Monday, August 1, 2011

Smeary sunsets.

"The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after."

~Prologue, Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt

When I was in the sixth grade, I went to a very old middle school. It was miserably hot during the warm months- we had to bring water bottles wrapped in aluminium foil (I'm still not sure why? Aluminium foil didn't do any good, really) to keep with us all day. The older kids, the eighth-graders, all had their classes in the second story classrooms, which were air-conditioned. In the winter it was equally hot with the radiators on, so hot that we had to open the dusty, creaky windows. The cafeteria was tiny and crowded, with wobbly stools and bad food. The floor in the gym was peeling and cracked. At the end of the year, we had a field day where the fire department came and hosed down all of us in the little ball field. We were also allowed to climb into this large heavy cardboard/plastic tube that something had come in and roll down a hill behind the school, like a hamster in a wheel.

It was lovely. The school was small and worn out, but everyone knew each other. That was the one and only public school that I went to that I loved. The next year they transferred us all to a tacky, shiny, brand new middle school that still smelled like fresh paint and lacked any personality. They renovated the old school into an elementary school, and I'm afraid it lost all of its charm after that.

In the sixth grade, I had a very fun, dramatic English teacher. We read Tuck Everlasting in class, each of us with one of those old yellow-covered and yellow-paged paperback copies. I always remembered that very first paragraph of the lovely little book. When I look out my back window and see our summer sunsets, I always think of that phrase: sunsets smeared with too much color.

That was the same year that the film adaptation of Tuck Everlasting was released. As a field trip, we went to a local movie theater to see it. All of us girls swooned over Jesse Tuck and talked of nothing but him for weeks. The theater sat on top of a hill, and our poor school bus couldn't quite make it to the top. We rolled down that steep hill backwards. But that's another story for another day. :)

And here is an Avett Brothers song for you. I've been loving the Avett Brothers this summer. I have never before seen a banjo played like that.

Until next time,


  1. Love your post! I just saw "The King's Speech" recently too. I was hesitant because of the language also. But when I saw it I adored it! The story really stuck with me, and I can see why it won Best Picture.

  2. oops, sorry, wrote on the wrong post!


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