I Come Bearing Gifts
(Why it's never too late to make connection weird again.)
Back in the spring, I dubbed this The Summer of Connection (and Jam).
Under April snow showers, I
daydreamed hallucinated about coming home from work, tying on my apron, and spending my free time perfecting the art of jam-making. Fancy combos. The perfect consistency. There would be so many spreads.
The Soup is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
I got as far as foraging a fistful of rhubarb and securing more jelly jars before my good intentions washed out to sea. It was a lot of things. But mostly, it was the teenagers, heading out in ten different directions and usually needing me to get them there. (What free time??)
Peach season still awaits, but for now, this is the extent of my enterprise.
Raspberry and strawberry rhubarb. Four little jars.
It’s neither perfect nor fancy, but it should get me through until next Spring, when memory of my actual life fails and my dreams outpace my capacity once again.
Summer of Jam: 0
Everyday Life: 1
But what about the connection thing?
I've learned that’s actually easier to come by than a dozen sticky jars of apricot pineapple jam with essence of thyme.
(I just made that up…is there a market for imagining fancy jams? Does anyone here have Queen Sarabeth in your contacts?)
To make it as simple as possible, I made us a super-satisfying checklists with a bunch of bare-bones, medium-weird ideas to nudge us toward the path of each other.
There’s no pressure to complete the whole list. Checking one box would be a huge deal! It’s all about baby steps. Nothing is wasted.
It’s only the middle of July. We have time. (And guess what? All of the my ideas will transfer seamlessly into fall.)
I know life is better, brighter, safer, funnier, all the things, when we prioritize knowing the people near us.
I have receipts.
Are you with me?
Download the checklist, print it off (or not!), tape it to the inside of a cabinet door, and take the plunge.
Here’s to reclaiming the Summer of Connection!
Just like my jam, it won’t be perfect or fancy, but it’ll be enough to get us through.
PS - As your favorite, nosy email neighbor, all I ask is that you tell me how it goes. Send an email. Send a carrier pigeon. I want to hear everything!
One last thing
Start with Hello releases in just three months! Between running Ruby to volleyball two-a-days (release me, Lord!) and chopping adorable eggplants at work, I’ve been working “summer-hard” on some book release-related surprises. As always, you’ll be the first to hear every secret! Until then, you can reserve your copy on Amazon and be guaranteed the lowest sale price. (It’s also available on Bookshop or wherever books are sold.) Thank you for supporting my work, pals!
One last thing (but make it food)
Earlier this week I made BLTs with perfect summer tomatoes from the farmer’s market and the cheapest, softest, empty-caloriest white bread and then I promptly blissed out.
WHAT IS THE PERFECT SUMMER FOOD AND WHY IS IT A BLT? (We’re all making our bacon in the oven, yeah?)
I made them again two days later. Only that time, I fancied it up by chopping chives and basil from my garden into the mayo.
This is now my official meal-plan for the rest of summer. Sorry, arteries!
Add watermelon on the side to feel like a certified health fanatic.
Until we meet again, may the mosquitoes fall dormant, the humidity surrender, and the ice cream shop keep your signature flavor (holla, mocha almond fudge!) well-stocked.