You know, I understood that it's July and July is hot and the rooms are not air conditioned at The Clearing. I understood all that. I've been there 3 or 4 times in July for Ellen Kort's poetry class. It was warm, hot-tish even, so that we had to use the oscillating fan provided a night or two, but it has never been hot like it was hot last week. Humidity decided to come and stay too. The breeze went on vacation. So it was hot, humid and still. My sole salvation was that the workshop is air conditioned, the quarter-mile walk down there from the cabin isn't, but knowing that cool was at the end of the trail made it endurable. My roomie, Lala, brought her office fan and, since she was doing independent study (intense writing time), she managed to keep the room bearable--until Wednesday. On Wednesday all bets were off. It was suffocatingly hot and humid and still as the grave, and so was our room. TC was having an ice cream social after supper so we went over there to luxuriate in the air conditioning and eat a second dessert. Hey, it was free ice cream with homemade hot fudge, whipped cream, pecans, and a cherry. Even better (although what would have been better than a/c and a sundae, I'm not sure) all 3 men that I needed to interview for articles I promised to write for Siftings, the Friends newsletter, were there so I combined fun with a bit of work and hung around in the cool for over 2 hours. Yay, me! It was a fitful night but we survived, and by 5:30 on Friday afternoon I had a completed chair. It's not stained or "finished" but it's assembled and I'm very proud of it. See?
I didn't have time or the energy to write or read, I barely had the strength to be polite but I managed not to offend too many people (I think) over the week. I had hoped to channel my carpenter grandpa but that didn't work. I do not have an innate ability make wooden things. I liked learning how to use all the power tools safely and I loved learning to turn wood on the lathe. I may be tempted to take a beginning wood turning class someday but don't think I'll be taking furniture building again next year. I like my vacations a teensy bit more relaxing. Now I know why I take spring and fall classes, better weather. Excellent meals though, lots of salads, fresh fruit, and homemade bread. Mmm.
July 23--Kano Sansetsu, The Old Plum.
Winds lash it,
Storms shake it,
It bends in the rain,
Is seared by drought.
Fire licked the trunk,
Rot nibbled at a bough.
It gives it shade to sleeping babies,
lovers young and old.
The old plum tree
still has the generosity to offer
sweet fruit to
one and all.
Stay cool. Drink lots of water and Gatorade.