on a whim this past spring, tara reese found an old Vermont farmhouse on Craigslist, gave away most everything, packed everything else into a tiny hatchback, and drove across the country with a chosen few books and her kitchen tools in the passenger seat and her two San Francisco born sons in the back. it was the best decision she ever made.
on the nightstand:
- juniper tree burning– goldberry long
- goat song: a seasonal life, a short history of herding, and the art of making cheese– brad kessler
- field guide to new england
- my side of the mountain– jean craighead george
- an abalone shell from California filled with sea glass from Maine
- a Moleskine, just started.
- a hat that i’m knitting, almost finished
- the deep blueness of the sky, just before dark
- cider doughnuts from the stand down the hill
- a reacquaintance with film
- my six year old son’s obsession with Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska
- picking berries most every single day
- tall dwarfs-nothing’s going to happen
how does summer inspire you?
Vermont has been dreamy summertime perfection: riverbeds for reading while the boys hobble over rocks, county fairs and parades, paddles on quiet lakes, wildflowers all along the back roads, fiddling contests, pitchers of sun tea, late night bonfires with AM radio classics and creek cooled bottles of beer. singing cicadas, fireflies in mason jars and frogs in nets. there’s been lots of sudden u-turns at hand-lettered farm stand signs, long walks through the woods learning new trees, and digging in soil so different from my old west coast garden. there’s a feeling of fleetingness in the air, an urge for everyone to participate in this wonderful gift of far northern warmth, that i can’t quite describe, but that i love.
what’s one item in your summer wardrobe you can’t go without?
i’ve always worn old sundresses during the summer, but this year i took to adding a pair of jeans, for better exploring’s sake. grass stains and holes in the knees make me all kinds of happy. and my backpack has seen lots of adventure this season, too!
what’s your idea of the perfect homemade summer meal?
a big pot of corn chowder, with just sweet enough patted biscuits, vinegary sugary sliced cucumbers, and pints of porter shared with everyone i know. or perhaps a perfect BLT with pesto, shared with no one.
i know! a banana split, shared with the boys, one favorite scoop and topping for the each of us.
and fresh figs, almost too ripe. i miss them the most. Vermont has almost everything, but it doesn’t have figs.
what are three constants in your day?
- morning walk down to the mailbox
- afternoon iced coffee with maple syrup and milk
- evening chapter book reading to the boys
tell us about the inspiration behind these photos.
this house that we are renting is three miles up a dirt road, with few neighbors. the power goes out frequently, and the nights are a color of dark that before this summer, i’d never seen before. but there are still bright lights, and i think the city girl in me seeks them out.