>pre-summer in IL and ode to things already missed

>i woke up this morning to a warm breeze sifting through the open windows. while i had the fan on, getting ready this morning i was a little warmer than usual. i got ready for church, walked outside to my car and i had a preview of a hot sticky summer in illinois. i was happy. i love the smells of fresh-cut grass and heat. i love the view of a hazy sky and wispy clouds even at 8 in the morning.

the river even looked warm today. i don’t think i’ve ever been so happy for warm temperatures. i was just daydreaming the other day about relaxing on a patio or porch with iced tea (not sweet up north, haha) and watching the neighbor mow grass and children riding their hannah montana bikes with glittery tassels. now, i don’t have neighbors that do either of those things as i live on the third floor and my view is a parking lot and a fence. but hopefully someday i will.

i will miss the river, yes, the river. how it curves and looks the same from any four bridges that you take. i am quite fond of the mccluggage bride (rt 150). today i spent most of the day in my hometown and i will miss the familiarity of the “back ways” to get to places, or the intersections i know to be cautious of. i will miss driving past the old houses that have always been there.

i haven’t lived in my hometown for two years, since we got married, and if you asked me where i grew up i might state the city i live in now for fear of a strange look or all-too-common comment. i will miss the ice cream places, though (dairy creme and double d’s), and “our inn place” which has the best tenderloins ever.

i am not a farmer’s daughter nor a country girl (in fact, according to my students, quite the opposite) but i will miss the shadow cast by the grain silos and barns late in the evening and the way the crops look as they’re just budding.

i will miss the smell of my grandparents’ houses. i can’t quite describe them in even a few words but it just smells like home. mimi’s house smells like a glade freshener and downy and tide. grammie and grandpa’s house smells like cedar and wildflowers, i think. and also the smell of my aunt’s house. always clean and tidy.

i will miss my nana, who at almost 94 still gets around on her own despite the advice of the family. it is sad to think that i may not see her again but in heaven. but i know i don’t have to worry about her or my grandparents getting there and i am thankful for that.

this day has been more contemplative than i imagined and on my drive home this evening, taking a look and breathing in most of what i’ve mentioned, i smiled to myself. there are no tears, at least not right now. maybe i have already cried them. i have had a year to deal and sometimes wrestle with my conflicting emotions. but after hours of prayer i feel at peace and a calm has just washed over me.

i know i will need it in the coming months.

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