That thought occurred to me last night while I cleaned up the kitchen after supper. We were under a thunderstorm warning and as I washed and swept I kept one eye out the kitchen window. The air smelled of it. Summer.
Other thoughts came pouring in after that like - kiddy pools and wet swimsuits hung out to dry after everyone has had their fill of the six inches of water that filled it. The slap dash way that kids play in a small amount of water always intrigues me. And, yet, I remember being thrilled by the idea when I was young. My parents had friends with an in ground pool. The woman was very nice and told Mom to give a call and we could come over any time. Mom shied away from that sort of thing so we had to beg and beg and beg her to make that call. And when she did it was glorious. We spent hours bouncing and bobbing and giving chase in the blue depths of “Pat’s pool.”
A screen door slamming. The hinges have a whole different squeak when it’s 85 degrees out than when the storm glass is in. And popsicles. Mom broke them through the white paper covering. We never got a whole one. We’d watch and hope for an even break because if they didn’t one of us was left crying with our half popsicle in two pieces. The shame. But we’d eat it anyway because there was no way we were getting another.
Sun tan lotion. Just the smell of it brings every beach trip back in a nano second. Again – begging Dad to take us on a Saturday. There were seven of us at the time and I’m sure it was a daunting task to think of hauling us all in our flip flops, bath towels (no beach towels back then) and Coppertone off to the oceanside. We didn’t own a beach umbrella, but we spread our blankets and made the best of it. Mom packed sandwiches and OF COURSE we always got sand in them. As they say on Food Network – something for a little crunch. The ocean’s strong undertow is quite unlike anything on a quiet lakeside and sometimes one or more of us would get caught in it. A crotch crusted with ocean sand was a crunch I could have done without. But we wouldn’t have swapped those days for anything.
I make jams and pickles. The sugary smell of strawberries or blueberries bubbling in the pot with hot jars waiting to be filled. Yum. Then there’s the pungent odor of onions, green peppers, garlic and cucumbers brining under ice and salt on the kitchen counter. I cover them with a towel but the aroma sneaks out. It’s step one for the bread and butter pickles I can never seem to make enough of. Then cider vinegar, turmeric, mustard seed and sugar infuse the brined cukes as they simmer along in the huge canning pot. The smell lingers in the kitchen for days.
All the windows are open. The thunder rattles off in the distance and I wonder how hard it will rain. I don’t want the peas, which have just begun climbing, to get slammed. But the pitter patter of the drops begin and I know I can’t do anything about it anyway. Rain. God’s teardrops.
It’s all ahead of us. Tank tops, barbeques, fireworks, and icy lemonade. Water lapping at the edge of the shore, speed boats humming on the surface, and friends calling with an invite to a party. Yes, good things are coming and I hope you have smells and sounds and feelings that will bring the season alive for you, too. I really do.
Photo: Sierra in her kiddy pool a few days ago. How cute is she?