Summer dreams


I can almost taste it.   There is mint growing in the garden, and the scent makes me think of mint in my iced tea.  Roses are blooming – and so is the honeysuckle, whose scent makes me feel like I just want to sit down and breathe in the perfumed air for the rest of the season.

The tomato plants have started to bloom, and beans and peas are next.  There is still a little cleanup to do from the winter, but it’s not bad: root out the blackberry vines which creep around the edge of the shed; tie up or cut the stray arborvitae branches which were battered in the last big storm; find someone to replant the beautiful lilac after that months-ago snowfall caused it to lean nearly to the ground.  But it’s all coming together.  The last vestiges of spring are a good time to finish cleanup and get to all the planting, so that those long, lazy summer days can spill over one another like the froth of the incoming tide spills onto the beach.  A deck.  Sunshine.  Dreaming summer dreams.

I was driving my car this morning back from the store, and looked down at the mileage – time for a little more maintenance.  The car needs to take me to some good places this summer – up to see grandchildren on the 4th of July, then back in August for the Sandpoint Festival, where we can all see Pink Martini, Kenny Loggins and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  There’s a festival near here in August with Sugarland and Jennifer Nettles, whose energy I’d like to bottle and keep.   I need my car; with gas as expensive as it is, I can’t afford for anything to go wrong.  I think I need a new set of breaks, and the usual oil change.  Have to budget those for June; July and August are for family.

Thank goodness, you know?  Thank goodness I have a car that’s so reliable and comfortable.  It’s been eight years now, 124,000 miles.  I expect it to go another five years at the very least.  It will, because I’ve actually taken care of it; rather amazing for someone who remains pretty ignorant about cars even after all these years.  But I don’t think about it much once I’m at the location where I want to be; it’s so often relegated to the background of my life, to a trusted servant’s role.  It’s cherished for its reliable utility.

The background silence – the lack of crisis, especially in such a tough economy – is remarkable for what it really says about the guys who take the most care of my car.

They’re hanging out at Pit Stop.

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