I am a river, life is a circle. Seasons change, life rolls out and rolls along sometimes rushing, sometimes meandering. Just like a river. I am a river, life is a river, we are circles and orbs, each of us, all of us, one of us. This summer I found my inner farmer, and she is not within me at all but is connected to me. She is in the form of my sister-in-law and her husband who grew these lovely vibrant vegetables. She is the farmer who works our land, who planted winter wheat last autumn and harvested the golden tips of grasses this summer. She is the young Amish farmer from down the road who came to our fields with a team of four powerful honey-colored draft horses to bale the straw left after the other farmer harvested the wheat. My inner farmer is connected somehow with these and others whose paths I cross and whose work I observe and cherish in this wholesome farming community that claimed my heart. This summer I developed a number of new knitting patterns, with dear Blu in my lap each morning as I enjoyed my Cuppa Joe each morning and knitted whatever new creation was wandering around in my mind. From Christmas Stockings to a knitted bags, and even my 1Bag for planet Earth. This summer has been a productive time for knitting and publishing and working on a new small business that perhaps holds some good prospects for a future game my husband and I can play together. In commemoration of this lovely summer of Blu-in-my-lap-morning-cuppa-Joe-knitting-first-thing-in-the-morning, I am calling my latest creation Cuppa Joe. The new knitting pattern will be available next week and will include the scarflet, a pair of fingerless gloves, and a matching giftbag to place them all neatly inside in case you want to give them away as a gift. This summer my thoughts have been on my children. Of course my thoughts are often on my children ... my beautiful, vulnerable daughter and my handsome talented son. They are both artists, we are many miles apart, and I love and miss them both. They gave me this teddy bear one Christmas back in Los Angeles, a teddy holding a prize pig. He reminds of my new surroundings and my own Blue Ribbon success with biscuits and a hand knit Christmas Stocking the first autumn I lived here. Interesting how something from the past could be a reminder of something in the future. A reminder back then of things to come--had I only known. This summer my husband and I have worn many hats together, and at times we have grown tired. Tired can be good if you earn it from working hard doing things you believe in, serving others, creating a future. My husband and I have been doing all those things, many of them together. We are a great team, and this summer we have gotten to know that about oursevles even more than we knew it before. When we first got together (only two and a half years ago) we had faith in the concept that we could be a good and maybe great team. But to find it out and know it for sure you have to jump in and experience life. Get your hands and feet dirty, your back sore, you soul dunked in the rushing waters that are the river of life. This summer has given us many opportunities to live, love, sweat, grieve, laugh, worry, recover, create, rejoice. We've done all that and more and we have a glimpse now of--yes. Yes. We are a great team. It bodes well for the future. This summer I learned again that from destruction and chaos can emerge creativity, beauty, and order. We humans normally don't get that when we are in the middle of destruction and chaos. Some of us get around to seeing it, and make something out of whatever is left. Two destructive, chaotic forces this summer: wind and grape vines. The wind and rain brought down three huge limbs from our beautiful, graceful willow tree. My husband spent a couple of afternoons cutting down, chopping up, and hauling away the remains that lay dying on 'neath the canopy. As he worked to haul away the destruction, I gathered some of the smaller branches and whips and wove them round and round into wreaths of various sizes. I sat there in our gazebo weaving them into lovely little pieces of creation to create some lasting beauty, while he labored with the big stuff and the thousands of whips that I could not work fast enough to use. As for grapevines? They grow wild all over around here, climbing up trees, shrubs, barns ... they can be a powerful and invasive destructive force. I trimmed some of the tender running vines entangled around one of our trees and added their grace to my willow wreaths. Order out of chaos, creativity our of destruction. The circle of life continues. This summer I dreamed of future times when perhaps there will be more family living closer by. Someday, married children happily living closer by. Perhaps. Sometime, grandchildren. Perhaps. Increased happiness, a longer reaching future. More time on the river, fishing, canoing, lounging on hot summer days, having an ice cream on the dock, watching a little bit of water slowly going by. Enjoy swans, geese, ducks, king fishers, peace and quiet, peaches and tomatoes. Someday, more of the good things will surround us. Even more than we have today. Perhaps. Verdant dreams of summers to come, I like this part of me -- the part that is free to dream. This summer there were picnics and camping and canoe trips--my husband, sweet Blu, and I. Together we enjoyed car trips, pitching tents and gazebos, paddling, smiling and laughing. One of my favorite memories of this summer will be gliding along nearly silent in the canoe on the river. I could feel the strength and guidance of my husband at the back of the canoe as I faced forward and there was Blu, standing next to me with his front paws on the seat, his head close to mine, proudly looking ahead as the river dog that he is. Blu went on his first camping trip this summer and he adapted to roughin' it beautifully. He went on his first canoe ride and did not spill us all into the river. Outstanding. He also learned what it means when we say, "Get in the car boy," and, "Want to go home?" Oh Blu, you make us proud. This summer we went places, we stayed at home, I canned a whole mess 'o jams, peaches, and vegetable stock. Blu grew up several notches, my husband and I got to know ourselves much better as a couple and noticed that we were doing that, I gave a gift to Mother Earth (1Bag) and celebrated another of my birthdays occupying my little speck of space on her vast plains. It rained, it shined, winds blew, branches fell, the moon circles round over head lighting the night quite brightly at times. The barn stood sentry over it all, graced with our pretty quilt square. We picked cherries and berries and enjoyed some lucky numbers. This summer we served others with gladness in our hearts and planned future service that will gladden us even more. This summer, the river across from the farm flowed brilliantly as ever. This summer, the river me enjoyed life and bounty while tripping over stones along the way.