It's been a hot, hot day. As we passed thru Newberg on our way home from the little town of Carlton one of those roadside signs outside a bank flashed 94 degrees at 6 pm. Now, I'm sure that doesn't seem all that hot to a lot of people who live in the US's warmer climates but here in Portland it's really warm. Really warm. And I am sunburnt and my eyes burn. The inside of my nose is so dry it hurts. The humidity must be down in the teens. At least the humidity isn't as high as the temperature! I don't know how you who live in the Midwest, Southeast, or Northeast can stand it! I literally wilt and lose my appetite in weather like that.
Dear Hubby and I spent several hours at an archery range tucked into the hills of Yamhill County west of Portland. As we meandered over the old two-lane highway we passed several vineyards along the way. Beautifully manicured acres of grape vines spotted the rolling hillsides. Fields of hay had been freshly mown and the scent of the grass lying there baking in the heat smelled delicious. As did the forested areas we passed thru. The archery range ended up being a mile or so down a gravelled road, tucked back in amongst huge stands of fir trees. The scent of those smelled delicious as well. Dear Hubby parked the truck in a shady area and he set out with his longbow and arrows to walk thru the 40-target course. I opened the truck door, kicked back, and spent a few peaceful hours alone, reading several more pages of "Every Last Cuckoo" by Kate Maloy and dozing in the heat. Speaking of Kate, I whipped off an email to her last nite, telling her how much I'm enjoying her book, and this evening when I came on here and checked my Inbox, what did I find but a lovely email from her! Isn't it nice, when you take the time to write to an author, they actually write back? I'd told her I blog and she even stopped by and checked it out! One of my very favorite authors, Joanna Trollope who is from England, also answered an email I'd sent to her as well. Nice women, both of them.
As I walked in the door when we arrived home, my daughter Kaitlin was sitting on the couch and she handed me a small wad of money. $200!! "What is this?" I asked, and she told me it was from my daughter-in-law's mother. Who lives in Texas, by the way. "Whatever for?" I asked, mystified, and Kaitlin told me our son had stopped in a little while ago and dropped it off, saying it's for me as payment for taking care of my grandsons next weekend. Well, our grandsons, since she's the other grandma. Our son and daughter-in-law are taking off for the weekend. She told our son to give it to me because I've earned it! I was flabberghasted. I think, sometimes, because she lives so far away maybe she feels a little guilty...a little left out...because she isn't here to help out as back-up when I'm not available and she's not able to come visit much. I know it really bothers her that she isn't able to be with any of her grandkids, all who live here in the Northwest. I feel in a bit of a dilemma about this, tho. I mean, she doesn't need to pay me...yet I know she'd be insulted if I send it back. So I guess I'll just send her an email and say thank you and leave it at that. What would you do??
Don't you love small towns? I spent my childhood 'til almost the age of 13 in a small town. In so many ways I wished we'd never moved away to Vancouver, Washington. It was a huge culture shock for an almost-teen to move from a town of 3,000 to a city the size of Vancouver, leaving my old school where I'd gone from 1st thru 6th grade with basically the same 25-30 kids to a junior high with close to 1,000. But if I'd never moved away I never would've met Dear Hubby. And I can't imagine life without him. Once I finished school and got those awful years behind me, life has been pretty kind to me. I had to smile as we drove thru the little town of Carlton, tho...just as we entered the 'city' limits we were greeted with the sign: "Carlton - a great little town!" And it was. Like the owner of the archery range told Dear Hubby, "It's a two-stop-light town." He wasn't lying. It was! Can't imagine any rush hour gridlock there.
My eyes are burning so badly I think I'll bring this ramble to a close. I'm sleepy. I'm hot. I'm ready for bed.