We had Thanksgiving dinner last night with friends — a delicious and lively meal with interesting people. On the way home, the highway was hopping with frogs, out leaping for the pleasure of rain, their red legs aglow in the headlights. It was pouring and it continues to rain. I’m so glad that the stressed cedars and Douglas firs can drink from the sky and their roots. And glad that the frogs are singing for the joy of it.

It’s good to have a warm house, a woodshed full (or about to be) of dry wood, pantry shelves heavy with preserves. To have health, a beloved husband, and children out in the world with their own loves and interests. As much as I miss them, I am grateful they have their independent lives, ones that intersect with my own, enrich it.

Tonight we’ll eat soup with a Portuguese accent — smoky paprika, spicy chourico, chick peas, kale, lovely yellow potatoes, and a splash of wine. To drink? Farm fresh beer, Rum Runner ale, from Persephone, the new craft brewery down the coast. All summer, on our way to and from the ferry, we’d see the hops growing on the high supports. We’ve stopped in once or twice for an excellent pizza baked in an outdoor wood-burning oven and enjoyed a glass of Irish stout or the grapefruit-tangy summer Double IPA. The other day we had our growlette filled with the Rum Runner after a glass of it with a leek, potato, and bacon pizza. And that made me think of this meal, made in part to welcome home (via email) Forrest and Manon who’ve been in Portugal and Spain for three weeks and who would love both the soup and the beer.

fall soup