I did not miss the “early service” this morning. I awoke early and well rested. The “early service” for me, is that holy time when the day is born. It is a time of hope and a lot of things seem possible. Often I feel like “Alice” because, I too “can imagine six impossible things before breakfast”.
Mornings are peaceful now, in the early hours. Birds and squirrels are not in the same hurry as they were a few short weeks ago. They are not battling for territory, nor hastily gathering nesting materials. Now, their chatter is relaxing and cheerful. I think the squirrels are sleeping through the “service” altogether.
I have been in Elizabeth City since Saturday. I arrived with very few goals. I wanted Jenny to be able to work on her assignments and of course that meant (delightfully), I would spend time with Lyla. I also was determined to make a peach cobbler for Wills’ mom, Miss Claudia. Miss Claudia is someone that I love to cook for as she is grateful and always praises my effort . . .and she especially loves peaches. In July, when fresh peaches are available, I always remember that. I cooked a cobbler night before last. I had enough to share with Miss Claudia and I took some to Miss Thelma. Miss Thelma declared that peach cobbler was her favorite too.
Another mission, on this visit was to make homemade ice cream. Now I have never had any ice cream, that wasn’t good, but homemade is really the best. My parents gave Will and Jenny an ice cream maker for Christmas, one year and so we used that yesterday to make vanilla ice cream. Today, I want to make “smores” ice cream, as Jenny loves anything in that flavor.
I had never used a modern ice cream maker . . but once, I talked my friend, Jo Dee, into visiting a thrift store with me. It was one I frequented often and I assured her the prices were more than reasonable. Jo Dee said that she was not spending a dollar, but would go with me, in the spirit of friendship. On the way, Jo Dee told me that her budget would not allow foolish spending of any sort. We walked in the door of the shop, just moments later. Jo Dee took two steps and said “I want that, no matter what it costs!” I was shocked and took a look. It was a brand new ice cream maker, never even taken out of the box. Jo Dee, came up with $20.00, in a matter of minutes. On my next visit to Jo Dees’, Rae came along. Rae eats ice cream for supper, quite often. Jo Dee made a batch of ice cream for us that day-and I was “sold” at the first bite. Besides, “July” is as good excuse as any I know of, to make ice cream.
The last few days, have been hot. I can not complain, as it is July, after all. Lyla and I have strolled in the mornings. The shaded sidewalks are hot by mid morning. Even the breeze coming across the “laughing river” is warm and does little to cool a weary brow. We have stayed in the house the last two afternoons. I declare “it is not fit for man nor beast” outside-and that includes the front porch. In light of this, Lyla and I have been taking to walking in the late evening.
In the late evening, the bat colony comes out. There is an old building with offices and apartments on the edge of the river. It has a large chimney, and that is where the bats live. We were taken by surprise, one evening, while watching the moon rise, over the river. We all watched the colony in awe of the number of them and the way they swirled in unison above us. Their silhouettes against the gray sky coupled with a rising full moon , made me expect to see a witch on a broom, streak through the sky, as well. Lyla, not knowing the poor reputation of bats, found the whole affair beautiful. She stared for a good while, and so I did too. I decided the flight of bats was lovely after all. Now, when dusk has set in, Lyla remembers the bats. . .and so we set off for the river.
Dear Diary, In July, I am glad for peaches, and the chance to share them with loved ones. I am glad for peaceful mornings and quiet evenings when the bats come out and the sky becomes a stage. I am also glad for ice cream, really all of the time . . but especially in July.