Friday, February 9, 2018

catching summer

I've got the picture in my head that I keep going back to. It was about 10 days ago, it was just before dark maybe about eight o'clock, and we were in the car my farmer boy and I, driving around the farm on the road and through the paddocks. The air was still, the night was warm, and the sting of the summer sun was slowly disappearing behind the tallest trees of the forest.

He was driving. And stopping often to clean the filters, check on the irrigation, feed the dogs and chooks, and see how the apples were sizing up and ripening. And as we drove my left arm slowly danced outside the car window, catching summer and that wide and endless feeling.

I remember we weren't talking much, we do this drive every night and sometimes we do and mostly we don't. It's just nice to escape the chaos of the house for a while and be together.

'I think I'm happier now than I've ever been in my whole life' I blurted out as we drove past the newly planted sunflower patch. 'I feel like I'm more authentically, honestly me than I can ever remember being. Like my skin fits and I feel comfortable wearing it.'

And I didn't mean that kind of happiness that is short lived, giggly joy. I could have called it satisfied or honest, but it felt bigger and more worthy than that. It was more of an underlying positive feeling about where we live and the way we've chosen to live. It was about nature and love and creativity and time.

In amongst that feeling there are the day-to-day disappointments, annoyances, frustrations, loses, successes, proud moments, worried moments, and general highs and lows. But running underneath all of that is this calm feeling of good. Of right.

As we drove on to his parent's house to pick some plums I started to get nervous about admitting this stuff that I'd been thinking about for a while out loud. What if I jinx it and get hit by a truck tomorrow? Talking about the big, good, lucky stuff doesn't bother him. He encourages it. It's the dark what if's that he can't do. So I took back my truck fear and kept it to myself. And at the same time I made a big decision there and then to hold onto this feeling, to fight to protect it if I have to and to guard it with my life.

And I knew challenging times were ahead with the start of the school year and the fading of summer into autumn and then winter. But if I've acknowledged that feeling won't I be able to access it when I need it? 

Ten days later and although the sun is most certainly still shining and warming up the soil and my heart, the small stresses of life feel like they're piling up; thrip in the flowers, an extremely hormonal daughter, a big landscaping decision to be made, a dreadful bout of insomnia, kangaroos ripping the apple nets, a dog escaping, a dog dying, pump issues, bird issues, a house that needs a clean from top to bottom, a crazy full family diary, expectations, overwhelmations (haha), not enough hours in the day and too many at night...I could go on but I'm sure you get the picture.

But underneath that annoying pile is that warm summer's night. And so far, if I stick my real left arm out of my imaginary car window and slowly dance it through the evening breeze, I can take myself back there. I can reclaim that feeling. It's mine.

I'm hoping that putting it into words and publishing it here will solidify it even further.

And as well as all of those fancy hand dancing moves, I'm picking basket-fulls of cucumbers every day to eat and to pickle.

I'm admiring the flowers my farmer boy is arranging and scattering around the house.

I'm loving this view through the garden to our house.

I'm becoming more and more frustrated with blogger for dulling down my photos that look so sharp in Lightroom and on my computer and so out of focus here. I wish swapping over to a new platform was that easy.

I'm dead heading, and weeding, and planting, and wondering how many more sunny summer days we have left .

I'm finally admitting that the potted colour I bought late last June has got to go.

I'm reading my Dad's library copy of The Family. Woah, such crazy stuff.

We're watching Waco. Do you see a bit of a theme emerging here?

And I'm still knitting the front of my Mirehouse, maybe I'll get a chance to make a start on the back this weekend.

It just occurred to me that those people who email me every few weeks to let me know that they're reading through my blog from the start to now must be rolling their eyes at this one. Without trawling through my archives I'm pretty sure that - holding onto the long, sunshine filled summer days as autumn and crazy school routines draw near - must be a pretty common theme around Fox Lane.

But then again everything about my life is seasonal; the plums in the dehydrator, the school picnic this afternoon, the tomatoes waiting to be turned into sauce, the mad scramble for glass containers with lids for freezing produce, the smell of honey in the air, the mud wasp nests, the blackberry scratches on my arms, the empty laundry basket, the basil pesto, the cabbage moths, the thistle flowers, the broken drip lines, the sound of crickets... I wouldn't want it any other way.

How are you going anyway?
What's the flavour of your season?
Are you hanging on tight to this time right now or counting the days til the next?
If I ever did move blog platforms, would you come and find me?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend my friends. Ours is bound to be filled with lots of preserving, homework and gardening.

See you next week!

Love, Kate x


  1. 💜😍🤗💕

    Sigh, delightful
    I would follow you anywhere.

    Cheers Kate

  2. Indeed the sounds of joy ❤️
    If you do change platform just link this blog to it so we can follow you like the Hansel and Gretels breadcrumbs to a thing of beauty . Love your blog xxx

  3. I think it’s natural our lives are seasonal to some extent. Many blogs I read over the years ofthen have a repeat theme to them. Many of us are Mothers so while our babies are young that will be (says she a mother to young adults who misses with a sad passion the what I thought was dull boring repetitivenessnif my life). I can almost feel your happy feeling. The dying sun on your arm. Thank you. You’ve inspired me to look into growing flowers when we move and to think long and hard about why I stopped blogging. I’d certainly follow you in a non stalkerish way to where ever you take your blog. Keep happy Kate from a damp bit of the Uk.

  4. Hang on to that feeling! I love your photos. It's great that you can see the contentment of the big picture, and also appreciate the little daily things you enjoy. And when there are frustrations and disappointments, you know they will pass and it's all part of the wonderful messy thing we call life.

  5. Great blog and I expect you to let us know if u change platforms! I'll follow. Really enjoyed this blog making me sit and think about time....thanks.....I thought your pictures were still crisp vibrant and radiating your life and what you see everyday.....thanks again.....I've started carving because of a blog with your farmer boy and so want apple wood.....lucky Bren! Have a great weekend, till next weeks blog! Thank you!

  6. It's deep winter here. Last week we had an awful snowstorm which brought 120 per cent of the monthly precipitation norm. The snow was humid and heavy, sticking to branches and cables and taking down many of those. But, boy, was it enjoyable. Even though walking has been still uncomfortable. But the whiteness, the eventually comfortable temperature for me and the feeling of winter compensate that.

    But I'm waiting for the change of seasons. It's like the annual, habitual thing. I wish seasons changed every month, so I didn't get that bored with them :) I'm waiting for the first spring radishes and leafy greens, for the morning chirruping, early sunrises, late sunsets and evening walks among the blooming trees. And your pictures bring a bit of warm seasons to me weekly :)

    I felt the same once. Well, not once, but the brightest and the most present happened last summer. My son and I had just fed the deer on a deer farm and were sitting in a teepee baking buns on a stick. And that was it.

    I'll find you wherever you move :)

  7. My house smells like apricots at the moment from jamming them & dehydrating them and my garden smells like ripe nectarines. I'm also loving listening to the baby sparrows that are living in the tree next to our outside table where we eat dinner ...even if they do use their cute fluffy distraction to send out 'spotters' the fruit trees to raid the fruit whilst we are watching their cute babies. ...and I live in a boring suburb, so I can only truly imagine how lovely it is there for you but I have the added bonus of being able to walk to the beach whereas you can walk into your bushland!

    I also use Blogger but haven't really noticed anything different with my photos, I'll keep an eye on it. I stuck my foot into the Wordpress blogging but I didn't like their 'unfriendly' interface, so I'll stick with blogger & it's ease!

    1. I agree with you that Blogger is much easier than Wordpress and FREE!

  8. Thanks. I love your honesty about life. Holding on to the great bits is an art and I'm starting to write down those moments too. It helps those other moments that pile on top of each other. I will follow your blog however you choose to share.

  9. I'm pretty sure that having put that feeling into words so well and having put it here for us all, not only you but all of us can now access that feeling of perfect happiness, wholeness and fitting your skin on a warm, wide summer night with the person you love best beside you. Thank you. Remind me to stick my arm out of the window more often...
    And from me to you, add the smell of jasmine and gardenia, of freshly crushed sugar cane, warm, salty summer wind and cool, soft old sheets on a hot night. With love from the tropics, another Kate. xx

  10. I love the photo of your row of apple trees...looks fabulous . And how lucky are you that your man puts flowers around your home. I also get apprehensive about those perfect moments when life seems exactly how you want it...then reality gives you a little jolt xx

  11. Hi Kate, I would follow you even if you changed platforms! Your writing and photos are a touchstone for me & have been for years. So, thank you.

    Love from Massachusetts,

  12. HI Kate, so loved your thoughts on your life right now. I have had similar thoughts knowing in my inner being that this life we've picked is so right and makes me feel so contented, and then things happen, life, and I begin to doubt myself but truly there's no where else I'd rather be.

  13. I would be trawlling the net to find you there are three blogs i read as soon as i see them and yoirs is one love your style writing see the girls grow and your wonderful photos. I know life is not all like it seems but we all have issues and you are doing what you hope is right for your family now. Enjoy your arm out the window elizabeth s

  14. You have the most amazing life! Thank you for always sharing it with us 😊

  15. Yep, if you moved your blog I would come and find you. I have been wondering whether I need to move mine off blogger too but not for photo reasons. You might see the discrepancies between your original photos and their reproduction on blogger but your photos look wonderful to me. It is the composition and the subject matter that I love. I wonder how you get any work done when you could lose yourself in the view of your home and garden that you shared in this blog entry.

    I'm counting the days until Autumn. My summer garden is overgrown and needs a trim but I am too scared of more heat. We have just lived through 3 days of 40 degree weather and a week of over 36 degrees and my poor garden is burnt and bleached in places despite watering, shading etc. My poor dryandra (the flowers of which I love - so fascinatingly complex and long lived) practically dried up and I am afraid it may not recover. Today was the first day under 30 degrees and I have been out there feeding and watering and giving general TLC. I hope dryandra can sense my love for it and pull through.

    So much to prune in Autumn and I cannot wait. I have my eyes on a brand new pair of lightweight shears just for the job. Autumn..bring it on!

  16. Wow, Kate. What a beautiful post. What a gift it is to read your words and be invited into your lovely little world. Thank you for sharing.

  17. If you moved platforms, and left an easy trail, I would definitely find and follow. (It might take a couple of weeks.) In spite of whatever you're seeing, I see crisp, beautifully toned photographs on each and every post. And I'm a part-time photographer. You're sharing something nicer, both quality and content, than a lot of photo-heavy bloggers, IMO. Some are TOO big; I think yours is perfect for absorbing the loveliness. :)


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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