To Quote Jim Morrison, Summers Almost Gone


Never should such a pretty man say such ugly words, but in the words of the beautiful Jim Morrison, Summers Almost Gone.  The bugs might still be here, but the fun is certainly over.

During the summer I am AWOL.  By this I mean, Always Winesoaked Outside Lineforming.  In terms everyone can understand, I move to our house at the lake, in a tiny little town, outside the technology sphere, drink alarming amounts of white wine and lie in the sun until I grow yet one more set of fine lines and wrinkles.

Here, in this tiny house, I fail miserably to achieve any of the sun drenched fantasies I concoct all winter.  While I do run for about the first week I am there, I find that my running schedule interferes with either my desire to sleep past sunrise or cocktail hour, which starts approximately after 11:00 am.  The green juices and raw foods I consume during the year fall by the wayside as I become intimate with the chips and cookies which the kids that surround me demand. I never ride into town to the farmer’s market, on an antique bike with a handmade basket on the front, to collect fresh vegetables still dewy with organic goodness. The wind has yet to whip through my long gauzy skirt, my hair doesn’t flow in the breeze.  I do manage to swing by Bojangles for butter soaked biscuits occasionally, though, and can now distinguish between generic and Nestle’s raw cookie dough with a 70% scientific accuracy while wearing a blindfold.

ImageI wear my swimsuit coverups as high fashion. I think drawstring pants are the bomb-diggity. By the end of the summer, I find I closely resemble Orson Wells, in the later years.

 ImageMy brain atrophies.  I read smut and fluff.  While I began, in June, to read back through all books by Pearl S. Buck, by this time, the end of summer, I have just finished up the literary high of the adventures of Sookie Stackhouse.  I begin a blog in my head and then wander off in another direction because it is incomprehensible to me to remember how to power up my computer. (Hey, look!  A squirrel!)  My only accomplishment this entire summer has been to completely fold all the towels and swim suits on top of the dryer – one day.  Just one day I managed to complete that and it didn’t give me the mountain top high I expected.


My diminutive little cottage has a sweet master bedroom, with a giant, fluffy bed for The Goose and me, that stays somewhat out of the maelstrom.  The rest of the house is chaos.  Downstairs, there are enormous “kids” piled three to a bed, in the three beds, other mattresses dragged out from closets, four more kids on the sofa, one in a chair and some, in enos, strung from trees.  I say kids, though they range from 16 to 21. They each possess two feet that are constantly muddy, 25 outfits thrown haplessly on the floor, and all manufacture crumbs wherever they sit.  They each drink only 1/4 of each soft drink can they open and leave the rest to stick on wooden surfaces.  They roam like weasels in the night, sneaking beers and baking whatever they can get their hands on while I’m sleeping.  They cook everything on broil.


Friends and family come and go daily.  We never know who will be there from night to night.  Many mornings I awaken to find a whole new cast.  Family comes and we float until we’re prunes, going through Dora band-aids and margaritas like Imelda through shoes.  I issue the “be on good behavior” decree to all kids, they disregard it, and all goes on as usual and we find that we like it that way.  Sometimes there is dancing that causes my daughter to ask me the next morning to never dance again.  Some ladies, who are old enough to know better, participate in headstand contests after dinner and some Imageslink away in shame. Friends bring their pontoon over and we idle away hours sunning like seals. We draw endless sharpie tattoos on each other and everyone writes graffiti on the wooden outdoor shower walls.  We document the sayings that were funny at the time, like “I’m not above malt liquor” (courtesy of my new sister, the MILK), “twerk on Kirk”, which has something to do with my not dancing anymore and the lyrics to “Grey Goose”, the filthy worded theme song of the summer.  Elementary aged children should never be allowed to enter the outdoor shower.

ImageThere we have no internet.  No television.  To make or receive a call, one has to go out the front door, stand by the street and position one’s self just right.  Then, we yell and hope someone hears us.  If there were a convenient pole, like on Green Acres, we could possibly try climbing that.  For entertainment, we buy DVDs at the flea market, of current movies, complete with people coughing and walking in front of the camera.  Sometimes we get lucky and there are Japanese subtitles.  In this way, we feel we are expanding our linguistic education.  Cricket can write the dialogue from the first half of Hangover 3 in Japanese, from memory.


All in all, despite the mess, the chaos, all my hollering and complaining, it’s a simpler, happier way of life. The big news in our little town this summer is that the fire men have TWICE run the firetruck into the firehouse.  No murders, no political theatrics.  None of the bad feeling that comes along with being plugged into CNN.  I am delighted to have missed most of the Zimmerman business.  My heart resounds with joy to be in the dark about Weiner.  (Now, see?  I just snickered to myself over that because I’ve been with teenagers all summer.  I’m going to need some time with educated adults to be able to act my age again.) I’ve enjoyed being out of the loop. I live in constant hope of a worldwide EMP that will let us all live small again.  (Except for the hair color problem.  This does worry me.  Being gray in a post apocalyptic world seems somehow less glamorous.)

In the end, I yell and scream, everyone cleans up. There is vacuuming, dusting, endless loads of washing, we clear off the dock, put covers on things, pull out the carpet cleaner and turn off the lights.  The little house gives a big sigh and it looks as if we were never there.


Coming home, everything feels big.  I’m amazed that we need this much room in which to live. I can’t remember where things are.  My animals have shunned me, having fallen in love with their caretakers.  My old cat looks older and skinnier and glares at me from her place atop the microwave as if to say “Really?  Almost three months? Just pour me some milk, you naked, upright animal with thumbs.” I’m starting to feel that old pull inside me again to clean out some closets, find a calendar and organize us all.  I am going to put gas in my car for only the second time this summer.  It seems my hair has taken on a very “sun in” tinge and, jumpin’ jesophat, my dermatologist is going to need DMV tools to restore my face.  This morning, I caught myself yelling, for the first time all summer, to HURRY UP!  I watched the traffic report.  I regarded the giant pile of mail.  I got a text from the library that I was late.  And just like that, we are all forced back into the real world of school, schedules and shoes.

The real world sucks.



Lots of women have asked me about “THE DRESS”.  I don’t blame them.  It is, frankly, awe inspiring.  It’s the piece de resistance in my dress up box, a pink confection of such magnitude that women who see it sigh from both happiness and jealousy.  This beauty weighs about five pounds and possesses a train that’s over six feet and so frothy it’s about a foot high.  It’s a quinceanera dress, a dress 15 year old hispanic girls wear for their coming out.  I am not only delighted to be able to squeeze, albeit uncomfortably, into it and never contemplate the fact that it was probably a chubby youth who wore it originally.  ImageI

I’ve worn it to several parties, numerous Friday night cocktail get togethers on my porch or around the fire pit and once, to the feed store. I wore it as a zombie this Halloween.  If you’re going to have to be a zombie, might as well be a fashionable one. I still have all my own puffy prom dresses and, believe me, my friends have, on many occasions, put them on as well.

One might think such perfection would be a stand out at the feed store, but that would be incorrect. I had a book club luncheon at my house once.  The book was the YaYa Sisterhood book.  We all came dressed, well, big.  After a long lunch someone mentioned that they had to go home and change and go to the feed store.  Then someone else mentioned that there were baby chicks available at the store and somehow, we all ended up in the car, big dresses and hair, on the way.

Walking in, we expected exclamations and fawning, such as we deserved.  We got NOTHING.  Not a raised eyebrow, not a leer, not one question as to why we were dressed thusly.  I can only assume that the feed store man has a wife at home who has him so thoroughly beaten down that nothing surprised him or that he had been taught southern manners by his mama and just didn’t want to say the wrong thing.  Either way, we got our 6 bags of horse food, a box of chicks and left.

The one bright spot was that the evil neighbor who lives between The Trophy Wife and me did see us getting into the car and, again, standing at the mailbox dressed beautifully and we know it only goes towards the many reasons why she hates us.  We love that.

So many people have called or messaged me about the dress.  I’m not kidding.  Nothing I’ve done in a while has spawned so many questions and comments.  At least not to my face.  Next election, I’m lending it to Ron Paul in the hopes that it will help his cause.

Ladies, you too can find your special princess dress at Goodwill or your fine Hispanic supplier.  I’m telling you, when you feel down, nothing will pick you up like going through your day with a poofy polyester train.  When your husband comes home, he’ll know you’re up to something, but just not what.  It’s good to keep your man on his toes.  Send me your pictures.  We’ll start a movement of sorts.  We’ll be the princesses we forgot to be AND get to hide a multitude of sins under those diaphanous layers.  We could form clubs, open restaurants where hoops would be a requirement.  I’m seeing that this could be the sparkle that’s gone out of many of our middle aged lives.

Let me know how this works out for you.  As for me, I’m going to take an aspirin as my tiara is giving me a headache.


ImageSo I’m lying here, enjoying Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin and relishing the fact that I’m not out walking little kids around door to door, freezing and trying to balance a flashlight, a two grubby little hands and a wine glass.  Really, I’m just happy about the missing the cold.  It’s a little sad to see that my mommy Halloween packed up it’s candy bag and left years ago.  (This is where I’ll thank you, Cricket, not to bring up the fact that I sometimes let your dad take you and I stayed home to man the door with my friends and cocktails!)

I don’t understand those folks who claim to hate Halloween.  I can’t even begin to address those who believe it’s evil.  I grew up Baptist, my mother was perfect and thought Halloween was just fine and I’m sure she got that information directly from God.  I went to Christian school and I know that NOWHERE does it say “thou shalt not dress as a Power Ranger and collect candy”.  

Why, in the world, would anyone not want to put on a costume?  I’ve frequently been known to whip on an old prom dress or glittery majorette costume just for Friday night cocktail hour.  It just makes things more fun.  The other day I had on a gown with a 6 ft. train and walked several times around the kitchen and considered it a good floor cleaning. 

The Goose refuses to dress up.  Twice, I’ve had him in a Halloween costume.  When we were first married and he still could be moved by “a look”, I made him a Jolly Green Giant costume by dying a pair of long underwear green and making him a leaf dress to wear over it.  I then covered him with green paint and went with him as Sprout.  We went to a party at his boss’ house.  Just this weekend I was reminiscing with his boss and he had the audacity to bring up the fact that there were parts of his house with traces of green paint, on carpets and walls for years.  I am assuming he was commenting on our exuberant dancing and the Goose’s “nap” on the carpet sometime in the wee hours.  I wish I still had a picture of it. 

Several years ago, when he had become immune to “the look”, Cricket asked him to dress up and he did, briefly, wear a pair of fairy wings while downing some beers.  Fifteen minutes, tops. I DO have a picture of this, but am not allowed to post it lest the Goose’s business associates realize he has a fun side and a family.  

When the kids were little, we would become so overcome in the costume isle that I couldn’t say no and we would go home with a 2nd mortgage’s worth of costumes that required a change every hour.  As Shep wore his for some part of everyday for two years, I felt I got my money’s worth. The child wore a batman cape and frog boots for two solid years, ever day.  Everywhere.  The costumes, the pumpkin candy holders, the nip in the air, neighbors, wine.  I loved Halloween with little kids. I loved Halloween as a child.  I really liked it as a teenager (except for the two month’s worth of trouble I was in afterwards…sorry, Mom and sorry to my date for all the throw up in his car.  I mean, really, you make a drink that tastes like peppermint schnapps and expect kids to know when to say when? Seems like some kind of conspiracy to me!)

You know what else is great about Halloween?  Parties.  Parties where everyone dresses up, there’s lots of good stuff to eat and drink and, best of all, NO GIFTS!  There is absolutely no stress about what to take and give.  No wrapping, shopping, guessing if what you’ve brought is adequate.  I love that.  You just throw back a shot or two, put on a wig and, voila, good times.  My love, the Trophy Wife and her husband, Big Poppy have a party that beats all others.  In years past I have misbehaved to the extent that my children and husband have chastised me greatly for weeks.  This year, I was SO good that I remember all parts of it and it was fantastic.  

Wrapping up, Halloween is good and bad.  On the surface, it’s fun, but  it’s the sneaky little holiday that makes us think the oncoming winter is going to be okay.  By Black Friday, most of us realize we’ve been duped and are already longing for spring.  So it’s a good thing to give this scary night it’s homage.  Now, it’s November, though, and I can’t help but think of the ugly woman with her make-up off on the morning after.  Things just look bleak and scary with just the cold and the talk of the election.  Ugh!  Somebody hand me a fluffy dress, quick!