Sunday, September 25, 2022

‘Those summer days’

Daily Inter Lake | September 18, 2022 12:00 AM

These summer days have been abundant with the places, smells and tastes that come to mind whenever I think of summer.

I’ve kayaked on deep blue waters, threaded my way along bullrush banks, cycled on my favorite country roads and dusted up my hiking boots on a few trails here and there.

My husband and I’ve scoured the woods for the elusive huckleberries. We picked south near Lakeside, north outside of Whitefish and on the Danny On Trail on Big Mountain. This year’s hucks were sparse and “petite” for the most part, but the hours spent picking them were pleasant.

On a recent Saturday, after a rousing round of miniature golf, we stopped on our way home for milkshakes that delivered at least one huckleberry with each and every sip. We were told hucks were selling this year for up to $100 a gallon — a precious commodity and especially rare this season.

We canned our annual supply of salsa loaded with smoky peppers roasted on a charcoal grill. We made and froze half pints of fresh basil pesto thanks to a surprisingly robust plant growing on the porch. We also made refrigerator dill pickles, for the first time; hands down the best pickles we’ve ever had.

I’ve sat in the shade with my husband and family sipping iced tea with two plump wedges of lemon or margaritas spiked with muddled jalapenos … and we’ve swatted away a zillion yellow jackets who just seem to never tire of aggravating humans while we’re trying to enjoy a little leisure.

We grilled a lot. We ate plenty of corn on the cob slathered in butter and salt and, despite that the garden was somewhat of a dud this year (we blame the cold, wet June), we harvested bunches of greens to add to bunches of salads we threw together all summer long. The potatoes are looking promising this year too.

Watering the potted flowers on the porches and patio, which the heat and the West Valley winds conspired to annihilate, became our tenacious mission — twice a day, every day. We did our best to keep the rambling lawn (and I use that term loosely to describe what grows despite the vole holes) somewhat green too, a continuous slog of moving watering tractors and dragging hoses.

The plethora of days hitting the mid-90s this summer often chased us indoors during the weekend afternoons, but we welcomed the evening’s cool breezes in the windows and from the sanctuary of the front porch.

It’s been a pretty peaceful summer. And though it’s cooled down and we’re at the end of summer’s salad days, these days gone by too fast will be something to treasure in those to come.

Community editor Carol Marino may be reached at 406-758-4440 or

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