Temperatures have been rising steadily . . .til now it is hot. Even the steady breeze is too warm to afford any comfort. There hasn’t been a drop of rain in a fortnight, and so the lilies are complaining along with the roses. The grass at the rabbitpatch hasn’t grown an inch, since my neighbor, Susan mowed it two weeks ago. What a saint Susan is!
With “summer weather” showing up early, we cut the air conditions on, in the old farmhouse. This is dreadfully early for such measures, but the hateful southern humidity is just an unbearable heritage. The forecast calls for rain and cooler temps in the next few days, so hopefully, this is a short lived affair.
A pleasant thing happened on Thursday. Tres came home! He is here for just a few days, but long enough for me to make a supper and for Mama to make his favorite cake. We had a small belated birthday celebration at Mama and Daddys’. And in the midst of it, rain came. It was really a quick thunderstorm, but we were all happy about it. Cool air came with it and what a difference that made. I drove back to the rabbitpatch at dusk, when fireflies were on the wing. What a pretty picture it made, to see their flickering shine in the evening mist. I came home and cut that air conditioner off.
If things had been different, I would have taken Friday off. Tres had spent the night, after all.
Friday passed quickly. I left just after school, for Elizabeth City. The sky was a threatening shade of blue and now and then a shower fell for a mile or so. The young corn, in the fields held their blades tight, for this is the way, corn begs for rain.
Along the way, my friend Rae called. Rae and I have been friends for more than thirty years, which shocks me to think about. When a friendship endures for that long, you really “understand” one another, deeply. Several years ago, Raes’ whole life changed in a flash. First, her job ended – and a month later, her husband died , suddenly. Both of her sons had recently married and so Rae was a widow, dealing with an empty nest, all at once. . .and no job to distract her. I am sure those were the bleakest years, for her. Still, my friend trudged on, til today, when she called to say she was married … . .and happily. I smiled the whole way to Elizabeth City.
Not too long, after I arrived at the Riverside Village, by the “laughing river”, a thunderstorm struck. Lyla and I listened to the storm, safely snuggled in bed. Like me, Lyla loves rain-and a thunderstorm.
The next morning, was quite cool, such a shock from the last week. There were morning showers, but by noon, the sun was shining. It was as lovely day, as I have ever seen. Will and Jenny were attending a downtown festival and so the bright day was perfect, for that. I had a stroll planned for Lyla and Brynn, but alas, Lyla fell asleep and just before she woke, so did Brynn.
On Sunday morning, I made biscuits for breakfast. With the cool weather, lingering, Will and I sat on the porch. Somehow, we started talking about books. Both of us agreed, that with all of the modern ways to read, holding a book and turning the pages, remains our favorite form, of the pastime. Our favorite books, sit on our shelves, and become like old friends , over the years. I will read a good book more than once.
Back, when I was young, and the world was safer, Mama would drop my sister and I off at the local library, while she shopped for groceries. Delores and I took the library as serious business, and observed the quiet policy, and we were very careful to return books to the correct place on the shelves. After we had checked out our selections, we would wait for Mama under the huge magnolia trees, just outside the door of the library, reading our books. To this day, the innocence of those happy days, moves me to tears.
Lyla and I carried Miss Thelma some biscuits while they were still warm. After a short visit, Lyla and I headed to the grocery. This was to be a short visit, and though I knew this full well, I dreaded leaving. The time had gone cruelly fast, but I consoled myself that I would be afforded greater liberty soon.
I left in a light rain that quickly turned to a blinding rain. When it started hailing, I turned back. It was a short but perilous journey. The crashing hail was deafening and I couldn’t see but an arms’ length, beyond me.