Fireworks! Parades! Rodeos and backyard birthday parties.
Music that makes you want to dance and just be happy and warm nights wrapped in velvet and star studded skies that stretch onto forever.
It must be summer.
I was so excited about summer. In celebration of the season, and with a little help from my friends, I transformed my winter white deck into a flower-coated wonder. When we were finished, tons of flowers peeked out here, there and everywhere, almost hiding the less than attractive chipped white paint.
I planted scarlet geraniums because I love them and petunias, pansies and some other little yellow sunshiny things because I knew I could grow to love them, also.
I planted strawberry plants and a whole lot of herbs, vowing to learn which dishes the herbs should be used in, instead of simply throwing handfuls into everything I cooked and hoping for the best like I did last year.
I scrubbed the barbecue shiny clean.
I fed the birds.
Lastly, I bought this great, huge, fire engine red umbrella that promised not only to shield people from the sun and rain, it was guaranteed to make the deck look all uptown and spiffy like, maybe, we were rich or something.
I sat it up carefully, proudly. And there it floated; all majestic and amazing for about two and a half seconds, before a huge gust of wind caught it, sending it sailing over the railing like a somewhat inebriated Mary Poppins.
As the great Scottish poet Robbie Burns so aptly said, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
I cried, but briefly, because I had to go to work and, anyway, stuff happens.
My husband said it would probably only take an half hour or so and he could fix it, using parts of the old frayed umbrella that we had inherited from his mother when we were young and used to inherit stuff from her.
Well, I said nothing, but to my knowledge, half hour jobs do not exist.
But, due to perseverance and many unprintable words on my husband’s part, the thing finally did fly again and all was good.
And now here we are on a summer’s night with only a 60 per cent chance of rain and we are about to have a party.
I have it all planned.
Well, I don’t actually.
But, it was a day in summer and I was sitting outside, in the back behind my office, letting the sun seep into my very soul, when I decided tonight was the night for a party.
So I sent out invitations to all my friends who are contacts on my phone before my phone finally died from so much activity.
And, guess what? Surprise! They are all coming!
And once again, I’m excited.
Here it is summer and we have this red umbrella that promises to shield us all from sun and rain, whatever happens (according to the radio, it will mostly likely be rain).
And we have flowers and there will be food and there will be music.
But, mostly there will be friends.
And, really, in the long run, that is what is most important, anyway.
For me, for you and for all of us.
And in summer, the definition of perfection might not be hanging out with friends on a wooden deck where flowers, in all their glory, are showing their lovely faces, and the night is soft and warm like velvet around us, but it’s very close.
It’s magic, really!
Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review and writes a regular column for The Pipestone Flyer.