Sigh….it’s been hot here this summer
I’ve spent more time indoors than I like. Summer is for gardening, deck coffee and dinners and open windows at night. Nope, nada, not. Being cooped up in summer is just backward! The sun is shining, breezes are blowing, the sky is blue, until you step out your door and feel the sauna that is a mid-west summer. Sweat drips down your back, your legs stick to your car seats, heat radiates from your armpits and you wish you could hide until it all goes away. The cicada noise drowns out the AC exchange in the backyard. Can’t even complain about mosquitos because we’re not outside enough to notice them.
Zika ain’t happening here
Maybe it’s because I’m originally from California, the Bay Area to be specific. Summer meant living in the neighbor’s houses till dinner and even after that we were in the streets playing games, riding bikes and fighting with each other till dark. Occassionally we had a week of 90+ temps, fans came out and moms hollered at us to “CLOSE THE DOOR” every time we left the house. But for the most part, we lived with windows open, screen doors, garages for playing in and a wide and free neighborhood.
My dad was the neighborhood flower king. He grew dinner plate sized dahlias all over the yard. People stopped and admired them as they walked around in the evenings. If you happened to catch him in the front yard he might even cut you a sample, elevating you to instant celebrity status.
Dad’s planting method only considered whether or not a specific plant would do well in a given location. Because of this method, the yard had batches of dahlias everywhere. The side yard, half the back yard and along the side of the neighbor’s yards. We had a rose bed near the driveway and a lawn in the front yard. The lawn was something he wrestled with. Crabgrass and dandelions were evils to be shunned. I remember vividly, being barked at for blowing a dandelion, didn’t try that in front of him again. He would be appalled that we used crabgrass for green lawns in Phoenix. In dad’s gardening method it wasn’t worth mowing and hardly acceptable for bare feet. Don’t EVEN get him going about slip and slides! We had them, used them and loved them. But the tradeoff was listening to dad complain to mom about what they did to his lawn. Childhood memories…
Sunburns were another right of passage for summers
In High School we’d inch our way over the Santa Cruz Mountains in bumper to bumper traffic to the beach. The Boardwalk called to us and we answered. Blankets, baby oil and styrofoam coolers made their way to the sand. We’d play a radio, lay out, cool down in the water and come home lobster red. Listening to mom lecture me on being more careful was lost. She helped cool the burn, doling out vinegar and lotion to help with the pain. Come Monday everyone in school knew you went to the beach over the weekend, life was good. The best part was the “peel and gross out” stage. Sheets of skin shedding at your desk…”Ewww’s” were music to our ears. I made the mistake this week of sunning in a friend’s pool for 3 hours…not a smart move. Now my mother’s words come back to haunt me.
Back to this summer…
Ours was co-opted this year by a wedding. Yes, our youngest is getting married. It’s fun, exciting and we’re all looking forward to it. Originally the plan was for spring of 2017 but in June we had a pow wow and they decided that if they had an affordable place to live they’d trade the larger spring wedding for a small late summer wedding this year. And wasn’t it convenient that mom and dad were thinking about investing in a rental property anyway? Next thing you know we’ve settled on a place, changed all the major players in the wedding event to this year and secured our backyard for the reception. Invites go out this week, sorry if you don’t recieve one, it’s going to be really small. It promises to be intimate and fun, food, dancing and pretty dresses will be involved.
I’m a little sad though, our backyard lost some large pine trees in March to some storms. They fainted dead away, probably from shading the flower beds for 50+ yrs. Fortunately they didn’t do too much damage though the cleanup will be years in the making. It’s caused the garden to bloom ahead of schedule and come wedding day in late September, I’m not sure what will be left. There are giant holes to fill from the root bases of the trees and cut logs sitting around, which will become decor for the party…silver linings and such. But crispy will be the main look of our shade plants this year. Such nice plants too, but such is life. Transitions happen, things die and new things grow. We were thinking about selling anyway.
Lots of work are these yards, ambition is lacking, (Yoda voice).
So what’s the point of all this wordy meandering you ask? I think I just wanted to jot down some memories, think about something other than the media blather and share a little of what’s happening in our lives. I’m feeling nostalgic and melancholy. I’m also feeling the pain of sunburn and frustrated that I haven’t been able to sit on my deck! I hope your summer is going well. That you’ve taken a lovely vacation somewhere nice, had good memories, visits from family or friends and enjoyed the magic of the season.
For me, it’s not entirely over…I’ll keep hoping for a night on the deck with my candle and insect repellant and a good friend to share the bounty of a summer evening under the stars.