Here is your assignment.

August 30, 2013 § 8 Comments

A glass of ice water.My favorite aspect of modern life is the easy availability of a tall glass of ice water.

You may cast your vote for other advances.

Like TVs that don’t go to a test pattern at night.

Or the companionship of the unblinking bright eyes of appliances ready 24/7 to heat a burrito or send a fax.

Or the always-there-for-you friends who inhabit a virtual cloud, one that will never take the shape of a turtle, or Pegasus, or Grandma Moses.

Still, for me those accomplishments pale beside that glass of ice water, sweaty with condensation on a hot summer day, the kind of day that causes you to sweat too, and check out the Grandma Moses clouds overhead for the possibility of a cooling shower.

But maybe modern life, with its teeming advances, has cheated you out of the pleasure of ice water. Perhaps summer heat has become something you experience fleetingly as you rush from air-conditioned home to air-conditioned car.

If you drink your ice water in a sealed, climate-controlled space you will not be impressed.

Icy room.

Icy water.

Big deal.

We teeter now at the very end of August. Even here in the South the dog days of summer will soon end. Before they do, here is your assignment.

Take a tall glass. Fill it with ice, then hold it under the tap and fill ‘er up.

With that icy glass in your hand, push the back door open. Sit down on the lawn and rope your arms around your knees. Listen to the heat-crazed buzz of insects, the glass cold in your hand. Take a swallow.

The best, am I right?

Now stretch out. Exhale. And tell me, what are the clouds up to today? The real clouds.

Over my house they are impersonating a swimming bear and the face of the Madonna.

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§ 8 Responses to Here is your assignment.

  • craig reeder says:

    that really takes me back…… when i was a kid we visited our relatives in a tiny town in Alabama in the summertime, and me and my brother went with our country cousin downtown to the general store, and in the back they kept a large cooler of ice water. we’d walk in there, drowning in sweat, and each take a ladle of that wonderful stuff and pour it down our throats, and some of it would spill over down our necks and onto our shirts, and there’s no words to describe how good that felt ! so I guess I’ll just use a smiley face:


  • KM Huber says:

    I am a little air conditioned but not so much that I would give up the pleasure of condensation on the outside of a glass of ice water. As you say, there is no substitute for it, not to mention the memory that might show up with it. Just for you, I went outside, sat on a bench, and enjoyed a tall glass; the clouds were in-between images but I enjoyed their movement.


    • Thank you Karen! My biggest hope with this post was that someone would take me literally and you did. Thanks for taking that glass of water outside and checking the clouds. I know that with you I am preaching to the choir. You are connected to the real as well as the virtual, still it does me good to imagine you sitting outside looking up.


  • Gerald Dowling says:

    Since we speak of memory, I can jump in. What about when there was no air conditioning, and all that was available was sulfur water, even with ice, twas hard to choke down. Since I had neither, I just walked out of the tree house and looked up to see what the clouds would say to me and got rained on. But the weather man said clear till Monday. So a slow walk on a wet deck later, I retrieved a plastic bottle of water from my outside fridge, but now all I could think about was how the guy in “National Treasure” movie turned the bottle into a microscope. Guess you are not going to scale the grades either, are you?


  • This prompts a lot of good remembering. Fortunately our little yellow screened porch, where I spend a lot of time, all seasons & especially during a summer deluge, sits up on a tiny rise above the street, and it isn’t air conditioned. The sky framed by trees is the best reality show around. Mornings, if I’m not already out walking, I watch the colors creep in & evenings, we both see the brilliant orange to red to purple to midnight blue, if we aren’t walking & then we see the paintbox that way.
    lovely post Adrian.


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