Forward - From the Heartland of Carolina

This is a continuing story of the journey Forward shared by 2 people, Lynne and Tom. Both love to LIVE life to it's fullest, which currently means spending lots of time outdoors, working on various projects from gardens to patios, flowers to vegetables, sunrises and sunsets, birds and woodland critters, and spending time with family. Don't forget to check the monthly archives, and please feel free to leave us a comment so we know you stopped by.

Friday, August 31, 2007

A Mid-Summer Night's Dream

First off, we'd both like to thank everyone for our Anniversary and Birthday wishes. It's nice that you've remembered us with your guest comments.

While our summer has been rather uneventful for us here at Heartland Gardens, there have been good and exciting things that have happened with our family, but you have to read on to catch up :-)

We've had a dream. A Beautiful dream. A Repetitive dream.

We often dream out loud in the late evening hours, while sitting out on the screened back porch at the end of the day. We talk about things we need to do, remodeling projects for the winter, changes to the yard and gardens. Sometimes, we talk about trips or visits we'll make in the future.

For most of the summer, however, we've had one dream. A dream of rain. A gentle rain. A nice soaking rain. An all day and night rain. Maybe a 2 or 3 day rain. Not the kind of rain that Texas saw in June, or PA and NY saw in July, or what the Midwest just had in August, but a rain that you don't mind walking out in to get the newspaper first thing in the morning, or getting a little wet getting the mail at lunchtime. A rain.... any rain.

If you're reading this and live in the Southeast US, you know what we mean. August has come and gone, and our official tally for this month is just over one half inch. Lynne and I often mention how glad we are that we're just backyard gardeners and not farmers. Reports are now coming in for the summer harvest, and they're not pretty. This, added to the Easter weekend freeze has really devistated farmers in the region. Even the livestock here has gone to eating their winter feed, because there wasn't much of a summer harvest.

For a while, we tried to keep up with the gardens by watering, but as this drought continued, and reports of wells going dry trickled in, we've had to cut back on that considerably as well. The lawn still grows, but crunches underfoot. The heat, well, that's another deal. To some, 90 degrees doesn't seem that hot. But August here gave us 30 out of 31 days at 90 or above, and several of those days were over 100. Record highs were set or tied on 9 days.

Now, while we do some spot watering, our main concern is trees and shrubs we've acquired over the last 2 years. Some have taken really well and haven't needed much help, despite the lack of rain, while others seem to wilt as if they're attached to a clock. Then, there's the critter problem.

With this current weather, or lack of it, the critters are also out searching for sources of water and moisture. The once cute deer are now a nemesis, as they're nibbling new growth on anything, from Azaleas to Zuchinni. The heat, especially the night-time temps, pretty much shut down tomato production, but not before we could can up several jars, and a pretty good supply of home made salsa. We're also set on pickles for the season, unless some certain in-laws/nieces keep hinting that their supply is getting low ;-) That's what makes gardening fun, though. We use what we can, and are happy to share.

If you're wondering, Mom's upside-down-tomato-planter had done well, and she has about 8 tennis ball-sized tomatos left, and then I think that plant is about spent. It's been good to watch her obseve 'HER' plant, and step outside to gather 'HER' ripe tomatos when they're ready to pick.

Other exciting news from within the family ---

Back in mid-July, our Daughter-in-law, Jenn,with our son Kevin's assistance, love, and support, and after years of dreaming and planning, opened her own Veterinary Clinic. It's all state of the art, and even has things like X-Ray tables for hamsters and gerbils, and even a little kids' play area. We're so proud of Jenn as she fulfills a lifelong ambition of helping other peoples pets.

Mid-August, in a simple cerimony, our daughter Dawn was married to her betrothed, Elex. Elex has been a stabilizing force in Dawn's household as she struggled to raise 3 sons, and we welcome him to the family.

And lastly, last week we were informed that Lynne and I now have a brand new baby grand-niece... Amaris Kayleen Fasy. This little girl is truely a Godsend to Amy and Alex, who had previously suffered through 4 miscarriages.

Lynne's sister, Ruth, God bless her, still comes down weekly, to spend time with Mom, and to give Lynne and I some time out together. I still don't think she knows how much that 1-3 hour break means to us, whether we're out grocery shopping, checking out garden centers, or as it worked out 2 weeks ago, time out for dinner away from home.

We'll be back over the weekend with pictures, if the internet allows.

In the meantime, life continues to ramble along, here in Heartland Gardens, where things are Wonderful.

PS to Jo.... you asked about where we were in NC.... we're about 20 miles SouthEast of Raleigh, and about 200 miles from the ocean *chuckle*

Lynne and Tom