripping with fruit. Although the prior homeowners planted too many trees too close together along our fence line, including several each of magnolias, ornamental pear, and oleander, the two cherry trees – one skinny and one big and full - have been such a treat.

Last year we laboriously climbed ladders to tie strips of foil around the cherry branches to try to fend the birds away. It didn’t work and we only harvested one bowl of fruit. But this year, the children have been ON TOP of the cherry crop. Girlie notified me the first day the cherries started turning pale pink. She quickly instructed Toddler on how to pull them down off the trees. For a couple days, I tried telling them, “They’re not ripe. We have to wait until they turn bright red.” In vain. The children are gleeful. They run to the big cherry tree as soon as I admonish them to go in the backyard and play already because they are driving me crazy.

I worry that poor Toddler has a store of cherry stones piling up in his stomach, but I am not so worried that I make further efforts to stop them. I am too thankful for some peaceful minutes in which to assess the pantry and freezer for ingredients for dinner. Tonight Toddler runs in from outside proudly bearing a cup of sand above his head, “Dirt!”

“Oh wow! But the sand stays outside, remember, Daddy said?” Toddler trots the cup back through the living room and out the open sliding door only to return a few minutes later with a different cup of sand. Later, Girlie brings me an exotically named soup of grass and rocks. “Mmmm … lovely, but please bring that back outside. We don’t want to get ants.”

I have spied ants traipsing across the living room carpet, but am not overly alarmed because they don’t seem to be marching very purposefully - yet. I know the carpet is overdue for a professional cleaning. We’re trying to keep up the vacuuming, now that Girlie finally is no longer scared of the vacuum and Toddler actually likes it. But there very well could be a half-eaten hot dog under the couch or something. I can’t bend down these days to look under there.

Truth be told: the ants don’t bother me. They can’t hurt us. They have construed the open sliding door and crumbs on the floor as a dinner invitation. I am not knocking myself out housecleaning these days (not that I ever have). We are too busy picking cherries and appreciating what we can of the little nature left in our lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment