I will not soon forget the summer. I have been on the rabbit patch a bit more than a decade now and have never seen a summer the likes of this one. Yesterday, the weatherman claimed that this location was the hottest in the state-and I believe it with all my heart. It was reported that it had been 116 degrees with the heat index . I hope the burrows in the rabbit patch are deep where the earth is cool.
I have spent the best part of the last few days inside. This is not my habit by nature, but it is as of lately. I have worked in heat all of my life, but this summer is “a horse of a different color” . It is quite helpful that my interests are many and vary greatly. The confinement of the last few days has led me to do the things I usually do in January. I have been reading and painting old furniture. An old table and a dresser are now “sitting pretty” with a fresh coat of white paint. I am also working on a wooden tray. It is white too, but I intend to paint flowers and a rabbit on it-if the heat doesn’t let up, tomorrow.
I also decided to wash a small collection of glass that I have. I find washing pretty pieces of glass quite therapeutic. Only the summer allows me to spend a Tuesday morning doing such things. There are only a few pieces and they are in shades of turquoise, blue, periwinkle and aqua. There is an old bottle, a bird and even a small antique oil lamp in the collection. One piece came from Egypt and the piece beside it, from an old barn. I washed them all and took great satisfaction in the way they sparkled in the sun that spilt in the window. The sunshine through the glass made a watery rainbow of blues and greens-this I thought is the color of summer.
The latter days of summer are a good time to wash the heavy linens used in winter. A clothes line is quite handy for this. I have a line full of soft blankets now, that were hung in the early morning , when the day was new and the scent of the mimosa filled the air up. The practice of using a clothes line is fading fast-and with it will go the pleasure of sleeping on line dried sheets. Hanging clothes out is a peaceful task-and you are liable to solve a problem or say a prayer while doing so. I have done both.
I will make pimento cheese today . Summer is an especially good time for that. It is a simple process and I may think about Christmas while making it. Cash and Christopher Robin will lay in front of the window fan hoping that I will cook chicken in some form next-and if I do it will be in the morning, only requiring warming up later. The only exception is if it is fried. When I was a child, my grandmother and every other woman in the county cooked on summer mornings. We had a big dinner and a good rest in the middle of the day. When dinner was over, a table cloth was spread over the entire table til supper when a fresh pan of biscuits and dessert was added to the meal. We did not have an air conditioner in those days-of course it wasn’t as hot then. Food was mainly fresh without preservatives also, but we stayed alive anyway.
I find that sometimes processes themselves can be of great value. I have never said a prayer when putting clothes in a dryer. Soon enough, summer will end and the details of life will increase at the rabbit patch . Then and always, I will be glad for the memory of a Tuesday morning spent washing little glass objects in shades of blue and seeing the color of summer because of it.