Sycamores across from the cottage.
Well, it looks as though I've survived another summer. As I said before, summer is my least favorite of the seasons—though there are many things about summer I like. The heat is my biggest grip. Anything above 75˚F is too hot for my boreal tastes.
As if to rub itself in my face on this final day of the season, today's afternoon temperature is predicted to hit a high of 90˚F. I say that's a decided lack of good manners, like a guest who cleans out your refrigerator before departing. But I'll endure such childish games and say good riddance—autumn will be here tomorrow and with it the finest weather along with some of the prettiest scenery of the entire year.
This is also the last day of Myladylove's 10-day vacation. On the agenda is a trip to the doctor for her annual checkup, lunch somewhere on the far side of town, a possible run to check out a new outlet mall, and a visit to the Ikea store near Cincinnati.
I once asked a friend about his recent vacation. He's one of those extreme sports outdoor types whose idea of a good time is kayaking some ugly piece of jungle whitewater, or climbing the most challenging rock face of a soaring mountain where a single misstep would send him plunging over a sheer, 1000-foot drop-off. So I wasn't too surprised by his answer.
"There were moments when I honestly didn't think I'd survive," he said.
"Did you encounter troubles trekking across some foreign wasteland? Or have a close call cave diving in the tropics?" I asked, ready to be regaled by his latest adventure.
"Nahhh," he said, looking a little sheepish. "Nothing like that. It was my wife and her chore list. She was relentless …dang near worked me to death!"
Our recent attempt at vacation has given new insight to my friend's explanation.
The problem is that we didn't take a real vacation. When Myladylove's time-off date rolled around, she wasn't feeling good because of an upper respiratory and sinus infection, which caused concurrent inner-ear problems. I'm still having vision difficulties because of the contact lens issues. Moreover, at the time her vacation began, Myladylove's sister, who lives in east-Tennessee, was in the hospital with the potential for things to take a serious turn, necessitating that we'd have to head south.
So we made a command decision and elected to forgo our planned wilderness campout for several shorter excursions—plus a day here and there at home to laze by the riverside and watch autumn come slipping in. Unfortunately, this latter notion kept getting interrupted by Myladylove's inability to sit idle when she could be working on something. Naturally, since it was a joint vacation, all work projects were expected to be addressed through dual labor.
Things reached the point where, not only was my own survival in question, but hers as well, and I found it necessary to lay down the law over breakfast yesterday morning: "From now on, you're going to rest!" I said. "It isn't negotiable, and will be enforced even if I have to drag you off to a lake for a picnic and duct tape you into your chaise longue! And quit grinning at me like that—I'm not kidding!"
So yesterday we lazed around for two or three hours. I shot a few photos around the cottage. Myladylove made a turquoise, red jasper, and silver necklace. Then we ran around to various stores, did a few necessary errands, and got back home just as the sun was going down. But we didn't once pick up a shovel or pick-axe, load a single boulder into the wheelbarrow, or rake even a cubic yard of gravel. And who knows…we might even manage another two-hour sit-down late this afternoon!
The sky's the limit on this last day of summer AND vacation!