The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.”

Here I am a sort of shut-in behind closed doors in the comfort of air conditioning. When I went to get the papers much earlier, I walked outside and gasped from the heat and, even worse, the humidity so I scurried back inside the house. Given the weather, I don’t see much going out today except to the dump later. The larder is full and the animals have food; that’s all we need.

The Hallmark Channel is playing Christmas movies this weekend. I even watched a couple. I find Hallmark movies comforting in a way. There is no violence and you know all of them will end happily. I especially like seeing the snow, the lights and the fireplaces glowing. In the heat of the summer, the idea of winter is appealing; of course, in the winter I long for the heat of summer.

Last night the deck was the best spot to be. The breeze blew, the insects were elsewhere and dinner was delicious. It got me to thinking about when I was a kid. Back then there were no decks, only patios always made of brick. We didn’t have one, but the white house on the corner did. Their patio furniture was ornate and made of black metal. The table and chairs sat under the grape arbor. They grew big purple grapes.

Most of the houses in my neighborhood have back decks. One exception is my neighbors across the street. They have a patio, a brick patio, and they have metal furniture, ornate white metal furniture. They are much older than the rest of us, and they are a bit of a throwback to my parents’ time. She works in the yard and wears a wide- brimmed hat. When they go out with friends, the men sit in the front and the women in the back. They live behind locked doors. The only time I see their front door open to the screen is when they are expecting company. If I go over, I ring the bell, she looks out the window to see who it is and then opens all the locks when I pass muster. I joke with them all the time. They are good-natured about it, but as she says,”They are who they are.”

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18 Comments on “The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    We have sunshine and a rather warm weather today and strong winds that blow away most insects 🙂 Yesterday evening was fantastic though, a bit cool, sunshine but no wind. The strange thing was that we weren’t attacked by mosquitoes or flies 🙂 That’s unusual!

    Decks are becoming popular over here too, but I don’t know of any as high up as Yours 🙂 But patios are still more popular I think. Some put glass all around them and then they really become more of a porch I think.

    I do like winter in movies and photographs but I never! long for winter during summer, perhaps because our summers rarely get especially hot. I would be very happy ig we only had three seasons here, a long autumn with some frost bites is quiet enough fro me 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      I’m staying right inside the cool house until later in the afternoon. All the animals are sleeping-they’re also enjoying the coolness. I can see out the window there is a breeze, but the humidity is a killer.

      My deck is up so high because the back of my house, outside the back door, is a second floor. My cellar is above ground and has regular windows so the deck had to be up from that which put it on the second floor. My bedroom, also in the back of the house, is on the third floor.

      Today I long for the cold of winter, but most summer days I’m content. Autumn is the best of all seasons here.

      • olof1 Says:

        I do prefer spring but would most probably have loved autumn if it wasn’t for the fact that winter follows 🙂

  2. Hedley Says:

    Big Rick took off and established a significant lead, but the peloton of one soon hauled him in. twenty eight tacks thrown onto the road at the top of the hill climb in the Pyrennes in the Tour de France, bloody idiots, and the great Evans and Wiggins took flats.
    Big Rick was talking about his son’s dating status..”you can never have too many fillies in the stable”. we raced around our Sunday Stage, had a laugh at a guy with a toolbox assembling a bike and enjoyed a gentle breeze and exciting views
    Big Rick and I are old, but we are not

    • Kat Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I’d find the draft from all those bicyclists. I chuckled at your peleton of one!

      I used to hate hills when I was a kid when riding my bike with no gears; however, even with all the gears in the world, I’d choose a car to go up the mountain.


      You didn’t finish what you are not!

  3. peterrocker Says:

    Reminds me of a fave movie you must show on the deck.
    “While You Were Sleeping” with Sandra Bullock & Bill Pullman.
    And don’t forget “The Ghost & Mrs Muir” with Gene Teirney

    • Kat Says:

      I had totally forgotten both movies, especially The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. I haven’t seen that one in a long time. Great suggestion!!

  4. flyboybob Says:

    Yesterday morning my flight from Sao Paulo arrived at the Houston, George Bush Intercontinental Airport. I guess the Republicans are so afraid that they won’t get reelected in Texas in the future that they named the airport for a living ex-president. I wonder if Barbra Bush says to George, “Honey, lets go out to our airport” 🙂 When old George passes away the city of Houston will change the name to “The George Bush and ‘W’ Too” Intercontinental Airport. As soon as I entered the terminal to change planes for Dallas the heat and the humidity almost knocked me over. All the outside windows were steamed over with condensation from the air conditioning inside. It’s just as hot here in North Texas but it’s not as humid because we are a couple of hundred miles from the Gulf coast.

    Yesterday I slept most of the day to catch up from the previous day. I worked all day Friday in Sao Paulo and then flew home overnight. I can’t sleep sitting in an economy seat regardless how tired I am. I watched a couple of movies both from the TV in the seat back and on my iPad.

    When I was a kid, my parents put in a patio in the backyard of our house. They had it constructed it with smooth concrete surface so my sister and I used it as a roller skating rink. Our patio is also made of concrete but the kind with pebbles mixed in to give it a rough surface.

    • Kat Says:

      I’m laughing at your Babs Bush comment and the renaming of the airport after the demise of Bush 1.

      When I got out of my car from going out to breakfast, my glasses steamed over much like the windows at the airport were. Today is as humid as it’s been all summer.

      My back is troublesome so I bought business elite tickets to Ghana so I can have a bed. Last summer, coming back 1st class, I slept on that bed for 6 hours of the flight and arrived fairly rested. Like you, I don’t sleep in economy class as I find it too uncomfortable. The flight is 10 and 1/2 hours-too long to be bright eyed and upright.

      • flyboybob Says:

        When I arrived home my wife surprised me with a new family member. While I was gone she adopted a male dachshund from the local no kill shelter. My wife thought our other dachshund, Cowboy, needed a friend. This one is red in color and named Sherlock. I suggested that we name it ‘Mumser’ (the Yiddish word for bastard) but my kids wanted to keep the name Sherlock. They don’t have a great sense of humor. The shelter thinks he’s full blooded, about three and was found wandering the streets. In theses hard times people are dumping dogs when they have to choose between feeding themselves or their pets. The legacy of the Bush years continues to haunt us.

      • Kat Says:

        I love the sound of your newest family member, and I vote for Sherlock as well.

        Why is it that Obama keeps getting the blame? I guess it is true you can’t underestimate the stupidity of some people!

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We didn’t have a patio. We had one of those 50’s style outdoor fireplaces that my father built on the concrete slab that was the remains of a long disappeared chicken house. The back yard was well shaded by a large black walnut tree on one side and an equally large maple tree on the other. It was always much cooler out there than anywhere else on the property. All our cook-outs took place there. We had a long picnic table on the lawn as well as several of those Adirondack chairs with wide arms that could hold plates and cups. I wish I still had them.
    It’s hot up here. I’m inside with the AC and have gone through at least three books in the last three days. Rocky is sleeping on the couch but every so often he wants out for no reason in particular except boredom. As soon as he gets out there he wants back in because it’s too bloody hot even for him.
    Enjoy the cool!

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I love those old Adirondack chairs. They are still the best looking, and their colors were wonderful.

      Your yard sounds like the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon under the shade with a cold ice tea and a good mystery, bare footed of course!

      It’s hot here too. My AC is on and the house is wonderfully cold. Gracie too has wanted to go out. I go check on her and within couple of minutes she is standing at the closed back door to come inside. We just got back from the dump, and she rang her bells to go outside-I said no and she decided to lie down and enjoy the cool floor.

  6. Hedley Says:

    The Prince and I were enjoying a snack next to a swimming pool today and I rolled it out…”you know that you cannot swim for thirty minutes after eating”
    the response was swift and direct “that makes no sense Pumpa”

    America’s favorite Five year old, plunged back in to the pool and he was proven right

    (I know, one hour not thirty minutes but this Pumpa was trying to sound reasonable)

    • Kat Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      The Prince obviously knows you were quoting an old wive’s tale or in this case an old Pumpa’s tale.

      • Hedley Says:

        Wise beyond his five years, which become six next month. He wants to know what I am going to bring home for him from London…

  7. MT C Says:

    Hi Kat,

    I certainly do not envy you your humidity (I check it once in a while on my wunderground weather web site). Nor the temps you are having to go with it.

    Just got back from four wonderful days in Dubai. It is everything claimed and more. Great place for a visit, but not necessarily in July. November thru February would be much nicer when temps only get into the low 90’s. LOL And of course the humidity is much lower then also. While there the hottest was about 110F and the humidity ranged from about 8% to 64% and averaged in the high 40 range. Not comfortable at all, but then everything is air conditioned with the exception of the upper part of the tour buses, which, of course, is really the only place to be for photos. My son and I did move downstairs for a few hours though as his light complexion was taking a real beating in the exposure. For me, the forays outside was a bit of a challenge. Almost the same as venturing out into a blizzard. Not be a real fan of a/c, I went out many times just to feel the warmth and to stroll in the beautiful gardens of the hotel.

    We stayed at a place called Atlantis. Five star, of course and completely out of my range, but Walter was very generous and fielded most of it and allowed me the dinners in return. AND I had to choose the place. I usually don’t do very well with that, but luck was with us and we dined in high style on some of the most consistently good food imaginable. There was not one bad choice.

    I will post pictures on Multiply in a bit, with more on the Box. I will let you know when they are up and provide you the URL.

    It must be nearing time for your own adventure.


    • Kat Says:

      I’m inside again today at least for now. I have to go out later. Iy will be around 85˚ today, but this is it-by tomorrow the temperature will drop to comfortable.

      I know those temperatures from living in northern Ghana. It was that dry heat but it got so miserably hot candles melted without ever being lit. Unlike you, I never went out in the hottest part of the day. Stores and even the post office closed from 12 to 2.

      I would love to visit Dubai, even more so after your description.I’d be up taking pictures as well but I too would go and relax in the air before I went back up top. That hotel would be out of my range as well.

      I love tasting food from other places.

      You’d better sent that url as I can’t wait to see the pictures.

      August 25th is when I leave!

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