weekend get-away

If you had come with me this weekend, you would be sitting next to me at this round glass table, on a beautiful screened-in porch, looking out at the sun-and-shadow speckled lawn, the grass rustling in the breeze, the leaves whispering a cool secret that the rest of this overheated world can’t hear. You would have your own glass of my mother’s special recipe iced mint-lemon meadow tea, and might be writing your own blog post, story, novel, play. Or perhaps you would sit, just watching, listening, and being still.

You probably couldn’t help but smile.

You would have awoken early and sat with me on the porch this morning, watching the eight crazy squirrels and their repetitive play-fighting. We would cheer on the black one guarding its sibling (?) or child (?) from the gray one who seemed intent upon scrambling up to say hi. You would laugh with me at the gray one plastering itself to a branch as if it could blend in, inching forward, hoping the black one – this time – might not notice; the black one focusing on its sibling/child, sure that this time, the gray one was really gone for good. Over, and over and over, the pattern of sneaking, sniffing, defending, jumping, chasing, returning, and sneaking again.

If we were lucky, they and the other gang of fluff-tails would have eventually scampered off to another tree so that the birds could return, flocking to the feeders scattered around us, chirping their good-mornings to each other as they gathered around their breakfast.

A couple hours later, you would have sat with me at a sunny table in a wooden room filled with fresh-baked-bread smells and cheerful chatter, as we ate our croissants and down-unders, sipping coffee (you?) or tea (me). You would have walked with me through the attached farmers market, and although I did look at all the tables filled with radishes, flowers, fresh cheeses and jams, and although I smiled and said hello to various familiar faces, you may have noticed that I made my way pretty directly over to Kate and her nearly perfect spicy greens, micro-greens, kale and arugula.

When we returned to our home-base, I would have led you on a tour of the yard – the tomatoes and peppers, the peonies and lilies, the Japanese maples, the hickory, the basil and cilantro, the mint, the oregano. And then we would have settled in to write, or read, or perhaps you would have nestled into the hammock for a short nap. Or perhaps I will, once this blog post is up.

You would have met some of my friends last night, and more tonight. Friends that I miss but am happy are so close – funny friends, friends who are talented and inspiring and doing amazing things with their lives. Other friends from far away. People I met as students who are emerging and questioning and finding their lovely ways through life, finding their truths, shining as they give their gifts to the world. People who care about their communities and are constantly making them better. People who now live in Portland, New York, Denver, Indiana, Michigan, Chicago. People listening, and creating, and nurturing the world around them. You would enjoy these people as much as I do, I’m sure.

These are the friends gathered for the wedding of two lovely people, people with whom we would eat and laugh and dance tonight, after a few days of walks along a canal, buying yogurt at the co-op, sipping dark-n-stormies in a crowded bar, days of writing, and reading, and exploring, and resting…

And tomorrow we would return the way we came, back along the highway and into the rest-stops with their dirty bathrooms, their offers of milkshakes, families rolling out of air conditioned cars into the heat, blinking at the asphalt, then back on the road, paying tolls, passing trucks, until finally we found ourselves once again along that beautiful lake shore, the Chicago skyline greeting us, the traffic multiplying, picking up speed and then stopping, the sun sparkling on blue water out to our right.

I would let you choose the music, which always needs to change as I make the re-entry. A different pace, different energy, people’s eyes focused in different directions. And we would head back into our lives – lives that are just as good, but faster, more crowded, and with a few more deadlines.

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8 thoughts on “weekend get-away

    • Yes! It’s from the “Homemakers’ Cookbook” put out by Goshen College Mennonite Church in 1965. :)

      Ingredients:
      4 c. water, 2 c. mint leaves (I think my mom uses more mint leaves than this; I’d have to ask her), 2 c. sugar (I’m not sure if she uses the full amount of sugar; she’s known for cutting these things down), 1/2-3/4 c. lemon juice (bottled).

      Instructions:
      Make syrup by boiling water and sugar together for 5 min. Add mint leaves and juice. Cover. Let stand for 6-8 hour. Strain. To serve, put about 2 inches of syrup in each glass and fill with ice and water. Double portion may be made and kept frozen until ready for use. – Orpah B. Mosemann

      We keep a pitcher of the syrup in the fridge and since you mix it with water, it lasts for a long time. That also means you can mix it stronger or weaker in each glass, depending on each person’s taste preferences. I like mine strong. (However, depending on the size of the glass, 2 inches can be a bit much. I say, experiment until you like it.)

      Good luck!

  1. So after reading this, I wonder why I ever want to leave! Sounds perfect! I think that by leaving every once in a while, I appreciate what we have even more. (And yes, I double the amount of mint leaves and about halve the amount of sugar!)

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