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End of Summer

These guys love my fennel plants all summer. When I have dill planted, they love that, too, and since the plants get so big, I don’t mind sharing. When I snapped this picture the other evening, this guy had two friends also snacking on the same fennel plant. Two of the caterpillars were pretty sizable, like, soon time to cocoon and change into butterflies, and the the third was about half their size, so he had some time to go before his changeover.

Aside from the caterpillars nibbling all over it, the fennel is starting to look like the season is ending. Other plants in my garden are also getting that same look, the past-my-prime-so-pick-me-now look. The summer-long heat wave looks like it’s finally broken, too. The weather today is beautiful after our brush with Hurricane Laura the last two days, and the next week looks pretty great, as far as temperatures go. I think we are going to be able to keep the a/c off and the windows open, which will be lovely at night. It’ll also be good for next weekend, the Labor Day holiday here in the U.S, when I finish doing the mulching in the boys’ backyard.

Today, though, is family dinner day. The boys are coming up early to fix one of my car windows–it stopped going up and down the other night, of course when it was halfway down–and then we’re going to throw some sausages and fish on the grill to go with a macaroni salad and a lentil salad I made yesterday in the middle of a big downpour from the hurricane’s remnants. Before I put the finishing touches on the lentil salad, I have a little snippet for you today from Light the Way Home.


Lucie breathed a sigh of relief as she leaned against the inside of the closed front door. That was too much. She’d only been hiding out like a hermit on the island for three weeks, and already she felt shell-shocked after a few hours with the general public. Holy cow. Now she understood why her friends lived on an island.

Gathering herself, she pushed off the door and carried her bags to the kitchen. Time for a cup of tea and a nap, to recover from the real world. Maybe she’d even drink her tea under the awning out back and nap to the sound of the ocean over the bluff while the weather was nice-ish.

The idea made her smile, and she moved more quickly to put away her purchases. In fifteen minutes, she carried her steaming mug of blackberry tea and a fleece blanket down the back steps to the patio. She’d used the very comfy lounger under the green awning on several warmish mornings to enjoy her breakfast tea at sunrise.

She sank onto it now, setting her mug on the attached side table so she could wrap the blanket around herself. Then she sat back and released a slow breath, her gaze seeking out the blue of the ocean, beyond the spot where the yard became rock.

Just watching the rolling waves relaxed her, the shifting blues, whites and greys. Lucie reached for her tea and caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of her eye, so she looked up at the lighthouse.

The hot neighbor must be doing double-duty today, cleaning windows at the top of the tall structure. She’d heard the power tools from his cabinet-making business nearly every day, but she hadn’t considered that he’d have to care for the connected lighthouse, too.

She watched him stretch to reach the side of a wide pane, then saw the head and shoulders of another man, steadying his ladder. Huh. Maybe his dad. She’d noticed an older couple arrive several times, and the man looked a lot like Nate. Good thing he had help up there. The lighthouse was about five stories high, and a tumble down from the top level would do a lot of damage to a man.

She picked up her mug and turned her gaze back to the ocean. Her trip to the mainland had been productive, even if it had overloaded her system. She had enough groceries now for the next couple of weeks, some new books to read, and she’d stopped at the post office on her way back from the ferry. She could sort out the junk from the actual mail later, maybe over supper. For now a little soothing ocean music to settle her nerves after the unexpected crush of people on the mainland.

Somehow she’d lost track of the days and driven off the ferry into Friday traffic. Judging by the number of people everywhere, a lot of folks were extending their weekends by one day, or otherwise playing hooky to run errands. Too much noise, too many people, every place she’d gone.

She sipped from the mug. It was weird how she’d adjusted to the quiet on the island so quickly–she’d expected to be restless out here. Her job had been in the city, as well as her apartment, which she’d sub-let when she left. It had been years since she’d even lived in a small town.

She’d only been half-joking when she mentioned her grief stages to hot-dad Nate earlier. But she needed to seriously start figuring out what to do with herself when she had to rejoin the real world for longer than a couple of hours at a time. Mindi and Harry would want their house back when their cruise ended, which meant she needed to have her shit–and a plan–together by then.

She took another sip of her tea, then glanced over at the sound of a child’s voice, followed by a lower rumble.

Hayden ran into his backyard, chattering a mile a minute, then turned to watch an older man coming after him, more slowly. Grandpa.

Lucie frowned, looking up at the lighthouse. Nate must’ve had another helper.

The childish chatter faded away, and she realized her tea was nearly empty. That meant it was time to think about supper prep. And possibly a foray online to do a cursory search of job sites for ideas. Wrinkling her nose, she got to her feet and finished the last swallow of tea. As she turned to go inside, Nate emerged from the lighthouse’s side door, swiping one hand down the side of his jeans. He glanced over and waved at her. She waved back, continuing to the house.

Half an hour later, while sauteeing garlic and onion for soup, she realized he’d exited the lighthouse alone. No helper. Odd.


What are you doing on this beautiful Sunday afternoon? Hopefully something that lets you enjoy a fine late summer day. And if you need something to read today, the book title above the excerpt, or the one below will take you to your bookstore of choice to grab a copy of Light the Way Home.

I’m going to try to sneak in a little writing time later, after the boys have taken their leftovers home with them. What are your plans for the week?


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