Thursday, May 27, 2010

AC Weather

Temperatures are predicted to be 91 degrees out there today, and I may just might have to buckle under and turn on the central air for the first time this year. I don't pay a lot of attention to the numbers, but when my bodily thermostat feels it's uncomfortably hot, I have to do something about it. We've been using our ceiling fans and have the windows open. It's been sufficient thus far, especially when there's a nice breeze blowing, even though we've reached record temperatures for the season on a few occasions.

I love fresh air and I enjoy being outside. The sun is hot in our yard, and there's little shade, due to the fact that the contractors stripped most of the trees from the area before building. Unless we sit on the porch, it's pretty unbearable out there. I've been spending a lot of the day inside, where it is cooler. I commented to Mike the other day that I always have a bit of a tan in April, and I'm still white as a sheet now, in late May. He replied, "Well, Lovey, you have to be outside to get a tan!" Yes, that's true, but I'd look like shrivelled bacon if I spent time out there these days. We had, literally, about one week of Spring weather this year, and that was mostly rainy.

There is another option that I toy with. We have a low, rectangular wading pool that we bought for the grandkids. I suppose we could blow that up and lie out there in the sun, while splashing in a foot of water. I'd be cool for a few minutes and tanning at the same time. So far, I'm not that inspired to have a tan. It's too hot out there in the sun...wading pool or not.

I must be getting old. I really do not like the hot sun. When I was younger, before the sunblock was thought to be essential, I'd take the kids to the bay and we'd stay all day long, swimming and sunning ourselves. I can only pray we'll all be spared from skin cancer as we age! Maybe I'm doing myself a favor by not worrying about a suntan.

The best solution to the whole heat/sun thing is this...staying inside the house. Of course, another option would be to install AC where we need it most....outdoors, but that idea is just plain silly. So, as the day progresses and the sun gets hotter, I may cave in and turn the AC on in the house, lay back with a glass of lemonade, and hibernate until the temperatures drop.

See you in October!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Amish Country

Once again, her blog sparked memories...and I must write about them. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is one of my favorite places in the East. I so enjoy the the vistas of acres of rolling farmfields, being tilled by Clydesdales and other horses, the smell of the rich, fertile earth which awaits the planting of tobacco, the sounds of the old steam trains and the rhythmic 'clip clop, clip clop' of the former race horses that pull the Amish buggies.

I enjoy shopping the Amish road-side stands. In Fall we've purchased fresh vegetables and jars of preserved goods. Baked items are always available as are wood products. We've got several wooden crates, birdhouses, a toy Noah's Ark with animals, and a bench from one favorite place on a back road in New Holland. We bought an Amish-sewn quilt top in Ronks. It's dark green, burgandy and white, and is still awaiting my hand at finishing. I'm afraid I'm not as 'industrious' as the Amish are. I mean well, but...well, you know how it is. Life gets in the way.

When we pass those simple, but orderly, Amish homes in Pennsylvania, I am always amazed at how neat they are. The gardens are weed-free, the barnyards are clean. The porches and walks are well swept, even the clothes on the line are hung in order. The Amish would be appalled to hear that I am envious of their responsible use of time. As the old-fashioned windmills big paddles turn, pumping water up from the ground to the pipes that run to house, I consider the size of the homes and the families that live within the walls. Numerous generations share the building, many of which have had separate homes added on to house the newly married family members. I find myself envious, too, of the fact that those families have the multi-generational experience of living together on the same acreage. The work together, live together, pray together.

I've always wished I could experience an Amish worship service, sitting on the benches in the barn where they are meeting on that week. Of course, if I did attend, I wouldn't be terribly welcome, as I'm "English" and an outsider. I wouldn't understand a word of the worship, either, as the Amish have a language all their own....a kind of mixture of old German and some form of English. (I've heard some conversations between women in a fabric store, and what was said was not discernable to my ear.)

Aside from the intrigue I have with the Amish way of life, other things available in Lancaster County have a draw for me. There's the staying at the Red Caboose Motel which is made up of real train cars which have been turned into comfortable sleeping quarters. There's a restaurant car, too, where one can go for meals. The floor is attached to hydraulics which make it seem to be rocking and rolling along a track, all the while 'train' music is playing. (Think Chattanooga Choo Choo and the Wabash Cannonball. Out front, an old steam train stops in front to pick up passengers and take them on a scenic tour through the farmlands. there's a miniature train display running in the store, and lots of railroad memorabelia decorating the walls.

There's a fun store New Holland, I believe, called "The Outhouse." There are lots of gags being played on customers while they window shop or find the perfect gift.

Lancaster County is a busy, touristy area, but it's fun to go there, and it never seems to get old for me. I hope to get back there, one of these days....Mike's running short on Amish Chow-Chow.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Caution: Serious Side Effects!

Recently a friend passed along copies of some poems I had written for her when her first child was born. It was fun reading them, and seeing how different the style I used then is from the way I write today. We had a conversation about those and other poems I'd written.

One was a favorite of some of my friends. It was written for another friend, as she awaited the birth of her first baby girl. Many of the women had asked for a copy of those words, and honored by the requests, I granted them. Before long, I was being blamed for those women adding to their families. The poem was nicknamed "the fertility poem."

Perhaps, after the first accusation, I should have added a warning. "Caution: Reading these words may produce nausea, vomiting, headache, extreme drowsiness, strange eating habits, severe abdominal cramping, ultimately ending in the arrival of new family member. Risk responsibility is entirely that of the reader and author of these words will accept no blame for readers conditions."

Maybe I'll just steer clear of writing anything that smacks of family.