feel like home.

I love my garden. It's true.

I wish I could just leave it at that. And I suppose I could. But what kind of friend would I be if I didn't tell you the whole story?

So let's just chalk this photo up to things that make my heart beat faster combined with eerily gorgeous sunset lighting and keep moving.

I know you can handle it.

It's not that I don't entirely adore my garden. Ya'lls - I adore it. It makes me swoon. It's just that it's not perfect. It is a work in progress, just like me.

I am working it more this year than the past two, and it has revolutionized my garden. And by revolutionized, I mean that for the first time ever, I have more flowers and less Amazonian Weed Forest.

My whole gardening philosophy is to cram things in very tightly so that the weeds just don't stand much of a chance.

Still, I kinda dig weeding. It's calming. And it's a darn good thing, because how on earth would I ever solve any of my life problems without my beloved weeding time?

If you only remember one thing I say here, let it be this: weeding a controlled area is supremely satisfying and acutely therapeutic.

Repeat that 20 times, go out and pull a few Prickly Lettuce, Carpet weeds, Cockelbur, and Redroot Pigweed. So I load up the garden tools and away I go. This truly makes me feel like Summer is fully happening, plus those hours in the garden go a long way toward recalibrating my soul for whatever happens next.

Dude, I'm having the time of my life.

 Because there's just something about summer.

I know I talk excessively about summer, but it can't be helped. Something happens to me in the sunshine. It's an almost  tangible thing. It's a feeling I can conjure up, a feeling I can carry around the whole day long.

I think it might be rare. Maybe it's a wild stroke of luck. I don't know.

Some things have stayed the same in my life. Some things are different.

I spent my early years banging around on a street that dead ended into woods, riding my bike around the familiar curve in the roads, running the yard, slow-poking around all bored and hot.

That's how I lived Summer back then. 

I still loved all the pretty flowers but did not have a clue about weeds when I was eight or ten. I didn't have a clue about what I had.

It was simply summer, and it hugged me right.

 Every time I go back, my memories grab tighter.
And this is what I want to feel.

I always used to think the only way to replicate this sureness was through white sand and pounding waves.

But here I am, on my oceanless, wonky plot of city land.
And it feels like home and I can almost hear my roots clawing down through the clay.

My heritage follows me wherever I go. It's wound into the fibers of my heart and mind.
I get a lot of this, a little of that.

And the summers of this season don't match up completely with those of years gone by, but if I squint my eyes it almost feels like a ringer. Summer reminds me of who I am right now. It gives context to my world that sometimes feels unmanageable, inconvenient, and just plain hard. These summer days are not a departure from my life, they are a part of it. It's not about then/now. It's about a story. My story. Chapters end, but the book never does.

All those gardens and summers shaped the me that looks out tonight at my garden, so close I could grab it.

All this space has taught me that happy living is a state of mind. I can clip zinnias and pickle a cuke as easily here as anywhere.

All that freedom, all that permission to try, all that acceptance in failure, all that faith, all that faith man shows me that the only way to live at all is by living each moment to the fullest. These are my gifts. I can have them anywhere.

And when I move to the prairie or the mountains or the ocean, I know that what matters most will go with me.

And I know it will always feel like home.

                                                                                just sayin'.

fruit pizza

1 pkg.  (16.5 oz.) refrigerated sliceable sugar cookies, sliced

1 pkg.  (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened

1/4 cup  sugar

1/2 tsp.  vanilla

4 cups  assorted fresh fruit (kiwi and strawberry slices, red and black raspberries, drained canned mandarin oranges)

1/4cup  apricot preserves, pressed through sieve to remove lumps

1Tbsp.  water
Heat oven to 375°F.
Line 12-inch pizza pan with foil; spray with cooking spray. Arrange cookie dough slices in single layer in prepared pan; press together to completely cover bottom of pan. Bake 14 min. cool completely. 

Invert onto plate; carefully remove foil. Turn crust over; place on plate.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended; spread onto crust. Top with fruit.
Mix preserves and water; brush onto fruit. Refrigerate 2 hours.


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