I love walking through a door into the outside. I noticed this about myself several years ago – a whiff of fresh air, a little breeze and I take a big breath and feel a sense of joy. Sometimes I even open my arms and take an even bigger breath.
Is it claustrophobia? I don’t consider myself to be severely claustrophobic – no problems navigating life, although I’m not sure how long I would last in a full elevator stuck between floors. The idea of crawling into a tunnel (like Phillippe in Ladyhawk) gives me the creeps and I’ve abandoned a book once because all the action takes place in a deep cave (Blind Descent by Nevada Barr). No problems with planes, no problems in crowds. I have done caves of my own free will, although I’m really not happy while I’m underground.
But I don’t think its claustrophobia; I just think I like going outside. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
On Nonny’s last full day in Minneapolis, we went out to The Arboretum. I have always thought I absorbed my love of gardening from her. She never asked me to participate, but I remember the work she put into her roses, her flowering trees and her vegetable plot.
It was a perfect day for it – not too hot and not too sunny. We took some advice from Lou and did the tram tour before we did anything else. We took the tour driver’s advice and sat in the very back row for the best view and the best sound quality. Nonny loved all the different trees, especially ones with “character” and I marveled at how much of the arboretum there really is!
One of the special exhibits this summer is Gardens of Kaleidoscopes – 15 fabulous sculptures that combine lovely floral arrangements in movable containers within structures that also hold kaleidoscopes. You look through the kaleidoscopes and then slowly spin the flowers (well, you don’t have to do it slowly a little boy of seven showed us). It was amazing and as always when confronted by art, I wonder how the artist thought of the idea in the first place.
What would YOU like to see through a kaleidoscope?
a human bowling game – someone in a huge plastic bubble running toward 6-foot high nerf “pins”
an obstacle course for two teams each with a stretcher and a patient. I’m glad both the patients were mannequins
a back to front race in which two strangers were tied side-by-side, but one facing forward and one facing backward. The winning team went pretty fast considering
a tire race. Let’s face it, the gentlemen took this one by a landslide
an eye ball race – two kids, each wearing a huge eyeball costume. The brown eye won.
t-shirt launching into the crown
tiny tykes racing teeny motorcars – this makes it clear why five-year olds don’t have licenses
a drone contest that made it abundant clear that flying these things isn’t as easy as it looks
an adorable big wearing a large pin bow
Oh – and then there was a baseball game. Great seats, perfect weather, no one truly obnoxious sitting anywhere near us, a pedi-cab ride all the way back to where the car was parked. We lost but it was still a wonderful evening!
We are in a severe drought here. All fireworks are banned, no one can grill using charcoal, and all open fires are prohibited. The city fire works display has been cancelled. Our town usually resounds with the sound of fireworks the week before and just after July 4. It is always illegal to shoot off fireworks in town, but the police rarely enforce it. This year we were told the local constabulary would be “heavy handed” in enforcing the fireworks ban. No one wants their house or neighborhood to go up in flames, and people are being very careful.
Ranchers are selling their cattle, CPR land has been opened up for emergency grazing, and farmers are pretty depressed. It is really too late for anything but the pastures to recover if we would get some rain. It isn’t promising. The high temperatures are predicted to be around 100 this week. We have sufficient water to keep the gardens going, thanks to an upgraded city water system and the Missouri River. I scowl, though, when I see people watering lawns, especially when they are watering in high winds and more water goes in the air than on the lawn.
The governor has declared our county and several others to be disaster areas. This is a slow, painful disaster that will take a long time to see a recovery. We need a good long stretch of several days of rain, and that never happens out here.
Ever since our last presidential election, I’ve been taking the news in small measured doses and I’ve been wary of letting it just wash over me unless I am prepared. Consequently, instead of keeping my car radio tuned by default to the MPR news channel, I have an iPod, loaded with my choice of music and set up to shuffle through the selections whenever I drive anywhere.
Today, Robin and I were running a short errand together. The weather was sunny and warm with a light, fresh breeze. As we drove, the music selection that came up was a samba by Antonio Carlos Jobim, “The Girl From Ipanema” and I remarked to Robin that I have always considered Brazilian sambas the perfect evocation of summer– so warm, so languid. If Jobim doesn’t conjure up a hammock and a cool drink, I don’t know what does.