How quickly spring turned into summer. The summers of my childhood were welcomed even though I loved going to school. Vacations at the Jersey shore and on Long Island remind me of fun with cousins and aunts. As an adult the summers meant time with our children. This was usually a good thing. Brief stints at a swim club, visits to the YMCA pool and generally lazy days gave them plenty of time to be kids. Journeys to Florida to visit my parents or visits from my parents to NJ were packed with good fun.
Living without central air conditioning in our hundred plus year old house was not always pleasant. Ceiling fans in every room helped and when we couldn’t stand it anymore the window units went in. After my mother moved into the rooms on our second floor and our children found their new bedrooms on the third floor, it was no longer an option. Heat definitely rises.
When we moved to NY and began renovations that required a new furnace, the contractor asked us if we wanted central air. Summer weather in Central NY is usually pleasant. There are, of course, days with humidity and temperatures into the nineties. I decided at that point that central air was a must, even if we only used it occasionally. This was one of my better decisions regarding this house. After a spring wrought with storms that left family without electricity I think a generator is next. It should probably be enough power to keep the water pump (a necessity for bathroom use) and refrigerator running. The air conditioning would be trumped by flushing and cold food, but we will just have to rough it and remember days of old.
One day in particular, a July 3rd in NJ found us without electricity for over twenty-four hours. We had just finished lunch in a local restaurant in celebration of my mother’s birthday. Upon our return home we were met with halted fans and stagnant, steamy air. It was well into the nineties and as humid as it could be without actually raining. A local fast food restaurant (?) still had power and we had the typical hamburger and fries dinner. I can’t remember if the resulting soda spill on our light carpet in the family room was from orange soda or cola. In any event it was a disastrous mess and not fun to clean up in unbearable and stifling air. Ah, so much for summer memories.
This summer will be a special one for our family. Our son Michael will marry his long time girlfriend and fiancée, Melissa. We anticipate a day filled with joy and new memories for them. Seeing family and friends who will gather to witness and celebrate the occasion with us is sure to make the event all the more special. Hopefully it will not be too hot. Luckily, everything is planned indoors and should be comfortable. August can be brutal in NJ!
My collage was initially inspired by a magazine ad featuring beach umbrellas. The general summer theme developed and while I was working on it our air conditioning was functioning perfectly. A poem by Robert Louis Stevenson entitled “Summer Sun” seemed to express my visual interpretation.
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.
Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.
The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.
Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook.
Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.