This morning I noticed how dark it was at 6 a.m. It felt like the middle of the night instead of a time for dawn. I read in my chair a while before starting the kettle. Then Miss Biscuit and I took our tea tray outside where it was so obviously a late week in August. The wrens were gone; the hummers had begun to migrate and hit the disappointment of red geraniums before moving on; the verbenas had yellow leaves and marigolds were drying up. The crickets were singing, reminding us that autumn was coming. Spiders were spinning webs from deck posts to flower pots. The summer was passing right before my eyes.
While early mornings whisper autumn, a few hours later summer’s force lets us know he hasn’t gone yet. Temperatures are so hot that breathing is a challenge. Sweat pours off our skins with any exertion. Lunch is no longer pleasant on the deck so we retreat to the kitchen for cool salads using the last of the tomatoes. Afternoon means a “sit down” in recliners with books. Evenings might be (boring) television because the air still burns the skin, and then there are the “no seeums” which blister my bare legs and ankles being a high price to be outside at dusk.
This afternoon I looked through a book that did not live up to my expectations. Consider the Fork: a History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson is packed full of facts, but something about the presentation left me uninspired. The one chapter on spoons was more interesting than most. There was quite a variety of spoons such as bone or pearl spoons for eating soft boiled eggs since egg yolk tarnished silver. There was also some info on silver marrow spoons. The 18th century Georgians had a fondness for bone marrow and a special spoon for digging it out was useful. But the most interesting was the development of the teaspoon in the 17th century when the English began adding milk and sugar to their tea cups. The teaspoon moved from being just for tea service to the dining table.
The summer has slipped by fast. After winter woes and spring situations, summer has been loaded with issues too. September looks inviting at the moment. I can hope that this year will end with some good things maybe. I am ready for cooler air….some writing….some walks…some pleasant moments outside other than just morning tea. I pulled my Cranberry Autumn tea out this morning, but I thought, “No, not yet. It will be savored more in a week or two when real autumn arrives.”