A List For a Hot July

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A List For A Hot July

They say it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement. I’ll take their word for it. To actually conduct the experiment myself seems to require too much effort for too small a return. Besides, the air feels like chicken broth and no doubt I would falter just carrying my sacrificial egg down the drive to conduct the experiment. No, I planned to just stay inside counting the days until fall. But then I looked at poor Edward’s sad furry face - too long had he been bored by the heat, too long trapped inside the cool house.
So I grabbed one Songwriter and two furry dogs, two large sun hats and one ukulele and we all headed off to more salubrious climes.
Here I shall stay for awhile, working my way through this stack of new books.
Perhaps I’ll pour myself another glass of cold Pellegrino with lime.
Perhaps I’ll eat a peach.
Or two.
Perhaps I’ll write a fairy tale.
Or whip up a new fun list for this hot, hot month.
Yes, a list. That’s what I’ll do!


1. Dog Nose Necklace
As I sit here writing this list, the wind is playing through trees dressed in tattered grey dresses of moss. A ceiling fan slowly twirls overhead, its mahogany blades listlessly chasing each other round and round and round, stirring up a soft breeze that ruffles the fur of the big white dog asleep at my side. Edward is such a good traveler - always up for an adventure, always happy to have a new experience - we like to take him with us whenever we can. But sometimes I have to be away and when I am I wear a lovely locket around my neck that holds photos of those dear to me. Of course Edward’s photo is safely inside. But I recently discovered a delightful new bauble that might just be even better. Handmade by Florida artist Jackie Kaufman, these pet nose pendants are created from actual molds taken of your pet’s nose. Made in solid sterling silver, they can be engraved on the back with your pet’s name. Can you imagine?
See them HERE.


2. Beach Toys
He doesn’t know it yet, but Edward will be running on the beach this evening.
Summer just isn’t summer without being barefoot on beach sand at least once.
These little guys seem to capture that happy beach experience just perfectly.
Handmade by Pogoshop, you can find them HERE.


3. Jo Rowling
I possess an innate distrust of anything wildly popular, a personality quirk that usually serves me well but, occasionally, just occasionally, causes me to miss something truly wonderful. This was the path I was on when the first Harry Potter books came on the scene.
I’m not really interested”, was my reply each time a friend encouraged me to read one. Finally The Songwriter, who had already succumbed to Harry’s considerable charms, brought home the first book, put it into my hands and said, “Sit down. Read. Just the first chapter. I know without a doubt you’ll love it and who knows you better than I do?”.
He was right of course, and I merrily joined the throngs around the globe who impatiently waited for each new book and saw each new film on its opening day. With the recent release of the very last movie, I find myself rather wistful. I will miss them terribly, but am so grateful they were written in the first place. What Jo Rowling accomplished was monumental. Clinically depressed, practically destitute, with a baby daughter to care for and support - any one of these could strip a writer of creative vision and motivation. The fact that Ms. Rowling was able to hold fast to her story and write her book in spite of her problems is more than remarkable. I cheer her success - each pound that she earns makes me smile. Her books have given so much to so many. I rather envy those who’ve not yet read them. What a treat they have in store.


4. Movie Lullaby
Last month, when I was ill with bronchitis, there were several nights when I simply could not sleep. This, as we all know, is a most uncomfortable state to be in. I flipped and I flopped for a long while, coughing all the while. I punched my pillow and turned it over to the cool side. I straightened my sheets, folding my hands across my chest just so. I took a deep, cleansing breath. Then flipped and flopped some more. Finally, I remembered that my good friend was on holiday in Hawaii, and although it was two in the morning here in my miserable bed, it was only eight in the evening on the shores of the 50th state. So I grabbed my iPhone from the bedside table and texted her.
Are you there”, I asked.
“Of course!”, came the reply.
And for the next few nights, from her spot by the ocean, she would film a movie of the sunset to help me get to sleep. I would lie there in bed watching her view, listening to the waves lapping outside her door, grateful for the magic of friendship. And of the magic of technology.
Here’s one of my lullaby movies.
Divine, isn’t it?


5. Bicycle Basket
It seems to me that the best mode of transportation in summer is the same one we used when we were little. A bicycle. Mine was always was equipped with a basket that usually contained a book, a banana, dog biscuits and lemonade. I was here by the marshes in May and took a bike down through an old maritime forest to a secluded little sun-drenched cove where I gathered armloads of oyster shells - enough to line my new flower garden back at home. How did I carry all those shells back? A bicycle basket, of course.
A must have for summer.
I am in love with this one.
Find it HERE.


6. Ship Chess Set
I have always thought that Maine would be the best place to spend the summer months. Those bright blue skies and rocky coves seem to retain just enough of winter’s chill to make the summer oh, so comfortable. I love a summer’s day that requires a shawl round one’s shoulders after the sun dips down. Imagine an old beach house in Maine, lit by candlelight that dances on the weathered wooden walls. A summer storm is brewing out to sea and you’ve just sat down at a round table by the window where, in the center sits a chess set.
What would it look like?
Why, just like this one, of course.
Find it HERE.


7. Fox Coat
Of course, if you are like me and find yourself a bit tired of summer's heat already... if you long for the first brisk wind of autumn - the gold's of September, October's burnt orange.... well.... take heart.
It won't be too long now till we'll be wearing clothes like this.
If we're lucky.
Find it HERE.


7. Dr. Crusher and the Poem
Some years ago, I was standing in the concession line at a Loreena McKennitt concert when I felt someone staring at me. I cautiously turned to see a young man studying my profile with intensity.
Oh, my gosh! I thought you were her!! I’m sorry”, he said.
But has anyone ever told you that you look exactly like Dr. Crusher on Star Trek?
Well, gee. No woman minds being told they look like a star, I suppose, but I don’t know of many women whose egos would back flip with joy at the mention of their resemblance to a Star Trek character, and as I’d never seen the show, my mind immediately filled up with images of aliens and monsters rendering me decidedly less than flattered. Dr. Crusher? The name did not sound promising. I paid for my Diet Coke and slunk back to my seat. I did later see the lady in question and, sigh, I do rather look like her. The Songwriter even found a candy bar with her image emblazoned on the side and brought it home to me. It still resides in my kitchen and never fails to bring a smile.

I don’t suppose we ever see ourselves the way others do. Even our mirrored reflection isn’t capable of showing us our true visage, the way we are seen by others. And maybe that’s a good thing. Although occasionally, when we get a glimpse of ourselves in another’s eye, it can be an interesting sight. For example, just last week I received a phone call from an old, good friend from childhood, one of those few treasured people who has known me since I was twelve. He phoned from the car where he’d just heard a poem read aloud on the radio. “It reminded me of you! So I called to see what you’re up to.” We had a fun chat, as we always do, making plans to get together soon and catch up. Later in the day, I remembered about that poem and went online to hear it for myself, to perhaps decipher what about it reminded him of me.
I listened.
And I smiled.

On the 747

As soon as I sat down
the seven year old girl
offered me gum
and showed me a postcard
of the airplane we were in.
She was writing her mother
whom she had left at the gate,
smearing her love
in blue magic marker.
Then she pulled out a drawing
she had made of the wind
and one of a cloud
and a man who had ladders
for legs and eight arms
extending eight hands.
After the heavy body of the plane
lifted off the ground,
she held my hand and talked
about her flute teacher's birds
and the eels she had bought
in a bait store and let loose
on the beach, each one
slithering into the dark
of the green waves,
returning to what she said
she could not imagine.

by Malena Morling


I wonder.
What poem might remind someone of you?


Oh, and this just in.....
A heartfelt thanks to artist Tina Steele Lindsey for the
wonderful mention last week!
I am incredibly honored!
See it HERE