The Only Roads You’ve Known

Every so often, WordPress changes its format and I struggle to write. Not like I haven’t already struggled to write, but each time I don’t know how. The last template sucked out loud, so let’s hope this new contraption is better.

Last weekend, I jarred some underripe peaches. They were truly difficult to peel and slice. Pete and I will eat them first in November or December. They’ll taste good, but the texture will be underwhelming. The other jars contain blueberry jam. The consistency worked, but I admit getting to the right consistency was an accident. If you’re making summer berry jam and you’re not happy, throw in the towel and come back the next morning, when jam’s had a chance to think about what it’s done.

In other years, I’ve reflected on how I spend time and money during the summer preserving summer fruits and vegetables, and felt somewhat out of step with my peers. They weren’t jarring jam. They were out and about. This summer, only terrible people are out and about, and everyone’s on TikTok pretending they can fly. I mean, that’s entertaining, though not getting-elected-to-the-HOA-with-all-your-friends,-then-disbanding-the-HOA-entertaining, but what is?

Yesterday, I drove out to a farm and picked three quarts of plump blackberries. In the distance, a radio blared oldies from the eighties. Maybe I didn’t care for those songs, maybe I did – once. Summer music is like that, drifting toward you on a breeze. I crept down rows of carefully cultivated blackberry bushes, plucking here and there the ripest, blackest berries, and when I turned back, plumb berries hidden by branches and leaves revealed themselves. Nothing but sunshine played on my thoughts. Nothing but the simple ideas of washing and drying berries was in my future. For the better part of an hour, life seemed very simple. I might bake a pie.

I did bake a pie.

Maybe you’d like to bake a pie. That’s a thing, and you could do that.