I didn’t mean to take last week off from the blog … but in retrospect, it was a good decision. Abby was struggling a bit with being away from home, and there was a lot of video chat, phone calls and texting going on. Also, our Snapchat streak is on fire.
(I have no idea what that means. Abby and Johanna set up my account. But it’s the Walker Four’s preferred method of staying in touch throughout the day.)
Here’s the thing about growing up in a small town and not being able to go anywhere without running into friends: Abby went from being a big fish in a little pond to a plankton in the ocean. It was a rough week of sadness and tears, loneliness and uncertainty — and that was just me. 😉 She doesn’t want me to share too much and I need to respect that, so all I will say is that things are getting better every day and I know our girl is going to do great. And I appreciate all the good thoughts!
P.S. That family weekend was so overwhelming. It was three days of rah-rah go team and thousands of people. There were some fun parts, but it was not a weekend for introverts. (Although maybe I should mention that move-in went fine.) The next family weekend is actually high school homecoming, so we’re going to just bring her home and do our own family weekend some other time sans the crowds. Abby is very much pro that plan.
So this past weekend was a nice, welcome, solitary break is what I’m saying. Being able to stay home and knock around the house was a gift. I haven’t wanted to start any kitchen projects because there was just too much to distract me (i.e. move a kid out of the house), but on Saturday when I hit my favorite farm stand, I found myself itching to start something. I bought a box of early gold apples (my absolute favorites — they remind me of a childhood apple tree the neighbors had), several pounds of tomatoes, a box of plums, a couple bunches of basil, and got to work on Sunday and Monday.
And that felt really normal and nice. I made applesauce and canned it, roasted tomatoes and made tomato soup, and dried plums and apples. I had plans of making pesto and a couple items for the freezer … but I ended up reading instead. It was a good weekend to stay indoors anyway because it’s HOT (we don’t get into the 90ºF-plus range in Oregon in September, and yet, here we are) and we’ve got two forest fires in our county that make it too smokey to go outside.
Plus I always feel like a rockstar when I complete kitchen projects. I love being able to look in my pantry and freezer and see all kinds of good things that I had a hand in creating. (I blame all the Little House books I read as a child.)
Speaking of forest fires, here’s what it looks like outside our window right now:
And here’s what it usually looks like:
To say air quality is bad is an understatement. You can see ash particles floating on the air. Classes were supposed to start today county-wide, but one elementary school has had to close due to the fire burning nearby. Everyone else goes, but all outside activities are canceled, including recess.
Not a fun time here in the west.