Monday, July 27, 2009

Cool Breezes up North

Despite the nightly rain storms, the slow and heavy mosquitoes, and the cooler temperatures, we are out and about daily. A summer of fires in the fire place, oodles of monopoly games, puzzles and legos and cards. Just to reassure those not of this area, it is unseasonably cool this year, and the agricultural schedule is very much upset. Normally, there would be fresh corn, zucchini and yellow squash at the farm next door by mid-July. The cherries are very late -- to give you an idea, there is a cherry festival over the first weekend of July here every year, and this year the cherries had to be imported from Eastern Washington! Global warming is to be renamed as unusual climate shifts.

It's apt though, to spend vacation vegging with a good book, baking cookies, making hot chocolate for a crew of children. With time on my hands I'm plunging into a classic -- George Elliot's Middlemarch. Leo and I are making slow headway through his Alexander the Great, and Mom is finding time to drill some English spelling into his head.

Previous summers found us on the beach for hours every afternoon. Such is not the case this year. But no one seems worse for wear. Then again, we who've arrived from Provence have already had three months of lovely sunny weather. It's hard to believe that the locals here have only recently put away their heaviest sweaters (fleece, light sweaters and jeans are still very much part of our wardrobe). Yes, I spent the month of June in tank tops, shorts or light skirts, but not so my friends up here. I still drool when I think of the gorgeous tomatoes I was slicing up into salads not so very long ago....

Today, at long last, the sun is shining, the tennis court has dried off, and a boat trip to Long Island (a lovely sandy spot on our lake) with a simple packed picnic is the plan. I'm hoping to find a moment -- the first of this trip -- to wack at some tennis balls with Ma this afternoon, as well as Leo.

I get short notes from Provence from various friends, but mostly, it seems a far off world to us right now. We're all getting our "American fix" in through trips to the cinema, popcorn, Grandma's brownies and Michael Jackson memorial magazines (for Leo). And yet, I've had no cravings for my classic junk food purchases (unfrosted blueberry pop tarts, white cheddar cheese popcorn, and cream-cheese frosted carrot cake). Any significance in this?

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