Summer thoughts: Books to frog to swimming to food

Jo Fredell Higgins
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Summer thoughts:
• So what if I had read all day?
The book was “A Gentleman in Moscow” and I did not want to put it down. In the author notes, I read that he had an M.A. in English so it was no surprise that he used correct English (Think, it was he.) and sported such an impressive vocabulary that I was gathered into his story of a count banished to a Moscow hotel. It was a great Summer read. My brother had called from Seattle and told me to read it. He thought I would so enjoy the book. He was right.
• What if the steps were easy to climb? I went up and down a dozen times or more to get something from upstairs or to find something downstairs. I like the stairs. It is my filing cabinet and on some steps are some things that needs to be attended to such as sending out the birthday cards for AATRA or paying the insurance bill.
• It was Summer and time was a meandering measurement.
Indolent and satisfying.
I was watering the flowers on the patio when a small frog jumped near the blue lobelia. How it got there from the marsh across the street is anyone’s guess. But there it was.
“Hello, frog,” I said.

Strange things can jump while watching flowers. Jo Fredell Higgins photo
  Strange things can jump while watching flowers.
  Jo Fredell Higgins photo

It did not say anything in return. Not even a croak. I talked to it as if a child because I felt lonely.
“Now how will you return to the marsh?” I asked. Little Frog sat very still as if he were saying, “You do not see me.”
• What if I were to swim 50 laps in 60 minutes? I have shaved off nine minutes to the time and when I leave the pool, I feel like a million bucks. All is right with the world each day I can swim. The water is medicinal and restorative and perfect. I do need a new swimsuit, however. Last year’s elastic is going fast. Try to find a decent, well-priced, modest swimsuit and it is a frustrating business. My days of the itsey-bitsy-teeny-weeny yellow polka-dot bikini remain only in memory.
• What if I had Alaskan cod, corn on the cob, tomatoes and ice cream for dinner? It was all delicious. Tomorrow will be the salmon, favorite of favorites. And there is watermelon too and later in the season it will be more sweet and satisfying.
• What if my neighbor, Aria, and her Nanna from Ohio came to visit while Aria watered the flowers with the two small watering cans I keep on the porch for her to use. One is a red rabbit and one is a green duck and both are small for a child’s use. Lucky child to have such doting grandparents and parents who love her.
• What if the farmer’s markets were open for a short time? The abundance of offerings is a delight. Fresh peas, tomatoes, lettuce, rhubarb, and later in the season pumpkins will fill baskets and tables. The Wheaton French Market is a favorite and, on occasion, I treat myself to a fresh warm donut or a hot bratwurst there. A block away is the Wise Penny Resale Shop that benefits DuPage Hospital Auxiliary.
• Summer means picnics in wicker baskets. Tending the garden and watching the bursts of blooms. The daylilies were gorgeous and now it will be the hollyhocks. The Russian sage grows tall and has the most delectable aroma. Hydrangeas, so white and soft, face the patio. Yes, swimming, gardening, and reading are the triumvirate of my Summer.

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