We hear from local meteorologists that today’s superb weather might be the last we get this summer. Cold winds are on the way, even now they race through the valleys of the southern part of the Olympic Peninsula on their way to spoil our Labor Day weekend. We dined al fresco on our little deck this evening, because it’s likely to be our last opportunity to do so.
Mara sat on the little wicker loveseat out there and shucked the corn, and I fed Emilia while Angela made burgers on the barbeque, which sits on our deck too close to the house and underneath a low fiberglass roof, which makes my fireman brother nervous.
A blimp went by, the Farmers Insurance blimp. I’ve seen it around town a few times lately, and I’m trying to warm up to it. There was only one blimp when I grew up around here, and that was the grey, and later blue and grey, Goodyear blimp. Actually there were several of those, but only one of them ever showed up here, and only once a year at the beginning of August, so looking up in September to see a completely white dirigible with the legend FARMERS on it feels a little like I’m not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
It’s been such a short summer. Really we only got any decent warm weather at the end of July, and so soon we’re being run off the beach, as it were. Already the globular, speckled fall spiders have spun webs among the deck furniture and have settled in. We had to incommode several of them to set up a dinner table out there.
I took a moment to let the moment soak in. If I know the Northwest (I do), we’ll get a few warm days again, and we may use the barby all winter long, but it won’t be the same. If this was really the last I get of summer I wanted to remember it.
The burgers were perfect — nice job Angela! — and the corn was sweet and tender. Yellowjackets came and begged until we put a few large chunks of burger to the side, where they bit off chunks bigger than their heads and, grasping the meaty provisions with four or six of their legs, careened into the air like little helicopters with drunken pilots.
Neighbors down the street were out on their porches. Some girls in the rental house across the street were moving out, making last trips to the trunks of their cars with odd-shaped items. They’ll be replaced by a new covey of female students probably this very weekend. We have quite a nice little view of the neighborhood from our deck. Mostly we look out on a wall of light green leaves formed by a row of deciduous trees — I think walnuts — a few yards down the hill in combination with several very tall Lombardy poplars to the south. The escarpment of holly and English laurel in the yards behind us finish off a sort of green-canopied corner surrounding us. We could call our little outdoor dining nook the Treetop Grill.
Golden sunlight lit the tops of these trees, as well as the brick tower and steeple of Blessed Sacrament across the freeway, and the far clouds — piles of cumulus — above the Cascades, which in summer we can just barely glimpse through the foliage, took on a worn ivory look that would later deepen to mauve and finally disappear into night.