“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”

The day is breathtakingly beautiful. My day lilies in the front garden have started to bloom with orange flowers tilted to the sun. The deck pots are awash with flowers, and the vegetables seem to double in height each day. Birds are plentiful at the sunflower feeders, and the grape jelly needs to be refilled. It seems the orioles have found their feeders. On the deck this morning were two grey spawns, two huge grey spawns, chasing one another. I watched them jump from chair to chair then jump off the deck to scurry up trees one after the other. I think love is in the air.

My neighbors at the other end of the street had company last night. Their voices carried through the chilly night air. I felt like an eavesdropper so I shut my windows, but those voices brought back a flood of memories of summer nights when I was a kid. All the neighborhood back doors faced each other from houses at the top and bottom of a tall grassy hill. I’d lie in bed on a summer night trying to fall asleep in the heat, and I could hear the neighbors. The closest neighbors had distinct voices, whole conversations, while those from up the hill seemed more like whispers. I’d hear the clink of dishes and silverware being washed. The houses were duplexes, and their floor plans were all the same. The sinks had windows above them and they all faced the hill. Soon enough, though, as the night got older, the sounds from the kitchens faded.

One of my bedroom windows faced the living room of the duplex beside ours where my Aunt Ruby, Uncle Billy and Cousin Susan lived for a while. I used to listen to their TV. Most nights it was the last sound I’d hear before I fell asleep.

My street is busy this week. The house beside me, the rental, has people. The other usually empty houses, all second homes, have owners down for the weekend or even the week with July 4th coming Friday. Mornings and evenings are noisier than I am used to, but I’ll adjust. Besides, I’ll be making my own noises soon enough when Saturday night movies on the deck begin. I can hardly wait for the premier.

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6 Comments on ““It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Warmer here than yesterday but still not especially warm and the night wasn’t much cooler to be honest. Finally they are warm enough for my plants to start growing. I might get one or two tomatoes this year afterall and with a bit of luck some of the annuals might flower too before the frost arrives.

    I can’t remember hearing our neighbors from their appartments in evenings but most people were outside since it’s so light during summers and those I could hear.

    I’m hoping that at least some of the laundry has dried by now, it was done already before 7:30 this morniung but the rain has been pouring down most of the day and it doesn’t help much that everything hangs beneath a roof 🙂 The nature loves it so I guess I shouldn’t complain.

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I think today is the most perfect of all days. There is sun and a wonderful breeze. This last week we have had lovely days and cool nights for sleeping.

      I already have a few tomatoes on the vine, small and still green but they’re growing nicely. I even see small cucumbers starting. They must love this weather.

      We were in houses which were sort of close together. Each was a duplex so one neighbor was just on the side of the living room wall.

      Nope, rain is great for growing and I don’t have to water my deck plants when it rains.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  2. flyboybob Says:

    Because it’s 92 degrees out with sunny skies we keep the windows closed and the AC running from late April through October. Opening the windows at night is verboten in my house because of my wife’s allergies.

    When I was kid in NYC we didn’t ‘t have AC in the early 1950s. We lived in an apartment building and the sounds from our neighbor’s windows filled my quiet bedroom. We knew what their favorite TV show was and when they argued we knew their personal problems. Housewives could gossip from their kitchen windows with their neighbors across the narrow alley with the woman at her kitchen window in the next building.

    Before AC neighbors would sit on folding chairs out in front of their apartment buildings and spend weekend afternoons gossiping.

    Today we all live in little boxes isolated from our neighbors watching cable TV or surfing the Internet.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      It is 75˚ here and in the 80’s in Boston. The ocean breeze is wonderful and keeping us cool. I had allergies for years then I couldn’t take it any more and started allergy shots. Within a couple of years of shots, all my allergies had disappeared and haven’t been back. That is such a joy.

      We always knew our neighbors and would have barbecues together. I only lived in an apartment in South Boston for a couple of years and then we moved to the suburbs when I was five.

      The windows were always open before air conditioning so we too could hear our neighbors.

      We sit outside on each others’ decks playing games, eating dinner or just enjoying appetizers. Only my neighbors across the street and I have central air so most people are outside. I love spending time on my deck. Part of it is tree shaded and I swear I always have a small breeze. I burn punks which keep the bugs away.

      I love summer.

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    When I was a kid we could hear people’s conversations as no one had AC and all the windows were open. Nowadays, everyone is shut up inside with the coolth.
    Many years ago my then next door neighbor used to have pool parties. He was very fond of stereotypical Italian music that was played on a concertina or accordion. Five hours of da da da da da da da da diddly diddly da da da every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night was way more than I could appreciate.
    This week it will be several nights of firecrackers in various parts of the neighborhood. The fourth of July will be fireworks on the lake and lots of firecrackers everywhere else in town. It will be interesting to see how the new dog handles it. He’s very reactive to noise.

    It’s another perfect summer day here. The dogs and I were out at 6AM and there was a lovely cool breeze. It’s gone now and the sun is getting quite warm.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      It is true about the windows being closed as I do it myself when the central air is on, but decks are now the centers for entertainment. My neighbors all have them, and I can hear conversations. My next door neighbors are Brazilian, and I can hear them perfectly except I don’t understand a word.

      We have had fireworks already as well. Luckily none of the animals care. They sleep right through them. I’ve decided to have a few friends over for a small barbecue on Friday. I actually have a whole album of accordion music-I should play it!

      It is also perfect here. I went out on the deck for a while, and there is a cool breeze. Today feels almost perfect already.

      Have a wonderful day!


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