Recipe for Enjoying a Weekday Afternoon, September Style

September is a fickle month in the Mid-South. Mother Nature can’t quite make up her mind whether the season is summer or fall. The air is crisp and clean and definitely open widow friendly, and yet the sun is still hot enough to make you yearn for a swim in your newly closed pool after a short jog. 
In the midst of worrying my face off that I’ll never be accepted back in to school, I am learning to read again–for pleasure, for fun, for “staycation” sake. 

Afternoon Coffee:
Serves one 
One cup (a real cup, not the American oversized bathtub mugs that give you digestion problems) freshly brewed strong coffee (I use Seattle’s Best, level 5)
One or two splashes half and half
One peppermint candy

Combine ingredients in your reasonably sized mug. Serve with a book and a Grannamae cookie. Use as fuel for your newly rediscovered passion for writing:

Always, Always…
Always, always, bliss on paper. A book and a warm mint coffee? Nothing better. It used to be I could not read, I would not read. Reading merely passed time when I was not consciously doing something we like to call “productive.” My eyes would merely skim the words while my brain ran laps, thinking volatility of the tasks I had not yet completed, the people I had not yet impressed, the weight I had not yet lost. Now on temporary leave from school, after an hour of computer time I feel my energy drain away, so I quickly stand up to shake myself. What to do now? My “tasks” can only go so far in one day, so I decide to read for a few hours–outside I go, with my new friend Frances Mayes:
“How to quantify happiness? Any loved house you’ve personally slaved over feels like an extension of yourself. Many people have told me that when they arrived in Italy, they’ve surprised themselves by thinking, I’m home. I, too, had that sensation when I first came here. By now, that feeling has magnified. And, as for a loved one, I have that scarier feeling, I can’t be without you. Meanwhile, the house just stands here, indifferent, facing the changing light and weather.”
I smile, and I can’t stop smiling, because I love reading stories of triumph over self, of succumbing to the natural order of time and space. I love that I know that I am enough to be happy–to exist within the close confines of happiness. I close my eyes and drink in the clear sky above me, the sky I feel was made just for me today. I want to stay with it forever, under the Tuscan sun like Frances. I wish I could. I know I can’t, at least not yet–I am too young. I am ripe, and my duties in this world are numerous. I face years of overcoming challenges, meeting people, moving forward. I have degrees to earn, pictures to take, many tears to shed, cuts to bleed, God willing. And children to foster. That is just fine with me.
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”

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