summer bounty

A big bowl of tomatoes—so many that I can save a small bowl for the next two days (there are more ripening behind those I picked today) and throw the rest into a big pot to make a simple sauce that I will freeze for the winter.  I have refrained from cooking inside during our heat wave—hot food never tastes good to me when it is hot—preferring to grill a bit of protein on my small electric grill (A nod of thanks to Cindy for gifting the grill to me when I left Madison.) and making huge salad with bought greens and herbs from the garden.  Everything from the garden has more flavor and vegetables melt into one another so much more companionably than their supermarket cousins.

I let the tomatoes cook down for hours and what is left is the sweet essence of summer.  I expect the pleasure long after I’ve pulled up the plants and cleaned the garden for winter.

We are quiet today with nothing planned.  Some drawing, a load of wash, some editing for me and reading. Julia plays her music—Ukulele chords are just beginning to make an impression and she has a new cello piece.  Then, Julia picks up her basketball and bounces it around the house until she becomes bored.  She wants to go to the small park around the corner.  She wants to go alone, but capitulates to my entreaty to go with her and sit far away.  I am.

She wants someone to come to play with her.  Not me even if I had the inclination or the smallest amount of skill.  So, she bounces and takes aim at the basket, usually missing but not letting that stop her attempts.  She is persistent making just enough baskets to keep her going.

If wishes were horses . . . but I still wish so hard that there was a friend for her. Someone who could roll with her moods and punches — not real punches.  I know that although she longs to be playing with someone today, tomorrow she will not feel the same.  An invitation tomorrow could be answered with a forceful, no.  Boo.  Boo ya, as she used to say in Chinese.  No.  No, never.

We are falling into a nice list of to do’s together.  I had briefly mentioned doing some math work at the beginning of the summer to which Julia replied, she was finished with math.  She meant it.  I do not imagine that a suggestion for close reading with comprehension questions would fare any better.  But slowly, we’ve put a plan into place—Julia does a page of DonnaLee work, plays her cello and her Ukulele, makes some art, reads and does at least one chore.  This is the first time since the dark days of our shutdown in 2020, that we have a grounding schedule that pleases both of us.  She is still trolling the internet on her phone way too much, obsessing over her fat body and I still need to remind her to do what grounds her, but she is happily doing it.  And I am grateful.

Now, if only one of us had a basketball playing friend to give her a few pointers and play a bit.  

Is that just too much to ask for?

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