Summer’s Last Rite

The car began to roll out of the driveway when grandson Nathaniel jumped out and said he forgot to do something. He must have answered my question with at least one word, because I immediately knew he was heading for the mirror in the front hall. He strode; I ran. He reached up to take it off the wall while I focused on him. You see, when I was looking for a place to hang it when we moved in, I slung it on a sturdy hook that held a wall clock for the previous owners. We installed a lower hook. Moving the mirror up is the first rite Nathaniel performs when he arrives. As you can see, it is perfect for him to glance at his face. It works for brother David, as well.

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The last rite of a visit is the formal lowering of the mirror. As he straightened it, he said, “That’s right now. I can see my belt buckle.”

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We both rushed back out to the car so that I could wave as they set off for the long drive to New York. I remembered there was one other tale I wanted to tell. It involved a shopping trip to East Tennessee, where we went to the Smoky Mountain Knife Works. They proclaim themselves to be the the world’s largest knife store. The first sign I saw inside the store was repeated throughout. It stated that persons under 18 years of age were not allowed to handle knives or swords.

That sign didn’t make me laugh until we got back to our house. I understood the reason for the warning, but how ludicrous in our case! Nathaniel (17) just spent the summer cutting things in a steak house kitchen! On the days they were making tomato jam, how many tomatoes had he cut up? The answer – 400 tomatoes. He knew exactly how many were in a crate and how many crates he had gone through. Below is a photo of a sandwich he made for our meal. It involved cutting chicken, slicing cheese, cooking bacon, and grilling the chicken. He is more careful with knives than I am.

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I wonder what the knife store people would say if they knew he had played with fire as well.

081017 Nat'l S'mores Day (3) N roasts.jpg

23 thoughts on “Summer’s Last Rite

  1. The long and the short of it, an idiom. I always enjoy reading of the boys stay, great entertainment for Logan also. Shall be quiet for some time now and those great deserts will be missing. I believe, unless I missed it, you have yet to have a Milk Shake experience this summer Anne.

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    1. You are on the ball, Lee!! How could you remember I didn’t have a milkshake this summer? Now the weather is getting cool at night, and a milkshake might not be as welcome as on a hot summer evening.

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  2. Love this post!! Haha! But Anne, you must walk around with your camera permanently slung around your neck! How else could you be so on-the-spot at the right time to snap such shots?!

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  3. That sandwich looks amazing! I had to grin about the knife stores multiple warnings. When I was a dental receptionist those type of signs were known as CYB’s…..Cover Your Backside.
    My husband and I always have a discussion on how high or low to hang things on the wall. He is taller than I am and wants to put those nails in a lot higher than I do!

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    1. I worked in a dental office, too! It was only until our older daughter was born, but I enjoyed it. I assisted an orthodontist by developing x-rays, cleaning the examination areas, mixing cement, and pinch hitting for the receptionist after hours. I don’t think they use film any more, and brackets have replaced bands. *sigh* I’m past my sell-by date. John always puts pictures higher than I think they should go.

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    1. I felt almost physically ill the day before each grandson went back. I hugged them fiercely on the day of departure and prayed them all the way home. As soon as they drove away, I got busy doing things that desperately needed doing. By the time I thought how lonely it could be here, I was too busy to pay attention. When John got back, we settled into our comfortable routine. We are having a neighborhood cookout on Monday, and two days later John’s sister and husband will be here for five days. The other sister and husband will spend one night with us, and we’ll go together to a family wedding in Nashville. After that, I will take a deep breath and see what else is on the calendar.

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    2. Some people cry, and some don’t. I wouldn’t want to have a dejection contest! The day after Nathaniel left, I had lots of things I needed to do. The next day I battled the wicked wisteria, shedding lots of salt drops from my head without crying. Oh! It was humid! It has rained since, so I’m glad I got the gardening done when I did. I carry on about being a reluctant gardener, but you would laugh out loud at the tiny space I care for. It is NOTHING like the Rabbit Patch!

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  4. I enjoy the posts about your family Anne. They capture a sense of the best this day and age holds, and also remind me of the joy of my own yesterdays with loving grandparents. I have a feeling your grandchildren will hold thoughts of you in their hearts all their lives…as I do mine…for when I am having a bad day I will draw upon those sweetest memories of my grandparents to cheer me up.

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    1. I’m glad you had wonderful times with your grandparents. We’ve known several people whose grandparents died before they were born. It was sad they never had the pleasure of being with them. We’ve had a few serious moments with our grands, but also tons of silly times. If anyone puts a stethoscope to our walls, I hope they hear gales of laughter.

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