Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Past the Crown of Summer

We're past the crown of summer. I know this because my pail of apples, the windfalls I pick up before wheeling my bicycle out, was not full this morning. For several days the bucket has been overflowing; but not today. Three-quarters full. So the midpoint of summer, as I've reckoned it for twenty years, is past. And looking up, I see the branches lighter, easier. I suppose bearing fruit is not easy on any of us.

I wrote to a friend:
Life continues to be extraordinarily good to me. I sometimes wonder whether I'm Job in reverse: if God and Satan have a bet going about what will happen if they shower me with undeserved blessings. If so, I'm surely pursuing the optimal strategy: giving them no conclusive results, so that the contest has to go on. I wonder how long I can keep it up?

The house is sold, and we'll probably make an offer on a tiny place in an iffy part of town. "Small, dark, far, and cheap," is how I sum it up. But we've met a couple neighbors and they're enthusiastic about the neighborhood. It's just a few blocks from the intersection of 82nd Avenue, the boulevard whose name is a Portland euphemism for "prostitution," and Burnside Street, which is the local name for "skid row." But really neither street lives up to its reputation, where they intersect, and the houses round about are well kept up.

This is not the bad-boy boyfriend house. Martha calls this one the nerdy boyfriend house: not much to look at, maybe, but easy to love and (possibly) a surprisingly good financial bet. It's tucked way back from the street, and the front yard is a riot of trees: not a single drop of sunlight gets through to it at this time of year.

10 comments:

rbarenblat said...

I love that you have such a physical and tangible way of sensing the turn of the season. For me, it always has to do with seeing the first few red or yellow leaves, and the bright yellow crowns appearing on the first early goldenrod...

Nerdy boyfriend house; I like that. (Then again, I have always had a profound soft spot for the nerdy boyfriend. This will surprise you not at all, I'm sure. :-)

Jean said...

I LOVE the nerdy boyfriend image! And, just think, whereas there are strong arguments against harbouring illusions of being able to improve a boyfriend, you need have no qualms about such illusions regard to a house - and very possibly they aren't illusions.

Zhoen said...

Oh, yes, always go for the geeky guy. Real quality always seems a bit dowdy and preoccupied. Hey, it's busy doin' it's job!

Kathleen said...

Ah, easy to love! I love your feeling of continued blessings.

And I would just like to say my code word to comment today is "gorpr." I am a gorper. As in, an eater of gorp, or good old raisins and peanuts. Of course, I like to put chocolate chips in there, too.

Robin said...

Thank goodness for the trees. Even easier to remain inconclusive behind them.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Yeah, I love the apples-in-the-bucket thing, too! My summer doesn't officially end 'til I see the first school bus rumble past my house.

So glad you've found a "lovable" house. Now you can relax, and wait for the leaves to fall off all the trees in your front yard--then the FUN begins....

Dave said...

The trees bit sounds very promising! And being in a disreputable but well-cared-for neighborhood. Good deal.

Anne said...

The house sounds like a gem. The trees will mean privacy. Trees are so fine.

Lucy said...

So much has happened here since last I came!

I love monkey and crocodile both, and am so happy to here about nerdy boyfriend house and its trees.

Peter said...

Victoria says I'm a nerd, but no geek. (I think a geek is a nerd good at technology or science in general.) But she says nerds make the best husbands, which reassures me.

Apples; a small, tucked-away house; trees; a bucket. That's living.