I know why I love summer. Light clothes and flip-flops, fresh tomatoes warm off the vine, walking on the beach and skedaddling back from the froth at shore-line. These are the things I wait for all winter. But also it seems, each year during the summer months, I can count on a weekend to arrive and deliver unexpected joy. I'll think each time as it happens...This is the one, and I'll settle in for the time, knowing whatever we are experiencing, it will never be replicated to the same degree. But no matter. When it's over, I'll savor the memory for the freedom and peace and heart-ease it delivered.
The plan was to join my husband’s brother and his wife at a camp they have use of on a lake in mid-Maine, but the weather, calling for cool, overcast and showery, didn’t cooperate. So instead, we met them at their home, outside of Portland, and decided to wander the city. It was just one of those things, “tinkle” shopping we call it, drifting down the street in Old Port, stopping where we wanted, tasting, sipping, fingering, finally stopping for lunch, where I ate an inspired sandwich, bacon, goat cheese and tomato…try it, it will not disappoint. Late in the afternoon, we found ourselves trekking through Monument Square, and to the top of the Westin Hotel, for a glass of wine with a 360 degree view of Portland, up where the wind buffeted the seagulls as they dipped and soared. The sky had cleared by then, and while we watched, a dot on the horizon became a hot air balloon drifting by, red and colorful against a back drop of city and sky…a detail, yet one that made the day memorable and complete.
We returned home the next day, in time to scoop up our daughter and head south, to Cape Cod and the Barnstable County Fair. We aren’t huge fair goers, but we’d agreed long ago to attend this one, to see a family musical group perform. I’m not much for pop-culture, but every once in a while my daughter clues me in to something that hits…well, a cord. In this case, it’s the Willis Clan, a family of singer/dancers from Tennessee. One Saturday night about two months ago, my daughter said, “Listen, Mom. You’ll like this,” before playing a couple of their songs, ethereal, evocative, violins, Irish flute, the bodhran, music that always drapes my heart. She was right. Soooo, Sunday, off we went…to watch twelve children born to the same two parents, (who if you ask me look like kids too), in an hour-long performance of music that literally brought me to tears with its beauty. Afterwards, the entertainers, age 23 and downward, stood there patiently, and with good humor, signing autographs and taking pictures with a line of folks snaking through the fairground.
It’s another detail to clutch at like the red balloon. Remember the day we went to the fair?