The scent of summer

DSCN6074 resized for web-sharing, pink roses, tweaked

Summer has arrived here.

I remember when summer meant running around the neighborhood barefoot, finding other kids and playing games, running home quickly to grab change when the ice cream truck rang out its tune in the late afternoon… time spent curled up in my room with a book or running through the sprinkler… drinking from the garden hose, selling Kool-aid on the shaded front porch…

Now summer means that there are teenage and young adult men hanging about the house on computers. At least one of those young men must be reminded to shower with soap and shampoo — he is not “fresh as a daisy” nor does he smell like a rose. My house smells like it is lived in by adolescent males. Dirty dishes pile up on the countertops and in the sink while I am at work. (If I think hard enough about it, there were probably dirty dishes piling up in my childhood summer days, but it never really mattered to me because I was a child.)

DSCN6080 Resized for web-sharing, daisies, tweaked

Last week, I drove across the state to pick H-J from college. I delivered his packing boxes to him on Wednesday and then backtracked across the lake to spend the night at Mrs. G’s house. It had been over a year since we had spent time together and it was a lovely evening (we took our conversation into the wee hours of the morning) and an equally lovely but short morning. My derfwad cup runneth over.
Then I was back in the insane traffic that belongs to Seattle, where my son was ready to load his boxes into the minivan and close out his first year of college. We drove past the rental house where he will live in the fall and I showed him the house where I lived in my late teens. But enough lollygagging — it was time to get back to our own home.

In the past 8 days I’ve driven 600+ miles, grieved the tragic death of a three-year-old, and noted the 4th anniversary of my mother’s death mere days after learning that another member of our extended family has been diagnosed with cancer. I suppose this helps explain my melancholy mood and lack of blogging.

We’ve got two more cross-state trips to make this month and a special visitor coming from Virginia, so I’m confident that there will be some good blog fodder coming soon.

Ten on Tuesday, with cats!

1. As I write this, it is 10am and a lovely 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  Last week it was in the mid- to upper-90’s. Y’all, that is seriously hot for a middle aged woman house without  A/C. It was also too hot for the other female in my home:

Too hot to play with a pencil

2.  With a hot weekend on the horizon, we decided it was best to take the cat with us to the grandparents’ house. They were out of town so we didn’t have to ask permission and their house has air conditioning!

Zen Cat is undisturbed by the teenage driver.

3. Cleopatra is a good traveler. She was confused (I think I heard her say, “Please, please don’t let this be another cross-country move!“) but ultimately glad to be with us for those 3 days.

happy to be home once again

4.  On Sunday evening, I think I even heard her singing:

Hey, it’s good to be back home again!
Sometimes this old rug feels like a long-lost friend.
Yeah — hey, it’s good to be back home again.

5. Do I owe John Denver an apology for that?

6. We actually had a purpose involved with the 3-day, 5-hour round-trip drive, aside from the  obvious pleasure of air conditioning — this past weekend was SuperDad’s 30th high school reunion.

7. I had never before observed my introverted husband enjoy that much socializing. I am still in shock awe over his display of conversational stamina.

8. While SuperDad was becoming overloaded with the socializing at a pool party with the boys, I was out shopping. Normally, I dislike and avoid shopping, but I was bit by a shopping bug (different than the ant bites that have been driving me crazy for the past 8 days!) and scored 2 new skirts and 2 new tops at a sale. The tiger-print maxi dress, however, was nixed by my husband after I modeled it for him. *sigh* I’m sure he is correct, but I did like it. (My tastes may be questionable.)

9. Part of the rationale for buying new clothes was to have some business casual to wear to work. Not that I have a job yet. Details, details! Actually, I have a 2-week volunteer gig this month where I need to show up in something nicer than my usual attire, and I have begun to look for some part-time work. Last night I discovered why it is a bad idea to fill in applications when one is tired; my online application does not have a visible way for me to correct my typo on my Social Security number. (This is especially embarrassing because it is an application for a secretarial position.)

This is the lovely Mrs. G. and her infamous cat folk art painting.

10. Kitty Gigantica is coming to my house! She will be here on Monday evening, along with the wonderful Mrs. G.  They have been on an epic driving tour of the U.S., and my house is her final stop before she heads home to rest up for the West Coast leg in September.

Karen with Kitty Gigantica

<– This is me with Kitty Gigantica last September at Mrs. G.’s house.  People, that is some seriously awesome cat folk art. I have beheld it with mine own eyes.