At This Crossroads of Seasons


The end of this August mixes many moods and thoughts. This time last year, in the heat of summer, Jodie and I were less than 2 weeks away from our wedding day, in the thick of finalizing details. This year, we have time to relax, to enjoy, and to ponder a season where, lately, the days are intent on combining summer, spring, and a touch of fall. At this crossroads of seasons, I have much to ponder, and much to look forward to as September gets underway…

Experiments with Tej, or Ethiopian honey wine. This small-batch honey brew is similar both to mead and wine, and will make for some fun wild yeast fermentation experiments. I'll be making a couple of small batches in half-gallon carboys, varying fruit and yeast. If all goes well, there'll be a yummy new style of homebrew for us to enjoy. If a batch goes bad, well, the compost heap won't complain.

Trips, friends and family. Two dear friends are getting married in Seattle in September. Jodie and I are stoked for their wedding, and for a road trip to one of our favorite cities. We also have travel plans to see family later this year, plus there are friends with new babies to support and spend time with.

Food preservation. This past weekend Jodie and I hardly left the kitchen. From apricot butter to our first-ever batch of pickles, this was just the beginning of a season of canning and drying summer goodness for winter enjoyment. We might not get to everything on our "might can this" list, but these next few weeks will be packed with canning and drying food.

Outside time. The dry season continues, and the weather is lovely. This past Friday night, Jodie and I joined thousands of other Eugenians laughing along with Garrison Keillor's "Summer Love" tour. We drank Deschutes Mirror Pond and ate chocolate cake while sitting on on the grassy slopes of the Cuthbert Ampitheatre. There's nothing like being outside this time of year. As we head into September, we're looking to sneak in a few more jaunts to the coast and some end-of-season camping.

Writing and writers. September 2 marks this season's first Willamette Writers Mid-Valley chapter meeting, and I am stoked. Miriam Gershow leads a discussion on "Novel Structure and the Limitations of Making it up as You Go Along" — timely, as lately I've been working on project outlines. I'm also looking forward to attending the Willamette Writers meetings, meeting other area writers, and talking shop with other folks in the writing and editing craft.

I can never say enough how much I love living in the Pacific Northwest. On Sept. 20, it'll be 10 years since I first moved to Eugene. It's one of the best decisions I ever made, and I'm excited for the years to come.

Our 1st anniversary. On Sept. 12, Jodie and I celebrate our first wedding anniversary. We'll crack one of our marriage beers, reflect on the year, and dream out loud of what's to come. My wife is the power and the love behind all the wonder of this life I hold so dear, of this world I so love, and my dear Jodie, I cannot love and thank you enough for the laughter, smarts, and wonder that is you.

It's been a great summer. Now to get out and enjoy the rest of it.

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