Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Forty three

It was 43 degrees this morning in Tallahassee.  43!  May 18th, Florida.  That is just not right.  Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people in town who are loving this.  

I am not one of them.  

As a rule, I do not complain about the heat.  I like it hot.  I like it humid.  I am an Entomologist and many insects like the weather just like I do, so that works in my favor.  And having lived in Florida my entire life, enjoying the heat and humidity has always been a plus.  43 is below 50.  I feel the right to whine when it gets below 50.  

I actually considered one time, quite seriously of moving to Wyoming.  What was I thinking?!???!!!!  Fortunately that did not work out, and instead I ended up moving to Key West for a couple of years because it was the warmest place on the map the day I had to choose my first teaching job.  I even thought about living one full year in Alaska to experience the whole light/dark thing and the temperatures and how do people live for half the year when it is colder then I can imagine.  But then I realized what a dumb idea that was.  Most of my friends from Alaska do not live there in the winter.  They head to Hawaii or down in the lower 49s.  I mean really who was I kidding?  This is as far north as I have ever lived, and I have to tell you that there are days when I simply do not leave the house.  And we are talking Florida here folks.  

So 43 was cold for me.  Very cold.

But it has warmed up and actually turned into a perfectly beautiful day.  And it is supposed to be gorgeous for the next week.  In other words it is going to get hot again.  

And yes, I do start to look toward that first cool down in the fall after a long hot summer, but with mixed emotions.  The coolness changes the light and the green of the plants and the gardens come alive again after the heat and stress of summer, but it also signals that winter is on its way.  Cold is on its way.  

I like to take a vacation in the fall up north.  It sort of reminds me of what is coming and helps me prepare for the cold.  It is also a way to extend the summer.  By putting off my "summer" vacation it is like it extends the summer a little longer.  And then to head to St. George Island, to the beach after the summer crowd leaves is one of the loveliest simple pleasures of living in the "north". 

It has been a long week.  It feels like it is flying by, and yet it is only Wednesday.  Ms Moon and I were talking only yesterday about how fast time was moving and then laughed at ourselves when we realized it felt like Friday, but was only Tuesday.  It is just a weird week.  Weird temperatures, weird time, just weird.

Last night I was invited to a full moon meditation at my friends Janak and Geeta's house.  This is the second one I have been able to attend.  Last month was lovely, although schedules meant that we were not able to meet on the full moon.  And there were just four of us last month.  It was a nice time, being quiet with friends and then sharing a meal, eating and laughing together.  

This month there were 10 of us.  That includes Janak mother, whom everyone calls Bah.  I love Bah.  We don't speak the same language, but she is just so special to me.  Bah is found of me also.  I think that is because she knows how fond I am of her, and her cooking.  She can make a dish I call stuffed vegetables like nobodies business.  It is my favorite and Bah has made it for my birthday on several occasions.  

I had not met half of the people attending until last evening, and they were just lovely.  Interesting, accomplished people.  People who came to this country by choice as adults.  People who have a piece of their heart still in India.  Family there, memories of childhood for many of them.  We all sat around the living room and did a little chanting.  I love chanting and gongs.  It just reaches inside of me and I feel it.  Like vibrations moving through me.  Then we meditated for 20 minutes.  Geeta played a tape that every once in a while a calm soothing woman's voice would say a few words of encouragement and about breathing.  After the meditation we stretched and talked and got to know each other a little bit while some busied around the kitchen trying to find a way to put all of the food on the table.  Oh my, what wonderful food.  And we ate and ate and talked and laughed and then it was time to head home to bed and to sleep.  Next month the full moon will be while Dad and I are in Europe.  I will try and find a little time to myself that evening wherever we are to sit quietly by myself and breathe and meditate and think about my little group of friends back here sitting around together and doing the same.

So my hair has been growing out.  And I had never thought about it before, but hair does not grow the same all over your head.  One side of my hair was much longer then the other.  The top was longer then the sides, the back curlier and completely different color and length then any of my other hair.  The top is wavy and whiter, or was.  I had no idea what I wanted.  I just knew that it looked like someone who had lost their hair and it was growing back.  But unfortunately I do not speak hair dresser and I make it so hard on anyone wanting to cut my hair because I don't know what to say or how to ask for it to be cut.  They say, "bring a picture" .  Well, I don't know what my hair is doing to know what picture to take.  The top right along my hair line had lovely waves, almost curls.  The top grows left then right and in every direction but the same.  So I went to the person who has consistently cut my hair the best.  She did her best this time, but honestly, a lot had to come off just to take off the dryness from the meds and to get it all close to the same length.  But it is short.  Well, the front is short.  She left a lot more length on the back.  And with all haircuts it will take me about a week to get used to it.  That is probably why most of my life I just let my hair grow.  For most of my life my hair was to my waist or longer.  Now it is about an inch long in the front, maybe almost twice that in the back.  And it is cute.  But all of the wave and almost curl on the top and side is gone.  It is a good cut and I know it will grow in well.  I had hoped to just shape it up a bit and keep the waves and curls, but they will grow back.  I just wanted my hair to look nice for this weekend when I see my dad.  This will be the first time he will have seen me since my hair grew back.  It is almost as short as he might have seen it before.  But it will grow out.  And she gave my hair a good cut and maybe we both have a better idea of what I want.  I really don't know what I want.  I want it to be what I consider short, which is not as short as a hair dresser thinks is short.  I want it easy, and who doesn't?  And I want it to be flattering and have as much wave/curl as possible.  She suggested that I might want to let it grow out a bit and get a perm on the top.  No, I know I do not want to deal with a perm.  I have tried perms before, and it just does not work for me.  But we will figure it out.  She is slow and careful and tries so hard to listen and then give you a beautiful cut.  And she is funny and sweet and we laugh and talk as she snips and trims.  She is a dear friend.  And worth driving all the way across Tallahassee to as far west in Leon County as I think you can go.

Then I came home and took pictures of the hydrangeas.  This garden is a triangle shaped garden with hydrangeas, crinium lilies, hostas and native gladiolas.  I have maybe 8 hydrangeas in the garden.  One is white.  Beautiful clean, bright blanco.  Then there is an oakleaf hydrangea that the flowers open white and fade to beige and then pink.  Big spikes of flowers.  There is one lace cap that is blueish.  And one "red" one.  The rest are those that change color depending on the PH.  I swear there is every shade of blue, pink and purple.  Well, here are some photos so you can see.

Standing in front of the garden and seeing all the different colors.
It is breathtaking.  I need to cut the plants back severely this year.  I hope to 
do some air layering and maybe try some cuttings.  If I am going to cut it
back, I might as well propagate them.

Tomorrow I have so many things to do.  I need to get birthday presents, finish going through
photos, pack and get the house ready for a few days gone.  

It is finally here.  Larry's memorial service.  So many of my friends are so worried about me.  I think, "I have cancer."  I have handled that pretty darn well, and I am stronger then they realize.  I hope they give me the space to be strong.  I appreciate having hands and loving arms waiting to catch me, but give me the chance to see if I can stand or if I will fall.  I know it will be hard.  It will be hard for all of us.  OK, he was my husband and yes, we had a connection that no one else had.  But most people there will have known Larry for 20 or 30  or 60 years.  This will be hard for all of us.  To let this person who was so full of life go.  To free his ashes to the wind and water.  To give him back to the environment he was so a part of.  To send his ashes off from the land his grandfather pulled off the bottom of the bayou and made into a marina, now a park.  A life, a future, a way of living off the land and the water.  I hope Larry has found the peace that evaded him the last part of his life.  I hope that it gives us left behind the peace we need to let him go, and to move past the turmoil and upheaval he brought into our lives these last few years.  He gave us laughter and joy during his life, and hopefully we can get that back.  
gratefulness for our lives and choices
gratefulness for closure
hope for that peace


  1. I can't wait to see your hair.
    Your hydrangeas are so far superior to mine that I can hardly bear it.
    I hope this weekend is one of peace and sweetness. I hope you can come home feeling lighter.
    That's all.

  2. The hydrangeas are beautiful. We have mostly blues and whites here. And the oak leaf ones are wonderful next to the woods.