The return of summer
As a former school teacher, summer meant spending time with my children at the pool, up north, or reading. This summer brought some changes to that mix. My children are older now; my youngest is at work full time and starting back to college at the University of Michigan this fall. My oldest graduated from college and moved an hour and a half away for a great job and career, taking my twin grandson swimmers with them. Now summer means relaxing on my veranda, reading a good book, and watching the world go by.
My veranda. Many of my friends keep telling me it’s a front porch on a 150 year old house. I keep telling them if you call it a veranda you’re happier sitting in the deep wicker chairs piled high in pillows, not a thought in the world, and watching the world slowly go by.
So here I sit on on my veranda. I can hear the laughter of children in the distance. Sounds like a game of tag, or maybe water balloons, gushing water as they splat their enemies on this hot humid second day of summer. A cicada sings its mournful song in a close tree, reminding me that it is humid, as if the trickles of sweat on my arm didn’t already give me that information. A baby squirrel is playing in a nearby bush. Watching the just sprouted leaves move reminds me of my grand toddler twins fighting with a baby tree, thinking they conquered the world. Flower scents surround me enveloping me in a terrarium of overpowering glory. I love my flowers, though my husband thinks they are a waste of money. Will he notice I bought five, yes FIVE more baskets while he is away on his fishing trip? So be it, it is my veranda, my dream land, my escape from the world.
A car rolls slowly by, windows open, no radio, obviously also in deep thought. Are they looking at the neighborhood? The stately mansion caddy corner to me is for sale. I wonder if they’re interested in it. Sure hope they have the money to fix it! A man quickly walks his two dogs on the far sidewalk. He looks like a commercial for Harley Davidson; his dogs are smiling, always smiling teacup Pomeranians. Are these his? His wife’s? The smell of a cookout wafts through the air tearing away my flowery cocoon and reminding me it is close to dinner. Hamburgers? Steaks? Oh what I wouldn’t give for an ear of Michigan corn right now. I can still feel the memory of butter trickling down my chin as I gobble up the local goodness.
The noise of a stretching cat almost escapes my ears as I look over and see a neighbor’s cat in full yawn. He ambles towards me and arches his back as I pet his silky fur. Yes, this is what summers were made for. I look across the street again; my eyes start following some milk weed being carried through the air. Swirling, twirling, and dancing through the air. Whoville! Or maybe not, but I like to think there is such a world, where life is simple and one has time to daydream, embrace the smell of flowers, and think of everything or nothing; On my veranda.