Thursday, September 17, 2009

Last Call

The lingering party guests are milling about; conversation wanes as they look one to the other and glance down at watches; calculating and planning their exits. It’s late and time to leave until everyone reconvenes for next year’s celebration. Most will be welcomed back to the celebration in my flower beds and garden; unfortunately, some of my garden guests were unruly or troublemakers. Like this thing: It’s The Four O’clock That Ate The Flower Bed.

I was a little horrified to take it out because it’s so huge and came from a tiny seed...and I have never grown anything so huge from a tiny seed... Anyhow, The Girl cut it down with the big lopping thingies used for tree branches but she couldn’t dig out the root because it has adhered to the stone wall. Hopefully it won’t return and repeatedly require being cut back. I want to put something smaller in that spot. I must admit it made me smile or laugh whenever I pulled into the drive way. Yesterday, before TG made the first cut I was reminded of this book. The scene I recalled, Beloved was sitting on the porch in a diaphanous white dress, the rest of the family stunned at how large she had become. Sethe sacrificed her family as she cared for Beloved. Beloved soon expands and grows as she existentially consumes the family and the delicate infrastructure is destroyed. Fortunately, the 4 O’clock didn‘t do this to my family; we’re actually doing ok despite a weird summer and my propensity to piss off Ward and create waves and drama. My weird leap to a novel I haven’t read in seventeen years was probably owing to the delicate and old fashioned blossoms which remind me of Victorian tea gowns.

The other unruly guests were the sun flowers. They weren’t specifically the unruly ones; in fact they were statuesque and elegant and they created nice shade. However, their hanger ons followed them. The naughty birds and despicable squirrels knocked the blossoms off and left a big mess and rotting stalks. Sadly, the sunflowers won’t be asked back because of their rowdy entourage. To add insult to injury they haughtily refused to turn to the north and never faced the rest of the garden’s guests.

How lucky we were the squirrels and birds were distracted by the sunflowers and didn’t notice the yummy vegtables. I think we were able to rabbit proof our garden with the ugly chicken wire and making sure the fence was without big chinks or holes. One morning in early June I was surveying my patch and I saw a large hole neatly excavated into my onion berm. I ran over to the garden saying something like: “Oh no you did int!!” and reached for a hoe a la Farmer McGregor; like I actually possessed the courage to bludgeon a rabbit to death. Ewww, that would be messy and cruel. I just wanted to scare it into leaving the yard. They aren’t afraid of the dog because he’s a bit challenged mentally and physically. The rabbit had left the scene of the crime without consuming all of the onions and we managed to fix the fence. The enclosure came about because Kip loves tomatoes and we didn’t want to lose our entire crop to the greedy dog. We were very fortunate our crop wasn’t a victim of Blight which destroyed tomatoes on the east coast. It was certainly wet enough this summer.

Indian summer is proving to be a textbook example of what Indian summer is supposed to be. Every day has been dry and temperate beginning with early morning ground fog and mist burning off by lunchtime. Today we went for a walk in one of the many large and older parks near downtown. Surprisingly, the trees aren’t beginning to turn there but some are almost completely golden as you go to the east of the city. The sun has shifted to a different place and I am driving to work in half light. I knew this would happen; summer would not stay forever. In some ways I’m glad for this; I would not want the Ground Hog Day syndrome; perpetually nursing Beav after he had his wisdom teeth out with the odd but not unheard of Fentanyl reaction of inconsolable crying; repetititively calming my oldest son after his father told him he was no longer welcome at Alexis house; nor do I want to constantly revisit the tumultuous emotions of a child leaving home for the military. Hell, I don’t ever want to do any of those things again. But always, everyday the backdrop to these changes and these emotions was summer. The Girl told one of our friends this summer possessed the “best weather I have ever experienced!” I had to agree with her; we had a summer which mimicked a July in Seattle. The upheaval would have been unbearable in triple digit heat. Indian summer is God’s gift to me before I am handed the short days of winter. I remember when Wally was about two; I called A, tears in my voice because it was 4:45 and I had to turn on lights because it was so dark outside. Now it is a ritual for me to note the time lights are necessary afterDecember 21st as a way to usher in hope for summer.

A few weeks ago, I pondered the whole back-to-school feeling this time of year gives many of us. I think this man says it best. The desire to grasp onto September is great but if I hold onto September Wally would never finish in Georgia or come home to us for a few days in December. For the first time I can ever remember I am looking forward to Winter.

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