According to the Roman philosopher Cicero, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Food for the body as well as the brain, I guess. In this last month of official summer, I have both.
Two of my three hills of cucumbers continue to produce enough to share with neighbors and family. One of my vines has improvised a makeshift trellis by attaching its tendrils to an adjacent shrub. Country garden meets city landscaping, I suppose.
My miniature bell pepper, a variety called Snackabelle Red, is also flourishing. If I could be patient enough to leave it on the vine, maybe the peppers would turn red (or so the name and a picture on the tag imply).
Worried a little about an insect invasion of some sort, I’m opting to go ahead and harvest once the pepper seems to have quit growing and still looks healthy. One of these is perfect in a salad for two.
Let’s turn from the garden to the library. My rising tenth-grade granddaughter was assigned Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights for summer reading. I vaguely remembered the story of Heathcliff and Catherine, so wanting to discuss the novel with her, I checked it out of the library along with Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. (Why read one classic when you can read two?)
Being an English major nerd, I thoroughly enjoyed both. To be sure, the language is not exactly modern American English and the descriptions often run a bit long, but what stories! I’m continuing with Dickens, having now checked out A Tale of Two Cities.
This August I also re-read Longbourn, a novel given to me one Christmas several years ago by my middle daughter, who knows I’m a Jane Austen fan. This novel portrays the fictional lives of the servants at Longbourn, the home of the Bennett family in Pride and Prejudice.
Now I want to re-read Pride and Prejudice to get another dose of English country life at the turn of the nineteenth century. This Austen novel about the business of the Bennett daughters finding suitable husbands is my all-time favorite classic. I especially love the first line: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Hilarious!
A garden, a library, and for me, this August, a wedding. Daughter #3 said “I do” in Beech Mountain on August 15.
Like Mrs. Bennett at the end of Pride and Prejudice, I can now exclaim: “Three daughters married!…God has been very good to us!”