Sunday, July 21, 2013

The fresh morning air and other comments

Up early, flinging open all the doors and windows to refresh the house.  Outside, breathing deeply, watering all the pots, looking lovingly on the nicotinia that now has about a dozen blooms, - enough to scent the evening air with its sweet and spicy fragrance. 

 Looking askance at the lawn mower, - is it too early to cut the front lawn?  Even a reel mower will waken sleeping neighbours - but it's so hot later on. 
Remembering the neighbor who starting spraying at 5 a.m. and how Charles would clutch his brow in dismay that the machine still whined and roared because of some mechanical failure that the neighbor never fixed. - I determine to cut the lawn a little later, after breakfast.....
We are in the midst of a mini heat wave, - the weatherman's icons show only hot orange suns for the next five days, with temperatures in the mid thirties, centigrade.  Probably one should add three or four degrees to get an accurate reading in the Similkameen.... 

Everything outdoors gets done in the morning 
In the house I wait until the very last minute to close the doors and turn on the air conditioning, and use it minimally.  I am very ambivalent about air conditioning, - grateful for a cool house to return to if I have been out in the blazing sun but prepared to put up with above normal house temperatures to avoid the drying effects of artificial cooling.  Yet always mindful of our good fortune that at the click of a button we can turn on cooling air in this semi desert country..
It is high summer!  The beaches are packed with brown bodies and umbrellas, and the highways are a terror at any time of the day.  In the Okanagan the campgrounds are packed with holiday trailers, side by each, and there is a friendly feeling of all-being-in-this-together-and-isn't it-fun! 

Well, it is mainly fun, but a sad day here on the river yesterday, when a young man became pinned under some rocks in the water and drowned.  It seems that each day drownings are part of the news, and motor vehicle accidents, and sometimes I think of the days before we all became so affluent and mobile,  flitting here and there up and down the highways on every long weekend, and were content to stay at home on the long, cool verandah, sipping lemonade and mint juleps.  And the children slept in tents out on the back lawn because life was safe and civilized.......and Charles used to tell of days when he was young when they would leave home after breakfast and not return until supper time, having spent the days in the hills or at the beach,
 and nobody had to worry about their whereabouts and safety.
Oh my, I am beginning to sound like a cranky old lady, hot and harried.
If I can find my electric frying pan (which I haven't seen since we moved) I am off to make Welsh cakes for tea this afternoon for my son who was 67 yesterday and my DIL who has a day off from her restaurant.  He was reluctant to make the journey to this world, - ten days late, most of which I spent under a big cherry tree, trying to stay cool in a July that was every bit as hot as this one, - but I was so much younger!!!!!
When I finally hit the labour room I spent a delusional day in the company of
an old Indian who sat in a corner on a chair, and I have often wondered about
this since, - the site of the old hospital
 was a camping ground for First Nations people
before the White Man came, - did he know I needed comforting?
Margaret Ritchie's Welsh Cakes
2 cups sifted flour
3 tsps. baking powder
1/2 to 2/3 cups granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups currants softened in water and patted dry
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
Mix dry ingredients and sift.  Cut in butter to a coarse meal.  Stir in beaten eggs and flavouring with a fork, making a soft dough. 
Knead 10 to 12 times. 
Roll out 1/3" thick.
Cut with cookie cutter and fry in electric fry pan (ungreased) at 340 to 360 degrees F,
5 to 6 minutes each side.
Serve buttered, with jelly or jam, or cream cheese.

They bring back lovely memories of afternoon tea with Margaret,
who was the dearest of friends, but
who has been gone these many years.
Keep cool!!!!


Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I had not known of your loss and just came to acknowledge it. I hope you are as fine as you can be in this changed world and that indeed the winds of heaven are only dancing between you.

Penny said...

Here it is still cold and stormy.We will get to the heat of summer sooner than I like to think.
Stay cool.

Hildred said...

Thank you for your thoughts, Elizabeth. It is a changed world, but we are gradually becoming friends, and along with the winds of change are the winds of heaven, dancing.....