Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Triple-Digit Trials

This rose cluster pretty aptly illustrates my life right now:

Beautiful in part
Promising in spots
Ragged in others places
Badly in need of pruning

The temps reach into the realm of triple digits . . . again. The flurry of parties and gatherings and delightful moments all run together in a blur of rapid hoovering and hasty restocking of beach towels at the poolside. Life hums along like the bees in steady attendance at the banks of lavender running hither and yon throughout my gardens, but I cannot pause to enjoy the heady fragrance as my To Do list cries out to me even in the gardens. Of late I run like Florence Nightingale with a hose to revive the droopy leaves and parched vines that refuse to drink sustaining drafts during the automatic daily sprinkling routine in the cool hours of the morn.

Along with the outdoor duties, I cook, tidy, set tables, greet guests, clear glasses, hug new arrivals, hug farewelling ones, and even find the time to hug those who hang around here day in day out at Wisteria Cottage.

Summer has arrived and with it a host of hosting opportunities. Also on this torrent of activity rushes a raft of birthdays and anniversaries (that I manage to mix up and forget to my own detriment with those whose very self-esteem seems to rest on receiving an e-greeting with my name attached . . . oh please do forgive . . . please). Let us not forget the orthodontic appointments that we pushed beyond the party dates (which seemed SO far away several months ago) and the odd doctor’s appointment (like my annual physical – yuck!) which arrived and caught us off guard.

Did I mention the major nosebleed Matthew developed as Gary and Rachel exited one door and I made for the other to go in opposite directions for different appointments? You probably guessed that one of us arrived on the tardy list.


And does it really have to top 100 again today? I mean it . . . can we discuss this . . . take a vote . . . flip a cosmic switch . . . pass some sort of two-foot-high referendum without reading a word of it . . . ?????

(Oh pardon my rant . . . I believe I just snapped!)

Eventually, despite my best efforts to maintain Super-Woman status I falter, stumble, and then C*R*A*S*H completely.

I sit here in my favorite chair, positioned in the stream of coolness emanating from the cooler, of course – though the jet stream of AAAAAHHHHHH that caught me up as I stood before the open fridge did a nice job of lowering my temps, as well. I ramble, babble, and generally type without a roadmap of any sort. There will be no fancy tales or taut observations today – nope, nothing pithy or weighty; not even a quotable quote to be found as far as I can tell amongst this blather of consciousness that streams between my ears like a sirocco wind and pours out onto the captive keyboard.

I stop.

I retreat.

I find a peaceful moment and wallow in it.

I find the loving embrace of my Father.

I rest.

I read a devotional clip missed in the flurry of recent entertaining.

Like water from a rock it rushes out to me, catches me up, and cools me off.

Thank you, Lord, that You have set aside places,
Special trysting places where we can meet with You.

Alistair Eberst

How Wonderful it is to talk with God
When cares sweep o’er my spirit like a flood;
How wonderful it is to hear his voice,
For when He speaks the desert lands rejoice.

Theodore H. Kitching

We’ve all got little cells in our hearts, little hermitages that God wants to fill. For some there’s a place of silence. It’s hard to be silent. It’s hard to stop. To know God in the quiet is worth a lot – it’s there we’ll get our vision and our peace to come through whatever hits us.
Celtic Daily Prayer (7/23)

As I finish reading the snippet of devotional text and the accompanying verses of enrichment I look up and find myself in a deserted room. All alone. This one has scurried off to tidy her room; that one retreated to tackle French; the little one reluctantly left the gathering with a fresh new Math book under her arm. Gary and Matthew made off for the office some time ago, so I sit here with only the Lord to hear my thoughts.

Peace . . .

A true gift.

My external whining has ceased. My internal gnawing has quieted. This moment floats gently into the next as I sip the final drops of tea and thank the Lord, once again, for steadfastly holding my elbow as I maneuver the daily path.

A few winks of rest refresh me as a gentle birdsong-laced cd of instrumental sweetness lulls me.

I reach into my chair-side basket of goodies and pluck out the delightful read, Clementine in the Kitchen, by Phineas Beck (aka Samuel Chamberlain) published in 1943.

This entertaining (and true) look at an American writer and family living just North of Paris in a stone cottage with a French cook, "Clementine," makes my tummy growl and my laugh lines sprout each time I delve into its pages. The pre-WWII opening takes a decided (and humorous) turn when the publisher of Gourmet magazine (the author’s employer) calls the entire family home for their own safety in 1939. Loathe to leave Clementine behind, the family pleads and succeeds in returning to the Boston area with Clementine in tow.

Though I have scarcely taken in 65 pages I am smitten and eager to read on. The lighthearted prose and drippingly delicious culinary descriptions (even the escargot recipe sounds fabulous – but oh that prep step ~~ ICK!!) serve as the perfect antidote for my weariness these days. Laughter truly lifts the whole body-soul-outlook combo, doesn’t it?

Reading about a French-speaking cook meeting up with an Alabama-born cook in a Connecticut Farmhouse brought a smile to my lips and growls from my tummy.

It’s 1:32 pm and I feel the need for a snack already. I just bought a wedge of Port Salud yesterday, along with some fresh blueberries. Mmmmmm! The day has definitely improved all the way around.

I shall bid farewell as I make my way to the kitchen and then settle down for an afternoon’s worth of delicious reading about Clementine’s delightful stateside adventures in the kitchen.

: D


Anonymous said...

Bless your heart triple digits are hard...
My hubby is working in the desert right now and I don't envy him at all!
Yesterday in the shade was 108...blech!
We have been warmer but with HIGH humidity but I am grateful to have the warm weather.

Hope that you are doing well and are staying cool!

Wishing you oodles of joy today~ especially cool ones! ♥

Linda said...

Well, you are back. I'm sorry it is so hot. We are having very nice, cool weather, especially for late July! The fair is this week, and it is usually so unbearable!

Here is my thought for you.

The value of friends: “Such is friendship, that through it we love places and seasons; for as . . . flowers drop their sweet leaves on the ground around them, so friends impart favor even to the places where they dwell. With friends even poverty is pleasant. . . . It would be better for us that the sun were exhausted than that we should be without friends.”

I thought of you when I read it, and then I copied it to my blog, thinking I wouldn't be able to find it when you next posted.

Bless you, dear friend!

sukipoet said...

oh my. except for the last two days we have been wet and damp and cool here. I am glad you are finding respite in your quiet ways. those roses are sooooo lovely. be well, suki

Karen Deborah said...

yeah, me too.

Tricia said...

Even when you say you feel scattered, reading the thoughts you put out on your blog helps to center and calm my spirit. Thanks for the cup of tea! God bless you dear friend.

jojo said...

I always love coming here and reading your words, even your hectic day sounds lovely when you describe it. It's been unusually hot here this week, triple digits too, and is very difficult for me to get to my to-do list! It is growing by leaps and bounds but I am sure it will be there when it cools down a bit.
Bless you Deb, for all you do, for reaching out to me with such love and comfort when I am having a hard day. You bring joy and Grace into my life and I am so glad we found each other. I treasure your comments and I thank you for your kindness and friendship. Take care my dear...

imbeingheldhostage said...

If we could just share a little of the weather we're each experiencing, we might just have the perfect combination. The UK has cancelled summer for the 3rd time in a row.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

We've been much cooler and wetter than usual this year.

Except for what it does to my flowers on the deck, I'll take the cooler weather!

scrappy quilter said...

You have such a beautiful way with words...they bring calm in a midst of a storm. I read and then feel peace...thank you for writing such wonderful words even when you have triple digit trials. Hugs..

Karey said...

I just checked and requested Clementine in the Kitchen from the library. Looking forward to reading it.