Jan pets Sasha in the warm morning sun

Jan pets Sasha in the warm morning sun

There’s nothing better than sitting in the sun on a warm August morning, drinking coffee or tea with a dear friend.  As far as outdoor experiences go, this is the best.

You sip and chat.  You sip and laugh.  You sometimes sip and cry, especially if you’re talking about a dear friend with cancer.  You remember old times, sometimes.  You talk about little everyday things, about children and dogs and skin cream.  You squint into the sun.  You talk about deep spiritual subjects, perhaps. You drink some more coffee or tea.

Guest dog

Guest dog

Jan has a guest dog visiting.  (Along with accompanying adults.)  I’m sorry.  I forget the name of the dog, although I remember that it is a “she”.  And she is so sweet and loving and playful!  She is also dreadfully afraid of bats.  They know this, because a bat or two recently also decided to visit.  They have to put her under a blanket in the evening, with only her nose sticking out, just in case another bat comes to call. 

Jan also told a story about this dog.  There is a knot hanging from a rope on tree outside the house.  The dog starts growling fiercely, jumps up and grabs the knot.  Then it gets the rope swinging around and around and around, still growling, refusing to let go.  It winds up the rope as tight as it can go and then lets go.  Then the dog swirls around in circle after circle as it releases in the opposite direction, still hanging on to that knot and growling.  Can you imagine?  Wouldn’t that be a picture?

Old dugout fruit cellar

Old dugout fruit cellar

One of my favorite things about Jan’s house, beside her infectious laugh, hugs and friendship (and oh yes, the coffee or tea.  And the warm morning sunlight) is her old fruit cellar.  It looks so enchanting, dug out of a hill.  Years ago, the house owners placed their parsnips and rutabagas and apples in sand, down in the depths of this cellar.  They shoveled a walk through the long winter and opened the underground door to find prized vegetables and fruit to help sustain them through the cold and snow. 

This reminds me of the Little House on the Prairie books, especially the one where Ma and Pa and Mary and Laura and Carrie lived on the Banks of Plum Creek in a dugout for a summer or winter back in the 1800’s.  Did everyone read these books as children?  I loved the series so much I read the entire bunch to our first-born when he was only four or five.  And probably re-read them to Kiah when she reached that age, although that memory is hazy.  Can you imagine what it would be like to live underground?  How you must feel?  It must feel cozy, but perhaps confining.

Bowl of stones

Bowl of stones

Jan is an avid stone collector.  If you go with her to the beach, watch out.  She’ll come home with dozens and dozens.  She’ll make you stuff all available pockets with rocks.  They’re everywhere in her gardens, near her porch, in this nook and that cranny.

Hollyhocks head skyward

Hollyhocks head skyward

Not only does she love rocks, she also loves plants and flowers.  Bursts of pink and white and purple peek out from her gardens.  The hollyhocks looked particularly lovely this morning, don’t you think?

As lovely as our visit.  Do find a friend to visit outdoors one of these lovely summer mornings.  You won’t regret it.

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