Another beautiful day in Paradise and lots to share in celebration of the good old Summertime! And a drawing-winner too! Plus MUSICA!
From the land of swaying flowers and fat bumblebees . . .
I bring you the glory of summer . . . starting with ripe tomatoes . . .
This was our first taste, one of our favorite days of every summer, the ripening, the picking, and the eating of the first tomato . . . we shared it, very simple, sourdough toast, mayonnaise, sweet, vine-ripened, still-warm-from-the-garden tomato, salt & pepper … heavenly! Summer joy.
Now this is the part of summer I could really live without. We get humidity sometimes (that’s not rain out there), and it’s so heavy and thick, you actually have to chew it before you can breathe it.
This is how I feel on those days. Hideously inelegant.
So, I turn on the air conditioner, and read in my chair with Jack, my kitty, next to me, while the sun flitters over me, and count my many blessings.
Because soon . . . these summer days will just be a memory . . . even on our walk, the leaves are starting to show the strain of having to hang around for much longer . . . 🍂
So we are intent on getting everything out of these summer days possible. This is my great-niece Maggie who came to visit … she’s nine ~ she would say hello, but she’s busy. We loved enjoying a little bit of summer through her eyes!
And my here’s grand-nephew Wyler… he’s 7 . . .
This is Eliza, who just turned 13 … Look how brave they are… jumping off this bridge is a right of passage in a Vineyard summer. I don’t think I would do it, but they all did! Their parents too!
There goes Eliza!
Family came to visit! From New Hampshire, my niece Jess, her husband Cory, and their two girls … and from Durango, Colorado, my nephew Ben, and his wife Paige, and their two boys.💞
And so it was . . . we did all the Vineyard things . . . like clamming … this is Paige, married to my nephew Ben, with their youngest son, Beckett, who’s four ~ he’s got clams!
This is Ben, Ben is Paige’s husband, my nephew, and Jess’s brother …😘
Ben and Jess are the children of my brother, Jim. This picture of Jim and Ben has hung on my wall for years, I LOVE it. Colorado, with snow on the high mountains and wild flowers under their feet, and two good boys. Have I confused you enough name-wise? Well, there will not be a test, ignore everything . . .
That’s Jim, next to me (with rollers in my hair) … back row on right… closest to me in age, he was my partner in crime crowing up … 💖
So, it was wonderful to have his children here . . . this is Jessica, Jim’s daughter, Ben’s sister, my niece, and the mother of these two . . . .❤️
. . .Eliza and Maggie, who’s father, Cory, you’ll meet in a moment.
There he is, in the back row, in pink with the hat on! Here they all are. Lovely people! So much fun!
They brought home lots of clams and Uncle Joe showed the boys how to shuck them. Fascinating!
Then Joe taught them how to make stuffed clams (kind of lost the boys here, but definitely not the rest of us!).
I showed them how to make my Dad’s famous garlic bread (their great-grandfather, hard to believe!). Almost ready for the broiler! (P.66 the new Heart of the Home!)
Of course we had the Island food of choice . . .
Bowls full of steaming lobsters . . . Paige demonstrates, while her son,
Brave Beckett, touches lobster (of course, already cooked).
And me and Jess, we’re just happy!
We ate outside every night. Paper plates, candles, and twinkle lights! Corn on the cob rolled in the butter stick, watermelon chunks, hot bread, crispy potato pancakes, fresh swordfish and juicy pink steak. We had it all!
If you’re happy and you know it, say “Rawr,” and show us your watermelon!
My backyard never looks like this. Ever ever.
But I liked it. They told me this was a “rocket ship to the moon!” Looks pretty good! Excellent imagination and creativity! They got an A!
Inside was a human sacrifice. Somebody had to do it. We’re talking science here, the furtherment of mankind. Three cheers for Beckett!
And here? The proud sisters of Mission Control, Eliza and Maggie.
The first morning, while everyone was still asleep, I peeked out my upstairs bedroom window like I always do to see what the weather is like, and was shocked! Where was I? What’s all that stuff on the lawn? Blink-blink. This can’t be my house!
I went downstairs to find the victim taking his revenge on the girls of Mission Control …
Off we go on an Island tour in the Fine Romance Van! Turn up the MUSICA! Because
We drove all over, had lunch with a fabulous view at the Aquinnah Shop above the Gay Head Cliffs. (That man over there, standing, wearing the hat, really liked us!)
And I can see why . . . Ahhh, family!
Here comes the french fry thief …
This is where we were eating. Very good view from the roof for the french fry thieves. See the three jars down there, on the left on the railing?
Sun tea. My kind of restaurant.
Here we are in Menemsha (where Jaws was filmed) … walking the jetty, looking at the boats …
Joe got us a plate of ice-cold oysters to share . . . (Jess and Cory again, who run five miles a day or so, even in the humidity!).
Delicious! Icy, shivery, like liquid silver! (If you’ve never had them, don’t worry, they taste MUCH better than they look!)
Here we are, Paige, Joe, Cory, Ben, Beckett, and me … al fresco eating at it’s very best!
While Maggie and Eliza looked for buried treasure . . .
. . .and found it, tiny little shells and beach glass, the best sort of Island souvenirs. (Love the color on Eliza’s nails!)
One day we were looking for these two…found them leaning against the washer and dryer in the pantry. Why? We don’t know . . . Wyler’s T-shirt says “Shark Proof.”
Little pile of sweetness ~ Cousins! Maggie, on the right, is going to be a writer. She was telling me about the Warrior book series she’s been reading (by Erin Hunter) … all the characters are kitties in clans (such as Riverclan or Thunderclan), with names like Tigerstar and Squirrelflight. She was SO excited and animated telling me about these stories, now I want to read them!
We so enjoyed every moment with them . . . and then as quickly as they came, it was over, poof! and off they went … but the memories, along with summer, stayed …
So we went looking for some more
Freshest air in the world, salty, windy, lovely sound of the waves . . .
We went to visit Joe’s niece Jennifer and her husband Mark … they live in New York, but they’ve rented this “camp” by the water every summer for years. We had gazpacho (con tomatoes!), salad, and quiche! When I see Jen, I think of this quote . . . ❤️
You get to their house by a very (very!) long dirt road through the woods and scrub oak . . .
The house is unfinished inside, has no insulation, it’s the opposite of fancy, but really comfortable, perfect for reading and dreaming . . . this is the view from the kitchen window . . . there’s nothing out there but the wind . . . I could barely keep my eyes open!
It was a perfect day for a walk on South Beach ~ that’s Mark and me and Jen, Joe has the camera.
Looking back from the beach to the house …
Can you picture yourself here? Deep breath of ocean air, feeling drowsy? . . . ommmm . . . .
Sometimes people ask me what to do when they come to Martha’s Vineyard, and honestly, this is more or less it. You listen to the screen door slam. It’s the opposite of what to do, it’s more like how to be!
And so, you know Girlfriends, it’s time . . . you have been so patient . . . but Vanna has arrived in all her glory . . . and it’s time to give away the luv-lee journal of Beatrix Potter.
And my story of finding her in the English Countryside, at the end of a very long path I began to walk when I was around 22.
Don’t forget, you lucky winner, about the secret that’s hiding in the back of the Beatrix book! SO, who shall it be darling Vanna? I want you to know, Vanna’s toenails are polished gold, they’re shiny, like earrings, and she is now perched, toes curled and clutching the edge, on top of my art table. Now she’s up, graceful as a swan, and over, and INTO the vat she dives, with all your names, swirling down and down and down . . . scissor-kicking her way to the bottom, a whirlwind of papers, flying around and through the air now . . . and . . . here . . . she . . . comes . . . clutching one fluttery piece of paper, and now, handing it to me . . . the winner of our luv-lee little giveaway, chosen especially by Vanna from over 2,000 entries from all of you darling kindred spirits, is YOU, dear KERRIE FOLEY, (but only if you promise not to DIE if you win, like you said you would do in your comment!). Because you just did win!
CONGRATULATIONS, KERRIE! I’ll email you; you can reply with your address ~ I’ll sign both of your books and pop them into the mail for you.💞
AND, now it’s almost time for me to go write a new WILLARD, because by the time I’ve written it, and you receive it, it will almost be September, we will be feeling it (eeek with joy), and I have new news to share. Make sure you and the ones you love are signed up for this little bit of “All Good News” celebrating the change of season, that starts off a little like this (in case you’ve never seen it):And, oh my goodness! Just as I was about to sign off . . . UPS pulled up outside my window, be still my beating heart … I grabbed my camera . . .
. . . and ran to the kitchen door, because I feel like I’ve been waiting forever, and now, Hooray! It’s my turn! So many of you have been writing on Twitter and Facebook to tell me you got your cups! And I’ve been whining and moaning because mine hadn’t come yet!!! But just as I was finishing this post, here they are! (Yes, three boxes, I told you I was doing my Christmas shopping!) Sorry, I was too excited to hold the camera still . . . and then I took a big time-out for the grand opening of the cups …
Ta-daaa! First box I opened turned out to be the Bluebird of Happiness. How appropriate! I love it!
(‘Course the moment I grabbed the camera and began to run to the door, my shadow was right behind me!) What is it, what is it? A cup? Are you kidding? All this for a cup? 🙀
And then, more appropriate timing . . . the next one out was the Martha’s Vineyard cup! Then the Santa cup, and then the darling new smaller size, Autumn. Which means, I am SET! 💙What a nice note to end on! Blessings to you all…. I hope you are loving these last lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer, these ARE the good old days! Thank you for all your sweet comments, Girlfriends. More fun for us to come soon. And now . . . I’m going to make a cup of tea! XOXOX