Saturday, June 16, 2012


If you haven't noticed, things are busy because summer is finally here.

Shooting stars at Hayden Prairie
I've come to understand another side of seasons, and that's the mass eruption of activity that occurs when things thaw. With only a few months of summer, everyone tries to pack as many things in as possible with any free time available. And not only is your time outside of work jam packed, but with things going in the ground and growing quite prolifically, harvests and maintenance are a top priority at work too. It's crazy.

For example, strawberries. The Wold farm is fifteen minutes to Minnesota from work, and with $1.25 a pound for you-pick strawberries, it's totally worth it. They don't weigh you on the way out or in, so you can get away with snacking to, you know, 'sample' the different varieties. Strawberry season is three weeks, a drastic difference from the summer-of-strawberries of my youth. But here, that's how most things are - short, jam packed seasons. With freezers full of strawberries, we move onto peas, then eventually the summer crops. And this is just food!

Outside of food, everyone is busy. With camping, canoeing, farmers markets, hiking, being outside, BBQs - there is an endless amount of things to do, and no one stops doing. Case in point, I've been busy. Too busy to write a blog post in a very long time. I haven't meant it to take a while, but here I finally have found sometime between running a 5K this morning and pickling garlic scapes this afternoon. Oh yes, and then a dance in an old school house tonight, after drinks at an outside bar yesterday, and tomorrow? Maybe a hike, baking a cake and some pie, then gardening. Life is full.

But it's a good full. It's full of friends, summer, community.

With a few new friends in town, there are weekly game nights and general adventuring. It's been fantastic, and I feel lucky to not only have so many people to spend my time with, but to have so many supportive and wonderful friends. Seriously.

The community of Decorah is opening me up to things I never thought I'd be a part of. Last weekend, I went door-to-door canvassing for Obama and attended a potluck for The People's Time Exchange. In this group, we'll offer our time and skills for the same in return. If I garden for Sue, I have an hour in the bank. I can use this hour to learn how to braid my hair, or ask someone to walk my dog. It's amazing to see the type of community members it's brought in, and I feel rather lucky to be a part of it.

Laura canoeing. Beautiful, right?
I had meant to write a post about canoeing - I went for the first time a month or so ago. And I have found I love canoeing. You're sort of working, but not all that hard, and can easily enjoy the beauty of the river and wooded hillsides (because this region of Iowa is beautiful). We went night canoeing under the last full moon a few weeks ago, and that was equally awesome. I really want my own kayak now.

I like summer here - I like being busy, being outside, enjoying nature, and seeing everyone be so active and happy. The humidity has been tame so far, but I can already sense this will be my biggest challenge. It saps my energy, makes the air heavy, and it's such a strange feeling. I sweat more than I expected this morning, but that's all a part of it. So if I can think of all these fantastic things with life, then I can hopefully push past the humidity.

Next post - food. I promise.
I leave you with this image of me 'eating' wild things.