Summer-Not-Summer Snapshots

August 16, 2016


It’s August.  School’s in and the Summer Olympics are on.  Wait…what?  Here beginneth a surreal season-not-season, it seems.


Leaving school, I see the mountains are swathed and pillowed by low puffy clouds, as if a storm bearing rain and snow were building.  Except that it’s 99 degrees outside with zero humidity and no chance of precipitation for weeks.  It’s fire season in Southern California.  Let the tragedy begin again.


The moon tonight rose bright and low in a still-daylit sky.  Nearly full, tonight it is bright enough to read by and to stir up the weird, to unsettle the uneasy juju.


My front door got a ding-dong-ditchem after nine p.m.  No one on the front porch—I peered through my windows to confirm it.  I investigated further by walking out the back and up the side driveway.  No one visible.  A car randomly started up and drove two houses to the south, stopped mid-street as if waiting for someone to emerge from the oft-disruptive neighbor’s house.


A possum–I presume one of the near-grown babies born behind my washer and/or dryer–haunted my kitchen, noisily eating all the cat food, and panicking stupidly when he thought there was no escape, despite the wide-open back door to freedom, knocking out half the water from the cats’ dish.  (No doubt, upon the next sighting, I will be rewarded with a resigned and baleful glare, the possum specialty.)


A series of shots rang out shortly thereafter.  Was it gunshots or fireworks?  A common interrogative refrain in my neighborhood anymore.  I looked out the back door and saw the starburst-shaped smoke remnant in the sky, a sight both infuriating and encouraging.


I am grateful tonight for the fans throughout the house that mask street and crazy neighbor noise and enable my sleep.  I am grateful for the thirty-plus-degree temperature span that means the house will cool enough tonight to be bearable, if I leave it open, until the height of tomorrow’s heat.  I am grateful for ice to treat the bruises I incurred in a trip.  I am grateful for sunset light through my window.  I am grateful for a friend’s fuzzy kittens.  I am grateful for meditations and checklist charts and friends who make me laugh and sound their ideas and purchases off my never-bored board.

I am grateful that life has reminded me to practice gratitude.  It helps.  It matters.


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14 thoughts on “Summer-Not-Summer Snapshots

  1. I love the way you infuse the every day with a sense that this isn’t just the everyday. From veiled threat to sublimely holy, playful to the expected irritated possum. This is delightful on so many levels. Thank you.

  2. A moonrise, ding-dong-ditchem, fireworks, and kitties … a few of my favorite things.
    Gratitude changes everything. Thank you for sharing the beauty in the everyday.

    • I’m with you on the first and last but not so much in the middle. LOL. I LOVE this and shall quote it daily to my students: “Gratitude changes everything.” Thank you for that nugget of truth.

  3. You are in the thick of school again. I honestly don’t miss the busyness of work, but I seriously miss the people, and the interactions with children. I loved your little snapshots of thoughts and descriptions. You have such a way with words, Ros. May this school year be full of delights, and moments that warm your heart. Love you.

  4. Your descriptions delight me, and your gifts of gratitude encourage me to find the things in my own life on what have been some difficult days. Thank you for that. As for those kittens? I want 🙂 A wee little girl with a great big purr. We shall see if one awaits us in a few weeks.

  5. My mom’s family lives in Southern California. Your snapshots remind me a lot of them and the stories they share about life there, with the fires, the heat, and the possums. They intentionally put cat food out for the animals (possums and raccoons, mostly) that come up from the river area near their home. Your gratitude reminds me to slow down and be grateful, too.

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