|A plethora of wild plums|
|Hummingbird Jam: Tiny, feisty, very bold.|
This year, more than any I can remember, I’m clinging tenaciously, desperately, call-the-hotline-ey, to summer. Call it Retirement Envy. Call it JBAD (Jack Blizzard Anxiety Disorder). Call it gingerpigheadedness (if Faulkner can make up the word “pinkwomansmelling,” I can make up a few of my own). Whatever the root cause, I’m having a hard time letting go of long hours of daylight, balmy breezes, healing afternoon naps, and the “leisure” time to clean that closet or grout that backsplash. I’m having a hanging-by-my-fingernails-on-a-greased-highbar-above-a-spiked-pit-writhing-with-flaming-horned-serpents hard time. And since I’m already three weeks into a new semester, and I already have papers to grade, I need to do my double-tuck dismount in a goll dern hurry.
But I am a Master Procrastinator. For example, I accidentally misplaced a stack of pre-semester meeting notes and regentally-mandated syllabi goals, outcomes, methods, and policies (bringing my once-upon-a-time one-page syllabus to a whopping book-length 9 pages) in one of the 30 antique postal boxes in my office. I can’t be expected to search them all, right? So instead, I spent the next two days canning tomatoes. I bitched, griped, and laughed semi-hysterically when acidic tomato juice ran into the burns on my forearm (oven-roasted bacon makes a LOT of grease). Then we picked more tomatoes.
|Tomatoes ready to roast for Base.|
I procrastinated to the point where syllabi and homework schedules could not be postponed any further. As in, I’m serious now, dammit. As in, get your hands out of those wild plums this instant and plumb the depths of remedial composition, dammit! As in, classes start tomorrow.
So we picked more plums and tomatoes.
Never mind that I’ve got an entirely new on-line-only (mandatory, of course) composition software “classroom tool” to wrap my brain around. I’ve got Hummingbird (tomato) Jam to cook down, by gum, and a dehydrator full of cherry tomatoes. I’ve got gooseberries and more wild plums to turn into wine. Ray made his heavenly applesauce, and how on earth can a person do lesson planning in a house that smells like cinnamon and cardamom?!?
|Ray's famous Applepie Sauce|
And what if I AM wearing bathing suit coverups, sunglasses, and flip-flops to class? My students wear shorts so short, they’re more like denim underpants, or they wear PJ bottoms and bedroom slippers, so I hardly think they’re in a position to judge my fashion sense. At least I leave my inflatable seahorse in the car.
|Roasted Summer Splendor Tomato Base.|
Ah…there’s the satisfying pop on another sealed jar of Hummingbird Jam. Let me have just one more day of summer, then I promise, I’ll get right to work…
The Cake (Gratuitous Grandkid-ish Shot): My daughter made this for our granddaughters' 1st birthdays. Their party theme was "fairy garden party."