To be fair, when I made my Fall Bucket List I already knew we were planning to head to the Northeast for our October vacation. So, I guess it was kind of cheating to add it to the list. But, the whole point of the list was to a have a little fun and that’s exactly what this trip was for!
Maine was simply lovely. The leaves were all shades of red and yellow. Breath taking.
The coast line was gorgeous. Mr. Thirdrow seat got to try out the panoramic feature on his iPhone while we were visiting the Light House at Cape Neddick, ME. That’s me standing on the shoreline.
Mostly we just sat in front of the fire and read our books. It was incredibly relaxing.
One afternoon we ventured down to our aunt’s favorite place to buy Lobster on the water. Sadly, it was closed for the season, but we found three select lobsters at their inland shop that accepted our invitation to dinner. They were delicious!
We capped the whole week off with an evening in New York City visiting one of my dearest friends.
All in all, it was a marvelous vacation! What about you? Going anywhere soon?
Posted by Erin on October 29, 2012
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
(2 Peter 3:8-9 ESV)
Posted by Erin on October 24, 2012
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Posted by Erin on September 28, 2012
Last Friday was yard work day. Not usually my favorite day, but at least we had some lovely cool weather for it. A light sprinkle of rain in the morning helped soften the ground and loosen the roots of all those weeds that had snuck into our front garden bed. We spent hours trimming hedges, cutting back boxwoods, ripping out flowers that had seen better days, and shaping up our maple tree. Tomatillos and eggplants were pulled out of the garden boxes. The monster tomato plant that was overtaking our little lilac tree was chopped down. We dug carrots out of cool black dirt. We filled an entire dumpster with yard waste.
It felt good. Good to work with our hands. Good to be dirty. Good to rip out the old and make space for the new.
Good to celebrate the coming of a new season in the garden and in life.
This summer had it’s highs and lows. And the low points often felt like they won. We experienced a lot of change and loss this summer. It wasn’t fun. In fact it was not fun at all. The good news is that wasn’t our whole story. Our kitchen was filled with pie and our table shared with friends. Our friends laughed and cried with us, made us dinner, and prayed for us. We celebrated new marriages, toasted to the life of dear friends, and snuck away for weekends of rest.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the turning over from one season to the next and I’m hoping that this next season will be one full of joy. I’m so glad that even though the last few months have been hard on my heart, I’m still walking into the fall with a bountiful harvest behind me and plenty of good earth in front of me. My hope is not foolish because I know that my God is faithful, he calls me to live a full life here on earth, and he promises that when I seek him, I will find him. He promises to restore what is broken.
Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
(Jeremiah 29:5-7 ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
(Jeremiah 29:11-14 ESV)
Posted by Erin on September 20, 2012
I wish it were cold enough for a snow day. How awesome would it be to be at home, in sweat pants, drinking hot chocolate, and napping on the sofa with this guy.
Posted by Erin on September 13, 2012
Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer’s end. In time’s maze
over the fall fields, we name names
that went west from here,
names that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed’s marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.
Wild Geese by Wendell Berry
Posted by Erin on September 9, 2012
Last week I celebrated my thirty first birthday. Thirty. One. Dang. My darling husband took me away for a two day stay-cation to celebrate. To step back from life and breathe.
We enjoyed some fine cocktails at the rooftop bar. We sat in the sunshine and read books for hours. We browsed the record shop until we found just enough Yacht Rock to go home with.
Then we went home and eased our way back into real life. A slow birthday breakfast at my favorite local diner. Snuggling with the boys. Flowers, presents, and a home-made dinner with the man I love.
Blessed be the LORD,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was in a besieged city.
I had said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help.
Love the LORD, all you his saints!
The LORD preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD!
(Psalm 31:21-24 ESV)
Posted by Erin on August 15, 2012
I have always found a bit of solace in baking. Cutting cold butter into sifted flour feels purposeful. When a pie comes together or a cake bakes just right and the icing is smooth, I feel like all is right in the world. This summer has been a roller coaster for me and I’ve found myself baking more than my normal share of pie – baking something that brings joy to the friends around our table and a few moments of peace to my own heart as I mix fruit and sugar and butter to make something beautiful.
Even though my mom’s peach pie recipe is the very best, my husband loves blueberries more than most other fruits. I have been long overdue to give a blueberry pie a go and since they were on sale this week it seemed like the perfect moment to try my hand at it. For his birthday last week, Mr. ThirdRow was gifted some artisan cherry flavored Moonshine from a dear friend. While it turned out to be a wee bit too strong to drink, it was just what I’d been looking for to take my pie crust to the next level! I still swear by Pam’s Pie Tutorial from The Pioneer Woman. I follow her directions to a tee, but this time I added ice cold Moonshine instead of water to my crust. I’d read about people using vodka in their crusts so that the alcohol bakes out leaving a delicate and flakey to-die-for crust. They were right! This was my best crust yet.
2 pie crusts (top and bottom layers)
2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
milk for brushing
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line pie plate with single layer of pastry dough and set aside. In a large bowl, gently toss blueberries in lemon juice. Sprinkle the corn starch, salt, and sugar over the top. Gently fold together to coat the berries. Pour the berries into the pie and dot with butter. Roll out the top layer of pastry dough on the counter and, using a pizza cutter, cut it into 1/2 inch strips. Carefully weave the strips to create a lattice top. Brush the lattice crust with milk and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until berries are bubbly and crust is golden brown.
My crust browned pretty quickly. So, after 25 minutes in the oven I covered it with aluminum foil and left it covered for the remainder of it’s baking.
Posted by Erin on August 4, 2012
Sometimes life is hard. From the little things to gravest of problems suffering weaves it’s way into my life. Breakfast is pop tarts and not egg omelets. Dirty clothes are piled in baskets and a load of laundry gets left in the washing machine for three days. The lawn goes unmowed. There are no words to comfort my hurting friends. I have no power to reconcile friends who are fighting. I don’t have enough money to pay the debt of a friend in trouble. I can’t heal my friend who is sick.
This is when I remember that I can’t fix the broken. I can’t heal the sick. I can’t comfort the hurting. But I have a good God who can and I rest in His goodness. He redeems. He heals. He comforts. He always does what is good, right, and perfect and I can trust him to not abandon me or my family in a broken world.
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Posted by Erin on May 31, 2012
Posted by Erin on May 23, 2012