Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dog Days

As Katie and I walked back from CVS early Sunday afternoon I was taken back by how quiet it was on Centre Street. Not quiet...maybe "still" is a better word. Nothing was moving; no pedestrians and nearly no cars were to be found anywhere. The threat of thunderstorms in the local forecast and the drowning humidity made storms all but assured. Based on this forecast we had cancelled our trip to the art show in the South End to await the oncoming storm.
Once back at home (with my shirt fairly sticking to my body) we opened the door to a beautiful 70 degree centrally air conditioned house. I was now convinced that we had made the right choice to cancel our plans. It was a hazy, hot and humid Sunday in July and I did not feel like spending it outside at all.
It's about time, too.
Don't misunderstand me - I do not enjoy a "hazy, hot and humid" anything but I am happy for those people who suffer the other nine months of the year in New England just to get to the Dog Days of Summer.
The "dog days of summer" of course refers to the hottest, most sultry days of summer. In the northern hemisphere they usually fall between early July and early September. The Old farmer's Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the ancient heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are traditionally the days of the year when rainfall is at its lowest levels.
Tradition was thrown out the window this year. After suffering through the coldest, rainiest June that I can remember in my whole 43 years clearly the dog days of summer have finally arrived in New England.
Now, during the last week of July, the Dog days are finally here.
I'll be in my air-conditioned house...probably napping...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Life Well-Lived

On Saturday we attended a memorial service for Rosamond S. (Peach) Merrill, who died on June 25 at the age of 86.
I had only met Mrs. Merrill a few times. Her family is one of the founding families of Marblehead who can trace their lineage back to 1633. She was a true New England Yankee. However, my lasting impression of her will always be as a beautiful, vibrant woman and every inch a lady.
After the service at Old Burial Hill in Marblehead there was a luncheon at a local church. There was a table at the church hall covered with photo albums. Leafing through her photo albums I must say that I believe that she did thoroughly enjoy herself. Inside of her own, personal photo albums were pictures of Mrs. Merrill as a young Miss Peach, who had various suitors and who traveled extensively across the US and in Europe. She loved her family and friends and there were photos of all. There were pictures of her in new cars, wearing the latest fashions, and smiling infectiously. There were even some tastefully done boudoir photos (very tame by our standards) of a woman who was very much aware of her beauty.
In short, she lived her life.
Her children had prepared a small pamphlet of her life. On the front was a picture of her with the following in quotations:
"I thoroughly enjoyed myself."
I asked Janet if and when her Mom had actually said this. Both she and Robin (her sister) replied that "Mom said it all the time."
I challenge all of us to do the same.