I’m not generally a person prone to anxiety issues, but this is the time of year when I start “hearing” a low background hum in the corners of my mind that constantly reminds me of the million things I will need to get done in the next couple months. There are tomatoes to can (though they have to ripen first) plus apples, sweet corn, pesto, plums, peppers, peaches, and more that need saucing/boiling/sugaring/jarring/freezing/drying. I just picked out a big batch of natural edge lumber for future cutting and serving boards that will hopefully be stocked in my Etsy shop for the holidays, but they’ll need to be cleaned up/shaped/drilled/sanded/finished/photographed first. I have a goat that needs milking every morning and milk in the fridge that needs to be made into cheese. I have photos and bits of inspiration for probably a dozen blog posts for Wayward Spark as well as the Gathering Together Farm blog. I have a toilet to scrub, a pile of laundry to fold, and three very hungry and very tired-at-the-end-of-the-day family members to feed. Summer is absolutely the best season in the Northwest, but it’s also exhausting.
I stayed home with the kids all day yesterday, catching up on housework and whatnot. The weather was beautiful, not too hot. I actually got a lot of work done, but my biggest accomplishment was this barbecued pie, blueberry-peach with this crust from 101 Cookbooks. I picked the blueberries at Radke’s on Wednesday, and the peaches were from our own tree. (Read more about Henry’s dog-hair peach pollination program here.) Blueberry-peach is quite possible my favorite kind of pie, although blackberry-peach is pretty close to the top of the list, too.
The filling in this particular pie consisted of a bunch of blueberries, three peeled peaches, zest and juice from half a lemon (from our greenhouse), some turbinado sugar, and a little white flour. In the end, it was a little runny, but perfectly sweet/tart, and the crust came out great. The fact that I can make a good pie is still a little miraculous to me after so many epic failures, but I will be sure to appreciate every bite.
With pie, the whole work/life balance problem seems a little more manageable. Obviously, I’m not the first woman or person in general to face down a challenge of too much to do and not enough time. Probably every person reading this is nodding along right about now (or nodding off because you’re reading this late at night after a long day). I don’t know if it’s better or worse that I genuinely love all the things I’m involved in. Though many of them do feel like “work” at times, they never feel like some kind of unpleasant burden.
And so I do what I suppose we all do when there just aren’t enough hours in the day to make life perfect. I pick and choose, sometimes prioritizing paid work and sometimes laying in the grass licking popsicles with my kids. I take things one day at a time. (How clichéd of me…) I let a few things go. I try not to stress out about inviting friends over when my house is a wreak. And I try really hard to remember to be grateful for everything good in my life (like these lilies blooming outside my kitchen window). I am a lucky girl, for sure.