The end of summer usually brings a sigh of relief. It means that the oppressive heat and humidity of summer is almost done and cooler brisker days are ahead. The long dry spells that normally stretch through July and August will be gone. Here in the Midwest we’ve had three summers in a row that have been hot and miserable, with a drought that started in 2011 and didn’t really end until this year. But not this year, 2014 started off with a long cold miserable winter that just wouldn’t quit. It dragged on for months, stomping on spring and kept its hold on Mother Nature forcing late blooms and delayed planting.
This year after winter finally withered away, leaving spring a mere shadow of its self, summer came waltzing in lightly warming the days. We had ample rain early on staving off the need for watering the garden vegetables I planted. The days were really quite pleasant with temperatures reaching the high eighties with a few days in the low nineties, not the normal high nineties with days creeping into the hundreds. This summer has been a very nice gift from Mother Nature. Maybe she felt bad about the miserable past winter.
The down side to a cooler summer meant a late start on the vegetables I planted. It was well into July before my cucumbers, zucchini and squash started bearing fruit. I had lots of blooms but no fruit. I was beginning to think nothing was getting pollinated. I wondered where the bees were. I learned that because of the long hard winter and the milder summer it was taking longer for the ground to warm up enough for hot weather vegetables and fruits, like peppers and tomatoes, to get started. My cantaloupe didn’t start making baby cantaloupes until almost September. I will probably have a ripe cantaloupe about the time of the first frost.
Normally I look forward to the changing colors of fall foliage, but not this year. I want more summer. I want more time outside in the garden. This year when I look out the window and see the leaves starting to turn color I feel a sense of loss and a little sad, like something inside me is shutting down and dying. This was a great summer, one that I spent almost every weekend outside working in the yard and I’m not looking forward to the bitter cold and biting winds. I am not ready for fall not this year.
Maybe I feel this way because I’m coming up on my one year anniversary of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling a sense of loss I don’t know, because I try not to let myself dwell on depressing things. Maybe I feel this sadness because I feel great and am working out, getting back in shape and am afraid of the other shoe dropping. You know the feeling that if you are this happy then something bad is going to happen, just to balance out the happy. Crazy, huh?
Maybe I’m just overthinking it, I don’t know. I just wish that summer wasn’t over yet. I guess I need to move to the Caribbean, it stays pretty nice there all year long.
I have a few nicknames that Mitch has given me over the years, “Speed Racer” when I spun out at the airport and crashed going too fast on wet pavement, or “Dances with Ladders” after my latest tryst carrying a ladder down a hill (it didn’t end well). But today I can add a new nickname to my list. This time it’s the dogs that can take credit for my new nickname.
On our morning predawn walk today things started off as always, Charlie and Orso sniffing and peeing on everything wandering back and forth on both sides of the street making the most of their time and bodily fluids. I was distracted thinking about a million different things, calling the doctor to rewrite a prescription, what I was going to wear to work and what to take for lunch, you know everything that goes on in your head as you go about your day. Granted, it was all my fault, I know better, when walking the dogs in the dark I have to be on guard constantly for critters large and small that might cross our path.
Just as we had crossed the road to head down a long tree lined dark stretch of road, Charlie and Orso either saw or caught the scent of something ahead. I didn’t see or hear anything but they did. Charlie was on my left side and Orso was on my right side, when Charlie jerked around and circled behind me yanking my left arm behind my back to come around and stand next to Orso, both lunging and growling at something. Jerking my arm around behind my back with enough force and the combined force of Orso lunging forward with Charlie meant my body had a choice, dislocate my shoulder or spin around and follow the leashes. In reality what happened was a combination of both. I would like to say that I pirouetted around like a ballerina, but in reality I jerked around lost my balance and very ungracefully ended up sitting down hard in the middle of the street with my feet splayed out in front of me.
The dogs turned around to look me in the face with what looked like embarrassment that I was so clumsy. How could they possibly be tough dogs facing the unseen danger ahead with this woman who can’t even stay on her feet? I on the other hand was not so pleased with their attempt to be guardians of the roads. I stood back up dusted off my behind and made sure nothing was broken or bent. Evidently whatever was out there fled in terror, not so much from the ferocity of the dogs, but because of a small woman flaying around like a madwoman.
My new nickname, “Sits in the Road”.
The Face in the Mirror
Looking in the mirror she sees a stranger
The reflection looking back is no longer beautiful
The eyes that once sparkled now hard and cold
The lips usually curved up in a smile now in a downward turn.
The anger and resentment within seeps out
Hardening the heart and soul
A tear slips down her cheek
As she ponders how she came to this end.
She misses the days past filled with hope and laughter
The excitement of each new day
Now dreading the days and what they hold
She turns away ashamed of what she’s become.
Today started off with early morning storms and the afternoon was cloudy and humid. A perfect day to take my camera and the dogs for a walk. A few late summer wildflowers are blooming away.
The neighbor’s car watched us go by without looking too concerned
Another neighbor’s bumper crop of peppers, I never have this kind of luck with peppers
Their tomatoes are doing even better, I am so jealous. They have a green thumb, I have an Orso.