Saturday, July 21, 2018

Rain!

Glorious rain!  I've contemplated the fact, Dear Reader, that a rainy Saturday is not usually tops on the wish list of most people.  You know, it's summertime!  Weekends are for outdoor weddings and picnics and barbeques and pool parties and ballgames and outdoor concerts and bike rides and hiking and, well, they're just for being in the great outdoors to avoid the hum of an air conditioner or four walls closing off the natural world!

There's the little factor, however, that we've got to have rain at some point. One gets tired of unreeling the hose to water all the wilting flowers, and the vegetable gardens start to suffer, and the grass gets crunchy.  One realizes that when it comes right down to it, one should be dancing in the rain!!*




*Saturday or not, and sans an umbrella!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Summer Olio

The summer days have been so splendidly smooth and easily-survived here in my area lately.  Approaching my covered bridge the other day, I came across this picturesque scene:  A painter working on a picturesque scene. 
And then, there was this:  with the World Cup so recently capped, it's time for the next generation of World-cuppers to start getting their soccer caps on (Reader Dear, forgive me; sometimes I can't help myself.  [But, agree with me,  won't you?] There should be an equivalent for the "baseball cap")  Here's my Little Actor stepping up to the ball.

While not particularly a summertime activity, the Yard Man and I attended a performance of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at a local theater.  Reader Dear, it was five star!  Of the complete story of the Hunchback, I had recalled only that (you know who) did this (you know what) in Quasimodo's arms. Even with that advance knowledge, these actors still kept me on the edge of my seat!






Prior to that action on the stage, this action on the highway grabbed my attention, as the Yard Man and I were headed speedily into the city to see the play:
(Royal ducks.  No Crosswalk sign needed.) 





I believe the government is serving refreshments along the road where I live. 











Dear Reader, I'm letting you know: Out of tiny roots, some mighty fine  weeds can grow!








Now, lest you waste any time in pondering how I could have (or would have) overlooked such a weed in the space of time that it would take to grow to such towering heights, let me present my large and colorful defense:


(The wily weed's babyhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and well into its middle-aged life was spent safely hidden within the mass of tall and abundant blooms)

Speaking of colorful, don't you agree, Reader Dear, it's one of the largest perks of summertime--the abundance of bright decorations growing everywhere at the drop of a seed?!



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Monday, July 16, 2018

Live Summer Music

Yesterday afternoon, Listener Dear,  I enjoyed lots of live music.  First of all, I got to see another live performance by my Itty-Bitty Actor, part of his repertoire of Beatles' numbers.


This was followed by a  rendition of "Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you..."
presented by a pop-up singing group that happened to be gathered around the picnic table on the lawn of the Yard Man and myself (alas, no recording, as I spontaneously joined the  singing group).



"Shall I tell you my birthday wish?" she asked.


Later on, my Small Actor was strumming his guitar in the entrance to Domino's Pizza (with an audience of myself and my Tiny Actor and whomsoever happened to come through the door exiting or entering the main part of the restaurant).  I wished to film the Small Actor's mini-concert, but was strictly denied filming rights (by the artist himself).  As it happened, a young man (complete stranger) who was leaving the restaurant, requested the use of the Small Actor's guitar to do a short number of his own. This I recorded.



Ultimately, there was the Sunday Evening Concert at the Park, the most official concert of the day (largest crowd, most songs in their repertoire, most well-known singers). The band was Birds of Chicago.

My theme song, Reader Dear:   "...This is not the day I die; but if it is, that's alright"


Ending with a note of hope, 
"...the flowers of America, they will bloom again..."


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Monday, July 9, 2018

Second Weekend

The tail end of the first weekend (the holiday which passed as a weekend), was finished off with a spectacular sunset!

I'm taking you back to the hill at Melvin and Esther's house, and the very pleasant evening with the hosts and their family and the group of international visitors.





The colors in the sky grew more brilliant as the sun sank.  Then, just as the sun was so far beyond the horizon that the light was nearly gone, the fireflies came out of the ground and set their little magical lights aglow.  Many of the Europeans in the group were thrilled to see them.  One woman explained to me that back home in Germany the lightening bugs had disappeared for years and years.
She was carried back to her childhood at the sight of them, and was filled with nostalgia.  Reader Dear, it was a tender moment.


............








But, the earth continued to move around the sun.  And I was carried along.  And here we are, Dear Reader, you and me,  at my post about the second weekend.
It consisted of a lot more (distant) fireworks, popping and booming and barely visible all around the horizon  (from my spot on this hill where I live).
All through the fifth of July and the sixth of July and the seventh of July and even the eighth of July there were after-dark fireworks.



(Viewer Dear, they were tiny and insignificant; if I were you, I wouldn't bother viewing these clips)

 As in the case of the first weekend, the best part of the second weekend was the final hurrah.  It was the regular Sunday evening summer concert at the park.  The weather was, once again,  perfect!  And the band was a good one, Lords of 52nd Street.
































I sang, "Oh, sing us a song" while the band sang "Sing us a Song"
And they did.

It was a happy ending to the doubly-ended week, Listener Dear!
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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Two-Weekend Week

Reader Dear, when a holiday falls smack dab in the middle of a week, it's like breaking a chocolate bar in two and sharing it with a friend (You've suddenly got double the chocolate)!

First, there was the beginning of the week:
In which my Little Actor and my Tiny Actor present me with a course of study entitled Lego-Constructed Star Wars for the Uninformed. 





 (When the teachers tired of teaching, we took a break and simply played games.)


















Moving on to the first  (fake) Weekend, aka The Fourth of July!


There was the family fest, compliments of the Yard Man's extended family (hosted by his Youngest Sis and Bro-in-law).  Fabulous!
 



This was followed by the Fourth of July late evening: fireworks popping all around the neighborhood.

At the start of the (pretend) second week, we had real and actual fireworks in the evening (the big kind, high overhead and impressive) at a local park.  Due to the fact that there was real and actual rain falling,  I confess, Dear Reader, that I dragged my flag (so to speak) about going to see the fireworks.  The Yard Man had made plans to meet "the German group"* and watch the fireworks with them.   At the last minute, I opted to join the expedition.  When we got near the park, The Yard Man pulled the car over beside a busy road where we hoped to have a quasi-acceptable view, and the van-load of Germans pulled their van in behind us.  Immediately, most of the foreign contingency exited the van and took off into the dark rainy night to find a better viewing spot.  The Yard Man decided to follow suit.  That left myself and the German driver of the van to have our own  small (and rain-free) International Viewing of American Fireworks Display!  (We each had a dry and comfortable window seat in the van).


Disregarding  the lights and noise provided by the passing traffic, the two of us rated the lights and noise in the sky overhead to be top-rate!

Advancing into the second half of the week, I had a marvelous afternoon with an old and dear friend.  We simply sat and talked for three hours.  (Well, we ate a little chocolate and drank some cold drinks) Alas, no photos.  But, take my word for it, Reader Dear, it was one of the high lights (pun intended) of my week!

On the verge of the second weekend, The Yard Man and I had a Friday evening  dinner invitation which we shared with the German group.  These German folks (and several from Switzerland) had come to this country to attend Horse Progress Days (this year it was held in Michigan).  Now they were en route to New York and their flight home.  Melvin and Esther, an Amish couple, had invited them (and us) to their home for a meal (pretty much an annual event).  The weather was a perfect ten.  The food was very high on the scale, as well.  And since I'm going to be using more superlatives to describe the evening, I might as well tell you that the barn (we had a tour) was the cleanest and most organized house for animals that I have ever seen (I marveled to myself and quietly told those horses and ponies how lucky they were!)




We ate outdoors:  Ham, green beans and potatoes, a corn-and-zucchini casserole, cole slaw, freshly-baked bread with butter and homemade strawberry jam.  Dessert consisted of  three kinds of pie, a raspberry sauce, and peach cake with ice cream.  

Viewer Dear, in the background of the above photo you can see a hill.  After eating our fill, the guests (with our hosts)  walked up there to a very large meadow.


Our time on the meadow, Viewer Dear, is where gushing is imperative! I've got so many photos of the sunset that it's going to be tough to show you a mere handful.  And, whistling on the grass, the lightening bugs, the camaraderie with new international friends, the sheer beauty of the evening...ahhh...


I've got to leave you hanging around the hillside, Dear Viewer.  So sorry to leave you abruptly, but this two-weekend week has another weekend to go, and the blog post is growing long.

(Just give a whistle and I'll be back)

*Click on the link.  You'll soon see, Viewer Dear, this hosting of international guests takes place quite regularly.