Shady Stories

Today is not an outside day.

It is steamy, icky hot in NC and when I went outside to put the kitchen scraps in the compost pile, the haze and humidity of my brief trek settled on me like sea spray.  That was enough to cancel any plans to pull out the strawberry plants from my rose bed today.  

At first I did not mind their sneaky encroachment from the adjoining plot. I’d pictured myself being Strawberry Girl this summer.   BUT…I still have not had one perfectly ripened strawberry from my plants and that is, after all, why I grow them.  If I’m going to have to eat orange berries, I might as well buy them at the supermarket and use that garden space for something else.  In the meantime, the thieving squirrels and chipmunks are fat and fruity.  

Do children still read Strawberry Girl and the wonderful other books by Lois Lenski?  I read and loved them as a child.  I still have the book she autographed for me when she  came to our small church (a favor to her friend, the minister’s wife) when I was nine.  She had written a book of children’s songs (the first of three she wrote) and we sang them for her.  I had a two-line solo; I was the  good Samaritan. 

When I had gone into the building that afternoon, a gust of wind had blown the heavy wooden door shut on my finger and ripped the nail bed open.   Such a dilemma for a budding hypochondriac!  A wound bound to elicit attention and sympathy, but showing it could get me sent home without meeting her.  I wrapped it in toilet tissue and squeezed it tightly with my left hand so that it wouldn’t bleed on my dress and in a voice even more quavering than usual, I sang my lines which began,   “Recover now in bed. . . .”  

Now that the ever-bearing strawberries are taking a breather, the squirrels and chipmunks have moved on to greener pastures, so to speak:  the apple tree in our neighbors’ yard.   Unlike us, the neighbors have dogs which discourage critters from convening in their area, so the squirrels bring the apples into our yard for their green apple martini parties and even invite their chipmunk cousins which have grown quite cocky.

chipmunk 001

The birds are lined up with their little towels and flip-flops, waiting for a turn in the fountain.    My robin sexing is not good, so I don’t know if that’s Dolly Parton or Arnold Schwarzenegger out there, but one with an exceptionally big chest demands it have first dibs in the water.   A bully robin?  Surely it’s the heat!  Or maybe a bit of the green apple martini.

I read somewhere that the optimum sleeping temperature is 67 degrees.  Not “around” 67 but precisely 67.   I cannot imagine many people doing so in summer…although it is delicious in winter.  Miss Piggy takes her naps in front of the air vent.  Nothing moves her except the sound of food being poured into her bowl.  She  is snoozing with her legs crossed rather than go for a walk to pee.

Miss Piggy

I’m not going to argue with her.   

Hey,  I still have a scar on my finger…!

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13 thoughts on “Shady Stories

  1. hee hee…you sure do know how to tell any story..
    hot hot..I know my sister is in the sandhills and it very hot..she is going to get a small swimming pool from walmart to beat the heat!
    I am not a gal for hot weather, nope..I hide inside …

    never read strawberry girls ..maybe i should get a copy

    and those silly apple martini drunk critters you have are very lucky your dog is sitting inside with its legs crossed!

    1. Yes! You should read it and save it for your grandchildren one day. They’re not that easy to find any more. She wrote period stories about migrant children in various parts of the country. Beautiful, gripping stories for children!

  2. cw

    Robins in flip-flops – now I ‘see’ it everywhere!!lolol…. thanks for a great morning chuckle!!l:):):)

  3. I read the Lois Lenski books with the same enthusiasm that kids today read Harry Potter. Living in the NC mountains, I could identify with all the characters. I introduced my own children to the books and they loved them as well. Some books are timeless.

    How lucky you are to have an autographed copy. I have to admit that I pull out some of the books even now to look through them and remember those wonderful days of reading them for the first time.

  4. That is so funny about the squirrels and chipmunks bringing apples into your yard. They know a nature lover when they see one.

    I am glad Dawn pointed me to your blog. You have a very unique and funny way of describing things. I will be back!

  5. I have a scar from moving a sleeping dog, too! “Let sleeping dogs lie.”

    You might not believe this, but the although the humidity was high yesterday, it really wasn’t that humid. Live in Delaware for a summer and you’ll know why I say that.

    The sun is hotter here but the air is usually much drier.

    I would love to meet Miss Piggy. A Cocker mix?

  6. I’ve got Lenski on the coffee table – LOL – for the grandkids! If it weren’t for the attic … I do think kids would be missing so much! To have an autographed copy – that is special! Sleeping temp (the older I get the more icebox I want it.) When the power went out last night for so long, I was ready to walk to the garden hose. Miss Piggy has it right! And crossed legs.. how adorable! The robins and towels and flip flops! HAHAHA! You’ve got it right!

    1. Went to regional library today and there were no lenski books on the shelves. 😦 Looks like I’ll have to go on a hunt if I’m going to read them to my birding buddy. I LOVE that you have them on the coffee table. I KNEW I liked you!!!

  7. Pingback: shady meaning | idioMeanings.com

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