Still listening to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver, et. al. Many of the things she discusses about gardening and preserving and cooking were the definition of my life once upon a time. When the kids were small and we lived in the country, I raised all our vegetables, canning and freezing the extras. There were strawberries and sour cherries from our yard, plus apples from a local orchard that transformed into quarts of applesauce. I even raised chickens, for eggs and meat, and even butchered them myself one year. Almost everything I cooked was from scratch, including our bread and granola.
Now I am not only nostalgic for those years, I also mourn that I have no one to cook for. I can see the attraction of believing in reincarnation, if only to comfort oneself with the promise of the opportunity for a do-over.
Meanwhile, I will be getting a do-over with my backyard. The trees are scheduled to come down next week. Once they are gone, I can completely reconfigure the backyard. The privat hedge along the back still casts a lot of shade along that edge of the yard, and the shed is kind of in the way, but I won't have to work around the shadows of those silver maples anymore. This will be a year of moving things around while I try to figure out just what I want to accomplish back there.