Getting Summer

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I find myself saying “Gotcha!” a lot whenever I pick up Betty.  It can be in a reassuring voice after she’s fallen, or in a fun voice as she is being tickled.

I didn’t realize this until today when Nadine said, “Gotcha.”  Then she paused before exclaiming, “I’ve never said that word before!”  Then she went on to say, “Would someone please explain what that means?” Seeing as though I was the only one in the room at the time, I took the liberty of explaining it to her.

She was unloading the dishwasher at the time.  I had just sat down after teaching school all morning, cooking lunch, and doing some other things.  Nadine said, “It must feel good to take a break!”  I chuckled at her comment, nodded my head, and sipped my tea. I had just started my lunch.  Somewhere in between scrounging up five lunches with very little food left in our cupboards (I’m determined not to go shopping this week), cleaning up multiple spills, cleaning up one messy baby, laying said baby down for her nap… I finally sat down for my lunch.  This is what often happens after the feeding frenzy we call lunch.  Our kids are eating machines.  I can pretty much honestly say that our fridge is empty.

There is a little milk left, 4 eggs, one block of cheese (which is odd to still have), and a bag of peppers,which has now been roasted and pulverized into salsa.  There is a jar of jam, a few olives and some mustard.  Oh, and relish and garlic!  We have some ice-tea too, but that is about it.  We’re out of cereal, bread, and fruit.  We have many tomatoes and butternut squash.  It’s so adventurous cooking only with what you have!

Speaking of cooking with what we have, our garden has been such a blessing this year!  For the past few days, this is what I get, plus some squash:

Every dinner includes tomatoes.  I find that if I just roast them up, blend them up, or cut them up right away, not one goes to waste.  They are just pure loveliness.  Elijah took these pictures of the gardens this week:

I relish every color, every flower, every taste of summer.  I will be hanging on to it with my last bit of strength, even while fall sneaks up to take its place.  The changing of seasons is like a game of musical chairs, except there is only one chair.  As the music of summer starts to fade, and the rhythm of fall is about to begin, I feel badly for the one about to get kicked out into the march of time again.  I just want to grab summer forever and say, “Gotcha!” and never let go.

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