September 16, 2015 § Leave a comment
There’s a crispness in the air lately, or, as a line in a Longfellow poem called “Autumn” puts it,
“There is a beautiful spirit breathing now.”
The season changes just when really you want it to. Just when I think I’ve wilted enough, the summer’s heat begrudgingly starts to relent. These final days of high summer have brought much fun with them. A trip to Portland to visit my aunt and uncle, along with my Grannie and mom; a peach season finale pie; a street-wide slip-n-slide; visits with dear high school friends and their new babies; and a lull in the busy-ness at work have all been welcome indeed.
Our trip out west was one of the highlights of my summer, an adventure I’d been long looking forward to. Oregon is such a beautiful state, green and misty, kind of like Ireland, which explains my fondness for it. The sights I’ve seen there make me thankful for a God who was so creative in shaping the world. The swelling of mountains above winding rivers or hugging rocky coastlines point in His direction. The food is another plus: fresh salmon, plump berries, hard ciders galore. Every restaurant my uncle has taken us to on our visits out over the years have been exciting and interesting and mouth-watering. This trip, I enjoyed all the flavors I could fit in 5 days: a fried chicken biscuit with pickles and sweet-hot mustard from Pine State Biscuits; a Nutella crepe alongside juicy produce samples at the farmers’ market; dijon-slathered salmon grilled with fresh-picked peppers; almost the entire menu of dishes at Aviary; a peanut butter dusted, blackberry compote filled donut; and chocolate from shops like Moonstruck and The Meadow (which has a whole wall of chocolate bars!).
It was just the respite I was hoping it would be, navigating the Atlanta airport not included. I came back refreshed and wistful. The idea of moving to a place like Portland never looks more appealing than when you’re freshly back.
Before I could let the summer produce go, I had to make a peach pie. It was a smashing success, which I shared with ladies from church at a potluck. And! There was even a slice left for me to take home. I used a Smitten Kitchen recipe, of course, and though my lattice making needs practice, it turned out pretty as a picture. My most recent hurrah to summer’s end was to recruit my brother and dear adventurer-friend Alison to Slide the City with me in Huntsville last weekend. After 9 runs down the potentially 1,000-foot length of slippery tarp, I’d say I got my money’s worth. The day’s morning chill thankfully gave way to a mostly sunny afternoon. (A rare thought for me, wishing it were hotter.) The festive atmosphere provided by various food trucks, live bands, and a drum line added to the fun.