Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An Evening on the Veranda



Sorry, MusingWoman, it's still very hot. However, it was only 37C today. Bonus is that it makes for balmy evenings outside. Downside is, I must still get up and go to work the next morning!

Kelly Next Door phoned me one day a few weeks ago: "Neighbour, do you have Alzheimer's?!?

"Why?"

"You have your Christmas lights on."

"No, silly lady!! THOSE are my patio lights. They are Christmas lights when they are in swags along the railing. Now they drape to and fro from the overhang, so they're patio lights. Can't you tell the difference?"

And so tonight I'm lounging on the veranda under my patio lights - maybe I should call them 'veranda lights? Lanterns? Nope, Bruce Cockburn sings "Patio Lanterns" and Bruce should know.

The crickets are sawing away, or maybe it's the grasshoppers - but I detest 'hoppers so prefer to pretend they're crickets.... and maybe they are. For sure I know they aren't cicadas.

And you can tell I'm overtired by the way my mind is wandering... ok, more than usual. It's not just today's heat. It's also poor sleep from many days' heat. And perhaps a glut of OJ/ginger ale in an effort to rehydrate after my after-work yard work.

The weeds alongside the driveway were driving me nuts. The embankments are too steep to trim the area with the riding mower (and we own no other), so nothing but to use the weed wacker/string trimmer/highly-lethal-to-weeds-and-ankles-vegetation-tamer. The only time it's cool enough for the job is either far too early or far too late per the neighbours - a down side to being a townie.

So today at 6pm, I rammed Bryan's authentic Indiana Jones hat on my head, I fueled up my trimmer, loaded it with string (and few extra pieces in my pocket because you just know it'll run out at the end of the driveway, and it's a loooooong driveway) and commenced to wack weeds.

I didn't look at the temperature because I didn't want to know. I do know that when I was done, not only was I covered in plant body parts but was quite overheated, and not in a sexy come-hither way.

Stripped off my dirty clothes in the garage, threw them straight into the washer on the way through to the house and headed straight for the shower, and I do believe it was the coldest shower I've even voluntarily submitted to in all my born days. It felt SOOOOO GOOD.

Wet, wearing a damp old cotton oversized shirt, I assumed a semi-horizontal position on the couch under the fan, cold OJ & ginger to hand, when everyone and their dog proceeded to phone me: my husband (safe and sound in Valleyview), my son (ditto, in Grande Prairie), my neighbour, the lady from the Falkland museum..... at which point I turned off the phone. Selfish, huh?

Stripped the bed and remade it with fresh cotton sheets and a light cotton quilt that I made many years ago. Should have done that last night. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Didn't.

Rode the motorcycle to work today which means TA-DA! the left hand is on the way to recovery. Still can't get my rings on, the middle knuckle is still enlarged and very sore. I can pull in the clutch lever, though, which is more than I could do even on Sunday. The other fingers are still a bit puffy as well, but that could be as much due to the heat as to the abuse I heaped upon them.

I know some of you won't believe me, but I find this is the best weather in which to spin wool. I know. Who'da thunk it? I like to spin in the grease, and hot weather softens the lanolin, so the wool spins nicer. My neighbour downhill to the south thinks I'm a bit weird (OK, a lot weird but the feeling is mutual). I'm pretty sure he hasn't quite figured out what that contraption is or what I'm doing with it. If I was actually spinning wool, I'd be wearing a long cotton dress and have a bonnet on my head, nez pas?

So, out on the veranda, either under the veranda-patio lights or treadling my wheel and making my neighbour crazy - it all serves a purpose: keeping me sane in the heat and providing a valid excuse to avoid the bookkeeping on my desk yet one more evening. The lengths some people go to, eh?

And the silly part is, just like when I avoided my term papers at college until the last possible moment, it's such a relief to get it done, so why don't I just do it and stop prolonging the agony?

When I outgrow my bad habits, I'll be too old for mischief, and who wants that!~

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