Skipping Melrose

This weekend is the big fundraiser for APHN (Association for Preservation of Historical Natchitoches), locally known as the Hysterical Society.  The nickname dates back to some time last century when (supposedly) some venerable ladies in the society protested the blacktopping of the Front Street bricks by lying in the street.  I don’t know if this rural legend is true or not, but the bricks do remain part of our charming downtown.

Every summer in early June, there is a big arts and crafts festival out at the Melrose plantation and we love to go.  We love the music, crafts, food, and seeing all the people we haven’t seen since school let out the week before.  I am always amazed at those guys in overhauls and long-sleeved, flannel shirts cooking popcorn in a kettle over a FIRE when it’s at least 98 degrees in the shade with no breeze and 70% humidity.  That they don’t die of heat stroke is a constant source of amazement to me.  I don’t know if the kettle corn they make tastes so good because it’s good, or because my subconscious just thinks so because I saw how they made it and tells my conscious mind that it better appreciate all of that hard work, so it does.  I always get new ideas from the vendors and love to see what the trash to treasure artists will come up with next.  The big shelf in our bathroom that company sees came from that festival.  We buy something every year.

And the annual purchases are an issue.  Currently, I am in an anti mode.  I am anti-stuff and anti-project.  Our bookeshelves runneth over, as does the attic.  The dungeon (our underground storage area) is packed with seasonal decorations and organized in some Byzantine fashion that only Mark can decode.  I can’t find anything down there, so I buy more.  Much like sediment at the mouth of the Mississippi River, we need the Core of Engineers to get in here and dredge so that we can navigate.  The Core would most definately be able to get rid of the grape vine wreath with half of it’s decorations missing and the other half split and barely attached.  The brass welcome sign and wreath are in good condition, and every fall for at least SEVEN years, I have taken that wreath out of the box and PUT IT BACK IN thinking that I “can do something with this.”  Maybe if I had a 2 acre workshop I could do something with it, but I don’t, so I don’t, and there it sits taking up most of the space in a storage box.  There are probably 5 storage boxes with such projects in them.  That’s 30 square feet of space that we could reclaim.

The obvious question is why am I sitting at my computer bemoaning the situation instead of doing anything?  Well, I’ll tell you why.  Because it’s the beginning of June and we have had record-setting high temperatures for weeks.  At 8 am it’s already pushing 85 with high humidity and it won’t be a cool 85 again until 10 in the evening.  The heat index is over 110 most days.  The unwavering heat and drought are sapping my energy.  My spirits are flagging and brown at the edges, just like my daylilies.  I keep trying to live in the moment and praise the Lord for air conditioning, but my thoughts just keep edging toward the future.  Toward August.  Every year I joke about spontaneous combustion, but as Fred Sanford so eloquently phrased it, “Elizabeth, this is the big one!”  The heat is sucking up every bit of moisture in my body and I am concerned that come August, a little zap of static electricity and WHOOSH!  I might burst into flame.

Since it’s as hot as the 9th level of hell and we don’t want or need any new stuff, we decided not to go to Melrose.  We are going to buy a couple of boxes of Crunch ‘n Munch at the grocery and go swimming.  We ain’t couyon.

About Laura Alford, PhD

I'm a recent graduate of LSU (PhD in Accounting). In addition to academic research, I also write fiction on Tuesday nights with the Asilomar Writers.
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3 Responses to Skipping Melrose

  1. mswanstr says:

    We need to become nocturnal during the summer. It’s the only way to survive the heat. It might be time for another family garage sale and anything that we can’t sell gets tossed.

  2. Nobody wants our broken stuff. Goodwill or garbage. OHIO principle in action.

  3. Susan Sands says:

    It’s time for the dumpster, my friend. Time to let go. If you need motivation to obtain the dumpster, pull up a loose tile somewhere in the house. That will inevitably lead to the peeling up of another, then another. Before you know what’s happening, you’ll begin a full remodel of whatever room you’ve found yourself pulling up tile. You’ll need a dumpster for sure. When you call in a dumpster, it must be filled completely to the top to make it an economically sound decision. Now, I live in a suburban area where we use dumpsters on a regular basis, mind you. But you get the idea. You can’t stop the freight train once it gets going–even if it’s hot enough to fry your brain.

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