We picked half a ton of beautiful yellow plums on Monday for the Bellingham Food Bank. The purple and red plums were so ripe we each brought some home for jam.
Summer or on turning 71
The kitchen floor is grubby, that dog’s been back for a month
Instead of washing up I go out with friends for lunch
Books are piled on the couch, and lay all over the floor,
The library phoned, new books were in, and I flew out the door.
There is a list, bills to pay, sheets out on the line,
Summer’s here, the hammock calls, so many books
so little time. `mm, 2014
So far this summer I haven’t done what I thought I’d do. I’ve read a lot. It’s been hot then rainy and now it’s hot again. I didn’t attend my writers’ group today. Usually before I go to bed I at least do the dishes and wipe off the kitchen counters. Nope, not last night. I’d fixed a late supper for me and my son’s family, walked with the dog, he’s back, and worked on a quilt. So I woke up not only to dishes in the sink but purple plum spatters on the stove and yellow plum juice leaking onto the kitchen counters from the bag I left them in.
While my coffee water boiled I wiped up the plum juice, set the crock pot on simmer to finish the purple cinnamony plum butter, then took my coffee and Brian Doyle’s book the thorny grace of it to the deck. Brian begins his book with an essay written remembering a Good Friday church service. He begins the short piece wondering do we remember who we’re talking about, “…this prince of light … a thin Arab woodworker, a most devout and committed Jew… a footloose vagrant on Roman roads, troublesome and strange… the last kid picked, the homeless guy with dirty feet?”
The essay ends with his description of a little girl asking at the end of the service, “but, did he die? Does he get born again?” The mom answers tomorrow as they walk out from “the haunted darkness into a crisp redolent spring afternoon.” The little girl’s father, says “almost under his breath, Today.”
After I wiped my eyes on my tee shirt sleeve, that was my thank you for this glorious day and it has been with me all day. Today! While I cleaned the kitchen, then walked in the sun spattered woods with the dog then rode my shiny new-to-me red bike the few miles to Sally’s then to the library and back home again. Later I wrote to my kids saying I was grinning so hard it’s a wonder I didn’t eat a bug!
There’s a bit of a story around the bike. A week ago I was trying to beat my land speed record walking to Sally’s. Three blocks from her house I tripped and fell flat on my face. I’ll spare you the pictures. It wasn’t pretty. There was blood. After some ice and ibuprofen and laughter about mom going out for walks in a helmet with face guard, knee guards, wrist guards, I was concerned that “the kids” would decide Mom shouldn’t have the bike I asked for for my birthday. A week later my nose is no longer green and blue with large scabs – only little scabs. We didn’t take birthday pictures this weekend except of the shiny new to me, red “girls bike” with a bell and flashing light!
As for the dog who came to the Alternative Humane Society with the name Boy Dog who is now Boyd, or Droyd to my grandkids, he’s back with me after a sojourn at a kennel, then time with another foster home then a scrap with a bigger dog. He needs a forever home but is happy here walking in the woods or on the couch beside me. His prayer too is Today!
I just finished reading Charles and Emma, the Darwin’s Leap of Faith, about their married life and how it affected his life; Juliet, by Anne Fortier, a novel that jumps back and forth between the “real” Romeo and Juliet and a present day hero and heroine. Fortier is the author of The Lost Sisterhood written in the same style about the Amazons – this book led me to Juliet. Currently I’m reading The SpyMistress, by Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker which I enjoyed; and, Matt Fox’s newest book Meister Eckhart, A Mystic Warrior for Our Time.