Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer beauty

Summer has arrived in earnest around here. We've been berry picking three times now. We have survived the first heat wave, when every day tempts you to the beach to float in the cool ocean water. And the early, succulent spring flowers have given way to feathery, wiry, gaudy summer flowers that bob and nod in the sweltering afternoons and the blissfully cool evenings.

Construction and garden maintenance are also in full swing. One day, a chainsaw buzzed all day just outside our living room windows. The next day, a jackhammer... well, hammered all day across the street. The next day, we heard the incessant thump, thump, plonk! of a basketball in the alley, followed by distressed or celebratory "oohhh!"s from the dozen 18 year olds who are subletting the big house next door. And the next? A weedblower. Right under the bedroom window. Really, is using a broom or a rake so difficult?

Despite that, we've had family visiting, and have enjoyed showing off our beautiful city in the summertime. Jordan's brother, and then parents, have come out to visit us. We took them to the glistening Shannon Falls, hiked the Chief, and took the gondola to the top of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Oh yes, and went blueberry picking. Jordan's dad, a Manitoban farmboy at heart, especially loved blueberry picking. But who's kidding who? We loved it too.

And we've been grilling, cooking, eating well. Blueberry tarts with a sweet-crunchy shortbread crust, spiked with lemon zest and topped with floppy, just-sweet whipped cream. Ice cream with brandied-rhubarb compote. Barbequed pork chops with last summer's applesauce. Perfectly-roasted rosemary-scented potatoes.

Yes, summer has been good to us so far. Un vraiment bon été.

Has it been so for you?

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