Sunday, August 01, 2010


Late Summer Grazing
 Late Summer Grazing
Late Summer Grazing
Available at:
Gudmundsen Fine Art Studio

As the days become sodden with the sweet, syrupy warmth of full-on summer, life, even with air conditioning, melts into slow-motion. Every aspect of what I thought I understood is now a slightly out-of-focus, sun-drenched dream. Again.

For the past few years, I have worked from early spring to right about now in a fast-paced, heavy workloaded, deadline driven job, which pushes, pushes, pushes us workers right up until the last day when, poof, the work is over, all-at-once, and we are swept out of there with a sincere thank-you and a "here's your hat, what's your hurry, please remember to leave your badge at the front desk" boot to the butt.

We inevitably wander, somewhat disoriented, out into the blinding sun and heat of the parking lot, which at this time of year resembles the surface of the planet Mercury, struggling to breathe in and spout out a few parting words to our colleagues, saying that we look forward to seeing each other again next spring.  Well, we do want to see each other again, but more than one heart holds the hope that the reunion will occur in a grand hotel ballroom that one of us has somehow managed to become rich enough to rent out for the entire, catered evening. I, for one, harbor the hope that my great wit and timeless beauty have somehow landed me some kind of meaningful, lucrative life without ever having had to learn Excel.

Oh, my, but it's time to get out of the sun and into the air-conditioned car to head back home.

And once there, I am no longer the accurate, effectively working bearer of the paycheck. It turns out that family folks and other folks now see me for what I am:  heat waves coming up through the blacktop. Just when I thought I had transformed myself into a refreshing pool of water, it turns out I am a mirage. I step back into my hidden world, and become invisible.

But home is so important to me. It is there that I get a chance to really think about things, to pursue my eccentric little projects, and to seek my refuge. I am cleaning out shelves and drawers and going through neglected paperwork. Sounds like drudgery but it is so rewarding to take stock of things and put the house to rights.

Also, there has been a good bit of produce to deal with from the garden.  I have made salsa, gazpacho, tons of spaghetti sauce, and am currently making some crock pickles, which are called cinnamon bark or ripe cucumber pickles. These will be especially good in cooler weather when we eat heavier, oven-cooked meals and want a little accompaniment that is sweet and tangy to go with the meal. I have made some dill refrigerator pickles and want to make some regular bread and butter pickles with cucumbers and some with zucchini, as well. And more stuffed zucchini. And zucchini bread. Seeing a pattern here?

I also have a dozen or so quarts of various fruit cordials "cooking". They will be done around the first of October.

Hay Wagon
Available at:
Gudmundsen Fine Art Studio

Now don't think that all I've done is work, because I have already done a fair share of lolling around the house, too, and floating and gabbing away in my friend JoAnn's pool. Definitely need a little more of that this coming week.  She lives right across the street so it is easy to bop on over.

Above all else, it is time for some spiritual housekeeping. I feel as though I have been flying by the seat of my pants and have neglected "the weightier matters". Time to take some spiritual rest and nourishment in the Word and in prayer. This is very important for all of us, either when we have been so busy with work or have taken a big vacation to the world, which summer can sometimes be.

It is August. A time when the U.S. government would virtually close up shop in days gone by. Sensible days gone by. Time to come in out of the hot sun and take a siesta. Have a glass of sweet tea or lemonade. Sit on the porch after supper and watch the fireflies come out. Give yourself time to think. Rich, robust August. A time to take a quieter path.

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