The Summer That Was

We drove 4,000 miles to San Antonio and back for RSA, where I chaired a SuperSession on Machine Rhetorics. There were so many smart, hilarious friends and fambly.

I hadn’t been back to the South in four years. There was tex-mex and charcuterie and bbq and papusas and mescal mojitos. We found handmade brooms and comb-in honey.

We also went to Faulkner’s house, where I last visited just as I was starting this whole odyssey in academia.

Then we came home and drove around the state once a week or so. We visited dairies and I ended up with dairy t-shirts. Total summer milage: somewhere around 7,500.

And there were friends with wonderful gardens and magic sheds.

Sometimes dear ones gave me plants. We expanded the front beds and put in a huge stone birdbath.

Everything broke. We replaced major appliances one by one. Mr. Husband did dishes by hand for almost the entire summer. We started cooking with cast iron and black clay pots a lot more.

We put out a hummingbird feeder and found out that we like feeding birds.

I sat out on the deck with the birds and read and read and read. Then I came inside and wrote and wrote and wrote. Sent a couple of revised articles back out the door. Signed a book contract and started revising the manuscript.

When we moved in five years ago, I insisted on writing in the smallest room in the house. My procedure for setting up my study involved hauling boxes and a desk in and getting to work. There were still unpacked boxes everywhere in there this summer. I sorted them, donated a bunch of stuff, and finally painted the walls. And discovered that the best view in the room is from the closet, which I turned into a reading nook.

We froze berries and herbs. I grew a lackadaisical garden and made only the jams that I really wanted to make: strawberry and spiced plum. More writing, less preserving during the late-summer harvest season this year.

We got addicted to Lark Rise to Candleford and rationed episodes all summer. We continued working our way through the available canon of Godzilla movies.

And then it was time for the cabbage harvest and Labor Day.

We summered. I am not usually a fan of the season, but this was a wonderful one.

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