Letters from the Settlement: May


May. The weather has yo-yoed on us. There are days we wear jackets and sleep under all the covers, and there are days we strip to the bare minimum and let our daughter play in the water.


Our planned move west is going to happen. We own the place out there, and we have accepted an offer on our place here. My June letter will probably be written from out there, if it is written at all. Everything is caddywampus at home, as you can imagine. Besides packing and/or liquidating all our possessions we have the trip out there to face: 2100 miles with a cat and a four-year-old. Lordy be.


My mother grew up in the temperate deciduous forest of the Ohio River Valley. Now she lives in boreal forest, way up north. She says that when she visits people back in the temperate deciduous region, she’s happy in the forest there. Some part of her recognizes home territory, or at least home ecosystem.


And now we are moving out of temperate deciduous–where I have lived all my life–and into temperate rainforest. I can’t get over how exotic that sounds. Temperate rainforest, can you believe it? The vegetation out there is primordial. Moss, ferns, enormous trees. A whole lot of exploring will be in order.


Wildlife sightings this month have been meager. A family of redtail hawks lives nearby, and my daughter enjoys watching them circle overhead. We haven’t seen the fox. We haven’t heard coyote. We did go down to the pond, one recent evening, where we saw a muskrat busily paddling around in the duckweed. And we saw ducks.

Oh, and my daughter believes in hodags. Any time she’s near the trees she’s afraid she’ll run into one.


Foods of the month were rhubarb crisp and pots of beans. Pot after pot after pot–trying to eat up the pantry supplies. Navy beans with bacon and onions and Cajun seasoning. Black beans with garlic and chili and cumin. Chickpeas, overcooked then blended into lemony, cumin-y, garlicky hummus.


I’ll see you next month . . . or not. In any case, it will be from a very different place.


2 thoughts on “Letters from the Settlement: May

  1. Just enjoy your new home – although I don’t envy you the travel, however just remember my mother’s favorite words “this too shall pass, nothing last for ever”. Although two adults, one small child and a cat certainly adds “adventure”. Stop and smell the roses along the way – don’t drive with the ONLY aim being to get there as fast as you can. You will pass places you might never visit again. Lots of talking books, DVD’s for Mimi and perhaps a mild tranquilizer for the cat.
    When we traveled with our boys when they were young, a roll of dimes helped too – they lost a dime each time the asked “are we there yet”, but then got to spend what was left when we arrived.
    I’ll be thinking of you – drive safe.

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