September just began – WHAT! Suddenly we’re the parents of an almost-teenager, summer is over and the last year of middle school is upon us…
About the Garden
Last summer was hot and dry. This one was hot and rainy. Rochester weather just has no middle ground, ever, it seems. I had to turn the seat warmers on this morning in my car. (I know, such problems) The only real problem with the weather this summer was that there was just too much rain. Our tomato garden and some of our perennials really struggled this year. This situation helped me to understand that the ground here is made of so much clay, it just hangs on to water like crazy. These flower beds are desperately in need of more organic matter, so that’ll be my fall project and probably some of next year also.
Deer. Low-down dirty tomato-eating deer. That’s what we’ve got oodles of around here, and they’ve paid all kinds of attention to my tomato garden. Next year: fortifications. Also next year: grapes! Josh and I had just planted a grapevine in our yard in Albany not long before we moved to Rochester. It was disappointing to know that we wouldn’t see fruit from that vine, but next year we plan on a Concord vine, and hope to see some good fruit from that in a few years.
Gardening frustrations aside, I am so thankful for the work of gardening. I have learned a lot this year, and I have found that the solitude of gardening is good for my soul. Everything from “Why are there yellow leaves on that hydrangea just now” to “Gosh, that Dave Grohl/Rush song is GREAT for weeding” has gone through my head. I’ve processed a lot while pulling weeds and figuring out the whys and wherefores of my transplant experiments. My little rhododendron-in-recovery is thriving, thanks to some judicious pruning, her new shady home and some fertilizer, and has a whole new branch! She’s going to do great things next year. When I think about that little fighter of a plant, I think about myself and the recovery work God is doing in my own life.
Teaching & Travel
This has been quite the summer. Brian went on his second teaching trip to Myanmar with CrossTalk Global, and then spent some time in California in August for CrossTalk’s annual meeting and some teacher training. The exponential potential of CrossTalk’s model for the gospel is staggering, and we are so excited to be part of this work.
The three of us spent a week in Ontario, visiting our family and celebrating my parents’ 50th anniversary with a special dinner at 360, the restaurant at the top of the CN Tower. I’d highly recommend that experience if you’re in Toronto and want to do something very special. The food was fantastic, as was the service. My brother worked there almost 20 years ago, and it was pretty funny to see how many of his coworkers that were still there recognized him after all of that time. We really just ate our way across the north end of the GTA, dinner with a different part of our family every night!
I’m typically sad to see the end of summer – I miss the long days and extra sunshine all winter long. However, we have so much going on this fall that I won’t have much time to think about that! And so, now we’ll settle in for the 2017-2018 academic year – I’m excited to welcome our college students back, and hope to see some new faces at Trinity this year. We’ll once again have a living room full of hungry students on Sunday afternoons, and our attention-starved pets will once again be happy!