Monday, June 13, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Jilda and I took a “staycation” this week. We both felt frazzled by work and needed some R&R. Traveling can be more tiring than work at times, so we made the back deck our destination and we haven’t been disappointed.

Yesterday, I moved two cherry tomato plants to the garden. I’d planted them in pots on the back deck when the weather warmed, and they were ready to be free, so I found a place against the back fence at the edge of the garden. This morning after tossing a scoop of scratch feed to the chickens, I stepped over to have a look, and I could see they had grown overnight.

Leaning against the fence, I stood looking across the field at the old apple tree. Last year, storms knocked most of the apples off in late spring, but this year it looks as if it will make up for last year’s shortfall. The limbs are bending beneath the weight of the fruit.

A woodhen knocked on a dead tree down close to the barn. I tried to catch the action, but a pink curtain of mimosa blossoms lining the edge of the garden made it hard to look past them.

Some people consider those trees a nuisance, and maybe they are, but those trees hold a special place in my memory. My dad planted mimosa trees in the front yard of the house we built in West Pratt. As they matured, we took refuge under the shade of those trees when the days grew long and hot. My sister, Mary Lois, showed me how to break off the blossoms and suck sweet nectar from the tiny stalks of the fragile flowers.

I thought of those things as I leaned on the garden fence. Almost as if on cue, a cloud that looked like a cotton seahorse drifted across the sky. I knew at that moment that we’d made the right decision to spend time at home.

Later as we discussed lunch options, Jilda suggested I step down and check the garden to see if the heirloom tomatoes were ripe enough to eat. That sounded like an excellent idea. Pulling back the lower leaves, I discovered one as fat as my fist that was ready.

Walking back to the house, I brushed the bounty on my pants leg to clean off tiny specks of mud. Caillou, the wonder dog, ran down to meet me. I guess he thought the tomato looked like the tennis ball we use to play fetch in the evenings. I scratched him behind the ear and said, “Not this one boy, we have other plans for it.”

Jilda popped some rye bread into the toaster. The aroma of toasting bread and the anticipation was almost too much to take. A few moments later, we enjoyed our first tomato sandwich of the year.

As I sit here writing this column, hummingbirds are in a feeding frenzy at the feeders just outside the screen on the side porch, and I realize that this place is in my blood. I feel like I’m as much a part of this old house as the wood and nails.

There are many places on this old earth I’d like to visit, but right now I can’t think of anyplace I’d rather be than right here at home.


  1. I find that if one has a day trip but, otherwise, stay home, one feels much more rested than going on an actual vacation. Now..I would love to go away but I also love being home.

  2. Your staycation venue sounds like it would be a great place for many people to travel to and get away.

  3. I want a tomato sandwich and the one plant I put out passing thru a few weeks ago had two small green tomatoes. OUCH!
    Your writing here made me think of one of my favorite poems that says: "It takes a heap 'o living in a house to make a home."

  4. Tomato sandwiches are a favorite. You need to get back to work so you can relax.

  5. Anonymous2:51 AM

    Life is good, isn't it?

  6. Home is always a good place to come back to and you write it so eloquently Rick xox

  7. Looks like a little paradise. Home is sweet. Did somebody say tomato sandwich? Yum.

  8. How fortunate you are to be at the best place on Earth.

  9. Now I want a tomato sandwich. Though here some people call them sammiches, which makes my brain insane. I never say a word. No need to hurt the feelings of people who grew up with a language different from mine.


  10. That's what I always say: home is the best place to rest and relax. When I'm out and about I like to see things, explore things, walk and visit; I leave the hotel in the morning and come back in the evening - very tired, but pleased.

  11. Beautiful! Very nice!


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