Endless Summer

Last night a friend of mine put a very honest post on Facebook about the passing of her father. It was straight-forward and bittersweet. It was real. It was refreshing. As I went through my day today, I kept thinking about her pure honesty, her lesson learned and her gratitude. It helped me embrace the sunshine more as we gear up to wake up to snow tomorrow. (I am in complete denial about it and if we are talking about being real.. rather grumpy about it, too!) So I picked all of the tomatoes, kale and rhubarb, dug up the potatoes and enjoyed my bare-feet in the grass while eating the last of the raspberries. It felt luxurious as I ignored the state of the inside of my home and slowly worked my way around the beds. I then moved onto the flowers and lavender… so lovely.. so sad to see the color go.

My own father called to tell me that he and Diane were going to come up on Sunday for the Artisan Fair that Chris and I have been making things for and to see my mural in the hay-barn. It meant the world.

And then, all of a sudden I had 10 minutes before it was time to go gather boys and begin distributing them to activities. Scramble… did I even brush my teeth today? I should put on clothes that don’t have paint and holes it… HA! There is nothing in the fridge or pantry…damn it. I was suppose to go to the store. Fried green tomatoes anyone? Where are the dogs? and my keys?

I manage to get there on time and see my sweet friends and sister for a few minutes. Then we are off! I drop boys at soccer and Charlie and I head to the grocery store and manage to fill the cart to the brim in an hour. Meanwhile, the temperature has dropped, the gray clouds are rolling in and I feel like the world is closing in on me. I am not ready to say goodbye to the green, the light, and having bare-feet. I fight fall every year. Yes, the light casting long beautiful shadows is stunning, but it means I have to say goodbye to dirt under my nails for a long 6 or so months. It is so strange to just turn off this big part of me for half the year. Each year I try to find the silver lining, but I really, truly miss tending my little corner of the world. My moods sinks.

Back at home, the boys and I bust through the front door with our bags and reality hits. The sink is full of dishes and I forgot to run the dishwasher this morning.  We have to maneuver around buckets of laundry and stuff is everywhere. I can feel myself winding up and feeling overwhelmed over these little things that I know in the big picture don’t matter. So I ditch the bags on the kitchen floor and during the last few bits of daylight, I go and cover the rest of my garden, hoping to save the arugula, lettuce and herbs. I use some old white drop clothes and almost feel like there should be peaceful, dead bodies underneath. My dark thoughts catch me off guard and the uncomfortableness of death sits heavy with me.  The anticipation of those we will lose in the next decade is overwhelming at times. The fact that there is no guarantee for a tomorrow for any of us, takes my breath away. Embrace the snow and the cold, Catherine. It brings snuggles by the fire, holidays with family and friends and big comfy sweaters to go with my jeans. But still that twinge of frustration lingers. What is wrong with me?

I head back in and get to work unloading groceries and making the boys dinner. Charlie picked out turkey dogs, green beans and mac n cheese.  Chris is helping a friend today (a whole different story) so nothing gourmet happening in the kitchen tonight. All three are talking to me at once and I realize more than anything that I am just exhausted. Plain tired. So frickin’ tired, I will eat a damn hotdog.

But then I am saved by the bell.. the doorbell. There standing on my porch, my wonderful friend and neighbor Betsy is offering me warm carrot-ginger soup with toasted pumpkin seeds. I almost kissed her!  We sit to dinner and I look down to my place setting. It is this gorgeous and yummy soup, green beans in a penguin bowl, and a much needed bourbon and coke all on top of  “The Presidents of the United States of America” laminated placemat.

Well-balanced meal.. carrot-ginger soup from Betsy, green beans with a bourbon and coke!
Well-balanced meal.. carrot-ginger soup from Betsy, green beans with a bourbon and coke!

To my left on the floor is a bucket of laundry, but to my right and across from me are the three most beautiful, often annoying, funny, loving, and exhausting boys. They are my real light. I know when I hit the fall of my life, I am really going to struggle. Right now, I feel like these years are my summer. And,even with all the mess, chaos and exhaustion, I find myself wishing for this to be an endless summer.

7 Replies to “Endless Summer”

  1. Cat – Ah – we are kindrid spirits with regard to fall, children, and endless summer… I truly enjoy your writing! Take care of you and make art! Love, kk

  2. The fall & winter are rejuvenating for me. I look forward to ‘mentally hibernating’ during the cold months, as the spring & summer months are so busy and oftentimes, hectic. It also allows me to nestle into the studio, since I don’t feel like being inside when the weather is warm.

    I do miss the spring/summer smell of dirt and ambient energy of green, growing things. Happily, as Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote:
    “The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
    If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

  3. Thanks for this Ren. Hopefully, it means that we will have time to get together as well! Are you heading out to First Friday tonight? Have a wonderful day!

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