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All of a sudden, about a week ago, it started getting chilly enough in the evenings for jeans and a sweatshirt.  I turned the air conditioning off and Scott dug dried paint out from the window frames with a knife so we could open them.  Our neighbors smoked pork in their backyard and in ours I found a single, tiny leaf streaked with red.

It went back to being hot a few days later but it seemed wrong to close the house up again, so Seymour napped despondently on the bathroom tile and Scott puttered about the basement.  I stationed myself on the couch in the airless living room with a book and a glass of water, like the captain of a ship that’s going down so slowly that he might get a chapter or two in before it’s over.

One of the things I read was this.

From Today, by Billy Collins:

If ever there were [. . .]
a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.


Isn’t that lovely?  The brick paths around here aren’t cool to the touch yet, but we’re getting there.  In the meantime, we’ve been sopping up summer.

chair lift We’ve been sopping it up with butter-stained napkins, to be precise.  At the Wisconsin state fair, we worked our way through two cobs of corn:


corn and scottOne chicken and waffle cone:

chicken and waffleAnd two Nutella and cheddar melts:

nutella cheeseWhich you should make because they were delicious.  Scott thinks they were weird but he likes American cheese and cant be trusted.

me and nutellaThat’s all for now!

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beautiful poem – not one I was familiar with 🙂

    August 19, 2014
    • I just love his stuff. I like how a lot of his poems involve every-day things lying around his house, or things he sees out the windows, but then he takes them to this magical place with the way he thinks.

      August 19, 2014
      • I love the random times when they have Billy Collins on A Prairie Home Companion. In the Guy Noir (?) sketches, they sometimes have him play a ne’er-do-well writer named Colin Williams, which never ceases to crack me up.

        August 20, 2014
  2. Mairsydoats #

    Whoa – a Chicken and Waffle Cone. My world has been rocked. Why have I never thought of this?? And thanks for the picture of the VAT of butter. When this CA girl went to Minnesota for a summer internship, and went to a fair the second day I was there, I was disturbed by the vat of butter when getting a corn on the cob. It had never occurred to me that anyone would ever need melted butter in quantities of multiple gallons!

    August 19, 2014
    • You know what cracked me up? The kid manning the vat of butter was wearing a BEAT DIABETES tee-shirt. You really cannot make this stuff up.

      August 19, 2014
  3. Gloria #

    I hope you had a famous Cream Puff.

    August 19, 2014
    • Gloria,
      I did not. We walked into the cream puff building and were amazed at how great they looked, but at that point I was saving myself for a turkey donut. (I wound up not getting one because they were sitting out in the sun and, you know, food poisoning and all). Anyway, I didn’t learn the error of my ways until we left the fairgrounds and I checked facebook. That’s when I saw that multiple people had posted “DO NOT LEAVE THERE WITHOUT EATING A CREAM PUFF.” So I definitely screwed that one up. Cream Puff Or Bust, 2015!

      August 19, 2014

    August 19, 2014
  5. Beautiful 🙂 Nothing better than a day at the fair and eating fair foods – YUM!

    August 19, 2014
    • Right? I can make myself a salad any day. What I cannot do is make myself a chicken & waffle cone.

      August 19, 2014
  6. Laura G. #

    OH MY GOD THAT CHICKEN AND WAFFLE CONE! where would i even get one?!? i have a fascination with wisconsin that most people find totally bizarre. like one of my grand travel dreams is to take a road trip around wisconsin, and i like to think about when i could best time this. i always thought it would in a season when i could go to both a football and a hockey game, but it has now become VERY CLEAR that the right answer is during the state fair! i should start planning for 2015.

    August 19, 2014
  7. I love that you love this Billy Collins poem. I love it even more than the cheddar-Nutella melts!

    August 19, 2014
  8. I’m in bed reading this, and now I’m hungry. Also, I just brushed my teeth. So, thanks.

    At least the poem made up for it a bit.

    August 19, 2014
  9. Stephbo #

    Dipping an ear of corn into a vat of melted butter rather than trying to slather butter onto the ear is BRILLIANT!! Too bad that really isn’t feasible at home.

    August 19, 2014
  10. Di #

    Do not rush the summer child–the winters are long and life-sapping. Besides, we’re supposed to have a ‘heat wave’ this week. The poem is a perfect capture of a fleeting season and now i want some corn–on the cob.

    August 19, 2014
  11. I love Nutella but cant imagine it with cheese

    August 19, 2014
  12. Love that poem! And I gotta say, I’m skeptical about the nutella and cheese… however, I was raised to not say I didn’t like something until I tried it, so I guess I’ll have to make one to find out. I’m seriously tempted.

    August 19, 2014
  13. You speak the truth about the American cheese- he’s lucky you married him despite that.

    August 20, 2014
  14. Mom has been in this house for 31 years. Our windows have never been open. The thought of burning flesh is enough to keep the windows closed forever. SORRY!

    August 20, 2014
  15. This looks like way better food than the Minnesota State Fair.

    August 21, 2014
  16. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but… I think Wisconsin might just be the happiest place on earth. SO MUCH CHEESE AND FRIED GOODNESS! We didn’t make it to the state fair, but we’re hoping to make it to the Walworth Co fair over labor day. Dare I hope that the food will be even remotely as good?!

    August 21, 2014
  17. That’s a beautiful poem, and I enjoyed the fair photos too.

    August 23, 2014
  18. there is nothing – NOTHING – which beats being newly-middle pregnant at a state fair. Not too uncomfortable yet, but you get to EAT ALL THE THINGS without guilt.

    i want the chicken and waffle cone right. now.

    September 8, 2014

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