Monday, August 23, 2010

Golden days

By late summer, the golden rod are a glorious golden yellow, the sumac are beginning to turn a deep russet and the southern most leaves of the maples are shifting from green to orange. Intellectually, I know that fall is still a month away, but I am not ready for it. I am ready to be done weeding and done watching the grass grow faster than Dave can cut it. I am ready for the mosquitoes to be gone. But I am not ready for the end of summer. I need some more of those lazy days that are almost too hot for work, days that beg you to go swimming, days when an ice cream cone with a scoop of coffee ice cream seems right next to paradise. Days when my book calls to me much louder than the weed whacker, the lawn mower or the chain saw.

I remember those days from childhood. Summer recreation was over. No more bike trips to school to make craft projects. Swimming lessons were over; so we could swim during the hot time of the day instead of in the cold mornings and we often took a picnic lunch or dinner out to the lake with our swim suits and towels. But best of all, we could read. Weekly or at the least biweekly trips to the library kept us well supplied with books. I read Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Follow My Leader. I found new authors – Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Stewart, Alistair MacLean, Andre Norton.

As an adult, I know that we still need to find more hay for the sheep. We need to put up fire wood for this winter and that means cutting lots of small, very dead trees whose wood is absolutely dry. We need to can tomatoes, freeze broccoli, and harvest squash and potatoes. I need to look at the farmers market for more of those gigantic onions grown just across the fields from us and store them in the cellar along with the cans of tomatoes and honey and syrup.

As an adult, I know we need to do all those things before the temperatures drop and the cold winds blow, but the golden days of summer have caught me in their hold, and for this afternoon, I lay back with an old Alistair MacLean book and relax.

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