When we planned our house over a decade ago, I thought we would use our deck looking out on our little lake a lot. We and guests do go in and out and stand out there often enjoying the view and the air, but we do not use it as much as I anticipated. Only occasionally do we actually sit and have long conversations out there. It so often seems too hot or too cold if not raining.
I thought Gerald and I might eat out there frequently. We don’t. It is easier and quicker to serve meals inside the kitchen than on the outside table; and when Gerald comes in from outside work, I figure he enjoys the air conditioning inside as we watch the view. We can also watch the birds at the feeder from inside, but the birds would not likely gather there if we were sitting outside.
The birds are one of the things we have enjoyed most about the deck, but they are also one reason we use it less. The bird droppings are not always as attractive as the birds—especially when a splatter hits a newly washed window.
In my imagination, I planned dinner parties for the deck, but except for an occasional picnic meal for grandkids, no dinner parties have happened. I thought I would read out there, but the very first summer we lived here, I kept getting rained out when I tried that and, therefore, never took up the habit.
A friend told me she would sip her morning coffee out there, and it sounded so good that occasionally I do that. This week I have a couple of times. I enjoyed as always the martins swooping by with their lovely aerial ballet. I was reminded it was time to cook up some nectar and put out the hummingbird feeders as I always like having them fly close to my head when I sit in that swing in the summer time. So when Gerald and I shopped at Kroger on senior day Wednesday, I picked up a new feeder on sale to go with the ones I need to get out from last summer. Now I must make that nectar.
I talked by phone with Katherine at the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis last night. She asked how her dad was, and I was able to give her good reports since he spent Wednesday going to appointments. First he had a dental appointment and they checked out his new partial with a wax mold. The dentist and his father (who makes the dentures) will refine it further, and Gerald was well pleased. Then he hurried up to Benton to get a part for our son-in-law Brian who is working night and day with the planting right now.
We’d agreed on an early lunch, but Gerald had to eat hurriedly so we could leave for Carbondale for his two appointments there. I traveled along so that I could recycle the stuff accumulated in the garage. I’d packed both the trunk and the back seat of the car the afternoon before with newspapers, cardboard, tin cans, plastic, and glass. I was able to accomplish that unloading task while he was pronounced in good shape by his cardiologist who monitors his atrial fibrillation. I also had time to take my Birkenstocks to Shawnee Trails to be sent off and resoled.
We had a little time before an appointment at The Hearing Place, so we visited the near-by air conditioned McDonnell’s and Gerald treated us with a cup of ice cream and diet cola. I had Darrel Dexter’s book I am reading to entertain myself while he saw John Reimbold, and then we had time for two more errands before we stopped at senior day at Kroger. Gerald helped me get the trunk load of groceries (a month’s supply of many items) inside before we ate the on-sale tacos we’d picked up at a Marion drive-in window. Then he did another task either in his shop or for Brian I cannot remember. Anyhow I felt the busy day should prove to Katherine that her dad was in good shape.
Today Brian has finished planting our farm and our sister-in-law Opal’s farm, and Gerald is helping him move machinery over to the acres that Brian rents near Harrisburg. Everyone will breathe a sign of relief when all the crops are in for everyone. Of course, by then I think Brian’s wheat crops will need harvesting. Those fields are beautiful right now.
It is a busy time for farmers, but I may go sit on the swing again tomorrow and see if I have attracted any hummingbirds yet.
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