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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

[Norma Photos 2] Signs Of Summer

Thermometer on the pumphouse wall reads 103 degrees. Sign of summer.

There are other signs. Norma went out a while ago and photographed them. Brave woman. I came in when trimming got too exciting. My tools are still on the bench, way too hot to touch. She photographed them as evidence of my indolence but it will not hold up in court because I fully intend to put them away in November.
Another sign of summer is the exultation of microscopic white blossoms on the privet over our garden gate.
Glare from this spectacle has the effect of making one dizzy and fall down onto the gravel driveway, which is so hot one immediately gets up again to repeat the whole sequence over and over. Here in California, this is called Pilates until one is rescued.

A more graphic sign is Norma's chalkboard:
She writes orders that must be translated and contemplated even in summer-induced delirium until I understand, give up or collapse. Doesn't matter to her as long as I don't blunder onto her seed beds. To deny my ability to manifest all three reactions simultaneously would be a disservice to her husband-training and, on my part, an ostentation of modesty.

Another sign is this one on the front dooryard gate that I routed into pine --now under a hundred coats of Norma's paint-- thirty years ago. The hangy-down thing is a strand of weedeater cord connected obversely to a bell capable of calling medieval Paris to Mass.
It always makes me think of Victor Hugo's hero of Notre Dame, swinging down on the bell-rope. Could Quasimodo have rescued Esmeralda on a weedeater cord? I must be heat-addled to even ask. But one wonders, because one identifies with heroes, if I was Quasimodo's brother --Semimodo maybe, or another sibling like Hemi or Demimodo-- would I persist in the singular tense of Modo? Modo is a Latin word meaning mood or fashion and its plural is Modi.

Were the Modi a musical family? After all, a hemidemisemiquaver is 1/64th of a whole note, also called a semibreve or 1/2 brief. Did Quasimodo wear briefs? I do. At that point I was overcome by the Sunshine State...or is that Florida? We really must get our border settled. That was the last thought I remember before finding myself here, indoors, writing with a cold beer in my hand.

As summer days go, this first one is pretty good. Happy Solstice!


  1. Wow, if the California heat inspired such a delicious assortment of hallucinations, I can only imagine what the West Texas heat would do to you. It's the sole reason why I'm delusional and quasi-catatonic.
    Speaking of quasi, I didn't even know that Quasimodo HAD a brother......

  2. Jon, in the summer of '68 I remember waiting just outside Hondo for the bus to San Antonio. I watched tumbleweeds appear on one horizon and roll clear to the opposite one for 2 or 3 hours. I was a young man immune to heat, but must agree there is a surrealism in that expanse that cannot be exaggerated.

  3. That's really true, Geo. - - you'd have to experience it to fully believe it.

  4. Ah the summer of '68. I knew it well.

    Anyway, back to today, and the summer of '12. Amazing isn't it? I love the idea of a bell at the gate.

  5. The best part of summer is knowing, as you sit on the shady porch with your lemonade, that when you get too hot you can go inside to the AC. The worst part of summer is the racket all those AC units make.

  6. Your garden gate looks so inviting... and the bell engraving. So much character. Mmmm, summer beers. I'm trying to leave the AC off to acclimatize... we'll see how long I can last.

  7. Rubye Jack-- The bell is really useful, loud enough for UPS etc. to fetch us from far parts of the yard. Weedeater cord holds up best.

    Delores-- Our AC is an old wall unit that cools by pounding heat away with noise. Rackety indeed.

    CarrieBoo-- Yes, gate has had many characters pass thru it. Happily it's admitting a delta breeze today. So, some respite.

  8. I'm awed at your ability to put so many random things into one coherent post. And I'm sure Pseudomodo lives down my street.

  9. Thanks Austan! And yes, I believe there was a Pseudomodo. Pseu they used to call her, or Pseusie.


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