Woke up this morning with the very strong sense that I HAD to get to the local home improvement warehouse and pick up some flowers. Half of them are now potted on my back porch; the other half will go in pots or in the ground later today. So begins my summer.

Randy was here over the week-end, and Sunday afternoon I brought him to the Farm for a couple of hours. It was a time of wonderful gifts of the kind I like best. As he unfolded his nearly – six-foot frame from my little Escort, the first thing he said was, “Man! it’s quiet out here!” and almost immediately we heard the plaintive little “bob-WHITE” of a quail in the woods behind the tobacco barn, and another across the road answering him. The buddleia I almost killed last year by transplanting late in the spring is blooming like crazy, and so are the daylilies and the spiderwort. There are deer tracks within twenty feet of the front steps. I wouldn’t have seen the fox if Randy hadn’t seen it first, gazing curiously at us through the underbrush of the hedgerow in the back yard. When the sun set and it grew quite dark, we went a little way up the road so he could see the stars unimpeded by city lights or my back-yard security lamp.

The one thing I couldn’t arrange for him was one of our glorious summer thunderstorms. We had a grand one Monday night after he had left, and another here last night, with heavy downpours of rain and rumbling thunder in the distance. The lightening bugs also did not cooperate while he was here. I saw a couple last week-end from the kitchen window where I’m now writing. We used to have hundreds of them blinking their way through the early summer evenings, when I was a kid. I suppose the extravagant use of pesticides and other chemicals has destroyed most of them. They’ve become quite rare, and you just don’t hear kids bragging about how many they caught and bottled the way we used to do. It’s a pity, the things we’ve lost over the past couple of generations.

Well, duty calls in the form of a cluttered back porch and two six-packs of impatiens. It’s a gorgeous morning, and I’m glad to be home for a while to enjoy it.

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