Monday, July 19, 2010

A Cheery Saturday Morning

Birdhouse with bear's foot

Saturday morning was so strangely cool and bright, a welcome change from the usual July humidity and haze. I ran around the yard taking pictures and feeling wildly happy. My giddiness reminded me of the way I used to feel when I was a kid and my sister Kris and I would “rejoice for spring.” “Let’s rejoice for spring,” I’d say, and we’d go running and leaping through the wild violets in the backyard. (Rejoicing for spring always involved leaping.) Spring is such a short season in North Florida, gone in the blink of an eye. We’d spend the precious days picking the neighbors’ loquats, sipping wild honeysuckle nectar, and making half-assed crowns of white clover.

But anyway, back to my present-day dorkiness. I am still very affected by beautiful weather, and Saturday’s coolness and freshness made everything Rob and I did seem extra fun. We picked lots of tomatoes that morning—and eggplant and habanero peppers. The vegetable garden was full of sparkle, with lighted raindrops hanging from the tassels of the corn.

After we picked and weighed all our vegetables, we got busy with some projects. We worked on painting our picket fence around the pond (but we still didn’t finish). Then I planted five Georgia asters and three purple coneflowers in the big bed under the dining room windows. Next we made another batch of cement stepping stones, using cheap cake pans as molds. We make four every weekend, decorating them with old marbles, bits of broken crockery, foreign coins, seashells, buttons, and bits of glass. We’ve made dozens so far, and we always need more. My favorite is the one Rob made to honor our beloved cat Pittle, who died last winter. He used glass jewels to suggest her pure white fur and huge blue eyes.

All morning, Buntin, our pretty, wild-eyed tortie, kept running outside, which she's not allowed to do. She's so funny—so intense and so moody, subject to fits of jealousy and wild emotion. Rob says she runs outside so she can have “special time” with us, away from the other cats. So on Saturday whenever she dashed out through the screen door, we’d take a few minutes to sit with her and pet her and let her eat grass . . . and she’d be so happy for maybe 30 seconds . . . but then she’d get a little mad and maybe she’d bite me.

But that’s just Buntin for you. I call her our tame hyena—because her pattern really is quite hyena-like. Often I’ll say, “Rob, you need to do a better job taming your hyena.” Because she does have a bit of a temper. The one thing that really calms her is when Carl (her best friend, her baby brother) lets her groom him. She is so patient then, carefully licking his stripes into place. . . .

Birdhouse with corn

One of our homemade stepping stones, surrounded by mint

The great "Pittle" stone

Buntin, the escape artist

Cutleaf coneflowers galore

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