May Thoughts

“The library in summer is the most wonderful thing because there you get books on any subject and read them each for only as long as they hold your interest, abandoning any that don't, halfway or a quarter of the way through if you like, and store up all that knowledge in the happy corners of your mind for your own self and not to show off how much you know or spit it back at your teacher on a test paper.”  ― Polly Horvath, My One Hundred Adventures

There are many things that mark the approaching of summer. For us, it is sweeping the back deck, lighting the BBQ and turning on the AC. For me, specifically, it is bringing my laptop outside, arranging myself to avoid the glare of the sun, and catching up on blogging.

I anticipate all the wonderful adventures I’ll have while sitting on the porch, a stack of library books nearby and a cold glass of tea at my elbow. Late spring and early summer are also the only time of year that I bother to light up a cigarette and accompany it with a chilled glass of quality wine. (Alas, having not planned ahead today, I am making due with Turning Leaf!) By the way, I wouldn’t decline a nice cigar and a glass of port were you to offer them.

My front garden is already a visual banquet, spring bulbs giving way to early summer delicacies such as woolly lambs ear and tantalizing dianthus blooms, and bleeding hears mounding over the beds edges as haphazardly as a toddler with a crayon and no sense of “staying in the lines”.

Our front garden, late spring 2012

The finches, cardinals and sparrows have awakened me with morning song for a month. Now robins and woodpeckers have added their voices to the chorus. All yield their place to evening frogs and crickets. Fireflies are soon to come, lucibufagen-crammed coryphées joining nature’s ballet and imbuing the humid air with tantalizing yellow sparks.
photo courtesy of

The carpenter bees have returned, beautiful queens probing my deck posts and beams in search of a nesting place. I adore these placid gems. Their buzzing is hypnotic. They’ll keep the wasps at bay. It takes a lot of effort to piss off a carpenter bee (they’ve survived the slimy confines of Nutmeg’s mouth without offering a sting).

Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica), our porch 2011

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”  ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I do not know what summer will bring. I would like for it to be productive. I’m in search of a job. I’m part of the Air Force auxiliary (a wonderful organization which I shall not name here lest I represent it in a bad light) and I serve as part of a flight crew, a mission observer during search and rescue missions. This is our busy season. Its public service and I volunteer myself gladly for it. It allows me to enjoy a bit of aerial photography, my favorite hobby. It does not pay, however, and our funds are especially tight this year.

I have only one “honey do”project to work on, thanks to those limited funds. We’ve taken up the carpet in the hall and on the stairs and I intend to repaint everything using leftover paint from our kitchen renovation. I’m absolutely tickled that the contractors left the cans with us.

We’ll also scrap together some spare cash to purchase a few garden goodies. I can’t live without my Roma tomatoes, banana peppers and zucchini. These I’ll grow in pots on the deck, tending them with love and water and fanatically checking them each day to see if anything has grown large enough to eat. Nothing is as satisfying as plucking a juicy tomato and eating it raw seconds later.

Hungarian (banana) pepper bloom, our porch 2011

The sun has set and the frogs have made their locations known.  The moon will be close to the earth tonight and we’ll have a lovely treat if the clouds slip away.  I’ll join Better Half shortly and we’ll perhaps put on a movie.

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