I recall the wonderful feeling after returning home at the close of a sunfilled day - my long hair slicked back and oily with sun lotion, sand under my fingernails and between my toes, my skin hot from the sun, all that tangy ocean salt that needed to be showered away. I'm a bath person. I love love love my baths. But after a day on the ocean I always took an invigorating shower. After washing away all the oil and sand and salt, I combined two or three healing lotions to massage into my skin. The coolness was absolutely marvelous on my sundrenched face and body. I used to love the homey feeling of sitting out on the porch in my nightie after the sun had gone down, combing my wet hair. The slightly cooler air felt so good after all the day's heat.
I haven't done any of that for the past two summers, since I've been single. It's definately something I miss from my former life. The weather this summer has been beautiful though. It's nice, walking to the nearby fruit market in my sundress, wandering through that rustic store to choose locally grown fruit and vegetables. Or sitting out on my patio with a book, listening to the birds in the trees, keeping an eye out for the little grey squirrel who sometimes comes right into my apartment.
The other day I went for an evening drive with my mom, through the farmlands that surround this town. We passed the old farm where my uncle and aunt used to live with their youngest daughter who was my age. Where my sisters and I spent a week each summer, and I always chose to spend most of that week alone in the hayloft with the kittens. One wall of the hayloft had an opening into the loafing barn - a large open room for the cows to gather during bad weather. I was able to climb through the opening, from the hayloft down into the manger where hay was piled for the cows to eat. I sat on top of the sweet smelling hay, gradually sinking lower as the cows pulled the hay out through the manger's slats. Eventually I was sitting eye level with the animals. Hours had passed. Now I would climb out, back into the hayloft. The kitten I had been holding was returned to its family among the straw bales, and I climbed back down the rickety wooden stairs to the barn below. I remember the feeling I had was much like the tired contentment I felt years later, after a day at Tree Island.
That farm is now a public market. The shed where we played is arranged with bins for fruit and vegetables for sale, the barn is used for storage of flats and boxes and bins. When I first moved here last fall, and visited the farm with my sister, we went into the barn. The stanchions where the cows were milked, are still there. The pens where calves were kept ... the low wall where chickens used to roost. I wandered down the center of the barn, remembering. I pulled open the old wooden door leading to the hayloft, crept gingerly up the crumbling stairs and peered into that huge and dusty room where I spent so many solitary hours. Strange how things change, yet remain the same.
Well, I was going to write about a little lovebird I'm sitting this weekend, I even had pictures ready to post, but it looks like I got sidetracked. I'll talk about that next time. I've enjoyed recalling these lazy, summery memories for you.