Posted tagged ‘cool days’

“When you are measuring life, you are not living it.”

August 22, 2016

Today is perfect in every way. It is sunny, breezy and dry. To top it off, it rained last night. I heard it against the window, a heavy rain. I don’t know how long the storm lasted but the deck was still a bit damp this morning. The weatherman says today and tomorrow will be beautiful with cool nights, even down to the low 60’s.

When summer starts to wind down, it seems to die quickly. The darkness sneaks in a few minutes at a time until we realize how early we need lights. We don’t think about the cool nights as we’re glad for a reprieve from the hot days, but then the days get cooler. Labor Day arrives, schools open and summer is unofficially over.

I wish summer were longer. When I was a kid, I wanted it to last forever. My days were filled with bike riding, berry picking and sleeping in the backyard. We had picnics in the woods. Bedtime was late. Dinner was casual. The clock had stopped controlling our lives.

I don’t wear a watch. The last time I remember wearing one was in Ghana, probably the one place where you didn’t need a watch. When I taught, tbells started and ended classes and every room had a giant clock so a watch was superfluous. I’m retired. I don’t clock watch unless I have an appointment. I have no bedtime. I go when I’m tired. No alarm jars me awake. I open my eyes, stretch, say good morning to Fern and Gracie at the foot of my bed, figure out what day of the week it is and if I have anything on my dance card then I get up, and it’s time for coffee and the newspapers.

“A cheese may disappoint. It may be dull, it may be naive, it may be oversophisticated. Yet it remains cheese, milk’s leap toward immortality.”

September 21, 2015

Last night was cold, not chilly but downright cold. This week will be cool every day and cold at night, hints of the season to come. My windows were all shut last night, and I was warm and cozy huddled under the blankets. Today I’m wearing a long sleeve shirt. I can’t remember the last time I wore one.

My lawn is cluttered with fallen leaves and bunches of pine needles. The flowers are just about gone, their colors fading away. I always miss color the most when winter comes. It is a drab season. Christmas is winter’s only salvation. It brings light and color back but only for a short while, never long enough. Last year the thought of winter’s darkness returning was too much so I decided to keep color alive. I left two strands of colored lights wrapped around the deck rail. They have been lit every night since Christmas, and every night I marvel at the colors and how brightly they shine. It is the one spot winter doesn’t dim.

I’m getting the urge to bake, something I haven’t done in a while. I snip recipes and save them in a bulging folder. The recipes are in no order so I go through them one at a time looking for the perfect recipe for my mood or for the occasion. My friend is coming over tomorrow afternoon for a few drinks and I’ll make a couple of appetizers. I have been through the file and have three possibilities. I’m leaning towards roasted figs and prosciutto as one of them then maybe a charcuterie as the second. I bought a honeycomb a bit back and I think it would be perfect with the meat and the cheese. I guess I’ve made my choices. Next I’ll make my list.

I enjoy making dishes I’ve never made before. I’ve been lucky: nobody has ever spit any out or been rushed to the hospital. Most times the food disappears, and many times I get asked for the recipes. I always give them. I consider that the highest of compliments.

“Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them.”

July 14, 2014

Last night the weather woman predicted a polar vortex. She was describing summer temperatures in the mid to low 60’s. I guess polar was about the best adjective she could find to describe the cool, even cold, summer days and nights. Right now, though, it is oppressively humid and totally still. I feel closed in, surrounded by the thick air. I swear I can even see it.

Gracie and I are going to the dump today. Sunday, our usual day, is, in the summer, the worst day to go. I know. I’ve been there. Cars are lined up at the gate waiting to get in, and there are no parking spots near the trash or the recycle bins. I just hope the predicted rain holds off. My luck is usually such that just as I’m arriving at the dump the skies open and the deluge begins.

I don’t remember staying in the house any day, especially on a rainy day, when I was a kid. Rainy days were fun. We’d find the biggest puddles, jump in and send sprays of water all around us soaking ourselves at the same time. We’d walk barefooted in the gutters filled with rainwater splashing and kicking water as we went. If the rain was heavy, the water ran quickly through the gutters to the sewers. We’d float leaves or pieces of bark and run along side to watch them fly through the water until our makeshift boats disappeared in the sewer grate. Then we’d go back and do it again.

I never minded getting wet or dirty when I was young. My standards for cleanliness were low. Sometimes I’d even go to bed in the clothes I had worn that day. It just seemed easier. Now I carry wet naps in my bag and in the car. I wear gloves when I pot  plants or when I’m in the garden. I carry a Tide pen in case of spills. My standards now are quite high. I think that is one of the burdens of adulthood.