Monday, July 28, 2014


In my mind, the transition from July to August should mark mid-summer. These are the two warm months of the year -- split them down the middle and you have the first half of summer, then the second half.

In reality, it isn't so straightforward. When you have school age kids, August is all about getting ready for the next academic year and indeed, many schools begin activities in the second half of the month and so August starts feeling more and more like fall.

And when you teach in the fall, August requires you to work, to get ready for it.

Then, too, the world around you changes in August. Harvested fields. A tinge of yellow on some trees, a dusty green on others. Summer has peaked. Perhaps it's all in your mind, but August makes you think about the first drying leaves.

But not this year! Not for me! I am in the thick of summer and it feels grand!


Ed has a slow wake up this morning and so I spend a long while deadheading spent flowers (and admiring those that are showing off for me and you right now).


By breakfast, I've put in a hefty chunk of time in the yard (and racked up some 1000 steps -- which isn't much, but trimming plants is all about stretching, so couple that with yoga like poses and please ignore what the damn step counter tells us).


Our morning meal never changes for me, but it varies for Ed. Pancakes, cereals, left overs, eggs -- these shift according to his whimsey. Oftentimes he'll say "just fruit." Maybe with a big gulp of kefir.


And since I had worked from the early hours, there is no guilt at all in taking my computer, my magazine, myself to the porch now and staying there. Because the air is lightly cool, the sky is partly cloudy and it is just so exhilarating to gently rock and look out occasionally at the world before you. (When I'm on the porch, the hens often congregate right outside.)


But, it also feels significantly decadent. Reading about travel possibilities feels decadent. Being without a schedule this week feels decadent. Not worrying about a syllabus for classes feels ultra decadent.

It can't last, can it, this luxurious world of free time?

We do push ourselves some in the later afternoon. It's been a while, a really long while since I've gone on a longer bike ride with Ed and so we do a rural road loop today -- not more than twenty miles, but with some hills, which is always painful for me and effortless for Ed.

Why do I need to pedal ten times for your one push?
Why do you always ask this when we go biking?
Are there more hills?
I can't recall. Probably. You can walk them.

Why not?
I want to keep up!

A typical conversation I'll have with Ed while trying to retain a sprightly pace on the bike.


I suppose the scenery says it all -- at first, I'm convinced we are just at the cusp of summer.

(bee hives!)

...eventually, I see enough to warn me otherwise.

(harvested fields)

Wheat isn't the most commonly encountered crop here -- we're all about corn and soy -- and so when I see wheat, I am entranced. I grew up in wheat and potato country. I know these strips of gold.


Funny how this season has you wishing for just a bit more time, even as winter has you counting the days until spring. Summer here is that good.

We pick up corn at a roadside stand. It's young and tender and wonderful. Supper takes no imagination.  Whatever you make now is going to be good. I promise. (Just don't overcook it!)