The sun has heated the wooden boards of the deck to a degree that makes them unpleasant to walk barefoot on. The wood is bleached to a soothing gray and darker knotholes contrast with marching rows of shiny nailheads. Dandelions, grass and clover stretch illicit green fingers up between the planks.
Karin just came out and sat beside me. The different in color between her legs and mine is shocking: literally, night and day. She's a long-limbed summer child and I, a middle-aged troglodyte.
Anders trimmed one side of the hedge earlier. After 6+ years it's only about 18 inches high. The other side, lining the back ditch, is even shorter, having been planted about 6 months afterwards. At this rate we'll be retired before this edge is high enough to warrant the name of hedge.
It's been a very relaxing day so far: a day of dozing, game-playing, book-reading, lunch-munching. I'm feeling no urge to be productive: running the dishwasher is about the extent of my ambition.
It's Sweden's National Day but we aren't doing anything to celebrate it other than enjoying the sunshine of a so-far exemplary Swedish summer. We haven't even hoisted a blue & yellow flag anywhere like the majority of the country's inhabitants surely have done.
Words in the books Martin is reading that he has asked me the meaning of this weekend:
- kilter (as in off-kilter)
- coup de grâce
The kids are sitting on the deck with me now. Karin is playing Eurovision favorites on her mobile, sprawled at my feet on the hot wood. Her shorts and socks are gray, blending into the deck. Martin has pulled a porch chair out to place beside me and is reading, head propped on his hand and brow furrowed. People keep commenting on how deep his voice is, but it's always been deep. Even as a child it was startlingly bass. He has a visible adam's apple now. It's disconcerting; yet another example of change and growth that surprises, and sometimes, saddens me.
Anders is clipping the other half of the hedge now. It's too hot for such exertion. Where's the cabana boy with my tall iced lemonade? Karin wants to go swimming but the pool is closed for the holiday and unless she can talk her father into taking them to the beach or a lake, she'll have to content herself with the sprinkler. I have a feeling it won't suffice.