Summer Already? How can that BE? Celebrating Old Cape Cod with MUSICA.
Mmmm, “. . . the simple stuff of summertime.”♥ And you might say, “Hey don’t rush it, it’s still spring.” You would say that because you are not on “island time.” But we definitely are (this is not always a good thing, such as when you are waiting for the plumber to show up) and Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial beginning of summer for us island folk. Craziness begins to occur, the wide mouth of the ferry yawns open . . . and out they pour, from everywhere . . .
. . . people who love this place just as much as we do . . .
And feel like they are coming home. ♥ They come for the history, for the sea, for the old-fashioned slow way of flip-flop-wearing, rose-smelling, bike riding, picket-fence and shady-tree lifestyle. Goodbye real life, hello Island. Welcome to 1910. Bring your picnic basket. ♥
Our Martha’s Vineyard population goes from approximately 15,000 in the winter, to some crazy thing like 100,000 in the summer. And we’re doing our part — we have two sets of company coming this weekend! So I’m filling my vases with lilacs, oiling my wooden kitchen table (which right now is shining like a lake), washing towels and drying them on the line so my friends will get a little seaside air in their bath towels. And look what came in the mail . . . this darling summer banner made by my Twitter friend Janie. It got here in the nick of time, for summer! But since you aren’t on island time . . . and still have all the time in the world to get ready…
I asked Janie if she would make more of them for you. It’s totally charming, but what I really love is the little envelope she hand-makes to go with these. Such a perfect little gift. I squealed when I opened her package and saw what she sent . . . how could I not! If you are going anywhere this summer, here is a not-too-expensive housewarming gift anyone would love. ♥
This is what our house looks like now. Joe and I hung the flag after our walk this morning. On the far left, there on the second floor, I open the screen and lean out that window; Joe goes to the window in the middle. “Here, catch!” he says and throws me a corner of the flag while holding onto the rest of it. And I catch it, just like every year, and hang the ring on the hook he put there for it. The parade from the grammar school up the street will happen tomorrow afternoon, just as it has every Memorial Day since around 1870. Descendants of those same kids, carrying descendants of the lilacs from that same time. Because it’s lilac time on Martha’s Vineyard, and we will run out to watch them and clap along as they pass buy. The kids will walk down Main Street, stopping traffic (one of those sweet small town things people get used to around here), past the bandstand to the sandy shore where the school band (which follows them down the street) plays taps with the sound of seagulls and ocean waves in the background. The children pay respects to the generations that have fought and died in wars and throw their flowers into the sea. A lovely old tradition.
But that will be tomorrow . . . Today, we are getting ready to be spontaneous . . . because with company coming, we need to get ready. I’m making a few food items to have in the fridge…
A big bowl of crisp, soft, spicy, crunchy, Cauliflower and Bean Salad . . .
So pretty I had to do two photos of it!
And this Cold Lemon Rice Salad, which is so easy to make. There are lots of spring flowers perfect for this. If you grow pansies, they’re edible (as long as they haven’t been sprayed with anything chemical) — you could make a chiffonade from the different colored petals — like confetti. Chive flowers are in bloom too, plus the chives themselves, minced for some green color. You can also use clover flowers, young dandelion flower petals, apple blossoms, and sweet woodruff. And, for some nice sticky protein, what is more “holiday weekend” than these . . .
I thought you might enjoy a recipe for two of my favorite chewy substantial weekend appetizers. We’re going to be ready . . .
Our first group gets here tomorrow, so a little while ago, I went outside to gather lilacs . . .
and look who came with me — Mrs. Shy. Girl Kitty likes to go outside and roll in the dusty driveway, but being out also makes her very nervous, so she hides in the bushes.
Meow. He would like to go too, but if he goes then I get nervous.
And here they are the lilacs planted by the woman who owned this house from 1940 to 1980 — though she has gone to heaven, she is still making our world smell wonderful. Thank you Mrs. Bowditch.
. . . and there’s my darling man, making the our world look wonderful . . . Thank you Mr. Hall.
And then, you know what? The UPS man came. He brought me this. It came from my publisher who got it from the printer. It’s called a “dummy.” It’s the exact size of our book, the exact size of A FINE ROMANCE. It has all 260 pages, but they are blank, and it has the ribbon (I got us a ribbon)! So you can hold the book, and feel it, and ruffle the pages, and you can, if you are me . . . .
play house with it . . . by removing the blank dust jacket and putting on the one Kellee printed for me, and then laying the end papers and the first page on top of the blank pages so you can squint your eyes and pretend it’s real — it looks real, don’t you think? (I put a fireplace in the first picture on the first page, because it will be the middle of September when you get your books, and I was thinking, crisp days, leaves falling, cup of tea, new book to read . . . ♥ We’re going to be so ready!)
Also, I want to make sure you all got your lamb Bookmark — you can click on that and print it out. So, today is a red letter day. Everything seems right with the world, all very home sweet home. Wishing you a happy holiday weekend. XOXO