Whatever you call it, in our neck of the woods, this time of the year means one thing for our fishing-obsessed sons:
Look at that catch. Insane, right?
Steve organized a float trip on the Skagit River for six homeschooling friends (boys-only!), most of them between 11 and 14 years old. One canoe, one drift boat, one raft and two days later, they had caught 19 salmon. Granted, they are not the fancy Kings and Silvers that most people covet - these here are Humpys (Pinks), which most people don't consider particularly good eating. But when they are put into brine and then smoked, they are awesome.
The dudes started out in the rain. We have been desperate for rainfall, what with the drought and wildfires and all, so we are grateful for it. But watching the guys get ready for their two day adventure on the river, huddling in the rain, I felt a little sorry for them. They didn't care, though.
After a safety talk (What to do when you fall out of the raft? Which way to point your feet? What if you get sucked under a fallen tree sticking into the water?), they set off.
When I picked them up the next day, they were tired, but fizzing with excitement. 19 salmon. What good providers they are!
I think it's important for the boys to have guy time without us doting females around. They can grunt around the camp fire, spit and chew, scratch their balls uninhibited... They get to spend time with the older, wiser men - fathers, mentors and good people, all of them.
My almost 12-year old son got to share a tent with his 14-year old friend, who apparently told him how to get a girlfriend. It tickles me to no end to know that my son is getting advice from a peer. I asked him what the advice was, and Kai reluctantly told me. "You tell the girl something nice about the way she looks."
Huh. Yeah. Works for me.
When the guys are out bonding and doing manly things, Eva and I stay behind to take care of the farm and animals. It's kind of nice when it's just the two of us. Quieter. Gentler. We did some girl things: paint our nails, do mud facials, eat chocolate.
Also, fall? Fall means harvesting things we grew, admiring things that other people grew, canning, pickling, fermenting. I continue to make over ten pounds of cheese every week. (There's still time to sign up for my online cheese making class).
I'm getting addicted to making fancy kombucha drinks, where I make kombucha and then ferment it a second time with fruit and ginger, which makes it delightfully fizzy. It tastes like the most expensive ginger ale you can buy, except it costs so much less to make your own (and it's much healthier).
I will leave you with a picture of my three helpers, with new haircuts, compliments of the head lice that are now completely under control, thank you very much.
How is your fall going?