Saturday, July 28, 2018


You know the old saying that you don't appreciate something until you lose it? I'm finding the flip side to be equally valid: you don't appreciate the beauty of something until you get it back.

Today, as Ed and I eat breakfast on the porch on a most gorgeous Saturday morning, we listen to the songs of the birds, the clucking and swishing of chickens, and the faint sound of Ella Fitzgerald, who continues to sing as part of an old mosquito trap set up, and it becomes so clear that the construction noise this spring and summer has robbed us of the tranquility that this season has always delivered, along with the grand pleasure of a breakfast outdoors.

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I had already cleaned the garden (down to 365 spent blooms today); note how early in the morning, most new flowers are just slowly opening.

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(The side garden by the parked cars: it's where Stop Sign eats and where the young chicks like to hang out...)

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... And I'd fed all the chicks and cats and cheepers  that come begging each morning and now both Ed and I are enjoying just being in each others company. We're about to embark on our various tasks and adventures, but today is just ours.

When you have a totally leisurely breakfast on the porch, your gaze drifts this way...

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... and that way...

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...and all that idle gazing draws your attention up, way up, to the coating of pollen that has cast a film over the glass roof. We'd hoped that the rains would wash it off. They haven't.

And so for the hour after breakfast, Ed and I attack the glass panels. I slip and slide outside scrubbing them, Ed fills bucket after bucket with water and passes it up to me.

My next moment on the porch is just heavenly. And the sky, as seen through the now clean panels, is the color of bluebells.

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A midday garden is always rather stark and the golden yellow tones dominate. But I never tire of it. The same garden can cycle through a hundred different images in the span of twelve hours. And each image is astonishingly magnificent.

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In the evening, the young family is here for dinner, along with my daughter's friend who really is like family. Snowdrop joins us in munching a bit before the meal is ready.

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We eat dinner on the porch, in the evening light, mellow and sweet, comforting, soothing.

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(Don't you think little Sparrow is admiring the utterly clean glass roof of the porch?)

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Dinner is done. Some of us linger on the porch, others retreat inside, playing a little, straightening up some, enjoying a moment on the couch....

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It's a beautiful evening.

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When the young family leaves, Ed and I set out for a quick shopping trip to the big box store. He needs a pair of shorts that fits. And clip-on sun shades for his glasses. And the advice of his sweetie in the purchase of said items.

On the ride back, we glance up and see the moon. The full blood moon was to have been yesterday, but you could have fooled me: it is as big and as red as I'd ever seen it. The air smells of a sweet summer night. All is calm. Breathe in, exhale. Smile.