Monday, June 6, 2016

ALMOST SUMMER









Summer HEAT has a way of smothering AND enhancing a lot of the glories of the season, like watching those tiny green tomatoes swell just from sunrise to sunset, gaining in girth and juice and promise, and of course:   Home Grown Tomatoes---totally a Reason for a Season.

SWimming is good, and ice cream, and coldcold watermelon, and dancing in the sprinklers, as well as sleeping with not much on but a fan.  Popsicles, bike rides, A/C, cold wet washrags just wrung out of the ice chest and slapped on the back of your neck at the lake.



 Wide-hipped funeral parlor fans and a big old umbrella at a ball game.  Little kids giggling as THEY race in and out of the sprinklers, the hose, the front door nekkid, with those joyously-scared, gleeful screeches. 

A big gray weathered picnic table in the shade, home of cookout suppers, watermelon cuttings and fish fries for three generations---all spread up with the usual Summertime fare of whatever each family is partial to, potato-salad being the closest-guarded secret in the bunch.

That dusty corn patch with the brand-newest ears and the crackly-smitttch of the husks as you peel them back to expose the rows of milky pearls.   The eager hunt when little children find out the secret hiding places of radishes and carrots, spotting the tiny gleams of colour beneath the flourish of stem, and unearthing them with the fervor of an Easter Egg Hunt.  We’ve had so many standing in glasses and jars of water in the fridge we didn’t have room for the milk and eggs.  

 Driving along country roads with the windows down, feeling that unmistakable shift in coolth when you pass a grove of trees between you and the sun.   You can just feel the trees breathe their coolest breath onto you from those untraveled havens.     Flowin' wells with the coldest, clearest water on earth, and even if you don't want a drink, you sure want to take off your shoes and let it gush over your feet. 


A big old hand-crank freezer out in the shade on a Sunday afternoon, when the city cousins come out from town, ready to look down on your country raisin' and remote location, and leave wishing THEY lived near a swimming hole, good climbing-trees and all those watermelons, right there to choose from.

The tiny translucent golden thumb-plums and the huge musky purple ones swelling with a surfeit of Summer juices, and the blackberries and dewberries plumping in the bramble, enough to make braving the thorns a lesser thing than leaving all that sweet temptation for the birds.


The look of Southern shade on a Summer afternoon, as the shadows across the lawn grow longer and more ancient, somehow---something about the dying of the day brings shadows totally different from morning shade, with the sun-slants and more lazy colours---we'd know what time it was anywhere. 

 The scent of a backyard grill or a real barbecue pit, sending up the scent of smoky pork like incense to Heaven.  I've never done it, but I'll bet sitting up all night in a rattly aluminum-and-weave  foldin' chair beside that big brick pit or fancifully-shaped-and-painted rig, as a whole pig relaxes in the heat and becomes succulent and tender, falling apart like shattered roses---I'll bet that experience, with the attendant cooler of beer, the Vy-eenies and crackers and hoop cheese and the tales told again and again, to the same dear folks as last time---doesn't that seem a thing for a Bucket List? 


And a little PS to today's post, to add some from a TEXAS blogger---bj at Sweet Nothings.

   
You've just described my childhood...I would throw in lightening bugs, caught, stuck on our skin, never realizing it was their "insides" holding them on ....all the neighborhood kids playing in the water when the city was cleaning out fire hydrants..
throwing down an olden quilt on a patch of grass and watching the clouds change from minute to minute...sidewalk skates and the famous key on a ribbon around your neck...
sitting on quilts atop the ice cream freezer while a cousin turned the crank...swinging on the front porch swing...watching Daddy as he made us tire swings..picking blackberries with Mama warning us to watch for snakes..going out to the garden, sitting down in the dirt and eating strawberries right off the plant, never thinking of washing them....the list goes on and on......and on.

16 comments:

BeachGypsy said...

Mercy that is just eloquently beautiful! Loved it. You are one of my favorite writers.

Latane Barton said...

Oh my gosh... you just took me back to a time of perfect peace, for tranquility when things were simple, uncomplicated, a joy to just be living in that time and place. It was marvelous to just be able to pull all those things from the memory bank. Thanks for that moment.

Patsy said...

The bad and the good of living where we do now.
Can't plant tomatoes, can't think of anything more
but sure I will!! I have not seen well water like that sense
I was a child. Sure brings back happy memoirs.
Hoping all is well with you.

donna baker said...

Perfect post of summer days and nights. Hope you are enjoying it all.

Chronica Domus said...

You make me long for a nice hot summer with your beautiful descriptions of some of the highlight you experience with the heat of the season. Unfortunately, here in the Bay Area we get none of that, thanks to our marine layer which puts a damper on things, sigh.

Pleased to read you've an avalanche of carrots in your fridge. I planted a few this year so I'm hopeful we shall enjoy them soon.

bj said...

You've just described my childhood...I would throw in lightening bugs, caught, stuck on our skin, never realizing it was their "insides" holding them on ....all the neighborhood kids playing in the water when the city was cleaning out fire hydrants..
throwing down an olden quilt on a patch of grass and watching the clouds change from minute to minute...sidewalk skates and the famous key on a ribbon around your neck...
sitting on quilts atop the ice cream freezer while a cousin turned the crank...swinging on the front porch swing...watching Daddy as he made us tire swings..picking blackberries with Mama warning us to watch for snakes..going out to the garden, sitting down in the dirt and eating strawberries right off the plant, never thinking of washing them....the list goes on and on......and on.

bj said...

...and may I take a picture from here, a link back to you so that my friends can read this cute cute writing..? Please.. pretty please with sugar on it..?

handmade by amalia said...

Beautifully said. You've reminded me of all the joys of summer, past and present.
Amalia
xo

bj said...

hahhaa....I so love how we bloggers play off each other for memories, ideas and good eats....xoxo
thanks for the shoutout...

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Thank you for the kind comments about my recent tea with friends, I'm so happy you enjoyed it.

Your are quite the writer!

Happy June!

Katherine

GSL said...

That was one beautifully delicious skip down Memory Bramble Path dear Rachel...every single smell, sight, sound, and Rockwellian scene you so perfectly capture resides in my fondest boyhood summer memories.
I have NEVER understood the disgusting allure of Vienna Sausages.

Kathy said...

Oh my, you took me back in time. What a wonderful time it was to be a child.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

You painted some beautiful pictures! "Driving along country roads with the windows down" took me back to doing that very thing and breathing in the unmistakable green smell of acres and acres of alfalfa.

Jeanne said...

Hello dear Rachel, Your comment is a welcome sight. Meeting blogging friends is such a nice thing to do. I never would have thought that I would make dear friends blogging, but that is exactly what happened. A real blessing in the bloggers world.

The summer story is a familiar one for me too. I was only 9 when we moved away from our farm but the memories are very strong. Many years of my life I wanted to move back. It is a simpler life and I loved it so much. There was history there in the home where my mother and her 9 siblings grew up. Even after my grandparents retired, 'home' was always at the farm. I am going to bj's post now.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful and happy post with us today.

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.
Love, Jeanne

Johanna Gehrlein said...

Hi Rachel,
what a wonderful summer you describe. Its like beeing back in childhood.
Thank you also for your visit and the charming comment on my blogpost. I wish you to have a gorgeous summer!
Best greetings, Johanna

Kim S. said...

Oh, my dear! Only you could write such magic! You are making me pine for all the experiences of my LEAST favorite season!