An especially lush few months in Oklahoma made the end of August feel like June. The pond was high and glassy, the gardens verdant, almost tropical. All the way through Labor Day we luxuriated in one gorgeous week after another, scooping up a cool, mild daybreak here and there, just for extra credit.
Then we noticed the zinnias and gomphrena fading a little and the basil going to seed, even as the deep green leaves grew as big as your hand. The pond stayed high, but the goat head stickers finally made their unhappy appearance. (They were several weeks late, so we will try not to complain, but this is a sure sign of the end of the salad days.) We eventually halted daily pool maintenance and braced ourselves for the inevitable sight of that 20,000-gallon green lagoon. We knew fall was creeping up, but the afternoons stayed so humid. Pumpkin spice erupted on the scene, too. It was a mixed-up couple of weeks.
I was on the verge of making peace with the season change from summer to fall when the season changed again, back to a veritable heat wave. The wildflower meadows burst again with pollen. Overnight the pepper plants grew heavy with red, green, and purple treasures. The horses grazed lazily with sweaty bellies and swooshing tails. The afternoons were noisy with cicadas, and I was into it. I had even made peace with the grasshoppers, for chewing up my cannas.
When my husband noticed a “peak hours” electricity price event and the weather station said we could expect another heat wave, he cleaned the pool with feverish delight. I bought the last watermelon still languishing at the store, and we rallied for at least a few more days of summer. In late September.
Carpeing the diems, you know?
Well, we enjoyed two more swims this past week, and that watermelon was pure, sugary heaven. I made sure to feed the rinds to the horses slowly, knowing it would be many months before another such offering. I saved two big hunks for filling with seed for Shoulder Chicken. We made eye contact, and she understood the importance of this treat.
And now, our second summer is over. Nobody who has lived in Oklahoma very long is really surprised. The temperatures can swing from season to season effortlessly. We just take each week as it comes. Carpeing the diems to the best of our abilities and imaginations.
Today the skies slid opened and poured out all the promised floodwaters. The temperature at daybreak (72 degrees) was probably the warmest we will see for a while. And I am drinking coffee in the afternoon. This never happens when it’s hot outside. Yesterday I added some fall plants to my containers outside and some Halloween fun to a few corners of the house inside. We bought ingredients to bake for an upcoming pie contest in the City. And our bookshelves are loaded with good reading for when it’s too wet to enjoy the outdoors.
Summer 2018 was beautiful, satisfying, and pleasure-filled. We miss it already. I also learned a lot and felt like the work here was well done. But Autumn will bring her own smorgasbord of pleasures and work worth doing. I’m eager to sink into it all.
“Slow down, you move too fast.”
Simon & Garfunkel