7.22.2016

Friday Morning in the Garden.

Good Morning! Summer vacation is in full swing around here! We have returned from our trip to The Azores, (see previous post), and are enjoying every minute of freedom. We are painting and planting and organizing…and doing our fair share of playing as well!

I hope you'll join me on my morning walk around the garden, where the heat and humidity have caused things to trail and flower and produce.
The variegated Hosta is the only Hosta left after the fawn's feast!

Even though the past two winter's took a tole on the fence, its twists and turns still make me smile!


Could not resist pairing this chartreuse Coleus with a bright pink Geranium.

Sunflowers back left, cucumbers to the right, Dahlias in the foreground.

Pumpkins just starting to vine, and Bronze Fennel seeded itself everywhere. A great way to attract pollinators!

Bronze Fennel





Zucchini Babies



Pink Salvia….seeded from ?

Cosmos…multiple varieties




Branching and Single Stem Sunflowers


Queen Anne's Lace


Gladiolus

Hope you have an amazing weekend!
What's in store?

7.17.2016

A Visit to the Azores

When we traveled to the Azores Islands this past week, I had a lot on my mind. It was my first trip across the Atlantic, as well as our children's. 



My great-grandparents, (who I had the pleasure of growing up with), were born in the Azores, an archipelago of volcanic islands 5 hours east of Boston by plane, and about 2.5 hours west of Lisbon, Portugal.  My Portuguese great-grandmother was born on the island of Sao Miguel, Azores  in the late 1800's. As we embarked on a 7 day journey to her homeland. I wondered, would I feel her presence?


Sao Miguel is also the home of my husband's grandfather, and my father-in-law generously invited us to visit his father's homeland.



I struggle to put into words what this visit meant.




It was the innate existence of a bygone era...


…untouched landscapes and 360° of natural beauty.


It was winding mountain roads bordered by long expanses of overflowing hydrangeas painted the color of the sky.


It was beauty formed from an angry Earth...



 …lakes filled with jewel-toned waters and jagged rock formations reminding us of the dawn of this paradise.


It was dairy cows scattered across steep hillsides and wide open fields of corn and tobacco.



It was rolling hills, steep mountains, pastures, lakes and seashore. It was sun and fog and sudden raindrops.



It was swimming in a volcanic crater….magical sunsets and LOTS of batatas fritas.


It was parks and rare ferns and topiaries and sulphur pools.


It was a land of gracious hosts and roundabouts and taking the road less traveled.


It was Sao Jorge cheese for the win and codfish and good wine.



It was swirling chocolate pops in hot milk and wanting to take home A LOT of stray dogs and cats...




It was the milkman stopping to let people pet the horse drawing his cart of milk...





…it was praying for lost loved ones in churches where God seemed just a breath away...


…it was tall waves on surf beaches and outdoor cafes.


This island called Sao Miguel was...






family time….




…espresso long and galao.


It was salt water swimming pools,  narrow streets and crazy drivers.






It was blistered toes and sandy feet...


               

...traditional foods and humidity.




It was Agua de Pau and Faixo de Baixo...




…it was Nordeste and Mosteiros and Furnas...



…Logo de Fogo, Vila Franca and Lagoa.



It was Ponta delgada, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz.



It was horses we wanted to untie

                 

Grandpa's stories.



It was ladders in the streets and fresh bread...


…new coats of paint and African Lilies...



…it was trailing down paths and black sand beaches.



It was a sense of community and Nestea Peach...


… Portuguese steak and crazy hair.


It was pineapples and passion fruit...




…coincidences and synchronicity.



It was aromas and tastes...





…palm trees and emotions.





It was fogged in airports and first passports...


It was  differences and similarities...




…and eyes open wide.




Although I am not sure why my vov√≥ left Sao Miguel in 1905, I am certain of one thing, she must have spent the rest of her life remembering the beauty of the island she had called home, the kindness of the people and the magical way the salty ocean air crossed the fields and spun magically up the mountainside. 

She was there in every velvety petal, in every sparkling lake…she was there in the beauty that is Sao Miguel, Azores.

___________________________________

So happy the kids got to visits the homeland of their great-great grandmother on their mother's side, and their great-grandfather on their father's side. 
So blessed.
Thanks Grandpa Edmund.

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