Reflections Of…The Way Life Used To Be

After months of, hats, gloves, and snow covered streets followed by quite a chilly spring season, the long-awaited sizzle of summer is upon us here in Cleveland.  And I couldn’t be more pleased.

The air conditioning units are back in the windows.  The ceiling fans have been dusted and turned on.  A few of my planted seeds are actually sprouting, and outdoor home and garden improvements are currently being debated.   

This is “Year 2” for us in our first home; a petite Queen Anne Victorian built way back in 1897.  The house is generally in good shape but still needs a lot of love and attention.  Our ‘project’ list has gotten seriously long and we have become very good friends with our plumber.  The work is never-ending, a labor of love, and though it has tried my patience over and over again, the home stands for everything we believe in – family, integrity, history, creativity, hard work, doing it right, originality, the American dream.  

Proudly, the Tugeau 2 Agency operates from the 3rd floor office, and much to our delight (and the delight of others) the business of children’s books thematically agrees with our purple and red dollhouse-like home.  The office bathroom was originally a crinoline closet!   But it’s so hot that the wood sweats up here in the summertime.  Somewhere near the bottom of our house project list, we have made a note to ‘install a central air system’ which will likely cost a small fortune, so, for now, I stick a bulky AC unit in the office window and crank the cold air.  The unit emits a constant medium-to-high-level din and it will isolate me not only from the heat and humidity, but from the sounds of summer – the rustle of trees, the mowers and blowers preening the neighborhood, and kids screaming by on their bikes.  It’s sort of like a hotel room without the bed or cheesy art prints. 

Yesterday was our first real taste of summer – 89 degrees and soupy.  We had the air conditioner in the window and on full blast by 9:30am.  As I went about my day in the office, I was happy and comfortable in the cool air, but constantly fighting a sentimental urge.  There was something about the light, the heat, and the artificial coolness that made me yearn for a day from the past.   

I wanted to call my friends, meet on bikes at the corner, ride to the pool, enjoy hours on beach towels laid out on the concrete deck (kids weren’t allowed to use the lounge chairs) put on pink lip gloss and tons of coconut smelling tanning lotion, and read teeny bopper magazines in between swimming in the deep end a reading a few paragraphs our required summer reading (Pygmalion?).  And I wanted to spend some time spinning wildly and laughing on the carousel of the pool playground, next to the bike rack, while listening to the sounds of tennis being played on the nearby city courts.  I wanted to get back on our bikes, stop for a slice of Little Ceasar’s pizza, and shout nonchalant goodbyes to each girl as she rode in a different direction home.  I wanted to enter the back door of my family’s home, sunkissed and exhausted, hair still damp, go down into the cool cool basesment of my youth, plop down on the couch covered in thin worn gingham fabric and close my eyes.  No anxiety about project lists or resurfacing the driveway, no knowing the plumber’s phone number by heart, no seedlings to care for, no business to run, no work at all…only the quiet and peaceful end to a perfect summer’s day.

I came out of my daydream, though a bit reluctantly, and went back to paying our first-of-the-month bills with a smile.   

Welcome to Summer, everyone.  May it be filled with lots of enjoyable work and fond memories!




One Response to Reflections Of…The Way Life Used To Be

  1. wellerwishes says:

    Wow — your memories are written so tangibly, I am now reminiscing about a summer I never had! 🙂 Thanks for the new memories.

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