What I did this summer: A back-to-school essay

IMG_0918[1]Ahhhhh…the lazy, hazy days of summer, when the living is easy and the cotton is high. The dog rests lazily in the shade as I sip an Arnold Palmer and swat the lone mosquito, whilst finalizing the contract for my novel. Spousal unit sings to himself and expertly flips steaks on the grill. Offspring laugh joyously as they chase lightning bugs. Daisy comfortably lounges on her landscaped pad, her flawless metal reflecting the last of the day’s light, as well as the amber glow of retro bulbs and Japanese lanterns.

Ahhhhh…the endless days of summer.

These seemingly endless days.

The days that go on forever.

Dear God, will these days never end? The sweltering heat. The swarms of bugs. The mind-numbing crisis after crisis after mind-numbing don’t tell me a horse tearing down her fence every damn week isn’t a crisis. Or Boy Child’s girl frand cheating on him with his best friend isn’t a crisis. Or the call-child-protection-services-this-building-should-be-condemned condition of our home sweet home. Is. Not. A. Crisis. Don’t tell me that, or you may undergo a crisis of your own.

What a ride this summer has been. I’ve never been a big fan of roller coasters and one of the benefits of being…ummmm…Rubenesque is so I can say, “Oh look, I exceed the weight limit. Too bad. You guys have fun riding this thing. I’ll be over at the corndog stand.” I had to ride a roller coaster this summer, though. The roller coaster of life. In fact, I was in the front car, fearfully gripping the rails as we reached the highs because I could see what was at the crest and so I screamed bloody murder as we careened toward the ground. Every time I thought the ride was slowing down to end, we zipped past the exit point and climbed back to the top.

Like the faces of those on the ground eating their corndogs when the roller coaster cars rattle by, many specific events of the summer are a little blurry. Thank heavens, I can look back at my journal so that I can remember Summer 2015 details. We writers keep journals, y’know. It’s recommended. We sit with a cup of coffee each morning and a glass of wine each evening and we journal our thoughts, our activities, our hopes our dreams. We do that in between fending off calls for movie rights to our novels.

My journal is also easily accessible to me and password protected. It’s called Bank of America Online Banking Account Statement. When I can’t remember where I was, or what I was doing, I can return to my journal entries and see that on June 1, I spent $242.82 at U-Haul, which means I was preparing Pollyanna the Honda Pilot to tow Daisy the Trailer to Bonnaroo. That day, I also spent $89.65 at Habitat ReStore, which means Boy Child and I got the bathroom cabinet we used for the kitchen cabinet for Daisy’s insides. An East Tennessee Dollar General line item reminds me that we were at a horse show outside of Knoxville at the beginning of August. Girl Child’s first without her trainer. My last without a fifth of something hidden somewhere.

With my handy journal by my side, (Good God, did we REALLY spend that much on an RV for Bonnaroo?), allow me to spend the next few blog entries reliving what I did this summer. In no particular order, the subjects include, but are not limited to: Bonnaroo; she shed; doctor appointments; horse shows; human fallibility; house guests; Bessie; Daisy; Bonnaroo; heat; humidity; flies; effects of dehydration; watermelons; blacksmithing; neighbors not calling the cops; Bonnaroo; betrayal; hipsters matter; cyberstalking; weeds; weed; bowel blockage and did I mention Bonnaroo.

I can write only as time and blood pressure allow. Meanwhile, I sit outside as the lazy days of summer slip by and swarms of gnats, mosquitos and flies take turns strafing me. The dog chews on what looks to be a dried mole carcass and I sip a gone-cold cup of coffee from a broken mug with bugs swimming in it. Spousal Unit is putting in his half day at work (when he puts in 12 hours), while Girl Child fights the system at her high school and Boy Child sleeps til afternoon. Junior year of college starts next week. Like a camel, he’s stocking up. Daisy leans toward me, slightly miffed that I parked her so haphazardly when I brought her back from a horse show. I can’t tell her – or anyone – that there were three college boys watching me back her into the spot and my 1980s ego declared that I was NOT going to pull forward, back up, pull forward and snake back in front of these young men. For all they know, that is EXACTLY where I wanted her.

Sorry girl, it’s the price you pay for being on my roller coaster.


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