Whine and Roses

Published 8:00 am Thursday, June 16, 2022

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As I write this, Paul has emailed that he is soon heading home after successfully leading another tour of rose gardens throughout England. Much anticipated after a two-year delay owing to Covid, he joined 18, die-hard rose enthusiasts as they ambled through Sissinghurst, in Kent, to Shropshire, and all points in between. I can see them now, strolling through both historic public and private gardens, staying in quirky, charming hotels, and enjoying fish and chips by the seaside with a pint of ale.


I, by comparison, just dragged the dogs out of the horses’ water troughs and hosed them off. And then I hosed myself off. After which we all shared a towel before trudging back inside the house.

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“How’s the weather,” I later texted Paul while sticking my head in the freezer.


“It’s perfect!” he enthused. “Highs in the 60s, no rain at all, just cool enough for a sweater. Perfect, really. Must run—we’re having tea in the garden and have just been served freshly baked scones with clotted cream.”


Look, I’m not jealous. Okay, actually, I am jealous, but not bitter. I mean, not bitter in that way that I hope he drops a warm scone slathered with cream and raspberry jam down the front of his pants, just may be feeling a wee bit sorry for myself, before realizing that I have no right to feel sorry for myself because this is his job, his work, and I’m at home doing my job and…


…It’s just so dang hot I could scream.


It’s not unexpected— record heat is being recorded year after year and not having had a really smoldering summer in a while, we were overdue. It’s just when Mother Nature is having hot flashes and the humidity is so high that simply walking to the mailbox results in making one look as if they’ve just run a marathon, it’s slightly annoying to hear other people say, “Did you know most of the cars over here don’t even have air conditioning because it rarely gets that hot?”


Here in the south, of course, we know any battered old junker can be sold by painting “COLD AIR” across the windshield.


“How was Oxford?” I asked.


“Fantastic,” he replied. “We had lunch at that pub on the water that was used in episodes of ‘Inspector Morse.’


OK, now I was really jealous. Jealous in the way that I hoped the next garden they visited might be in another televised town called Midsomer. Of Midsomer Murders. I wished him a great rest of his trip and then returned to my day which doesn’t stray too far from an episode of ‘Hee Haw.’


Signing off, he actually texted, ‘Cheers!’


Right back atcha, buddy!

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