Garden, July 22

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This weekend we received some much-needed rain and cooler temperatures. The turn in weather bore hints of fall, which I would whole-heartedly embrace if not for the turmoil I feel within when thinking of what fall may hold for us this year. It’s no good to consider the future with worry over what could go wrong, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m terribly worried that we’ll have another school year that my daughter will barely tolerate. I keep telling myself that it’s utterly counterproductive to think in such a way, that worry improves the future about as well thought alone can make the hands of a clock move faster.

Last week I read Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities for the very first time. I’ll try not to spoil the plot for those of you who haven’t read this classic, but I will mention that there is a poignant reverie wherein one of the characters imagines some glorious aspects of a future that stretches across several generations. Perhaps it is not natural for anyone to think so far into the future, but I found that I could not or would not think more than two to three years into the future. To look any further seems like delving into a choose-your-own-adventure where the choices seem impossible to make.

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Garden, July 15

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The heat persists, and it has not been kind to the annuals in my garden. The flowers in the containers and hanging baskets have suffered the most. They’re either withering by evening or growing so large that they are becoming rootbound in their pots. The survivors are blooming so quickly that it’s just not realistic to pluck all the spent flowers, so today’s photos have a quality that reminds me of something my mother said a few times when we’d watch reruns of The Donna Reed Show: “Notice how the focus turns soft when the camera turns to Donna.”

Now I’m thinking of something my sister said during our teen years that stands in infamy among our family memories. Once my mom tried being sweet and reasonable when she lectured my sister, and my sister told her, “Give it up, Mom. I’m not Mary, and you sure as hell aren’t Donna.”

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