MY LIFE – Reflections on a day in August

MY LIFE – Reflections on a day in August

Today is a lovely Thursday halfway through August and the sun is just beginning to sink down behind the trees. Not quite sunset yet, but definitely a quiet time when both the day and I can sit back, take a deep breath and reflect on what a really nice day it has been. The kind of day that leaves you with a deep sense of well-being and feeling glad to be alive.

Everything is quiet here right now. The heat of the day has given way to milder air and I have opened the doors and windows, allowing the fresh air to start circulating through. I am thinking how pleasant it would be to take a tall drink of some sort and sit in a comfy chair out in the sunroom, reading for as long as the natural light allows.

All told, the day has been pretty good, neither perfect nor totally unremarkable, beginning as it did with a slight rush to get both myself and the house in shape for an expected visit from an old friend scheduled for 9 a.m. I had frittered away a couple of early hours, as I do every day, completing the New York Times mini crossword puzzle (as challenging a puzzle as I care to tackle), and then reading the New York Times online before catching up on my emails. But once I was dressed, shampooed, and got the kitchen spiffed up, I was ready to face the day.

My friend arrived right on schedule. We had a nice chat as I cut a bagful of basil from my stupendously productive plants for her and then invited her into the kitchen so I could show her how I package my pesto for the freezer.

A minor emergency presented itself when I opened the freezer door and discovered that at some point, a can of Coke had exploded in there. Everything ... and I mean ev-er-y-thing ... was covered in the frozen mess that happens when a can of soda explodes in the freezer. I dreaded the cleanup, but it went a lot more smoothly than anticipated. I consoled myself with the fact that I had been planning on cleaning the freezer soon anyway, and to be honest, it looks great now.

Then, figuring “in for a penny, in for a pound,” I went ahead and cleaned the fridge, too, filling a trash bag with an amazing assortment of plastic storage containers full of old leftovers, out-dated bottles of salad dressings, cheeses, and green things I had hoped to someday eat but never quite gotten around to. All that remains to be dealt with now is a quart jar of 3-year-old preserved basil that had been lurking out of sight and out of mind way behind everything at the back of the fridge. I never did make it all the way down to the vegetable bins at the bottom of the fridge, but what I see when I open the refrigerator door is looking pretty good anyway.

Later, I took my grandson JR and his cousin Chris out for Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch, one of their favorite gourmet treats. Mine, too, truth be known. Five-dollar boxes all around, complete with a chocolate chip cookie for dessert (the boys shared mine) and everyone was happy.

That done, the day was pretty much mine to just fritter away. I checked to make sure the two really nice eggplants growing in the garden hadn’t been mauled by nighttime critters since I am planning to harvest and serve them “a la Parmigiana” with spaghetti and meatballs on Saturday. They were still safe, but I think I will probably go ahead and pick them tonight just to be on the safe side. It’s the first eggplant I have ever grown and I’m kind of proud of them.

I checked my Little Free Library as I do every day to see if it had seen any action since the day before. Things went pretty slowly for the first month or two, but lately I have been finding a book or two gone, and more often than not, a new book or two added to the collection. Today it was one out and three in. I had initially anticipated a lot of interest by young readers, but that never materialized, leaving me with tons of kids’ books. Adult books have been moving, though, which puts a smile on my face whenever I find gaps between what had been tightly packed books.

And speaking of reading, I have finally gotten back into the habit myself, after months of no time due to knitting projects that needed doing.

I had to laugh when I recently saw a posting on Facebook that questioned how many of us were the kind of people who are currently reading three books at once, with another stack of books on the table still waiting to be read next, another stack waiting to be read someday, all while also keeping a running list of other books we still want to get. It never occurred to me that other people did that, too.

I would be embarrassed to tell you how many books I have stacked on the table next to my recliner right now, but I just this afternoon finished “The Beekeeper’s Promise,” highly recommended by my daughter Kathy. Three days ago I finished “We Must Be Brave,” a truly wonderful book recommended by my friend Diane that I finally bought from Thriftbooks, a very reasonably priced, used book site online, and “The Hobbit” is winging its way to Cumberland as I speak. Life is good.

Now I think I will settle down with a cold drink and “On the Bright Side,” the sequel to a delightful book called “The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old,” all of which will eventually find their way into my Little Free Library, if you’re interested.

Rhea Bouchard Powers is a writer from Cumberland.