My summer has officially concluded. I went back to work on Thursday. The children return next week. They will come back with all sorts of tales. Many will have grown remarkably and some will have lost teeth. . .but for now, teachers are attending meetings and cleaning the classrooms.
I came home on Friday evening with plans to start painting the living room, this week end. I had been home a couple of hours, and was already in soft, comfortable clothes, when my son Tres called. Now, Tres is extremely analytical, by nature. He is a researcher, always seeking facts. He is a devoted and dependable son . . and apt to put together lofty plans at a moments notice. He called to say he was about thirty minutes away from the rabbit patch and wanted to pick me up for an overnight stay in Elizabeth City. I leapt into motion as if I weren’t the least bit tired and the living room was not dull at all. I am a practiced packer by now, so I was ready when Tres arrived. The hour long trip went along quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed having a visit with Tres without distractions. When we walked in the kitchen door, Lyla ran to me and tarried in my arms a good while in silence. All was right in the world, I thought.
We woke up on Saturday, and made our way to the porch, before breakfast. By nine am, we knew to expect another very hot day. The humidity was about unbearable. Such weather is every bit as confining as any day in January, so we stayed in most of the day. Around three, a quick shower brought some relief. When the weather cleared, I went across the street to visit with Miss Thelma. I carried her a glazed coffee mug with a rooster on it, filled with strawberries. Miss Thelma is a big fan of pretty glass, roosters and strawberries, so she was quite pleased. I wondered how long it had been since, she had opened a gift. She made as much fuss over the bag, as she did its’ contents. She ate strawberries while we talked. I was glad to find out that she had a ninety year old brother, in Ohio. They talk on the phone at six pm every day. Miss Thelma was very excited about a covered dish dinner at her church the next day. I have already decided to bring her supper, the first chance I get. We exchanged addresses and I am looking forward to having a “pen pal”. The art of writing a letter is all but lost in our modern times and that saddens me.
My cousins and I wrote letters to one another when I was a child. In those days, children did not “idle on the phone” and if you called anyone living just thirty minutes away, it was “long distance”,-and those calls cost beyond the monthly bill. . . .so we all wrote letters, up til thirty five years ago.
Tres and I did not leave on Saturday, as planned. Instead we did not leave til Sunday, not long after noon. Tres had not seen Lyla in a fortnight, and he was surprized that she was talking in sentences. Whenever Lyla lands herself in any sort of trouble, and especially if she is being scolded, she says with despair “Help me Honey Bee!” When she is hungry and her mother says “Ask Honeybee for fruit, Lyla whispers “cake” in my ear on the way to the kitchen. It is wonderful to be a “Honey Bee”.
Sunday was every bit as hot as Saturday. I missed walking around the village, but it was just too hot. I seek to live every day in gratitude for the moments it brings. . .but it is difficult not to look forward to the first day that is cool enough to don a light jacket. When the heat that wilts, outstays its’ welcome, I look forward to autumn.
We left Elizabeth City after three. It is always hard for happy gatherings to end. We always wish we had one more day, no matter how long we stay. On the drive home, I noticed the fields of corn laid golden now and morning glories were growing along the ditch banks. Somewhere, a farmer was mowing a pasture and the scent of dog fennel and rabbit tobacco hung heavy in the air. I remembered sitting on the pasture gate, watching Pop mow the pasture, as a child. I was always melancholy, knowing I would soon have to go back to school, when the pasture got mowed. I did well in school and had a great many friends, but life at school, paled in comparison to life on the farm. . .and you were never allowed to daydream in school.
When we pulled in the drive, I saw that the loosestrife was starting to bloom. My mama gave me this flower before she destroyed her bed of them. She thought they took too long to bloom! They do not bloom til August and she considered that late. It still tickles me to think of that, but I do every year, when the purple blossoms fill up every nook and cranny of the territory.
Tres did not stay long, as he had a long drive ahead of him. I pleaded with him to drive carefully, as I always do. In the evening, a haze muted the sunset. The sun looked like a peach and was quite lovely. The haze thickened, so that only a few stars were visible, when I went out to say good night. . .and the smell of corn, was everywhere.
Dear Diary, I am glad for sweet surprises. I am glad for morning glories and golden fields. I am glad too, for loosestrife-because it reminds me of mama.