1. Gathering cucumber in the morning. In July, the weeds grow at a rate that's impossible to stop. Luckily, so do the fruits and vegetables. There's another batch of cucumbers soaking in salt and water, and tomorrow, I'll make more pickles. The tomatoes are starting to turn. Salsa. Soon. Tomorrow I'll pull out the cilantro that's gone to seed, hang it upside down and soon, I'll have coriander. That's what cilantro seeds are. Neato, huh? Leaves = cilantro and seed = coriander.
2. I'm collecting hot peppers and will pickle them as soon as I have enough in hand.
3. I'm dragging all sorts of...stuff...out of the house and starting a burn pile. Every load that goes out feels like freedom. How does this stuff attach itself to our lives? I'm embarrassed and stunned that each object I carry out, I actually carried in at some point. There are chairs I could repair, recover, and paint, and part of me feels guilty for not giving them a second life. But some things are just broken or they don't mean the same things anymore, and the time it would take to fix them costs too much. I don't want to worship this stuff. I want to walk into the house with fewer things in my arms. And I want to use up what I have doing something God would like. I just know He loves popsicle birdhouses because that is something Nora and I would do together, you know, for birds.
4. I stopped by Heartland to see Ila today with some flowers and lavender, all of which she planted. I mentioned the music in the piano bench, and I could tell her heart skipped. "Oh, I would really like to have that music again." I'm going to copy the song I was working on last night and bring the books and hymnals to her right away. She explained she would visit, but that it's just too hard. She wishes she was here again. And I tell her: I understand. And I really do. "Take care of the place for me." "I will. The weeds are really hard to keep up with." "Just do the best you can." "I will."
5. And when I fixed a sandwich with pickles and ham and swiss today after working outside, I almost ate in front of the computer, but I suddenly felt invited to eat with Him, so I pulled up a chair and the two of us were together. That was the best I could. I hope I can make as many "best I can" decisions in this life as possible. It's not easy. I'm pretty lazy, but He's always guiding if I listen.
6. Thank you Mom and Mike for coming to pick up a truck-load of stuff for the garage sale. Thank you Et. Cetera for taking 6 bags of clothes and giving them a new home. Thank you, God, for fire because sometimes it's just the end of the road for that second-hand chair or the painting you did back in college.