Tuesday, May 13, 2014


One by one, my friends are released from teaching...it's Summer. Some will continue to teach in shortened Summer semesters, but some will not.

It's gotten hot too quickly for this valley in the mountains. The very early morning is quite cool, though. And of course, it is always cool under the trees.

It's time to eat collations of cucumbers and tomatoes and pasta and mayonnaise. It's time for coleslaw and potato salad and cold ham or hot burgers. Time for feta in my spinach salad, with strawberries and walnuts. It's time to gather by the river to eat.

When I was a teenager, and we had no air conditioner, Mom and Dad would pile my brother and I into our old car and head for a spot on Riverland Road. There was a place to park there, and we would all jump into the Roanoke River after a long, Summer's day, until the river washed the memory of the day's sweat from us.

My Grandfather, Papa, was the first relative to have "central air." It was not a small accomplishment for early '70's Raleigh, North Carolina. And I relished it. He always had central air after that house. I think something in the memory of working in the fields in rural Raleigh, and his World War II service in Persia, made sleeping in cool air the ultimate experience for him.

And I am old enough to remember when the old A & P grocery store in my hometown had the doors flung open to the breeze. You had to go to the drugstore next door, to step into air conditioning. And in the old, old cigar and candy store, the sap would run down the walls in the summer...

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