The Calm Before the Tomatoes

Now that Buddy’s back on his favorite plum tree, serenading us every dawn, summer is officially in full swing. And, boy oh boy, did the weather gods get the memo. We’ve been in monsoon mode since mid-April, a time when the norm is 75 degrees and crisp spring air. It’s sticky and icky.

Luckily, my constant presence is not required in the garden this time of year. Sure, I potter around, pulling the odd weed, harvesting a few sugar snap peas, lettuces, and the last of the asparagus. But most of the plants are in growth mode and all I need to do is stand to the side and admire them.

 Little gem lettuces

Little gem lettuces

 Beets

Beets

 sugar snap pea blossoms

sugar snap pea blossoms

In a month’s time, I will be inundated with produce and my kitchen will resemble a factory. I’ll be cleaning, chopping, freezing, blanching, canning and jamming! But not yet.

Because art imitates life, my writing is in much the same place as my garden. I’ve dealt with the copyedits and proofreading of True Places, my next book, and am awaiting the final cover. (!!!!) Since, well, forever, I’ve been working on What Comes Next—two projects in fact, to be submitted together, like a twofer. One of the proposals, a story of obsession and fraud, is pretty much good to go. The other, an immigrant/ WWII story, is almost there. Once my agent submits the proposals, there will be nothing to do but wait for what we hope will be a green light on one or both projects. And then I will, you know, have to write a book or two.

Any bets I hear from my editor when my garden is generating 20 pounds of produce a day? 

Good thing I love my work, both in the garden and at my desk. In the meantime, I have reading to catch up on, and daydreaming, too. Isn’t that what summer has always been for? Long, carefree days when your bathing suit never dried, you ate lunch in a treehouse and stayed up late playing tag and chasing fireflies until, at last, you were called inside by your exhausted parents. 

What are you looking forward to this summer? Homegrown tomatoes? The beach? Freeze tag?