Summer entered the Pacific Northwest yesterday, specifically the Portland, OR area, ablaze in sunlight and blue sky. Of course, lest we’d forget our geographic location, the occasional cloud covered the sun. Yet, that did nothing to deter the soul from dancing.
In reading yesterday, I came across a poem by William Wordsworth that spoke to how I felt with summer outside my doorway and what memories of its gala arrival would mean for me months down the road. Continue reading “Hello Summer!”→
As I look out my windows, I see the fading colors in our garden spots.
I’m not ready. You read that right—I’m not ready.
The spring and summer blooms have kept my spirits high as I glanced from a window or stepped to our back deck. And on those days we’ve headed out in the car to whatever appointment I had, there was the front garden by our drive. Bright coneflowers, cosmos, and marigolds, and early on the blossoms of strawberries.
But it is only proper that with the season winding down and shadows growing longer, autumn is nearby. There are other colors waiting to take center stage. And with these changes come the fading of summer colors.
As Thoreau so wisely says, we must accept the changes and resign ourselves to what each change brings.
Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
— Henry David Thoreau
Thursday took us back to summer temperatures with a high at 90. The beauty of the Pacific NW is at 8:10 pm the temperature has dropped to 82 and will continue to drop during the night. By 5:00 am, it will be 65.
It’s been a gorgeous day ending like all summer days. The light is beginning to change. Sunlight begins to fade bringing sunset to us.
We’ve come in from dinner out at a popular burger place. I mentioned a few days ago I was craving a good old-fashioned (i.e. not fast food) burger. Before heading out, I take my second get-into-the-Mustang-convertible-and-get-back-out without problems test. This time I passed!
After burgers and sharing fries and a huckleberry shake, we took a nice drive. I love the feel of the wind as we head down the road. I love even more the smell of the air as we get out into the country. This is my first trip this year in the convertible, and it was so refreshing and freeing.
Grateful am I for beautiful summer weather and the plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. And for an old-fashioned burger with my hubby in our Little Red ‘Stang.
In early June, I shared a post with you about a surprise in our garden area. The cosmos plants have grown quite a bit but show no signs of blooming, yet.
Not long after the cosmos started growing, a few other plants with a somewhat different leaf showed up. I mentioned to Bob they looked like marigolds. He responded that the seed packet he picked up said cosmos. If we had marigolds growing, it meant someone made a mistake at the factory.
It appears someone made a mistake. We have our first marigold blossom plus quite a few buds just waiting to unfurl their petals.
At least life hasn’t offered us any bigger surprises than these.
As I sit here in my hoodie and long pants, the question on this first day of summer remains, “Summer begins?” For days, we’ve been in a weather cycle of cool temps, scattered drizzles, and no sun until mid-afternoon. Does that sound like summer?
Granted our daisies are blooming. Today Bob found buds on some of our hostas. The geraniums are loaded with blossoms. And believe it or not, our Christmas cactus now residing on our back deck is setting buds. The plants obviously believe summer is here.
I’m sorry, but it doesn’t feel like summer yet. Not long ago we had temps in the upper 90s. We turned our furnace off. The mornings have been crisp and cool, so I’ve kickstarted the furnace to take the edge off.
Summer comes every year. I know that in my mind and heart, but I want to see it, feel it, be outside in it. And in August or September, I’ll likely be begging for a cool down.
Oregon is HOT in our neck of the woods. Usually, summer days aren’t filled with temperatures nearing 100 or humidity starting the day at 70% or more. We’re accustomed to average summer temps in the low to mid 80’s, low humidity, and nights cooling down into the 60s or even high 50s.
Mornings now you can hear the sounds of neighbors doing what you’re doing–opening windows and doors to let the cool morning air in. At our place, in Meyers Woods, this will keep the house cool throughout the day with the help of shade from our old growth firs and cedars.
Many older homes in the area have no air conditioning. Oregonians are somewhat complacent thinking that global warming isn’t going to affect the Pacific NW. Best we think again, dear neighbors!
But global warming and current days are not my subject matter today. I want to talk about…
Back in the day, the 1950s.
There was no evidence of air conditioning in any of the homes on our block. None anywhere we knew about. But people fared the summer weather without a hitch.
I grew up in Nashville, TN. The south offers a hot summer for the most part. The humidity can often be as high as the temperature. Mosquitoes are everywhere.
Unlike Oregon and the NW, summer nights in Tennessee didn’t cool off much. But I didn’t mind. I counted lightning bugs and stars until Mama or Daddy called us at bedtime.
Monday was wash day at our house, and Mama laundered sheets and pillowcases. A favorite activity was handing her the clothespins, or some call them clothes pegs, for hanging the wash.
Going to bed with air-dried linens made summer nights a delight!
Hot Nights Meant Bedtime Delight.
Windows were open as far as they would go. Hopes were high for a slight breeze or a hefty draft blowing through.
I could hear Mama using the Coca-Cola bottle she used to dampen clothes for ironing. This signaled the preparation of cooling sheets, as she called them, for the long, hot night.
Each sheet was dampened as much as she felt necessary to keep us cool enough to fall asleep. When she brought the sheet to you, Mama carefully laid it over you spreading it to its full size.
Now the hope for breezes was at its peak. And as soon as someone felt a breeze, the whole house knew–there was either a long “ahhhhhhhh,” or a giggle, or one big yawn.
It was time to fall asleep and dream dreams.
What memories do you have hot summer nights?
Perhaps there’s something you’d share with us in the comments below, or perhaps this is good fodder for a short writing piece you’ve been putting off.
Either way, my hope is that it’s not so hot where you are that you can’t sleep! Sweet dreams!