I find myself the only one awake, on the last morning of summer. The boy enjoyed a weekend camping trip with the youth group and is, as expected, still fast asleep. The girl, after staying up late two nights in a row to watch girlie movies with her mama, is also still asleep. Schooling will run late this afternoon, but that's one of my favorite parts of this homeschooling journey - the hours are flexible. So it's just me and the dog reflecting on what is possibly the strangest summers ever.
We have had one of the coldest summers ever, yet to date this is one of the warmest Septembers on record. And being in yet another drought, this has been one of the driest summers, however this year marked one of the wettest Augusts in history... followed so far, by a September with absolutely NO rain at the official precipitation-measuring airport sites. Our fall colors are running 2-3 weeks earlier than normal because the trees are so dried out and everywhere around us, there is flooding & above-average rainfalls, yet we sit here month after month with heavy clouds passing over & around - yet never actually dropping their rain. The forecast calls for rain again today & tomorrow... but I refuse to believe it, until it happens. It's the story of this summer.
Gardens & fields alike have failed this year. My own garden was a mockery. Out of 8 pepper plants, we've yielded 3 purple and NO yellow peppers. My pumpkins (ohh, my lovely pumpkins!) and cucumbers never even got to the vining-phase. The broccoli & lettuces stopped growing at 3 weeks, and STILL look like seedlings. My tomatoes have looked as if they're dying for two months now, but are still fighting to eke out a tiny handful of fruit. Even my mint looks awful! Only the chives look like they have in past years. The basils, thyme & oregano are lovely however, and I will be spending the afternoon potting them up to see if I can keep them alive over the winter. I say SEE because while my outdoor plants tend to turn a passing head or two, my record with houseplants is rather terrible. I've managed to kill aloe, spider plants, and cacti! Still, if I fail they die - and if I don't try they die... so I lose nothing by trying.
Since this has been such a particularly strange summer, we will be spending the day enjoying the pleasures of fall - since summer seems to have given us a miss this year. Breakfast this morning is a bold sweetened-with-molasses-only gingerbread cake, with spiced cider. We will be going acorn-gathering this afternoon for a few fall projects, and this evening will be spent in the backyard alongside our new firepit with fresh apples, warm blankets, and snuggles... since I stoutly refuse to believe it will rain.