Veg Garden 2011: Grape Tomatoes; August

A Summer of Firsts

This summer has been a summer of firsts for me and it’s been a LOT of fun! I made a decision at the beginning of the season to do things I’ve never done before and to not allow myself to get sucked into staying inside all the time. The result of this was joining a softball team and a dragon boat racing team—neither are things I’ve ever done before. It has been a supreme adventure so far and I hope the fun continues! Here is a summary of the new experiences I had this summer:

I played softball for the first time. It was the YMCA non-competitive church league, but that is perfect for me. One hour every Tuesday night for 10 weeks. I was nervous before every game and hoped for rain and lightning, so games would be canceled, but once we got playing it was fun. I even made a pretty impressive catch in the championship game! So impressive, in fact, that I was too excited to remember to throw it back to the infield. But no one cared, everyone cheered for me and was just as excited about it.

I paddled in the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival for the first time—I’ve never even rowed before, unless canoeing counts. This was SUPER fun! I had so much fun, in fact, that I’m hoping there’s a novice rowing club in Duluth to join. Our team did pretty well; half the boat was new people like me and most of us were women. Our team’s best time was 2:23 for a 500 meter race. There were several different classes, like the Youth Class, Athletic Teams Challenge Class, All Female Class, etc. We were in the “Business Challenge Class” and came in 9th place out of 22. The best teams came in around 2:10, but the best teams are also national and international competitors & champions, so for a boat that was mostly new and only races once a year, with just 2 practices immediately preceding the race, 2:23 is pretty good!

BluegillI went camping in a remote area for the first time – remote enough that we heard elk calling all around us each night we were there. We camped at Lake of the Pines campground in the Flambeau River State Forest. I made pancakes over the campfire for the first time and canoed the Flambeau River. I also caught my first keep-able fish of the season! It was just a little blue-gill and would have been more work than it was worth to clean and eat so I let it go anyway.

Veg Garden 2011: Grape Tomatoes; AugustI started my first in-ground garden in my first home. I’ve already made a couple of posts about that so I won’t go into it too deeply here, but it has been growing like crazy all summer. There are finally some fruits growing and getting bigger and bigger—a couple of grape tomatoes were actually almost red already! I couldn’t wait for them to ripen completely; we ate them as soon as I found them. Can’t wait for even more bounty in a couple more weeks when the beans, peas and tomatoes will be ripe and ready to eat!

Backyard Fire PitWe had our first campfire in our new back-yard fire pit. Everyone should have a fire pit in their back yard! There is no better way to end an evening than with a fire, favorite beverages and s’mores right outside your back door.

Next year I hope to continue the “say yes to anything” outlook… actually, I could just keep it up through the fall and winter too! Here’s a list of firsts I want to try in the next year:

Snowshoeing
Take a “Learn to Row” class from the Duluth Rowing Club
Camp at Tettegouche State Park
Visit Split Rock Lighthouse
Tour Glensheen Mansion
Visit the North American Bear Center in Ely, MN

There are many other things I’d like to do but probably won’t get a chance to in the next year, or even in the next 5 years, but if you don’t make a goal, you’ll never reach it.

Tandem skydiving from Skydive Superior
Shark Diving off Isla Guadalupe
Take sailboat lessons from Duluth-Superior Sailing Association
Hot-air balloon ride

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