Scattered Summer

I’ve spent the last few days making lists and sorting through things and organizing and wondering how my life came to have so much paper in it and how all of it became so precious to me. My bed is scattered with books and pages and I’m doing my best to line them up and string them together. I am late in returning to this blog, so in the way of an entry, I’ll give you a list of favorite things from my scattered summer, (with a little help from my sister, an even more devoted list-maker than myself.)
1. Watching the NBA finals with my Grandma and Sally and hearing their varying disdain for LeBron (S: “He really just thinks he’s all that.” Gma: “Now, Alice, I know it’s wrong to pray for harm on somebody, but I think you can just wish a little sometimes…”)
2. Being joined by a strange, frightening, but apparently friendly gang of dogs on my walks
3. Cherry limeade from Sonic
4. Laura Ingalls Wilder
5. Being led on a biking tour around South Lake Tahoe by my 81-year-old granddad
6. Ocean’s Eleven
7. Trivial Pursuit
8. Rotting foliage in the Sierras that smells like sharp, strong cinnamon
9. Flannery O’Conner
10. The cabin at Tahoe and finding my grammy’s handwriting on old spice bottles
11. The heroic efforts of the Kings Canyon Lodge’s snack bar’s sole responsible employee
12. Listening to U2 in the Sierra Nevada
13. Mist on the trail at Yosemite
14. Vineyards in the Napa Valley
15. Learning good advice about wardrobes from the Pevensies
16. Hairpin turns in the hills
17. Dim sum in San Francisco
18. Hugging my Laura in Ohio
19. Lining up bridemaids’ dresses
20. Being given nail polish and attempting to use it
21. Taking a selfie with the bride
22. A (slightly late) fourth of July parade in Jackie’s grandparent’s yard, led by said grandparents, with great fervor
23. Going out for an evening walk in Grove City and watching the volunteer fire department practice their cat-rescuing technique, as the neighbors gathered to see
24. This conversation at my friend Emily’s house, during a game of Go Fish, in which our cards were laboriously spread out in front of us:
Tamagn (age 4): Miss Alice, do you have any….H’s?
Alice (age 22): No, I sure don’t.
Bereket (age 5): You mean aces.
T: Aces.
A: No, none of those either. Go fish.
B: Okay. Now it’s Peter’s turn.
Peter (stuffed squirrel, age indeterminate): Daddy?
B: Yes, Peter?
P: Do you have any fives?
(B turns his cards over one by one and diligently examines them.)
A: …doesn’t look like you do…
B: Okay. Go fish.
25. Coming home. Houses are different in summer, you know. They seem to innately understand that they’ve become a little superfluous—that everyone has lots of plans to get out of them and leave them behind on vacation. To throw open the windows and doors and let the outside in. My childhood home in particular seems to breathe and sigh and doze and sweat and dream in the summer. The smooth wood floors get sticky from the humidity, and the ceiling fans hum sturdily and sleepily.
Then, earlier this evening, I went downstairs and made myself a quesadilla for dinner. Or, at least, I began with tortillas and cheese, but then I added some butter and marjoram and, for unknown reasons, it all puffed up like a fancy pastry and tasted very, very good. And now I want to write, so there’s that.

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