“If it could only be like this always — always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe… “

Yesterday I was productive. I did errands, potted a few flowers, cleaned the deck, changed the litter, made my bed, went to the post office and went out for lunch. I wanted applause.

Yesterday was Humid, with a capital H. I put on the AC and left it cranking until this morning.

Today is dark but not so humid so I don’t have that closed in feeling. A small breeze is coming through the north window. Thundershowers are predicted for later.

The spawns of Satan have been eating acorns and tossing the pieces on the deck. I go barefoot so I have been stepping on them, yelping and then cursing. I believe the spawns know exactly what they’re doing. Every morning I clean off the pieces, and every afternoon more are back. That sounds like a plot to me. The red spawn isn’t coming around as much. I don’t think it likes the jet of water I spray at him. Now I just walk out on the deck and he’s gone in a flash. Even though I can’t reach him, I spray in his direction for effect.

My neighborhood is so quiet today. I don’t know where the screaming kids and barking dogs have gone. Yesterday my landscaper took down two dead pine trees from my backyard and hauled away the huge branch which had broken off the large pine tree. The back of his truck was filled. It had been a noisy day so today is a pleasure.

When I think back, I remember my neighborhood was only quiet late at night. During the day there were kids playing in the backyards, mostly younger kids who couldn’t go far and didn’t yet have the independence of a bike. My sisters used to play dolls on the steps right outside the back door. I remember them sitting there, one sitting on a step higher than the other. They talked through their dolls using voices wholly different from their own, voices higher in pitch, doll talk.

The neighborhood would start to quiet down around suppertime. The kitchens of all the houses faced the back yard, and I could hear dishes rattling and snatches of conversation. It was not a neighborhood for privacy. We all shared the back yard and the windows were open all summer. The night quieted as it got older; kids went to bed and I could hear the TV from the house closest to mine. That were always the last sound I remembered hearing on any summer night.

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12 Comments on ““If it could only be like this always — always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe… “”

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    The weather was much the same up here yesterday. The dogs went to the groomer. I managed a couple of walks with them later on but not much else. The house was closed up tight and the AC was on full.
    My neighborhood is quiet this summer, too. The older kids have reached the age of driving and summer jobs. I don’t know where the middling aged kids have gone. No one is outside playing basketball in the street this summer. I almost miss the bonka bonka bonka clang that has been the background noise of my retirement summers.
    Yesterday Piki Dog found a ball of 1000 yards of fine lace weight merino yarn. Needless to say it was a tangled mess when I found it. I spent 5 hours getting it mostly untangled and rewound and probably had another 2 hours of work left. I took a break and came back to find it all over the living room and tangled again. This morning, Piki Dog found it and retangled it twice before breakfast and not because I left it where he could get it.
    It’s a good thing he’s so damn cute but I’d like to know where he hides his thumbs and his wings. How else could he unzip a knitting bag on a table that has no chairs next to it? 🙂
    Enjoy your day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Today is still quiet and a bit chillier. The only noise was the plunking of acorns hitting my deck as the gray spawn ate a few then tossed them. I cleaned them up and now all is quiet out there.

      My street has eight kids 8 and under and two teens I never see. I can’t imagine where all those kids are today.

      Piki Dog probably had a great time with the yarn, and he got to do it twice. I can see it all around your furniture, a tangled mess. I think by the third time I’d scream uncle. Maybe he is getting some help, a conspiracy of sorts.

      Have a great day!

      • Caryn Says:

        Well, yes, he did have help. Rocky knows not to touch yarn however, if the yarn is being used as a dog toy by some other little dog in the house, it is apparently okay to join in the fun.

      • katry Says:

        I had a suspicion that Rocky was a co-culprit in this.

  2. olof1 Says:

    Hot yesterday, hotter today and tomorrow will be even hotter but thankfully a low humidity. The wind will start blowing tomorrow and I so look forward to that! Not even Nova and Sune wanted to go outside for more than a few minutes today, not until the sun started shining on the other side of my cottage. Now Sune sleeps in the shadow just outside my kitchen door.

    I can’t say I’ve done much but I have planted a few plants and I have been watering a lot, in between showers. It’s impossible to even breathe without swetting 🙂

    This neighborhood is almost too quiet, >I rarely hear any of my neighbors, not even those just beside my cottage. They must be the most quiet people in the world. I sometimes hear their baby daughter, usually she’s crying but today I heard her laughing for the first time. I sometimes wonder if they all belong to a secret cult that worship silence 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      I don’t mind the heat so much if it is dry. Ghana was really hot, but it wasn’t humid during the dry season so I could stand the 100˚ + temps. Gracie goes out but my backyard is tree covered so she is in the shade. On the deck she has a shady spot under trees.

      I know what you mean. I was a sweaty mess yesterday when I finished everything. It was a joy to come inside and take a nap in the cool house.

      In the book The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta, there is a group which wears all white, smokes cigarettes and doesn’t speak. It is a bit weird to say the least.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  3. Birgit Says:

    To have a landscaper with a truck would be great. I’m rearranging the small area in front of our house. The green stuff has taken over and I need room for bikes, broken motorbike and trash bins. Still a lot of work to do and the pile of green garbage grows daily. Will ivy haunt me in my dreams now?

    • katry Says:

      Ivy will definitely haunt you. Think of all the possibilities of what ivy might do.

      The backyard is what needs attention. The front yard is grass and flowers-perfect the way it is.

  4. flyboybob Says:

    When I was a kid in Dallas the summers were so hot that everyone stayed inside with their airconditioning going full blast. When we traveled to NYC to visit the relatives in The summer the sounds of my grandmother’s Brooklyn neighborhood waffled in to the bedroom through the open windows.

    My dad was a traveling salesman and had an air conditioner installed in his 1953 Buick. Those air conditioners blew ice cold air from clear plastic tubes that emanated from the package shelf. My dad kept the temperature in the car so low that my mother sat in the front seat wearing a sweater. While being stuck in traffic on the lower East side pedestrians were laughing at my mother as she sat in the car with the windows rolled up in the summer of 1953. They had never seen an air conditioned car.

    Hot again today.

    • katry Says:

      We didn’t have air conditioning. Some of the movie theaters did, but nowhere else that I remember. My mother kept the house dark which made it a bit cooler, but sleeping was difficult.

      I don’t know when I first rode in an air conditioned car, but I know my parents didn’t get one until the 70’s. Now I can’t imagine a car without AC, and I love the central air in my house though I haven’t had to use it all that much this summer.

      Nice day today and a cool night right now.

      • flyboybob Says:

        AC was not widespread even in Texas until after WWII. The summer of 1953 an 1954 were unusually hot and dry. We had moved from NY in April of 1953 and by June my parents bought our first window AC unit. I remember the summer of 1954 because temperatures in August would reach as high as 109. We spent every day in August in a city swimming pool.

        Water was rationed and people were buying bottled water to drink and use in cooking because the city water has so many chemicals that a scum would form at the top when you boiled the water. The city of Dallas drilled several water wells and people lined up with their water jugs daily to get potable water from the wells. Last summer was almost as hot and dry as the ones in the early 50s. The most number of days above 100 in Dallas was during the summer of 1980.

      • katry Says:

        We may have a cold, snowy winter, but we have more wonderful than not summer days. The temps this week will be in the 70’s every day and down to the 60’s at night. That is ideal for me. I lived your climate in Ghana and the 2+ years were enough of temps every day over 100 during the dry season. Water was rationed then as well. I took bucket baths every day. I became adept at using only a little water to get clean.

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