so this is summer.

I cannot write in prose. It is a sun-shiny day. -- Keats, in a letter

It's one of those summer weeks when one day blends into another. They slip past, and then I raise my head and realize that it's summer and it's glorious.

Today was a day of moving the novel along (amazingly), putting one line after another, in the wake of unexpected encouragement. Rediscovering my characters' voices, shuffling through my scene lists, catching the thread of the story again. Watching yellow finches somersault on the bird feeder. Admiring the way the sun falls on the pine tree outside my window.

A fantastically exciting package arrived from this lovely girl, and culinary adventure it was! My dinner plans gave way to a gorgeously simple dinner of pasta and bread, lifted out of the box, a summer Christmas. Crusty bread that went straight into the oven and then into our mouths, dribbled with harissa... Harissa igniting my ignorant tongue, and a blissful artichoke tomato sauce on perfect pasta. Hooray for Zingerman's deli: I am now a firm believer.

Mom and Kristen and I eat and talk. I watch a hummingbird outside and decide for the eighteenth time that the sight of them must have inspired all myths of fairies. I have Italian songs playing in the background, and the girls and I compare notes for tomorrow, for the last stages of our living room renovation project, for the next two weeks of summer madness. (Because there is always summer madness.) The perfect remedy for insanity: one of us perfects a French-Russian accent that would put even Natasha Fatale to shame.

Then to the nearby ice cream stand for twist cones, my fingers getting sticky as I listen to the crazy neighborhood conversation. (If you want absurd conversation, get thee to an ice cream stand. Bring a notepad.) We come back to finish BBC's Little Dorrit, so our room fills with Dickens, my newest knitting project, the painting Kristen is working on. I think maybe, maybe, the neightborhood bat will skitter above our yard come twilight.

And as the day slowly gives itself to peaceful night, it's enough to make me revise my usual woolen, chilly, rainy day attitude, and say yes, summer. I love you after all.


  1. french-russian accent? i might be in love!

    jenn, can you narrate my entire life? it would sound WAY more exciting that way. i could just walk around with earbuds in my ear and hear your poetic voice all day. kinda like "stranger than fiction". only without you trying to kill me the entire time.

  2. Alright. That does it. I'm getting on a plane and heading to Illinois. I've got to experience this summer thing for myself!
    Can't wait to see you!
    Bermuda Bob

  3. matt: no, i wouldn't try to kill you. and i might be able to muster some extra eccentricity, if that would fit the part better. ... and credit where it's due: the french-russian accent was totally Mom! she was explaining how to use a power drill, which made it, oh, about fifty times funnier. i was crying with laughter.

    bb: it will be good to see you ... very soon!!

  4. I agree with Matt!!!