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Summer Doldrums



In sailing there is a time of day that the wind dies and you must simply wait. You occupy yourself with small tasks, chat with your companions, enjoy the scenery, and wait. When the wind picks up again, it is usually gentle just riffling your hair a bit. Sometimes, though, it is a late afternoon thunderstorm with gusts of wind and driving rain or even a bit of hail.


It’s been a long time since I’ve been sailing—I’m not a very good swimmer and racing about decks littered with lines and knobby things, dodging the boom and struggling to lift heavy sails was never much fun for me. My husband and boys loved it and participated in racing events and even delivered sailboats along the coast.


Life for me, is now in that afternoon doldrums. Not much is happening of great portent. I’ve been tidying up my sewing/work-room and working slowly on a few household projects. My garden is still producing tomatoes—alas, most of them have peck marks from thirsty birds—and cucumbers. The zucchini is thriving and the okra should be blooming shortly.


The dining room ceiling has been repainted, and I took down the curling border print to flatten it and re-hang later today or tomorrow. New blinds have been ordered and I’m contemplating the design of a valance. My washing machine died after twenty years of hard labor (three sons and a spouse who all loved to be outdoors) and so a new one is arriving tomorrow morning.


I spent today cleaning out my play-house while waiting for the air conditioner repair-man to arrive. Organizing all the bits and pieces left-over from assorted projects, putting all the materials for screen-prints in one box, recycling all the cardboard boxes and peanuts, labeling everything, and most importantly putting lots of things in the Good-will box or trash means a tidier and more inviting place to create.

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