As I am writing this, I am sitting out in my backyard under a patio umbrella that has clearly seen better days if the lichens at the bottom and the scary remnants of wasp nests past are any indication. It is in mid-July and the sun is beating down ferociously over our little corner of the world in the thriving metropolis of Pike Road, Alabama. Yes, it is hot. And yes, there's a pool within ten feet of where I am sitting at this point in time. I'm watching my niece and nephew, ages 6 and 7, respectively, jump off of the diving board playing some game that they have concocted as kids that age are prone to do. Both are swimming in their underwear...not because they don't have perfectly cute bathing suits...but because they CAN swim in their underwear and nobody cares.
I know I don't.
My folks are in the air conditioning that we pay Alabama Power excellent money for this time of year, and we are most grateful for it when we open the door to let one of the four shih tzus who are currently residing under this roof in or out.
Or in. Or out.
Because heaven only knows why - if given the choice - any dog in his right mind would choose to be out here. Other than the obvious reasons. And in Riley's case...he doesn't always have a clue what obvious reason of which I speak. Bless his heart. Yet, here they are. Panting, staring at me, and occasionally licking my leg on the way by just so I'll remember they are out here.
The niece and nephew are excellent swimmers...something that I completely credit my little sister for seeing to as well as the fact that my niece, Tara, is part fish. She knows no fear...she just jumps right in. They dive to the bottom of the pool - which I can imagine is cool and refreshing...but is probably in reality like a giant lukewarm bathtub...pulling up rings that they toss in there for what appears to be the billionth time. I just have to remember to hose them down with sunscreen every hour. Half the time, they request it without my prompting them.
Again, well done, little sister.
I remember the days when Linda and I would go to Florida in the summers on the way to St. Augustine for a family reunion or gathering, and we'd stop at Uncle Jimmy's and Aunt Lorraine's along the way in Lake City. Uncle Jimmy ran the local Taste-E-Freeze...which later morphed into something else. They had a pool that our cousins, Ann and Kay had long since "gotten over" but we enjoyed immensely. We'd spend all day in there...only coming out to eat or to watch "Little House on the Prairie" in its first season on TV.
Yeah, it's been awhile.
I remember trying to do flips when I dared get my ears wet...something that I spent about half of my childhood trying to avoid. I had so many ear infections that it was just easier to stay above the water. But some years, I seemed to be fine...and so I just swam to my heart's content in that pool from early in the morning until they dragged us out all waterlogged. It was probably because of those memories that I insisted that we put a pool in our backyard...although as is typical with people that own pools...nobody uses it as much as they should. So, I enjoy sitting here watching these two paddle around chirping in high pitched voices and splashing Dixie whenever she comes by the pool. They aren't being mean, by the way, Dixie loves water...unless she's about to get a bath. Then? Not so much.
The breeze out here is just enough to keep it tolerable, and the sky is a beautiful azure blue with white puffy clouds that have gray accents on the bottom. The kind of clouds that tell you that it is going to rain at least for a little while sometime within the next 24 hours. An airplane is going by and I can hear it crossing the sky, and instinctively I looked up as if it was going to have a banner behind it advertising 2 for 1 crab claws somewhere.
Which sounds really good, by the way, but whatever.
My two dogs are out here and are checking out the scene and then finding a cool spot somewhere to lie down in case I get all crazy and decide not to let them in. If Dixie gets enough of the heat, she'll just hop in on the first step and lie down for a bit to cool off her belly and lap up some water. Because if anyone is in the pool...Dixie is watching like a canine David Hasselhoff.
Without the tan and the abdominal muscles.
In a few minutes, I'll get my temperature up high enough where I'll need to cool my body more than just rolling up my pants legs and hiding under this umbrella can do. In fact, I'm pretty close to that now. I think I've lost about five pounds just sitting here "glistening" and drinking water furiously. Which, honestly, isn't the worst thing that could happen to me today.
In a few minutes, I'll go inside and offer them some sweet tea and turn on the dreaded Disney Channel. In fact, we'll be watching something called "Teen Beach Movie" tonight at 7:00 because that's all they've been talking about for weeks. I have it DVR'd in case we accidentally get involved in a fierce game of Yatzhee or something.
Today has been a good day. Just one where I've sat here and watched the world go by and had a few minutes to do some things that needed to be done...like paying the American Express bill online and finding out what Physics III covers so I can tell Brian. By the way, the answer is "Quantum Physics" whatever that is.
He'll be taking Biology even though he's already survived Physics I and II. I see the word "quantum" and automatically think of Scott Bakula. I didn't know what it meant then...and I don't know what it means now. Which is just as well, I suppose.
I hope that everyone reading this has a day when you are greeted by precious children and "Shih-Tzu-pallooza" like I have been today. The folks have their two shih tzus here along with mine...and the kids spent an hour just taking pictures of them in various poses with my phone. Yes, I have about 883 photos of dogs to sort through.
On to go back inside before I spontaneously combust. Or is it comburst? Whatever. The A/C is calling me. As is the watermelon that I know is in that refrigerator.