Saturday, April 25, 2009

School's out!

What a relief it was when school was out! What fun we had together! It's not so much that we - mom and kids - hung out together all day long, but that the kitchen was homebase, where the young adventurers would come back several times during the day from their forays into the neighborhood. 

Once chores were done, their time was their own. They had long hours with friends, and also we made frequent trips to the little library in the tiny village of South Natick, just less than 3 miles away and as close as any public area. The waterfall below it was especially enticing on hot days, though we mostly just looked at it as we hurried by on some errand. An ice cream cone at Brigham's or Friendly's accompanied most trips into Wellesley to buy groceries. 

In the car we sang and talked and sang some more, mostly camp songs from my childhood. We loved the two-part sections and any song that could be sung as a round.

Back on the farm, the heat of the day was spent reading, each of us gorging on the tall stacks of books we brought home from the library.

June was kind in that most evenings were cool even at the end of hot days, and that meant more time for the garden. Now that we were eating spinach, chard, and peas, the evening hours were ushered in by a quick run to the garden for ingredients for our perpetual summer meal called fu-fa-rah. It consisted of whatever combination of garden goodies that were harvestable with whatever additions the fridge and larder yielded.

A typical early summer fu-fa-rah would be sauteed peas, greens, rice, and goat cheese, of course drunk down with frothy, cold goat milk. 

The one harvest we could count on even this early in the season was rocks. This was an area where the glaciers had scraped and ground the bedrock and left stones and boulders behind. Large and small, they seemed to rise up all summer, so that every time we went out to the garden, new ones were lying on the surface. 

The family ritual was to pick up as many as any one of us could carry, then pile them up in the yard-wide margin between the edge of the garden and the property line. Soon we had a miniature stone wall growing up beside the garden, reminding us of how the real stone walls that lined our property had come to be. 

Picking rocks and peas was fun in the cool of the evening, especially when we didn't have to worry about getting everyone to bed. On breezy nights the mosquitoes were no bother. The display of stars overhead called for lying on our backs on the grass so that Dad could tell us their names, and point out the constellations. It was a season in-between, soft and sweet.

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