Doing Nothing

We have decided this year to refrain from going anywhere for the summer. We did not think much about it–it may have been an economic decision of energy more than anything. Except for a week where John and Martin Lane hung out in Brooklyn (rode the cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island), we have stayed here, in DC all summer. We have enjoyed the many museums along with a few summer camps for ML…

The great thing about staying home during vacation time is doing “nothing”. Actually having time to enjoy the present. That is to say falling into routines that have more to do with enjoying each other than anything else.

Routines like following the Tour of France on Television every morning in July. We decided to ride spin bikes while we watched Lance and the peloton roll through France. We actually got to see where so much of the wine we serve at our Home Restaurant comes from. OH and we enjoyed the race as well– got caught up in much of the drama as a teammate of Armstrong’s won the race (Not to worry Lance will be back next year). There was definitely a void when the race ended. Similar to finishing a good book that you were not ready to end…

More recently we have been harvesting figs. Every morning after a little breakfast and a few swigs of black coffee from a French press, John pulls out a 12 foot step ladder and he and ML battle the birds and squirrels for ripe figs. I hear Martin Lane gasp with excitement, “oh my gosh, LOOK at that one”…Hoping John does not react to quickly to our ten year old’s joy of seeing dark purple figs bursting with juice on her trees. They are pretty high up hanging in these trees as ML tells me not to look…

We planted these trees as soon as we moved into this house in 1998. It seems everywhere we have lived we have left fig trees behind. The Trees at our home now are as high as our two-story house. We have two in Back that form a canopy and one in front that functions as a welcome awning. At least 30 feet high and bursting with fruit, this is the first year we will be home during the whole harvesting season (AND what a glorious summer it has been in DC!) The other animals in our micro-eco-system are not happy and part of Martin Lane’s job is to warn John when he is going to be buzzed by territorial bird. He tells her after a bird messes on him that it means good luck…

Figs grow great in the Mid-Atlantic States. George Washington grew figs at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson wrote extensively about figs grown on his Monticello plantation. My dream is a public orchard in the Shaw neighborhood of DC.

We will make chutney, jam, sorbet and ice cream. But most importantly the figs offer us the opportunity to fall into a routine of ‘nothing’, hanging out and enjoying each other while we engage in a common chore–Whether rooting for Lance or picking figs… School will start soon and we won’t be allowed to do nothing anymore–at least not until next summer…

This entry was published on August 9, 2009 at 2:38 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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