Sunday – and I have barely touched my list of things to do. As always, if the weather allows, at the top is to get out on the water and yesterday, we did – kayaking out around the islands, getting out to walk on sandbars and swimming – floating out where the snowy egrets feed, sparkling white against the green grasses and blue sky. It is easy to let the hours pass out there but eventually, the to-do-list beckons me, our stomachs rumble and we head back to shore.
The garden pays the price for these leisurely afternoons and the weeds are winning the battle. I search between the green for things to pick and did make my kickin’ salsa with our jalapenos, one tomato from the garden and one from our CSA box, cilantro and red onion. So far, the only thing that the big pests have been eating are the eggplants. I have managed to pick only one slender purple-black fruit but now only find carved out shells of skin hanging on the vine. Since no one in my house particularly likes eggplant – including me, I consider them my decoy plants. Except for bites out of tomatoes left by annoying squirrels, the lettuce, swiss chard, edamame and cukes have not been touched. Of course, the mean-old ground hog who has decimated my garden in years past is probably just waiting for the lovely little soybean pods to appear before feasting. But just in case we’re doing a vegetable swap here, I’m happy to sacrifice the melenzano.
Besides the housework, also getting short-shrift from me are the piles of New Yorker magazines, Sunday’s New York Times and an ever-growing stack of books. It seems impossible to keep up with it all. During my week away I managed to read three-weeks worth (does it really have to be a weekly?) dabbled in many memoirs and books but read The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman cover-to-cover loving every page. Brilliantly rendered characters – each profiled in chapters that flesh out the life and death of a newspaper in Rome. Now I am hooked in a ‘I don’t want to stop reading yet’ way on Little Bee by Chris Cleave, deservedly on the Best Seller List. A page turner, with gorgeous writing. I was particularly moved and impressed by his telling of grief – or rather, of aftermath of tragedy – because grief is too simple a word for the emotions in those of us left behind and he brilliantly, poignantly, captures the complexity of that undertow.