Tag Archives: nature


I’ve worked up a lather today!

Since arising (after 9!), I’ve made homemade biscuits which I ate with homemade peach jam, dusted the entire house, swept the entire house, taken out two loads of trash, changed the summer hats to fall/winter hats (entailing multiple trips up & down stairs), moved two huge arms-ful of silk shirts to the basement and brought up winter clothing and suits and such, finished two loads of laundry, planted mums in the yard and planters, watered the porch plants, played with the dog, talked to Ken on the iPhone, cleaned both bathrooms, scoured and bleached the kitchen sink, and planned dinner.

And it’s not yet 1 p.m.

I LOVE Saturdays!

The rest of the day includes a quick trip to a store to buy a coffee-maker, since my mine died this morning; a visit to Glen & Tim at their new home; a trip to Goodwill to drop off clothing and some old summer hats; more housework; listening to an opera while I iron dress shirts; and Brighton Beach Memoirs at the Rep at 9 p.m. tonight….

Dear God

Dear God,

I bless you this day for the rain that is falling from the skies, and for the nurture that your nature provides this parched earth.  I thank you for the smell and scent of rain, for the dark of clouds, and the clap of thunder.  I truly do.

Now, would you please send Samson the Feist a chill pill?  This poor canine likes not the clap of thunder, or the sound of rainfall since thunder might also be attendant.

In any case, thank you!


Summer’s end

I am keenly aware tonight that summer (in the academic sense) is at an end.

And I am not melancholy, although this poem, one of my favorites by Houseman, certainly is:

XXXIX (from Last Poems by A.E. Houseman)

When summer’s end is nighing
And skies at evening cloud,
I muse on change and fortune
And all the feats I vowed
When I was young and proud.
The weathercock at sunset
Would lose the slanted ray,
And I would climb the beacon
That looked to Wales away
And saw the last of day.
From hill and cloud and heaven
The hues of evening died;
Night welled through lane and hollow
And hushed the countryside,
But I had youth and pride.
And I with earth and nightfall
In converse high would stand,
Late, till the west was ashen
And darkness hard at hand,
And the eye lost the land.
The year might age, and cloudy
The lessening day might close,
But air of other summers
Breathed from beyond the snows,
And I had hope of those.
They came and were and are not
And come no more anew;
And all the years and seasons
That ever can ensue
Must now be worse and few.
So here’s an end of roaming
On eves when autumn nighs:
The ear too fondly listens
For summer’s parting sighs,
And then the heart replies.


My poor parched back yard.

As I write this evening near 8 o’clock, the cicadas are buzzing, their cries filling the cool evening air.  Looking west from the window of my study, over the roof of SLU High, I see a few clouds backlit by the dying sun, and a baby blue sky as the backdrop.

I’ve spent the last three hours outdoors, washing Ingrid the Volvo and sprucing up the leather seats after scrubbing the floormats and vacuuming the car, barbecuing charred meats (actually, burgers cooked medium with Montreal steak seasoning, sauce, and Cheddar cheese), reading a book about Her Majesty the Queen of England, teasing Samson, and generally enjoying the delight of a cool summer evening.

Samson begs at the table.

My morning did not start well, as I had to call in ill to church, thanks to a wonky gastric system.  By noon I was feeling better, so I ate some toast, then headed to the office.  I got through about 60 emails, dusted my desk, prepped a syllabus for my 11 a.m. class tomorrow, filed a number of things, worked through a pile of music, and proofed the print calendar that goes to press tomorrow.  And then I drove up Big Bend to my manicure place.

Also today I’ve pressed my new shirt for tomorrow (one to be joined by a new tie and pocket silk), finished more laundry, cleaned house a bit, and watered flower beds.

Self-portrait after dinner.

Summer’s end is a portentious time, one filled with hope and possibility and expectation.  I certainly expect that this will be a fine year at Webster University.  I think that my colleagues and I are ready for some challenge that lies ahead of us.  And I’m looking forward to meeting a new class of freshmen tomorrow, and to starting three new voice students very soon.

Shrouding all I did and do today is that sense that ‘school starts tomorrow.’  When I was a kid, this day, and especially this evening, was filled with anticipation.  All these years later, it still is.  And I am glad this is so.

Here’s another poem for the end of summer.

Ingrid the Volvo is washed and shined.
Burgers for dinner, along with purple potatoes and some lime pickles. Grapes were the dessert.
My Samson.
And Samson begs some more.


After sleeping last night with the bedroom window open, I was surprised to find myself at 5 a.m. today, reaching for the sheet as a covering.

And then at 6 a.m. I was told (by NPR, of course) that the outdoor temperature was 68 degrees F!?

What grace and joy this is!

I have opened up the house and turned off the mechanical units for the day.  The time is nigh for an airing out after weeks of air-conditioned enforcement.


The thunder started well before sunrise.  I know because Samson the ‘Fraidy-Dog woke me.

At some point I was aware that the sky was pouring forth rain.  And in my sleepy state, I breathed a prayer of thanksgiving.

As I write (after French toast from my homemade bread) at 9.43 a.m., rain is falling in a steady pour.  The parched earth must be truly grateful.  I know that I am.

Samson, on the other hand, is not liking the glorious thunder.

Home from CO

I arrived home last evening around 10.40 p.m.  Bed came quickly.

Kurt, me, Jordan after The Drowsy Chaperone.

My Sunday included a wonderful final breakfast with Jordan and Kurt (seen in this picture in costume the night before), a drive to Denver through Winter Park, and a wonderful afternoon with my dear friend BJ Smith, whom I had not seen in three years.

We had a beer while sitting and talking the afternoon away.  And then it was time to get to the airport.

When I left Grand Lake, the temperature outdoors was 77 degrees.  By the time I climbed up to the pass south of Winter Park, the outdoor temp as 62.  And then an hour later, hitting Denver, it was 94.

With 106 at 5.30 p.m. today here, I’m ready to head back to the mountains!

South of Winter Park, starting the climb.
BJ Smith.