I wake to the robin rehearsing his song over and over as if performing a Shakespearean soliloquy in the trees. I finish the book I started before bed and then venture out in my pajamas to see Charlotte. Always eager to play (and escape into the house), she joins me on the porch as we ease into our day. Sometimes the deer are under the apple tree. Sometimes the cows are already lying under the pines. She stays with me until her love tank is full and then heads off to see what playthings are nearby. Maybe a dead leaf has landed in the drive. Perhaps a piece of mulch is on the bricks. I head into the house then to get my day started - every option open to me. I usually start on the elliptical - "worst things first" I always tell my students. Some days I head to the garden after that. Charlotte happily accompanies me, following close behind as we stroll down the path. Once inside the garden gates, she often wants to play. Hands picking weeds are prey to be pounced on. Tomatoes, potatoes and corn provide excellent cover for a kitten trying to hide. I tend to weed a little, pick a little, nibble this or that. Beans are bountiful; tomatoes just starting to ripen, cucumbers ready faster than we can eat them. I love time in the garden. Even drenched in sweat, covered in dirt, the garden is so beautiful this year. The Mister not only built a beautiful perimeter, but has continually adjusted the watering system to the needs of our dear plants.
About this time, The Mister is usually home. He sometimes has a project or two in the garden - tilling, fixing supports or moving a sprinkler head. Every day he checks his corn. We ate our first two ears this week, it will soon ripen faster than we can devour it.
My afternoons are for dabbling in school work. I only do what is fun and excites me for the year to come. There will be time later for all the "necessary" preparations to begin. For now, I amend presentations, create math stations, organize my thinking and plan out lesson ideas. My mind is constantly thinking about school ideas.
Late afternoon is for porch sitting. Sometimes I'm snapping beans. Sometimes I'm just moving the sprinkler on the grass seed. Every day is for holding a kitten. She comes up from under the bushes, happy to sleep on a lap instead of the mulch. She'll sleep and play and sleep and play.
The Mister and I cook dinner together. He is in charge of the grill, I handle everything else. It isn't time consuming or taxing. We keep it simple, fresh and light most days. Potatoes are always available from the garden so they are often on the menu; roasted, boiled, baked or fried with onions. We end our evenings with a couple episodes of something streamed on TV. Right now it's "Blue Bloods", a show we are both enjoying immensely. No real violence, great character development and superb family morals.
We head to bed together, The Mister to sleep, me to start a new book. The robin sings to me at dusk, a bookend to my day.
I tell The Mister every day how lucky we are. How beautiful our summers are. How relaxed and blessed I feel. Stress will come, the pace will quicken soon enough, but for now, we are enjoying the simple, steady, slow cadence of summer.