When the cicadas can be heard during the long hot afternoon it seems like summer is starting to turn to autumn. There really is lots of warm summer ahead but with that rattly sound overhead it makes me feel like time is short and overlooked and postponed projects must be done. Previously, once it really was fall, the pace of being back in class didn’t allow for home renovation and strenuous projects such as sweeping out the shed or clearing clutter from the basement. Everything had to be done in the hot summer and it was rather icky and annoying for me. Now in retirement, the pace doesn’t matter and it can wait for cooler days. Long hot days are great if you are sitting under a tree at the lake but not so great otherwise. Fortunately for me I have a partially shaded yard, some fans positioned around the house, cool drinks, good books and no real pressing schedule. A little guilt perhaps but I can live with that.
During this dry spell of activity due to the real presence of dry hot weather all that is palpable to do is the bare minimum. Laundry is manageable because of a new washing machine. Dishes are washed by hand as they accumulate. Bare minimum cooking is endured because we have to eat something. Yard work is almost nil except for watering the plants as the grass is too dry to grow and any weed that is still hanging on for dear life is ignored. The pets need some extra attention with the heat and seem to be content with staying under the bushes during the day and sleeping by the fan at night. Grocery shopping is also for the bare necessities and mainly consists of salad fixings and cold drinks. General housekeeping doesn’t happen. If the cleaning spirit moves then perhaps a blitz of five minutes of tidy up will sporadically occur. A leaky old dog necessitates some emergency damp mopping but all is forgiven.
Socially there is an effort to visit a few neighbours and family members. A wedding anniversary, friends and colleagues reunion, family suppers at the farm, a trip to a special tea room, and regular jaunts to summer theatre round out the month of August.
No plans for struggling back to a hot classroom for me. No need to buy school storybooks, decorative posters and other materials. No reason to plan, plan, plan for the year ahead.Things are different with retirement and responsibilities have changed in many ways.
After the dry spell, when the days are sweetly cool again and I can leave the windows open for the brisk breezes to blow through I will gather up my cleaning tools and sort through the books that need to be donated, the junk that needs to be carried away, sweep out the dusty old woodshed, fix the broken door frame on the shed, put in a new kitchen sink, trim the bushes and start cooking comfort food again. Once the baking heat is over maybe I will feel more like writing again. At present, it’s too much work, and I feel a little guilty about it.
But…I can live with it.