More Eloquence From Mother

Everyone seemed to enjoy reading my mother’s commentary as much as I, so here are a few observations about summer, which is on us with a vengeance right now. I’ve left punctuation as is. She omitted commas, periods, and caps when she was writing fast.

Mother was living in New York, paying a visit to her parents while my dad was in the service when she wrote, “July 14, 1945. a Saturday morning:  The rambler roses fading, the pink ones getting a gray-white in colour and the red ones growing pink-white, a dirty colour.”

Around the same time in undated notes for Country Place: “… in the summer in the middle of July – rambler roses fading, the orange lillies and the bluebells and white phlox out – the ivy around the bird baths – and the grass lush and green from much rain.”

Regarding the commencement exercises at Trinity College where she received an honorary doctorate: “Wednesday – May 26, 1993 even the weather was in a celebratory mood – it was a wonderful day.”

Wednesday, Aug. 4, 1993: “ this weather [‘pea soup fog’ … humidity so high that the air seems to impede my breathing – should say lack of air] is not conducive to much activity.”

Tuesday, Aug. 2, 1994: “so – this is another one of those hot humid days – might as well get used to them – drink a lot of H2O – take a couple of naps – read and write – and if sufficiently ambitious will weed the terrace and clip around the terrace.”

Wednesday, July 17, 1996: “hot enough to fry a mackerel in the middle of the street – even at this hour – it’s now 9:00 a.m.” I second that emotion.

P.S. from Liz: It’s 8 p.m. and at least one tornado hit some miles north of here. Reading Mother’s accounts of summer in Old Saybrook is making me sweat, so perhaps I’ll switch to descriptions of blizzards and sub-zero temps and return to the hot zone in the winter.


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