Sunday Afternoon

Sunday, yesterday. Unlike The Kinks, i ain’t got no mansion nor a yacht on this “Sunny Afternoon,” nor do i have “a big fat mama trying to break me.” My mama is beautifully thin still, and if anything, i might break her (financially) by mistake, but we’re cool: we understand, and it’s worked pretty damn well for thirty-six years and change. Like the Kinks, “I love to live so pleasantly, Live this life of luxury (sic), Lazing on a sunny afternoon.”

It wasn’t planned that way. We thought we were going to east county — going to east San Diego county from Bonita would be a similar distance to driving from Lebanon to Cookeville — to meet our gardener and discuss the front yard landscaping redo (her idea, not mine: i do know when to keep my mouth shut…oh, no i don’t, but she understands; you know, that thirty-six year thing), but the nursery out there in east county is closed on Sunday, and the home our gardener wanted us to see for an example of his drought resistant landscaping skills will be there later.

So i changed course. i would work in the yard on seven-hundred, sixty two uber-gazillion things to do in the morning and then go to the library in the afternoon to work on my book before coming home to watch the taped (okay, millennial techies: “recorded,” not taped) Vandy-Clemson and Padres-Reds baseball games.

Well, it didn’t quite work that way. Surprise.

We had a nice breakfast, as always when Maureen is the chef and she is always the chef, out in our sitting area next to the vast and now very bald back slope. The sun was out, but typical for the Southwest corner the seaport coolness made it comfortable. We ate, then read the newspaper while watching hummingbirds feed on the coral tree and in the middle of it all, a starling chasing a falcon directly above us before they dashed toward the other canyon. i scrambled classical music on my iPod and turned the bluetooth speaker down low.

i never sit outside enough, and this morning once again begged me to answer why. One of the unsung glories of the Southwest corner is the absence of bugs. Oh, we have some gnats but they seem to stay up on top of our hill. There are some nasty critters but they lie low and don’t disturb us hardly at all. Best, there are no flies. The flies have chosen to spend their time at the horse stables apparently.

Then as usual, i cleaned up the kitchen. It is the daily duty i assumed when Maureen retired and took over the cooking duties almost entirely. i find washing dishes and cleaning up peaceful, satisfying.

Next, i went to this infernal machine and caught up with more sports, more news, and Facebook. In other words, i dawdled. i am a good dawdler. All the way to noon. Lunch. Another amazing sandwich from the chef queen.

The ladies went to a movie. As usual, i declined.  They  are movie fans. i’m not. i’m glad they are big movie fans. i am glad my friends like movies too. It’s just not my thing.

So because of the magnificent dawdling, i had to decide whether to go to the library or work on decreasing my task load, which probably will actually increase the tasks because i would discover at least five more things to add to the list while reducing it one or two. Bad math. Murphy would be proud.

Initially, i decided for the library and the book, but on the way out, i realized i was too sleepy for an effective library stop. So of course, i took a “NORP.” After all, i had Vandy playing for the baseball regional championship and the Padres were playing the Reds. i had to get whatever i needed to get done completed before the games. They both started at three Southwest corner time.

So i relocated a pile of wood, took out a faux concrete slab, long beyond its use.

Then i said to myself, “Hell, it’s perfect for lazing on a sunny afternoon.”

i dropped all my pretenses and went to the garage where there is a refrigerator initially placed there for my beer. Now the beer is reduced to a couple in a very small area in the door, cramped by all of Maureen’s cooking supplies. i grabbed one of the few amidst the flour, eggs, four hundred different kinds of pasta, and all sorts of liquid containers of which i never use or even have a clue as to what their uses are. Except for the beer of course. i then settled into a chair on the patio, and sipped my beer in the quiet, sunny Sunday afternoon, lazing. i am a good lazer (my word, not a misspelling of “laser” or some Turkish chewing gum).

The last two days have been Southwest summer, a good time for lazing. The seaport gray of May has disappeared. June gloom has taken a break before the marine layer reenters our days. Seventy with a breeze and not a cloud in the sky. Summer without the heat, humidity or bugs. Lazing. As i sat there with my beer, i thought of lazing on a sunny afternoon…in the summertime…in a world and long, long ago away.

i remembered lazing underneath the Chinese maple in our front yard in our front lawn on Castle Heights Avenue. We’d throw down the blanket, and pull out some board game or perhaps canasta, the old card game. Sometimes, we would take an un-mandated nap (Now, that “NORP” for me). Man, we were good at lazing.

i thought of George and Virginia Harding taking their sons along with a goofy guy out on the lake in their ski boat. We’d put in at the boat dock near Laguardo on the way to Gallatin off of Tennessee 109. George would drive us out to an island. We would ski, picnic, and then prove Henry, Beetle, and i were superb at lazing.

i recalled picnics, barbecue cooked on site in a pit at my great uncle’s farm. i once fell into the ice bucket holding the cold drinks. But Papa’s farm was perfect for lazing. Rocking chairs on the porch in addition to the old fashion swing. A swing made from a board hanging from the huge hickory tree in the front yard. Sunny afternoons. Lazing at its finest.

i finished the beer, went to the family room and watched the Commodores put on an incredible hitting performance and the Padres using a grand slam to beat the Reds (Yes, Jim Leftwich, the homer came from Mississippi State’s Hunter Renfro).

It was a good day…no, a great day made even better by lazing.

…and no movie.


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