First thing tomorrow, I head for the tip of Florida. Well, close to the tip. I’m signing tomorrow evening at Books & Books in Coral Gables. I’ve never been to Miami, so I’m looking forward to experiencing the city.
Spent the day re-writing a piece for one of my favorite editors. I displeased him a bit with a piece I did. I thought about it this evening and realized that when I admire an editor, I am so disappointed in myself when I don’t get things exactly right.
Early this morning, before the Florida heat set in, I cut the front yard. Note: we Southerners say “cut the grass” rather than “mow the lawn.” I love to cut grass. It is soothing to me, and I take pleasure in knowing that despite 50 years on my body, a body I did my best to wreck in my college years, I can still do such things and feel great afterwards. With the heat index, it was close to 100 degrees.
We have fairly new neighbors who are astounded when they see me doing our grass. We’re one of the few families in the neighborhood without a yard man. All I can say is, to a Southerner, the heat is a familiar. I grew up in a home without air conditioning. As a child, I was banished to the yard from sunrise to sunset every day in summertime.
Of course, you have to know how to deal with the heat: how to breathe, how to cool off, how to eat light foods, how to pump yourself full of water the day before you’ll be doing a waltz with the sun. I always take a small hand towel outside with me, and a thermo-glass with ice water. When I finish mowing (we have a big front yard), I take the towel and wet it with the ice water. Then I wipe my face with it and lay it across my neck. The sensation is exquisite. Such a simple pleasure, really. I usually pray for a small breeze, and I almost always get one. I figure there’s an angel flitting around, one who looks for old Southern gals crazy enough to be out in the mid-morning sun, in a state of exertion. There is a purity in sweat that I cannot describe.
I should point out I wouldn’t be caught dead on a riding mower.
See you again next week when I have a couple days back in Jax before going to Savannah, Georgia.
If you’re in Miami tomorrow, come and see me.