Grateful

Two loaves of molasses bread

Mixed: 1:10 pm

Molded: 2:45 pm

Baked: 3:30 pm

Gave one loaf to Jack

I’m enjoying summer. The pace is slow, and the weather is delicious. I’ve been reading (a bit), and writing (a lot), and taking the kids to the beach. We’ve been eating dinner out back, the doors flung wide open, and slowly cleaning the house, emptying drawers and closets at an even and steady pace.

My last effort in giving fit just perfectly with this easy and grateful mood I’m in. The molasses bread was still warm and I could see that Jack, our across-the-street neighbor, who always looks after the house when we’re away, was home. I slid the loaf into a small brown bag, walked across the street and knocked on the door.
“Thanks for all you do, Jack.”

“I don’t do anything!”

“You do, too. Enjoy the bread…”

He smiled, I smiled, and I slowly returned home, marveling at the still-blooming orchids on the front porch.

I don’t know… The simplicity of it all. Of just baking, and giving, and staring at orchid blossoms, and doing it all at a human pace. A pace where you have the time to sit on the porch for a minute before going in  (where five teenagers are devouring the other loaf of molasses bread). I know school is coming again soon, and that I’ll have to shift into second, then third, and even fourth gear at times… But for now, I’m so thankful for the time to really look at what’s around me–the bird chirping on the telephone wire, the fig turning from green to purple, the yeast bubbling in the warm water…

Yes, grateful.

What about you? What sort of slow movements have you noticed in your world this summer?

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6 thoughts on “Grateful

  1. C.S. Lewis is the story of his early life talks about being glad he did not have a car. Because he walked everywhere, the world was human size or something to that effect. Bozeman is a walking town (if you live near downtown which we do). I can walk to the library, all of my medical facilities, several museums, all of the older part of Main Street, Montana State University, many great little restaurants, a great grocery story, etc. I often walk my errands and the pleasure is more in the process than the accomplishment. I wander into stores that I might otherwise not notice and sometimes have an interesting discussion with the owner or clerk if things are slow. I have walked in all four seasons now, in snow, pouring rain and of course sunshine. Each experience is a little different. It might take me 2-3 hours to do something I could accomplish in 45 minutes but it is well worth it. I also hike whenever I can on the nearby trails. I have logged almost 80 miles so far since early June but it is all at a human pace. It would take only a little over an hour to cover such a distance in a car but on the trails I am sure it has involved 50-60 wonderful hours.

    • Carol–I’d love to hear more about your walking adventures! Bozeman sounds like a very charming place–a place built for humans, not just cars. Someday I am going to visit, and we will have a long, long walk together 🙂
      We miss you…

  2. Jane, I was reading your post and couldn’t help but laugh a bit. Summers in Alaska are not what you would call relaxing. This is the time of endless hours of daylight when we can stay up past midnight getting all those much needed projects done that we couldn’t during the long cold winter. Parents around here are already talking about the break they will have when kids go back to school in 10 days.
    I got two new garden beds dug up this spring and the veggie garden planted. I painted the trim on the shed and the house, we went dipnetting for salmon in July, Peter caught 16 in one day, got all those vacuum sealed and in the freezer. Peter has been working hard getting enough wood chopped and stacked for the winter.
    We did get to go camping as a family for two night this summer, and by camping we spent one night in the tent and light rain and the next night at the Alyeska Prince Hotel in Girdwood. We enjoyed the indoor pool and pizza in our room. For our 7th anniversary coming up this month Peter and I want to go ptarmagin hunting and blueberry picking in Hatcher Pass, which is only 5 miles from our house.
    I sometimes envy your relaxing beach days there in CA. I often think I should drive to the local river to let the boys play, but the one public spot the river is rushing so fast it would be a constant watch where the boys were playing, and the onther spot near the church is slow enough to walk in, but this time of the year the bears are enjoying the fish running upstream.
    By the end of fall, after picking berries and harvisting the garden, winter is a welcome relief. That is the time for crochett projects, baking and fun indoor activities with the kids. I love Alaska and would never want to live anywhere else. Love you and miss you and can’t get over how big those kids of yours are!
    ~Rebekah
    (My sister just started a blog last weekend, she has six kids and just got two goats. I thnk there are only 4 or 5 entries, but she is a great writer, dispite what she thinks 🙂 oursillyoldlives.blogspot.com

    • Yes, Bekah… in many ways our seasons are reversed. Winter for us means still mowing grass and pruning fruit trees, roses, and planting spring gardens… While you are cozied, watching the icicles grow, sipping tea and crocheting hats.

      I was just telling a friend today about Alaskan summers, as they’ve been described to me–with a frenzy of activities, ball games at 2 in the morning, tending gardens where the veggies grow at lightning speed… That you shove a whole winter and summer’s worth of activities into two months… It must be a whirlwind…

      About the beach days… On your property, with the forest all around, you have just what we have at the beach. A place to watch the seasons change, to visit regularly and see the tiniest changes–changes that startle and delight. When we were in Vermont this summer, with the trees all around, I thought, “these trees would be my beach.” I’d try to get to know each one, to watch them turn from seedling, to sapling, to grown up… I’d look for visitors and learn their names… Or give them names:)

      Anyway, God is so good. There’s so much beauty all around us–we just have to keep our eyes open and slow down now and again to notice.
      Love you!

  3. Even though I seem to allow myself to stay too busy, I am soaking in your choices to slow down and let in the tiniest bit of joy and beauty. Thank you, Jane, for enticing me into those “human paced” moments that I need so much.
    Love you!

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