The outdoor propane grill at our house sits outside the kitchen on a covered porch. We use it all year round because meat tastes really good cooked over an open flame. But that first cookout of the summer is always something to look forward to. Today was the day! We got some good hamburger meat from the grocery store, along with corn on the cob, a couple of big potatoes, and whole wheat buns. We went all out. The hamburger was doctored u[ with my husbands special spice blend, and the potatoes were thickly sliced oiled and spiced as well. It all went onto the grill for our summer cookout. There may be nothing better than fresh food right off the grill. I love summer.
Home again to do some work around the house, mowing, laundry, and the like. Later in the afternoon in the heat of the day I talked my husband into joining me for a float in the creek. I blew up the inner-tubes with the hand pump, we strapped them to our backs, hopped onto our bicycles to peddle the half mile down the road to the swimming hole at the far bridge. After climbing down the rocks, we splashed into the cool gurgling clear water of the mountain creek. We floated around in the big eddy under the bridge. Pleasant and peaceful, watching fluffy white clouds drift by in the clear summer blue sky. One can day-dream in the drowsy afternoon, bright sun radiating summer heat, cool water washes all your cares away. This is my happy place, lazy summer days, floating on the water with the one I love.
The most exciting thing happened this morning. I woke up early and was fiddling around with stuff in the tent. Keeping things organized in a small space is important. For no reason I looked up and out the screen window/ To my utter astonishment, there was a large black bear about 30 feet away and headed right toward the tent. My jaw dropped open, my heart skipped a beat then sped into overdrive as the adrenaline hit my system. Half a second later when the bear was about 10 feet away, I found my voice. Loudly, with authority, I shouted, “Hey Bear! Get out of here Bear!” The huge animal stopped walking and looked at me through the flimsy screen as if to say “Yeah, you and what army?” and started to take another step toward me. With my heart pounding in my ears, I shouted again, louder and clapped my hands a few times; sharp rapports that carried through the trees. The bear hesitated a moment as if considering whether or not it was worth the effort of messing with a human, then he slowly turned and took a couple of lumbering steps in the opposite direction, only to stop again to look at me over his shoulder. I yelled some more telling him to go back where he came from. We went through this take a few steps look back at me process a couple of more times before the bear decided to just skedaddle back into the forest. Wow! Definitely awake now and ready to go rafting.
Woo Hoo! I am back up North with all my summer raft guide friends! Sometimes this sleepy little mountain town is the best place on earth. I look forward to this party all year. I am overflowing with love and happiness! Happy Solstice. Live music, hula-hooping, dancing, friends laughing and talking, delicious food, and River Guides come out of the woodwork to hang out and enjoy this official first weekend of summer. I talk to some people at this party that I don’t get to see any other time. It’s marvelous to be here. I am elated, ecstatic, and jubilant, overflowing with joyous merriment. Celebrate life, live your adventures, enjoy what you have, love your friends! Happy Summer to all of us.
I know that I’m biased, but I do believe that my cats are the cutest cats in the world, especially when they do exceedingly cute things. With four cats in the house we do have a lot of extra loose fur floating around that gets everywhere. It collects in corners, under furniture, behind the appliances where it grows into monstrous killer dust bunnies with teeth. It sticks to the rugs and sofa cushions. We vacuum, sweep, and dust, but our little fur factories churn it out faster than we can get rid of it. This time of year is particularly fur filled as they are shedding their heavy winter coats to be cooler during the hottest summer months. So this morning as I was waking up, I realized I was seeing individual cat hairs floating on hidden air currents glinting shimmery silver as they passed through an early morning sunbeam pouring through the window. Very pretty in that sleepy kind of way everything seems just fine when your brain isn’t completely awake yet. Sitting up sent more hairs jetting through the sunbeam so I decided to brush the cat who was still in bed with me. She loves a good brushing and was reveling in the attention; flopping over, rolling back and forth, purring maniacally. She was enjoying it so much I started using two hands; brush down her back with one hand then swipe down her back with the other. Of course the swiping hand sent globs of fur into the air as my hand whipped off the tip of her tail. These loosely packs fur piles languidly floats for a moment before delicately descending to the floor. I sent another fluffy fur ball flying over the foot of the bed and as it started drifting out of sight, a tiny black paw quickly reached up and batted at it. As the claws connected, all the hairs dispersed, floating their separate ways. Curious, I flung another fluffy fur ball and again a small black paw jabbed at it over the end of the bed. I started sending more small fur piles gliding in her direction. Little Black Cat went wild, prancing up on her hind legs, jumping around, and swinging her paws at all the fur balls wafting through the air. I got laughing so hard my eyes watered! What an amusing way to wake up in the morning.
The Summer Solstice may be my favorite day of the year. The longest day, the first day of summer; it makes my soul sing with joy. All those long summer days full of sun and cheer, all those warm summer nights full of fun friends. Summertime and the livin’s easy. Often I will hike into the woods to a nearby waterfall, this year though, I am still tired from the road trip. I stayed home, dozed in the hammock, and took an inner-tube down to the creek. I just floated around in circles in the eddy under the bridge and dozed some more. My inner voice is sleepy and calm, satiated with warm sunshine, relaxing and rejoicing on this longest day of the year. Happy Solstice!
Home again home again jiggity jig. The cats were all ecstatic to see me, doing their purring slinky happy dances all around the house. I napped in a rest area outside of Wilmington DE and was moving again by first light getting my back in my little mountain cabin by mid afternoon. Bright warm sunny day greeting my with open arms. I unloaded the car and did laundry hanging it on the line. This may be the fastest I have ever unpacked after a road trip! It feels good to be home and soon I will be back on the River. Happiness is where you are, the sun shining gaily warming your skin, the bluest sky surrounding you with infinite possibilities, the green trees whispering in the gentle summer breeze. Life is good here in the mountains. Live it well.