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The summer morning routine…
Wake slowly when the small person wakes next to me.
Mosey our way out to the living room where my husband is probably at his laptop, pour myself some coffee.
Sit around for an hour or so. Cuddle with the small person some, or not.
Husband makes breakfast; eggs from our chickens, blueberries and raspberries from the garden, small additions depending on the mood for that morning.
Dad heads outside to do whatever he does. Tractor work maybe. Gardening maybe. Outdoor maintenance of some kind, likely, while the weather is good.
The sun is shining on the back deck now. We let the dog and the small person out to enjoy “the nice warm sun.” Dog soaks it up for the few months he can, moving from the shaded side of the deck to the sunny side and then back again for hours throughout the day.
Child harrasses the dog like most children harrass their older siblings. Climbs on him. Lays on him. Tries to run his cars into, on and over him. Dog runs inside in an effort to find cover and protection from me.
I decide the dew has dried enough and the poor dog needs a break from his human brother. We head out into the garden and yard. Check the cucumbers in the greenhouse. Is there enough for another batch of pickles yet?
If it we felt like a bath today, we’d use the outside shower. We still might, maybe later. Depends on how the day unfolds.
Small Person is a “blueberry monster,” so before it gets too hot, and while the sun is shining in one direction, we take our first sweep through the blueberry patch.
It’s a great time of day. Warm and not too breezy. I soak up these few months of the year just like the dog. I pretend I’m getting my exercise and try to do some squats and straight, not curved, back bending while I scour the bushes top to bottom.
The ever present conversation of the hens is the only noise at the moment.
The small person picks two blueberries to eat then puts one in my basket. “Is this one ready?” repeated every 12 seconds. I tell him “don’t pick the ones with the green belly button, only the blue ones.” He’s successful about 60% of the time. The nearly ripe will ripen in a few days. The green ones he gets tasked with feeding to the chickens.
I’ve picked most of what I can see of the blueberries. It’s a nice half hour while the morning is still quiet. I’ll have to wait until the afternoon when the sun has shifted to see what I might have missed.
We move on to the raspberries. These are the small person’s favorite. I think the dog has gotten a nose for them as well. I’ve seen him sniffing around the vines growing outside my berry cage on more than one occasion. And in all the other seasons where my strawberries have done well, Dog has been guilty of learning to delicately pick more than his fair share.
Most of the raspberries go straight from hand to mouth. Maybe one cup per day? It doesn’t seem like enough to save. Plus, fresh and fully ripe raspberries don’t save well if I wanted to, so we indulge daily.
I’m hoping an overly ripe sweet raspberry is a taste that will remind the small person, forever, of warm summer mornings with Mama.
Husband pokes his head in from around any number of corners. It’s sunny today he notes, and suggest that we drive 15 miles upriver, where it’s a little bit hotter, and visit the swimming hole in the river for the first time of the season. This might be where the small person eventually learns how to swim. Our afternoon plans are settled.
It’s getting a little warm now. Or at least, I’ve been in the sun long enough to head back inside for a bit. I get some more coffee. The dog follows me inside and tries to take a place next to me on the couch.
It’s about noon. Our morning has been slow. The small person is already dirty. He’s been shoveling pebbles and pushing his little wooden wheelbarrow in between helping outside to pick the blueberries. Small person had a nice pretend session with a dandelion in the berry cage: “I am the monster, I will eat your leaves” the dandelion told the blueberries, in his special “monster” voice.
All the lights are off inside. The east facing door to the back, sunny deck is open. The north and south windows of the house are open also, letting a gentle breeze run through the house. There is no music or television on. Most days, TV time is after 8 o’clock.
I like these slow quiet mornings. I take time to look around my home and appreciate what I have. Appreciate that I am happy to be here. Appreciate that my child can find all the enrichment he needs out his own back door.
I appreciate that I have come to a point where I can quietly appreciate the simplicity of it.
I appreciate that there is nowhere I’d rather be at the moment than home.
Regina is That Frugal Pharmacist. She’s a PharmD, mother to a son with cancer, breadwinning wife, personal finance enthusiast, artist, writer, and entrepreneur. Regina’s single-income household has been debt-free, including her home, since she was 28 years old.
Her money approach is “holistic financial health.” She encourages mindful spending, awareness of the non-monetary costs of choices, and aligning personal values with money habits. Regina sees a frugal lifestyle and mindset as an important part of environmental stewardship. As such she’s interested in ongoing efforts towards self-sufficiency and sustainability.