Order Tara's Bicycle Touring Cookbook Today!

Autumn Approaches

by Tara

There was a peaceful lull in activity after our workshop. I could exhale, long and slow, and sit a spell on a proverbial porch (someday we'll have a real porch). It was only July, and I felt like a schoolchild with the freedom of seemingly endless summer stretching onward before me, full of wonder and possibilities, and most of all, fun. Tyler and I have agreed on many occasions that the summer of 2015 shall go down in the books as one hell of a good time.

Vegetables in the Kitchen Window Sill

Before the workshop, there was a sibling trip to Maine for me, before that, a fabulous, rollicking concert. There have been barbecues and cookouts galore, featuring some of the best pulled pork and grilled pizza I have ever had. There have been ladies' nights and hair dyeing adventures, birthday parties, and visits from dear friends who drove long distances to see us.

Cake Decorating in Progress in Cottage Kitchen A Birthday Cake for Joan Amos

As well, my kitchen has come alive: I've been fermenting kombucha, honey wine, and yogurt! I've been growing sprouts, and learning about sourdough! How I used to ache for a kitchen, and now I have one that I absolutely love.

Kitchen Sink & Window Grapes in Colander

And as usual, I've been tackling projects on the homestead. I've constructed rolling cabinets that greatly increase the quality of our lives, providing storage for shoes and winter clothes, camera gear and our stereo. I also repainted the drywall between the rafters, which, though I painted them approximately a zillion times, got all messed up when we installed them.

Loft Ceiling Painting Setup Loft Ceiling Painting Setup

Most recently, we took an honest-to-goodness weekend off from working (this is a BIG DEAL), heading to the northeast Kingdom of Vermont, and we came home with eighteen fruit trees.

Throughout the steady stream of wonderful activities, there has been no deadline to contend with, nothing to rush or strive for (for the moment), and the ability to simply be. Every day we're actively grateful that we're one year ahead of where we were last August: stressed out like never before, living in a camper (UGH!), and hustling, nervously and uncertainly, to finish our house before winter. This year, we're simply enjoying it.

Of course, the blessed feeling of endless summer lasted approximately two weeks until its fleeting nature became apparent. For the past few days, I've felt very distinctly the urgency of fall, and close behind, gnawing on its heels, winter. Our unfinished projects suddenly loom large. There is a new cistern shed to build (last year's didn't work well—we'll write about that someday), a slate roof we probably won't finish, and now, we have fruit trees to plant and take care of.

But I shall breathe. I shall inhale and I shall exhale, and I shall try not to get bogged down. There's still plenty of fun to look forward to: we're headed to the midwest for two weeks, and then we're home for leaf-peeping season. We'll visit the Common Ground Country Fair in Maine with Mike and Eliza, and perhaps I'll have time to pop over to the Sheep and Wool festival. I'd like to fit a 3-day-weekend bike tour in there somewhere, too.

As for work, we will accomplish what we can. Nothing is that dire. If we don't finish everything before winter, we'll still be just fine.