Still tank tops and flip flops on the beach. In the second week of September? As I cycled through the park, where the road borders the beach, I spied a sunbather, fully reclined in a vintage lawn chair, face up with her arms slipped out of the shoulder straps of her bikini top, in order to avoid unsightly tan lines I suppose. She held a cigarette in her right hand, languorously outstretched over the sand and rocks to avoid ash fall on her skin which had been slathered with something greasy. Her eyes were closed. I wondered what she was thinking.
The other day I was working on my bicycle in the garage when I heard a buzzing ruckus near one of the windows. I stepped closer to see a very large hornet in a fruitless struggle to extricate itself from a spider web. The homeowner, not more than ten percent the size of the hornet, was nearby looking on, waiting. The more the hornet struggled the more entangled it got. A minute or so passed and then the spider was on it, engulfing the head of the hornet, causing the hornet to buzz louder and struggle harder. It appeared to me the hornet was trying to turn its abdomen to position it to sting the spider? This also proved futile, eventually the hornet succumbed. Soon the buzzing stopped and its entire form went lifeless. The spider wrapped it up in a silky shroud then retreated to the edge of the web, possibly because it sensed me looking in.
My sistah has come and gone, we trust she enjoyed her first visit to the Homestead, and places beyond. Soon after she left to return home, our friends from Colorado arrived for a week-long visit. Espresso and breakfast sandwiches were prepared and served on the front porch, where our conversation turned to the sad state of affairs where we see friends gathered around a table who can’t seem to just talk to each other anymore. Vigorous nodding in assent, “Yes yes, how terribly unfortunate it has become for so many young people, where all their interactions with the world now are virtual.” Then, with breakfasts consumed and the plates licked clean by the dogs, the four of us were back on our screens. The quiet of the neighborhood punctured only now and then by the pop pop of a pneumatic nailer from the new house going up down the street. We’d become the subject of our own judgments, laughed about it together, then moved on to discuss where we would enjoy cocktail hour later in the day 😂
I don’t want to give the impression it’s 24/7 food and drink around here. Never a day goes by without at least a rousing dog walk. Plus two or three times a week I’m out on my bike for a couple hours, or HW the same in her kayak. And then there are the endless chores around the Homestead – forest floor management, tree and shrub pruning, beautification, gutter cleaning, trimming, raking, blowing, sweeping, and what have you. We’re hardly idle. Added to that are the decades of physical fitness credits we’ve banked, which are known to pay dividends later in life. Take our friend Willy up there (next to me). He’s seventy-two years old. In his thirties he hiked the entire Pacific Crest trail, from Mexico to Canada – took him about six months. He enjoyed it so much, a couple years later he hiked the Continental Divide trail, from Canada to Mexico this time. That’s a lot of credits banked in his physical well being! He can probably enjoy a happy hour every day the rest of his life and never spend down that investment. Likewise, HW and her friend Meldyne have hiked and climbed more mountains, etc. than they can recall, and I feel like all the miles I’ve pedaled bikes over the past four decades must have left me a with pretty nice nest egg too. So excuuuuse us if we enjoy a little payback time.
The four of us (plus Harry) one day earlier, still adding to our nest eggs, after a hike through a cedar forest to a mountain lake, 1000′ up