Summer Begins: The Report

Summer Dog

Today is the first full day of summer. Yesterday was the solstice. I’m okay with time passing. I’m watching the flowers. 

Flower Report

The crown vetch is blooming in the ditches. The bird’s foot trefoil are hugging the edges of the asphalt on the trail. The milkweed is starting, and today I saw the beginnings of the first daylilies.

 Every day I add another flower to my “garden” in the Picture This app.

Yesterday I added Purple-flowering raspberry. It has a pink flower. They call it a scrambler bramble. (Say that ten times fast.)

Purple-flowering raspberry

 It gets what I call “bird berries” —too tart for people but birds love them. 

Gazebo Project

G’s current project is building a gazebo on our lower deck.

She started by taking up the old warped and rotted decking and putting down new. 

This is what it looked like before she started:

Old deck and pergola

The gazebo kit itself was just delivered. Hoo-boy.

UPS Freight

Is there nothing without drama? Boxes came damaged and replacement pieces will need to be ordered and sent. The guy driving the UPS freight truck who delivered the boxes wasn’t careful and dinged up our garage and gouged into the driveway. 

All that will have to be dealt with, and seen about, and written up, and documented, and blah blah blah. First-world problems. 

These are the moments we take a breath and stay zen. These are the moments we practice for. 

Here’s where’s she’s at with this project, currently: The new decking is laid, and it’s sweet. Fred was a big help. Everyone needs a Fred in their life: someone with an engineer’s mind, crazy skillz, and a cheerful disposition.

Decking close up. (It’s composite.)

The Annual Solstice Bike Ride

Last weekend we took our annual Solstice Ride. It was the 13th year in a row for this adventure. It was chilly but beautiful. We left the truck at the Rattlesnake Rock parking lot the day before. 

Last year we went past Rattlesnake to Cedar Run for ice cream and then doubled back for the truck. This year we put the bikes in the truck at Rattlesnake and drove to Cedar Run.

Hah. Every year this trip gets a little shorter. But it’s always quality. This year, 18 miles. The first year, 64. 

And just to be clear: It’s not that we couldn’t do the 64 if we wanted to.

We just don’t want to.

Here is our picture from 2009:

The First Solstice Bike Ride 2009

Here we were on Sunday:

Bike Ride 2022

Time Stress

I am discovering the more I talk to people the more they share my feeling that time speeds up to a sickening degree in the summer. I don’t feel so alone. 

Last night in my solstice yoga class I read Mary Oliver’s The Summer Day.

 It’s inscribed in the Official Yoga Teachers’ Manual that you must read Mary Oliver’s The Summer Day on the summer solstice.

https://www.loc.gov/programs/poetry-and-literature/poet-laureate/poet-laureate-projects/poetry-180/all-poems/item/poetry-180-133/the-summer-day/

It’s the last line of that poem that kills everyone, of course, but last night when I got to the line, “Tell me, what else should I have done?” This, after just telling us she had spent the entire day staring at grasshoppers in a field, I felt a whole new level of kinship with Mary. “Exactly! I wanted to shout to her. “Spend the whole goddamn day watching grasshoppers! Go you!”

Mary really knew a thing or two about slowing down and paying attention. Yes she did.

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