These Waning Days

Summer is closing fast.  Kids are back to school, the plants in the garden are getting rangy, and I’m thoroughly tired of mowing the lawn multiple times a week. I just got home from a trip to NY, where I discovered that hot weather is miserable even up north.  So we’re all sort of ready for it to end. Fall is my favorite season, so I’m looking forward to it, but I’m also really hesitant to wish my days away.  There are so few of them.  Instead I’m trying to take advantage of this hot and muggy time to harvest as much garden produce as possible, and I take these odd evening walks around the yard in the faux-cool of the evening.  Odd because my yard isn’t that big, and I’m usually smoking a pipe, staring into space. If my neighbors are paying any attention (and the older I get, the more doubtful I am that they are), I’m sure it looks like I’ve slipped out of the looney bin and am slow-motion careering around the yard having lusty conversations with the fireflies.  In reality, I’m in my own head, planting flowers and trellises.  I’m putting in apple trees and hollies.  I’m imagining the sweet taste of next year’s figs.  I’m imagining the climbing of the jasmine, and its energetic race toward the sun. Sammi has made her peace with the fence I put in last year, and now sits happily in the overlong August grass.  The tomatoes and okra that go overripe or woody get tossed out to the yard where she happily chases, engages in a victory lap (that all...