And a Cooling Wind Came

IMG_1692“If there is fulfillment and perfection, surely it is among the trees, the oldest living things we know.” —Hal Borland

 

Last night, a cooling wind came, thrumming through the trees and rippling with a great sigh around the little house in the big woods.

“Can you feel it?” I asked, pressing my face to a screen in the dining room and breathing in the sweet, cool air.

“I sure can,” Clif said.

Such relief after the horrible humid weather we’ve been having. In the dining room, the drawer that holds the good green napkins has swelled to the point where it won’t open. Ditto for the top drawer in the fold-up desk. This drawer started giving me problems mid-week, and in an uncharacteristic act of thinking ahead, I removed my address book and put in the section where the desk flips down. This part still works as it should, and as I am someone who will send a card just because I feel like it—no occasion necessary—I needed that address book. (I have used it twice in the past two days.)

When fall really does arrive—in a few weeks, I hope—and the humidity takes its leave, then the drawers will return to their normal size. Every summer, this swelling is a problem, but as Clif observed, we’ve always been able to open the drawers. We just had to work hard at it. But not this summer. The high heat and humidity have sealed them shut.

Yesterday, I received a call from Shannon. Mike’s appendix was giving him trouble to the point where it had to be removed that very day. Fortunately it had not ruptured, but as Dee is coming today to stay in Maine for the week, and Shannon was supposed to pick her up at the bus station, this changed the schedule, shall we say.Β  The cookies I planned on making on Sunday will be made today. I went grocery shopping last night rather than on Saturday. Never mind! Mike went through surgery with “flying colors,” and he is doing very well. After a night in the hospital, he’ll be going home this afternoon.

How different this is from when I was young. Then, if you had your appendix removed, you were in the hospital for quite a while, at least two weeks. The same was true for gall bladder removal. This really is progress.

The gardens are winding down. A lovely white phlox—David—along with the black-eyed Susans and the sedums, bring some color to the front yard. But mostly all the plants look tired. It’s as though they know have they done their part, and now it is time to rest.

IMG_1732
David

Usually, I clip back old stalks and dead-head the lilies and the balloon flowers. But this year I was so taken with the emerging pods, that I let many of them be, and the pods are so fascinating that next year I just might leave them all until the final fall cut-back.

Daylily pod
Daylily pods

 

IMG_1743
A closer look

 

Tonight, we pick up Dee at the bus station in Portland. We have a busy week planned of movies and art museums. Believe it or not, for a rural area, central Maine has a wealth of art museums—at the colleges—and a few galleries, too.

We will also spend time on the patio as we grill food, and if the weather stays crisp, we will even make a fire in the fire pit for s’mores.

Accordingly, I won’t be writing much until Dee leaves, but I might be able to slide in a picture or two and a recipe for grilled veggies with herbs and pasta.

A busy week, but Mike is recovering nicely, and it will be oh-so-good to have Dee home.

 

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11 thoughts on “And a Cooling Wind Came”

  1. Glad you got a little break from the heat. The air does smell delicious! Once you get your drawers open, you might try running a bar of soap (or wax candle stub) around the edges. It helps with my dining table drawers. I, too, love the seed pods – they are nice to look at in winter. The siberian iris will look good all winter, whereas the daylilies will weather away. I gather milkweed (once they’ve opened & seeds are gone), iris and daylily pods, along with sterile fern fronds to make a dried arrangement. If I have hydrangea, I’ll add that, too. It’s a way to keep a little bit of summer around. Have a great holiday and enjoy the week ahead!

    1. Thanks, Eliza! And also thanks for the tip. Great minds must think alike because I have been thinking of making an arrangement similar to the one you described. I don’t have any milkweed pods nearby, and I have to take them from the edge of the road. I don’t think anyone minds if I cut some milkweed pods πŸ˜‰

      1. Especially once their seeds have flown! BTW, have you seen any monarchs this summer? I heard Maine had some of the best showing in New England, though still meager by what used to be.

      2. Eliza, I have not seen ANY butterflies at the little house in the big woods. I’ll be mentioning this soon in my blog. Very disturbing. How about you? Have you seen any by your home?

      3. Only two all summer, which was better than last summer when I saw only one. Apparently, the Midwest has the best counts, but the Pacific corridor is in drought and the Eastern numbers are really down. Makes me unspeakably sad. 😦

  2. Michael’s home and recuperating!! Not much fun but obviously necessary and now he can start feeling better! πŸ™‚

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