With every season

Sitting on my back deck, hiding from the kids whose water balloons I narrowly escape while coming into the house, I take a deep breath.  I smell neighbors grilling some delicious loveliness and my stomach growls to remind me I have to cook, but not just yet.  I take another deep breath.  It’s refreshing, even calming, the smell of rain that skipped our little neighborhood.  I can see the clouds through the tops of the trees and hear a slight rumble, and I’m thankful to see it from a distance.  I can smell the delightful tea olive trees that are just behind our fence, such a sweet fragrance that reminds me of my grandmother.

I close my eyes and I listen.  I hear neighbors talking, but I’m not paying attention to their words.  I hear dogs playing and conversing in their own right, but they aren’t too loud.  I hear giggles and squeals, and I chuckle and the sounds of water balloons breaking against the concrete.  I listen to the little carpenter bee trying to bore a hole into my porch and think I should take care of him, but I don’t and leave him at his work instead.

I lean my head back against the iron chair and open my eyes.  The blue just overhead is so rich and welcoming.  The white that I see reminds me of cotton balls and childhood.  The trees are so green, so vibrant and alive as they slightly sway in the warm breeze.  I catch sight of two birds dancing overhead, dipping and swirling to their own music.  As I scan the backyard I watch butterflies rushing and flittering through the bushes next to the vivid orange tiger lilies.  I’ve watched the lilies grow and now they finally bloom.  It’s at that point, when I’m so in love with their bloom, I realize they are a reminder that it’s closer to the time when summer will end taking with it the beautiful outdoor familiarity only experienced during its season.

 

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Hey, Soul Sista!

As I mentioned in a post yesterday, we’ve moved.  It’s been a pretty eventful transition.  The very first day as we are unpacking the 26’ U-Haul that is packed to the rim of our accumulated crap (seriously we need to declutter), a neighbor approaches with a winning smile and even fancier gold tooth.  I wonder what he’s going to say as he approaches, you see, we’ve never experienced the type of hospitality we are experiencing in this new town.  They say southerners are nicer as a rule, but having lived in the Atlanta area all of my life with the exception of 2 years, I say it’s really a case by case basis.  The town from which we came, while only 20 miles away, was not filled with the southern hospitality love.

Mr. W with his million watt smile and his shining tooth comes to shake our hand.  He’s actually pretty awesome, we later find out, but he seemed perfectly nice when we first met him nonetheless.  He welcomes us to the neighborhood and gets our names, then jumps straight into the warnings of possible loud music that may or may not radiate from his home on special occasions.  You see, Mr. W has a professional karaoke machine, he explains.  He loves to shake it.  He loves people to come and have a good time.  He gives us details of every family within our little cul-de-sac that we live in, the goings on, the years they’ve been there, etc.  He’s chatty, and we like chatty.

He leaves and we get back to the task at hand.  A week passes, exactly, and I see car loads of people pulling up to Mr. W’s house.  A party, no doubt.  I see ladies in red hot pants, black leather pants, silky blouses, some in animal print dresses and gentlemen in purple, green, black, or gold slacks and some with tall hats and fancy walking canes.  It really looks like quite the event.  I watch the kids play with new friends and sip on my lovely little drink while rocking on my porch.  It’s a good day, I feel it.

The husband worked that day, but miraculously they ended his shift early so he gets to leave the station with enough time to hang out with us.  We’re standing outside, enjoying the sounds of kids laughing, when Mrs. W approaches us for an invitation.  ‘I know you’re coming over to sing’, she says.  HA! Me?  Sing?  I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.  She laughs, sweet as rain she is, and explains no one in the whole damn house can sing.  Then she closes the deal by mentioning the ample amount of flavored Jell-O shots and well, who can resist now?

We go and we are greeted like family.  I’ve only met Mr. and Mrs. W and their 15 yr-old grandson, but the extended hands, smiles, and even hugs from their family is awe-inspiring.  We fit right in.  We stand off to the side a bit as we have a lovely rendition of Whitney Houston going on.  Speakers the size of our youngest (The Little), 2 microphone stands, and more than 10,000 songs from which to choose.  It really is a professional system.  We’re consistently asked to make a request and get up there and sing, but I eye the tray of multi-colored Jell-O shots and decide to wait my turn.  Mmmmm, strawberry.  Who knew these would be so good?  The hubs sings Bob Seger and well, after a few yummy strawberry shots, I request some good ol’ CCR.

We go on for hours, all of their family and ours requesting and singing songs.  Booties are shaking and grooving, and trying to see how low one can go as the song requests of us.  It’s hilarious and fun and before I know it, it’s 2am.  After discovering I should not, indeed, try to find out how low I can go, I decide it’s time to find my shoes and walk back to the house.  I make it back and consider the tub after looking in the mirror and seeing my flushed face and strawberry stained lips.  I decide I’ll leave this look as reminder in the morning of the fun we had.

– A submission to the Studio30Plus prompt