It was only 3 in the afternoon, and I felt like taking a nap.
I had slept well, gone to physical therapy for my cranky back and my bothersome tennis elbow and had my ouchie knee taped. When I got home, I took my morning walk around the neighborhood.
After a light lunch of leftovers, I got busy writing and met my deadline. I grabbed the book I had failed to crack on vacation and headed for the sun-drenched patio adjacent to our back porch. I took a glass of clear, cold water with me and plunked down in a lawn chair with my back to the warming afternoon sun.
Earlier that day, a friend in Ontario, Canada had posted a photo of herself wearing a winter jacket. It was early June. I just chuckled and went on about my day. I was exceedingly glad that yesterday’s front had cleared out the heat and humidity from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, giving us this glorious day.
Instead of sleeping, I wanted to take advantage of the pleasant weather. So there I was on the patio, book in hand, my focus elsewhere. The sky was the bluest blue, occasionally interrupted by fluffy cotton balls that lazily floated high overhead.
Given the series of recent damp days, it was nice to sit outside without getting wet. However, at my age, I mind my dermatologist. I wear sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat in the bright sunshine.
The northwest wind that had brought the below normal temperatures also waft intoxicating floral fragrances from an unknown source in the neighborhood. I knew it wasn’t me. I hadn’t yet showered.
The high-pitched humming of lawnmowers from three different directions buzzed in my ears, grating against the loveliness of the heavens and the sweet-smelling aroma. Life isn’t perfect, I rationalized.
Besides, those necessary but annoying mechanical noises had competition. Northern cardinals sang their repertoire of melodies. I can’t prove it, but I am pretty confident sound engineers mimicked the cardinal calls when they invented electronic emergency vehicle sirens. They just gave them strange, non-avian names like yelp, warble, and power call.
Still, the birds crooned and chased one another. It was nesting season after all, and birds follow their innate instincts to protect their territories and their young. Common grackles attacked a common crow that likely tried to steal one of their babies.
That’s the only way I can explain why one would fly away with a baby rabbit dangling from its bill. Furthermore, the distraught mother bunny desperately hopped in feeble pursuit of the crow. I had recently witnessed the kidnapping unfold in our neighbor’s front lawn.
American robins joined the cardinal chorus as if it were dawn, not mid-afternoon. Chimney swifts twittered overhead. I wanted to reply, but unlike a certain important someone, I don’t tweet.
About then, an American goldfinch lighted briefly at the birdbath right beside me. It flew at my slightest first movement.
One by one, the lawnmowers ceased. Mourning dove coos lulled me back to my book. I read a chapter and headed back inside to take that nap.
It had been a busy day, and I didn’t even mention that I had made a morning trek to the county landfill to deposit yard clippings and recycling. While unloading the cardboard, I chatted briefly with a professional baseball player who lives in the county. He was gracious as usual, but I’ll admit to being mildly disappointed that he never mentioned my Cleveland Indians t-shirt.
It’s great to have fair weather, even if it’s only for a day or two. It’s better, however, to be retired to fully enjoy it.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2019
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