Summertime, Village Style
The sand felt good and hot to walk on, and it was good to see and hear the waves again. When I used to live in that Great Lakes village, it seemed like there was never enough time to take advantage of it. Isn’t that always how it goes?
A little change in perspective can be a good thing
Back at home, the garden was a mess after six untended weeks in May and June. Several mornings of weeding and pruning brought it up to date. We seriously thought about adding the arbor I planned on last fall, but it would involve permits, footings, really heavy timbers, massive holes in the patio, possibly hiring a contractor, an awful lot of money, and more time and aggravation than I feel I have to spare, so we just put up a couple of cheap market umbrellas and it’s enough. The weather this summer has been much more reasonable than last year, so we are having more suppers on the porch, drinks in the garden, and–
–bike rides! I got brave and got a bicycle, first one in years. It’s a cruiser that perfectly suits my plodder style, and I’ve been riding it on short trips around town, even to the public garden to say hello to the turtle and the carp in the pond, and down shady streets to my son’s house. It simply needs a wicker basket on the front, so I’m looking around for one that is roomy. I’ve also been wearing this wonderful straw hat all the time since spring–it stays on my head even in a fairly stiff wind without giving me a headache–so the effect (middle aged woman in straw hat pedaling basic old-fashioned bicycle with a pannier on the back) is terribly English Village, but that’s okay. We’ve been watching Midsomer Murders on Netflix, and it’s beginning to rewire my brain, I think.
The house and the car have required considerable attention so far this summer, as has the family. It’s been challenging sometimes to keep the distractions at bay long enough to get some writing done, which is why there haven’t been any posts here for a while, and why I haven’t been participating in other forums or blogs. But it’s all okay. You’ll see.
The house, in fact, managed to give me the push I needed to get rid of more stuff that had accumulated because I did not want to be distracted by it while I’m trying to get the novel finished. There’s nothing like requiring a roto-rooting (read: sewer backup in basement) to bring nearly everything else to a halt. Steve took care of the plumbing arrangements and the cleanup, then I did some pointing and sorting while he lugged things up to the curb. He cleaned the garage, too, while he was at it. And then he fixed a problem with the gutter on the front porch which was causing seepage in the basement after heavy rains. As time-consuming as it was, there was no doubt it would have been worse a few years ago, when there was so much more stuff crammed into the basement and the garage.
I was so grateful he was taking care of these things while I was dealing with my family, so that I could come home and do things like take a shower, flush the toilet, park the car, etc. We only had one bad day/night, which was the day of the drain backup, because the house on the other end of the block, a hundred-year-old Queen Anne that had a quilting and needlework shop on the ground floor, caught on fire, and it was a bad fire, very smoky. We couldn’t open the windows to let out the smell inside the house. But the family in the house with the fire–they are the ones with real difficulties, trying to salvage what they can of their possessions and business. Our situation is so incredibly trivial.
Today, after our morning bike ride, I will do garden-related errands, raiding some old haunts and nurseries for replacement plants (many of last fall’s divisions and transplants didn’t make it) and hopefully a trellis or the makings of one. I will be wearing a sleeveless mid-calf length dress in a natural color linen printed with a very delicate black floral motif that I found at the resale shop a few blocks away for all of $4.50, like new. Then a bit of reading, writing and housework until this evening, when we will walk down to enjoy the local theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production. This year it’s The Comedy of Errors. Evidently we can bring a picnic, too. Should be fun.