The Trouble With Summer

Jul 1, 2017 | 0 comments

Oysterville Neighbors Horace Wirt and Harry Bowman, 1948

Of course it’s not true, but I’m blaming summer for all the things I’m not getting accomplished.  I have a long list – especially outside tasks that accumulate throughout the year and, at least to my way of thinking, can’t be done during the cold, rainy season.  Certainly not by me.  I am the poster child for Fair Weather Gardener.

But, try as I might, I make slow progress around here in the non-rainy (read: summer) season as well.  No matter when I go outside to get busy on a project, I get interrupted.  A friendly tourist hangs over the fence and asks a question (or six.)  A friend from across the bay drives by while I’m out front for a minute and we have an ‘Oysterville meeting’ in the street.  Or, the doorbell rings and it’s a relative from afar who just wanted to say ‘hello’ while they were in the area.  Besides, visiting over the back fence is an old Oysterville tradition!

Bottom line, of course, is that I’d rather visit any day instead of working in the garden or anyplace else, for that matter.  If there’s an opportunity for an interesting conversation, I’m ‘in.’  Nyel, the silent member of our two-person team, sometimes suggests “Just say no.”  I’m sure he doesn’t mean it literally but even discouraging a friendly approach goes against my better nature.

Sydney and Uncle Cecil, 1979

Like my mother and my grandfather, I have become garrulous in my old age.  It’s an Espy trait that comes out in about half of us.  The other half – the silent Espys – probably get more done.  My great uncle Cecil, for instance, was a man of few words.   In the years after his retirement from the Portland banking world, he lived alone in the big red house here in Oysterville.  He slept in the downstairs bedroom (now a bathroom) in the bed in which he was born in 1887 and kept house and property in apple pie order until his death in 1882.  At 93, he still mowed his large lawn with a push-mower.  I doubt that he ever paused to visit with anyone at all.

Today promises to be sunny and warm.  I have high hopes for big accomplishments in the flower beds.  On the other hand, it will no doubt be a grand day for folks to be out and about right here in greater downtown Oysterville – visiting the church, on their way to the Art and Artisans Fair at the schoolhouse, dropping by to say ‘hello’…  As I say, that’s the trouble with summer.


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