I wanted to write so much yesterday but ended up scouring my kitchen after finding moths in the pantry. Then I was so exhausted. This morning I caught up on the neighborhood and deleted a few of those bizarre spam comments I got on Monday; I figure I'll get to many of them over time, but some were added to old posts I might not get back to, at least for a long time. At least no more of them can get through.
It's funny, on the way to mid-90s again today and tomorrow before a bit of Earl air is to cool things off, yet there is still a sense of summer's impending end in the air. Today is the first day of September but I feel I didn't quite capture the essence of August this year as I usually do. And I've been thinking about how both my parents died at summer's end; Dad on August 28, 2009, Mom on September 3, 1989. I'm old enough that this should not affect how I perceive seasonal changes, yet it's difficult to not take some personal meaning from that.
As some of you know, at this point in my life, winter temperatures bring on physical pain and breathing difficulties for me. Last year, the heavy snow was a strange reprieve; somehow I could breathe better in it, and I think it actually insulated the house. But the rest of the time, I struggled to move around for weeks, worn out from aching and the effort of inhalation. I tried a daily medicine for this the year before, but it made my heart race.
So I don't look forward to autumn because I can't look forward to winter and the long, long grey slide toward spring. I always mean to embrace it each year; that hibernation/rest period needed in our part of the world by everything that grows. I make a few plans but mostly attempt to relax and reflect my way through the short grey days and dark evenings, with fires and hot drinks and games with the family. However, though I am partially successful at that, I still feel barely mobile for weeks. I gained back the 15 pounds I lost in 2008, and struggled all this strangely hot summer to create the energy to battle it off again. Right now I'm about 12 pounds over my personal best middle-aged weight. If autumn is mild, I can hopefully will away another 5, so that winter doesn't dawn as heavily as did spring.
Anyway. Enough of that. I'm going to write about the culmination of the Great Christie Read in another post, then want to tell you how excited I am to be reading through Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series again.
On the anniversary of my dad's death, we went fishing. We didn't catch anything, but it was a very good way to relax and not think big Thoughts about grave Things. I controlled the XM remote in the car, and we listened to all the sorts of music Dad liked best. So that was nice. Then later that evening, I bought paint and supplies for the living room. Dad was a painting contractor most of his life, and many of my memories of him have to do with painting, or mixing paint, etc. So on Sunday, I cleared everyone out and painted the living room. I listened to my iPod through the stereo speakers, mostly all lounge music, my style as well as his, and I taped and rolled my way through the day just as he might have. By mid-evening I was finished, arranged the furniture, rehung the pictures, and kicked back to Mad Men with a large martini.
On Monday, I was barely mobile all day, and still felt stiff and sore yesterday, but of course it was worth it.
Yesterday we found moths in the pantry, which is in a little hallway extension of the kitchen, across from the washer and dryer. So I emptied that out and washed it, threw away many things, and then ended up rearranging some of the kitchen as well. I hung Wet Jazz on a wall in here, and so the room feels freshened up and somehow cleaner. Now if only I could do the same thing to my library. I got quite a bit of that in order a couple of weeks ago, but have never been able to replace my broken bookshelves, so there are stacks of books waiting for a new home.
August is my time of home renewal. I do this in March or April as well, setting things in order for a new season. But August is special.
My chest hurts right now. Adult on-set asthma is different than what kids have, it seems. The airways are not completely closed off, they just narrow and create this pressure, making the center of my ribcage hurt and making it hard to breathe deeply in or out. This creates a certain amount of fatigue, and the effort of breathing also makes me ache in my shoulders and back. Then at some point there's some coughing and resulting phlegm. But I've gotten used to this, slowly, over the past eight years since it began. It's just that it can't be willed away. I can work through arthritis pain, and muscle pain, but at some point, this other effort can't be battled through. I hate for my kids to see me so tired and inactive. It's triggered by mold, cat urine, cold, and there must be something more; I've actually always had other kinds of mold sensitivities even before big exposure to it that caused the asthma symptoms to appear, but something else related to all this is bothering me today; maybe another form of ammonia than what the cat offers, I don't know.
I'm marinating a piece of beef (pro-spelling tip: you marinate with marinade,) thinking about offering a dessert later, undecided. The garden is currently yielding various peppers, a few tomatoes are still ripening since they were given a drought reprieve last week, and the acorn and butternut squashes are happily nestled in their vines waiting to be turned into delicious things to eat. And there are still leeks to pull. I was going to plant green beans and lettuces for fall harvest, but I'm inclined not to at this point; next year I'll be better prepared for how it works there, and know just how to begin.
I have tons of stuff in my head to write; I thought I'd write a story about Jack's childhood, for one thing. I want to write about the rather profound difference in my parents' deaths. I want to write in my cooking blog about soup, and I want to share more old recipe photos. Back here, some wonderful things I discovered while reading the final five Agatha Christie books. And the real joy I take in reading about that old brownstone on W. 35th Street. I feel really tired, but maybe if I pace myself I can get to lots of it. You feed energy by using energy, after all. It's how the universe was created and continues to grow.