The calendar still says May, but the temperature outside registers middle of summer heat.
Hot, humid weather is upon our country home and it’s not Mama’s favorite! I so thoroughly agree with British novelist Jane Austen who wrote: “What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.”
Sprawled on my family room couch, determined not to turn on the air conditioning because “it’s too early,” dressed in old summer clothing in which I sure wouldn’t want to be seen in public, and gulping down glass after glass of ice water, I truly do feel quite ‘inelegant.’
I think most people yearn for summer and its heat, but I’m not one of them. I’d rather enjoy a day like we had last Thursday.
Middle daughter and fiancé drove up to Mama’s empty nest for a couple of days’ visit before fiancé heads off to another state for graduate school. We won’t get to see him much in the next year as he undergoes intense studies, so we wanted to make his visit enjoyable.
We spent one day wedding planning; I’m not sure that was very thrilling for him, but we wanted to get his opinions and input on a few points. Since he and Papa endured the shopping excursion and all the ‘wedding talk,’ I thought we should plan an outdoor fun day next.
We awakened early, packed a hefty picnic lunch in the cooler, and set out – just the four of us – for one of our state parks located in a national forest. The day was sunny, warm enough to be comfortable, yet with a nice cool breeze. Perfect!
After a lovely drive, we showed fiancé where I spent many summer hours and weekends as a child and teenager – my parents’ camp. Now owned and improved by a family friend, we drove by the camp and stopped for a little look-see.
From there, we traveled into the park. We hiked the short trail to the ranger’s fire tower and stopped here and there for picture-taking as daughter was trying out her new SLR camera.
Later we drove along the river that meanders through the area. Since it was the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, the park was rather empty and peaceful. The picnic area along the river was all ours. We had our choice of the best site.
What more could we ask for? People we love, a peaceful, flowing river, sun streaming through the trees, and blissful quiet away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life – it was like a painting of serenity. Two lone kayakers floated down the river and waved to us and they were the only other people we saw there while we partook our lunch.
If each day were a delightfully bearable summer day like that, I would relish the season more. But I will be grateful for that one perfect day even now on this 31st page of Chapter 5 in my Opportunity book as I swelter and sweat. I’ll just close my eyes and picture our picnic in the woods.
“Among the delights of Summer were picnics to the woods.” ~ Georg Brandes