Clean Sheets to Sweat On

I would like to think that I’m a strong, survival-type person. In my dreams, I could have traveled the prairie, seeking a new home for my family. In those visions, I’m cheery as I sit beside my rugged husband, bumping over the rocky trail, just two ruts in the tall grass. I would be ready to jump from that wagon after a long day, gathering my children for the chores ahead. Building a fire and preparing our evening meal would be the perfect way to end another fruitful day of travel as we neared our destination. Sleeping under the stars, the wind whispering over my little world would lull me to sleep.


In my dreams!

The reality is that I’m a bit spoiled. Yes, I am a hard-worker, and I could probably survive a lot. But there would be much complaining about the situation. As I sit here and type in my 80+ degree room, the hum of the fan behind me with sweat trickling down by back, I can’t even imagine what those pioneer women went through! I feel as though I’ve been traumatized by the fact that our central air needs to be replaced!

I need to be extremely thankful for all the years that central air plugged away for us. When we moved into this house almost eleven years ago, we knew the heating and air-conditioning unit was used and reconditioned. Each change of season, I’ve prayed that it would work, and it has with the exception of two times. Both times the air-conditioner needed charging, the second time last June. And it didn’t look good then. But, several thousand to replace everything is rather overwhelming. You kind of hope it will just all go away and a storm will go through, cooling everything down.

Well, that won’t happen here in Kansas. Not this time of year. We are looking at another three months or more of 90+ degree heat, every day until mid-September. And that’s when I begin to whine. A lot!


So, I’ve been trying to focus on what I do have, versus those pioneer women. I have an actual home, not a soddy, or covered wagon. My home has windows that I can open and close. Each night I can take a cool shower in my very nice, remodeled bathroom. I don’t have to bathe in my mixing bowl, or walk to the creek watching for critters. When I’m clean and refreshed, I have clean clothes waiting for me that I’ve washed in my lovely front-loader, and dried in the machine right next to the washing machine. When we are hungry, we can go to our fridge and open the coolness within, and stand there breathing in that cold environment. I don’t have to cook over a cast-iron stove, or campfire unless I really want to, just for the fun of it. And if I’m really miserable and hot, I have a very nice car to ride in that has wonderful cold air.

When I think of it like that, I don’t have much to complain about. I have conveniences that women didn’t have one hundred years ago. I would like to think I could have survived those pioneer days. But I don’t know if I would have. Life was hard, and there wasn’t much time for whining. You just had to survive.

And tonight when I go to bed, I’ll try to remember that I have a bed to sleep on, not blankets piled upon the rocky ground. The mattress may be harder than I like, it may be stifling in the bedroom. But, I have a bed, and clean sheets to sweat on. Life is good!



Cooler Days are Coming!

Summer! Hot and humid days, sun so bright that everything is a blur. Nights that barely dip below 75 degrees, the air dripping with moisture. That’s what it’s been like here in Kansas. And I’m ready for fall!

I’ve been trying to get back on track with my walking. It really takes a nose dive during June, July and August. This morning, I finally made it out to the lake at around seven this morning. It was still ‘cool’, in a manner of speaking. Only 72 degrees out. But the steam hung heavy over the lake and after twenty minutes, I was soaked through. Ugh! Our daughter’s dog, Buddy went with us. He gave up before us and just about needed a lift back to the van.

But before summer ends we still have tomatoes to redden on the vine. Lots of peppers to pick and cucumbers that are as big as zucchini squash. I have made refrigerator pickles in the past. They are my favorite because I can put them in a jar, add vinegar and spices, and let them sit. And I don’t have to add sugar. After one bite that puckered our lips and rolled our eyeballs, I added a little bit!

I love sour pickles, but these were over-the-top. The ‘weeds’ in the jar, as our son called them, are dill. I’ve grown my own in the past, but these are store bought.

To be fair, this summer has been a little different than others in the past. We’ve had lots of rain, sometimes torrential downpours. My little fountain has been filled to over-flowing many times this year. The flowers, grass and trees have loved it. My hedge has adored all the rain and this Monster Hedge deserves a post all it’s own. I planned to keep it trimmed up tight and neat. I wanted to keep it trimmed that way! But this hedge has a mind of it’s own and now, our son-in-law will have to return with the chain saw. Sorry David! I really did try to keep it under control.

The above picture on the left was taken in March, shortly after the hedge was trimmed back. It looked so forlorn! You can see the shepherd’s hook and the hedge is the same height. The next picture was taken a few minutes ago. You can’t see the shepherd’s hook enveloped by the branches, just the white bird feeder. The hedge is probably five feet higher than the top of the hook. The little fountain is covered as well. And I notice just now, my sun tea sitting on the table. It’s heated to around 100 degrees by now!

Summer…very special in it’s own way, but cooler days are coming and I can’t wait!