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The Return of Summer

August 20, 2013
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.


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