Monday, June 11, 2012

And the Livin' Was Easy

We had the craziest weekend. Crazy as in boring but not uneventful. We didn't plan it that way but hubs back went out Saturday morning so we spent the weekend lifting him off the floor and helping him in and out of a chair. He finally phoned the doctor on Sunday morning (hey, that's why they make the big bucks, right?) and the doctor prescribed Advil and some theraputic swearing. I do like a doctor who maintains his sense of humor when he's phoned early on a Sunday morning. Hubs could handle the swearing on his own so I ran back and forth to the pharmacy for more Advil and heating pads in the hopes of making his 14+ hour flight to India Sunday night a little less miserable. Is it possible to make a 14+ hour flight less miserable? I did my best.

Let's talk about something happy shall we...summertime.
Does it feel like summer where you live because it doesn't quite feel like summer here.

What's summer supposed to feel like when you hit midlife anyway?

As a kid the seasons were so clearly defined...fall meant new shoes, school supplies in recycled cigar boxes, and a game of kickball on the playground at recess. Christmas lights, a fire in the fireplace, and the glorious possibility of waking to a snow day carried us through the short days and long nights of winter until one day we'd pull back the curtains and see my mother's Iris bed decked out in shades of purple. We knew then spring had sprung and it was time to swap our warm coats for windbreakers. We felt the sizzle of summer just beneath the asphalt and we counted the days til she broke free.

Summer meant bare feet. The ice cream truck. No hands on my bicycle as I flew to the neighborhood pool. It was playing Marco Polo and bravely jumping off the high dive. It was grumbling at the sound of a lifeguard's whistle, the universal signal for adult swim.

Summer meant the juice of a watermelon running down my shirt, Kool-Aid sold beside the curb, and corn, dripping in butter, eaten right off the cob. It was sleep away camp, church picnics, and the neighborhood block party. Summer meant taking turns sitting on the ice cream churn as it was cranked by hand in the semi-cool of the garage. It was the sound of a lawnmower and the smell of a charcoal grill.

Summer meant running through sprinklers and spreading your towel on the hot pavement to get warm. It meant catching things...butterflies in a net, fireflies in a mayonnaise jar, neighborhood kids with the words, "you're it!".

The sky felt bigger somehow and there were more stars too. Maybe there were just more minutes in the hours so you noticed. Your mother called you to come in and you groaned, but just a little. You were something that only children can ever be...blissfully tired.

Your mom would say you needed a bath but she would settle for you sitting on the side of the tub as she washed the remnants of a day well spent from your dirty feet.

Sleep came more easily at the end of a summer day. It is one of the things you remember most....the sticky sweat on your neck and the dream in your heart as a chorus of ten thousand cicadas or maybe only one sang out into the night.

What is summer supposed to feel like in midlife?

I think the answer to that question can be found walking barefoot in the grass on a warm June day, counting the stars in a clear night sky, and listening for the song of the cicada through an open bedroom window.

"Then followed that beautiful season...summer...filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


  1. How was your husbands back this morning?

  2. I love your description of the seasons as a child. You brought back so many memories of childhood. Thank you and I hope your husband is feeling better today.

  3. I hope your hubs back survived the trip! Love the season descriptions...they are right on! It was so hot and muggy here....last night we sat on porch and drank some wine...until the mosquitos got the best of me!

    Happy Monday!

  4. Well, yesterday, Hubby came running in and hysterically told me to come help him! Oh no! What could be wrong? He'd gotten the big mower stuck in the mud (too much rain) and needed me to pull it out while he got the car and chain to assist. Between his car assist and me steadying the mower we got it out! I felt so important.

  5. Oh, so many delightful memories you've described to a tee, here, Joyce. I don't know what summer in midlife is supposed to feel like. I'd love to be able to sleep in as late as I want, look cute in a bathing suit, ride horses bareback, and have my mom do all the picnic planning and packing.

  6. I remember those summer days as a child-no worry just being so carefree. Now in midlife-if you were to ask hub he would say it is summer all the time with my hot flashes! Gosh-don't remember Mother or Grandmother complaining about theirs!

  7. I miss those summers so terribly....

  8. Ouch! Sorry about the hub's back. As for summer, you summed it up so well! I don't know what midlife summer is supposed to feel like, but more often than not, I find my mind drifting back to many of those memories that you described...everything just seemed better back then!

  9. What a beautiful post! It dredged up so many memories for me.

    so sorry to hear about your husband's back. How horrid, and then to have to endure a 14 hr. plane trip? YIKES.

  10. summer is about all of those wonderful things you remember and making new ones---delightful post--hope your husband is doing better!

  11. A nice remembrance here, but sorry about your spouses back trouble. I wish I could go on that flight to India with him,no matter what state he is going to. Wish him a safe, comfortable journey.

  12. Oh Joyce! My hubby and I BOTH know the pain your husband was in! It is the worst. From experience, I suggest he wear those sticky heated pads you buy at the drugstore for a few days under his clothes. A chiropractor can really help. (Can he find one in India??). Ice, heat, ice, heat is really best. I have learned that preventative trips as maintenance to the chiropractor is best. I hope he's feeling better but I know it can take a week or so to completely heal. ) :

  13. Summer, Summer! I like it!

    My husband has back issues as well. I never know how to help!

  14. How is hubby doing? Back pain is horrible! I hope he heals quickly.
    I enjoyed your post. The summer memories came flooding back. :) And I still enjoy walking barefoot with the summer sun on my face.

  15. Oh, I'm praying that your husband's back was better before he had to fly but I can't imagine it getting better that quickly. I have had some horrible back pain in recent years and regular visits to my Chiropractor keep me in alignment and out of pain.

    Loved this post, it brought back so many memories for me.

  16. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. We used to play double dutch jumprope under the street light until we called in...and did you ever walk behind the mosquito truck the one that would spray the fog... we never thought once what it might be doing to us... we even drank right from the hose... gosh how did we ever survive? Great memories!
    Hope your hubs is doing better.
    until next time... nel