We have had some lovely summer weather this year in the Northeast. Aside from one heat wave where temps reached over 100° in Boston (a heat wave officially here is 3 consecutive days over 90°F), overall it's been quite comfortable - unusually so after last summer's ungodly heat, and given the ungodly heat many other places in the country have been dealing with.
While D and I have been able to enjoy a lot of this lovely weather, we've had a tough summer healthwise. My back went into spasms in late June and it took 2-3 weeks to really be comfortable again (it's still healing, but much much better). And just as my back's recovering, D got sick - really sick, like liquid-diet and antibiotics sick - and we had to cancel this week's trip to Quebec City. I'm not sure we'll be able to reschedule this year, given other things on the docket, including the dental surgery D needs (not to mention minor gum surgery I need). Oy.
So I canceled a couple of my days-off this week and worked instead, having lost some 6-7 vacation days to lying uselessly on my back a few weeks ago, but I took today off to catch up on various chores at home. I'll work on Monday, but on Tuesday I have a new sofa due to arrive to replace my ratty lumpy 24-year-old sofa-bed (I actually put a deposit on another sofa in March, which never came and the company is now in Chapter 11... my credit card company issued me a "temporary" chargeback, but hopefully they'll recover what they need to refund me entirely. sigh. This time the sofa I bought is "in stock" for delivery within a week!). It would have been nice to have the new sofa sooner, when I was laid up on my old one for several days, but it'll be so nice to have it when it does come. Staycations are so much nicer on good furniture.
[I think this is a lily of sorts; click above for larger or here for close-up]
The archaic root of the word harbinger means "one sent ahead to arrange lodgings." When I took this photo of one of the first crocuses in my front yard yesterday, I didn't see the little bee that found a home in this early blossom, supping at its provisions of nectar.
Since the switch to Daylight Savings Time last weekend, the day has afforded an extra hour of light at just the right time so that I can get home from work and take a walk before the sun sets. It makes all the difference in the world when you're on a 9-5:30 work schedule. To be able to slough off the workday's demands and explore the neighborhood again on foot in the waning daylight is a treat, a welcome transition time of carefree wandering before the evening's tasks.
This Sunday evening marks the official start of Spring here in the northern hemisphere. And for those of us who suffered through a tough winter here in New England, it's the start of a much more hospitable season.
The blizzard on the east coast last weekend caused a lot of headaches for travelers. My flight back from Detroit to Boston on Sunday was canceled, luckily before I left for the airport. Delta automatically re-booked me for Tuesday morning, which was great until I realized they were sending me through Minneapolis and instead of an hour and 15-minute flight I'd be traveling all day. At least I wasn't stuck in some airport sleeping on the floor. I made it back -- and in style as they bumped me up to first class from Minneapolis. Meanwhile, I got to spend a couple more days with my father, which was nice. But I'm glad to be home.
As August turned to September, with nights noticeably earlier and cooler, the hydrangeas have suddenly begun to color. From their summer white pompoms they've turned cherub-cheek pink but will soon deepen into a sultrier rose before drying and browning like old love letters in a box. I'm tempted, not having hydrangeas in my own yard, to sneak out some night with shears and steal some home to dry. But it's still early. Maybe I'll scope out a fat shrub somewhere off the beaten track to harvest from when they're a bit more ripe.
Anyway, it's nice to see something rosy like the patch of pinkening hydrangeas I saw this afternoon when I escaped from the ennui of the office to take a stroll in the neighborhood. I am fighting growing disinterest in my job, heavy on drudgery. Today we scoped out the price of extracting the life out the program we won an award for last year but someone has decided must be stripped of human feeling (ie, the quality of life content, as in "this medical condition causes me great distress" kind of information that brought it to life and put some pink into the dry content). Sigh. But it's a good job in a bad economy, so I must buck up. With walks out in the sunshine as needed.
I was admiring my next-door neighbors' peach tree this morning, bursting with ripe heavy fruit. The tree is just outside my bedroom window, one of the first things I noticed when I moved in last summer - a treat to have a yard with trees next door rather than another house in this relatively densely packed suburb. It almost guarantees a bit of quiet for my sleeping quarters, save for the birds.
After a couple of hot and humid days, this morning is cool and fresh, so I could open the blinds and windows. And thus, admire my neighbors' tree, now lush with peaches. Then I saw another admirer running off with a ripe peach. Well, I suppose the neighbors couldn't possibly eat them all themselves.
The pooches at the Pampered Pooch like to sit in the front windows watching the goings-on. It's an amusing distraction when I'm sitting at the light in the morning on my way to work. I never have my camera then, but on Tuesday evening I got stuck at the light on my way out to meet friends for dinner - perfect opportunity to snap a pic of a cooperative pooch (and the ever-cooperative stuffed companion), no doubt waiting for his/her ride home.
I can hear my mother's voice singing, "How much is that doggie in the window?..." I was a very shy child, but there was my voice on tape singing bits of it with her.
I had dinner on my porch tonight so as not to miss one ounce of rare sunshine. Then I went inside to strap on my walking sandals and heard it - pouring rain, thunder. But it passed. This June's seamless drizzle is finally breaking apart into bits of sun and bits of rain , which must be a good sign. Right?