Monday, August 31, 2009

Honest to Goodness

In the movie lingo of Eric Von Zipper in Beach Blanket Bingo, “Stand aside, everyone. I take large steps.” Did he suffer from summer thigh-rub rash too?

With Labor Day around the corner, I feel like fluffing my hair into an Annette Funicello up-flip and singing a duet with Frankie Avalon in the glow of an evening bonfire. It’s hard to believe after 67 days of triple-digit heat (with more to come) that we are setting the sun on summer. Even with three weeks to the first day of autumn, it feels like summer’s packing its bags and waving so-long as local schools re-open and the commuters jam the roads to queue back into their fall routines.

Oddly, even in this record-setting string of blistering days, the folks around Austin seem to keep their cool. We've developed a camaraderie watching our tuffs of turf wilt during mandatory water conservation. I recently looked out on our back yard – the stepchild lawn receiving the least water – and had a flashback to fall hayrides in Indiana bumping along in wagons full of scratchy straw. Is yellow the new green?

Because of, or in spite of the heat, we seemed to speed-dance away the summer like frenzied teens at the beach. While the drought parched the yard, my calendar was flooded with a wealth of busy-ness and new engagements: summer classes in Project Management Certification, learning new software applications, and enrolling in television studio production training. It also brought some recurring experiences: completing the Danskin Triathlon, enjoying the Indiana State Fair with family, and breakfasting with my old grade school chums – still great blessings even after decades and miles apart.

We’ve seen a good friend survive and thrive after open heart surgery, continue to learn ways to lovingly nurse an aging pet into his final months, and have lived to tell of tasting Pigs in the Mud (chocolate-covered bacon – why? because it was oddest and weirdest fair food we found – and we especially like to Keep It Weird when we’re away from Austin).

Have you yet to shake the sand out of your bikini bottoms? What large steps did you take this summer? Which images will you paste into your memory scrapbook?

As we ride the last summer heat waves into fall, I’m going to flick up a Gidget ponytail and croon to my Moondoggie, “Honest to goodness, it was the absolute ultimate!”


  1. Love your writing style.

    I'm going to Indiana this weekend and heard that it is fall like weather. I'm not sure if I have enough sweaters to take with me.

    And the answer to your question, I took the largest step of all stepping outside my comfort zone in Costa Rica - ziplining and, worst of all, no make-up or hairstyling the entire trip.

  2. Hi Beth - we are reverse seasons to you here in the Southern Hemisphere, heading into a beautiful Spring.I experienced a lot of large steps at the end of last year,particularly emotions around my husband's scheduled open heart surgery,now happily delayed after new results.We shifted and downsized and are about to help my parents cope with their big step of shifting after 57 years.I remember when my big steps were exciting ones,when to end a relationship, which country to back-pack to next, try for another pregnancy,now look at my large steps! Baby boomers lament I guess, but I'm now taking the big step of celebrating that both my husband and parents are OK instead of worrying about outcomes!