Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Signs o' Summer

While perusing blogs via my Google Reader (what a blessing that free reader is!), I ran across Julie's post about May and the coming of summer. She asked for what signs of summer we see in our lives, and I wrote her quite an extended comment. I though that I may as well post it here as well, with the same question: what signs of summer do you see in your "neck of the woods"?

Here's mine:

Over the past few days, the temperatures in Southern California have soared into the high nineties and low hundreds in the inland valleys and mountains. Last weekend I dragged out the tall oscillating fans, and with my youngest’s help, cleaned the blades, the “caging,” and the stands, and we placed them strategically in the living room and kitchen areas. One activity in our home always signals the coming of summer: stripping off the flannel sheets and down comforter in warm, soothing colors of cream, evergreen, and burgundy and pulling out the crisp, cool, white cotton sheets edged with delicate eyelet and the thin cornflower-blue and white Irish chain quilt that provides just the right heft for summer sleeping. Cornflower pillow slips cool my cheeks compared to the warm fuzz of the burgundy flannel I’ve been sleeping on since October.

We’re back to watering the flowers daily to avoid losing them in the heat, usually in the cool of the evening just before sunset, even if there is a chance of a stray mosquito bite. A friend gave us an armchair and table she didn’t want, so our dog-eared wicker sofa is now on the porch, its pillows protected from the neighborhood cats (and any other critters wandering on our porch, especially the cheeky squirrels). The sun doesn’t toast the wicker sofa until very late in the afternoon, so it will be a pleasant place in the morning and early afternoon to settle with a book and a tall, sweating glass of raspberry iced tea. This daydream can come twoo ("true," that is, Princess Bride style) as soon as school is finished on June 13 (but who’s counting the days (or hours), right?). I hope to spend many hours on the porch this summer, writing in relative comfort and, I hope, relative quiet.

The kids will be living in the tree house as soon as school lets out. They will drag their sleeping bags, pillows, backpacks, favorite stuffed animals, drawing paper, and Nintendo DS’s up the ancient Jeffrey Pine (the kind that smell like vanilla - yum!). Through the clear treehouse roof, they will stare up at the stars they can identify through the tree branches before dropping off to sleep. I will glimpse them briefly each morning when a few kids run a recon mission into the kitchen for breakfast rations, then they will disappear back up the ladder with their loot. I may see them before lunch. But probably not.

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