Feels like Indiana to me

Posted on July 22, 2011


If you are from Around Here you know what the weather’s been like lately.  If you are from Away, count your blessings.  Yesterday morning I woke up and thought, it feels just like Indiana.  This is what summer in Indiana is like, in my experience.

  • It is unrelentingly hot.
  • It is so humid that the air shimmers with moisture.
  • It is rich with fragrance.  You can smell the earth, and the river, and the grasses in the meadow.  You can smell the truck exhaust and the burnt batch at the chow plant, too.  Life is like that.
  • It is not the ideal time to be nine months pregnant, but no one ever said my timing was any good at all.

Here is the place where I would like to insert a vintage photo, but I cannot find it, even though I made quite a mess of the upstairs looking for it.  I will trust your imaginations.  Imagine me many years younger and many pounds lighter, even taking into account the large belly popping the buttons on my top.  My hair is very long, and tied back with a bandanna folded into a triangle.  My glasses are shaped like cat’s eyes.  There is sweat pouring down my face, and I am surrounded by boxes and boxes of books that I am trying to get unloaded onto bookshelves in our new apartment.  You can see a tiger-striped cat tail and glimpse two disreputable dogs, one black and one gold.  Some things never change. 

All of this is exactly what it’s been like in Antrim County lately, too.  Um, except for the pregnant part.  My friend Gay Montgomery came up for a visit and I told her that something good was coming up.  Gerry! she said–are you getting married?  (By this you see how different we can be from even our very best friends.)  I opened my mouth to say GACK!  but what came out instead was Yes, I am.  I have to.  I’m pregnant.  And then we had a good long laugh together, which is something we’ve always been able to do. We also went to brunch at Aerie, the restaurant on top of the tower of the Grand Traverse Resort, with Gay’s daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren and the in-laws and the other in-laws and it was nice.  Very nice.  Even if it was so humid it was hazy.  Nice view up there.  Reliable air conditioning.  Excellent treats.

I digress, but only a little.  Gay and I have been friends since the early days in Detroit, which followed shortly after the Indiana days, and she has known Rob the Firefighter since his winsome toddlerhood.  Which returns us to Indiana, a long, long time ago, very early on a July morning.  It seemed to me possible that Developments were underway, that life was about to take a turn, that perhaps it was time to go to the hospital.  Maybe it had occurred to me that the air conditioning at the hospital was reliable, and that nothing could be lost by spending the day there.  In any case, off we went, and in due course after a considerable amount of fuss, Rob the Firefighter made his grand entrance.  I was right about two things.  It was cooler in the hospital, and my life would never be the same.

Here is the place where I would like to insert another vintage photo, but I cannot find it either.  I am deeply asleep under a blue and white quilt, not showing to best advantage, as I am exhausted.  Rob the Firefighter is next to me, wide awake, smiling at his dad, who is taking the picture.  Both of them are very proud of themselves–RTFF for wearing me right out, and his dad for capturing the moment.  Some things never change.     

So, having failed to find the photos to make a birthday post for RTFF, I called him up and told him all the usual Mom things.  He told me that he and the Lady Alicia had a fine birthday dinner at Slows, and came out of the restaurant into a hot and humid evening in Detroit, where the weather has been feeling even more like Indiana than it has here.  I told her I was feeling sorry for my mom, he said, and we had a good laugh together, which is something we’ve always been able to do. Good to be appreciated.  I told him I’d been thinking about Indiana.  The conversation meandered over this and that as the sun set over the Bay.  A little breeze kicked up.  The evening turned almost cool.  It was a good time to be sitting out on the deck with a pair of disreputable dogs and a tiger striped cat, talking to the splendid man the winsome toddler became, thinking about how some things never change, and other things change a great deal.  Life is quite an adventure.