“…and the livin’ is easy…”
I love that song. Every word, every sentiment.
It brings me, in my imagination, to a breezy screened room with a sturdy wicker chair and a tall, cool drink. Looking out, of course, on a perfectly groomed lawn and garden. The sun is shining. No obligations hang over me. Warm and comfortable, I may just doze right here.
Real life is a little more hectic, for me, here on Beaver Island in the summertime.
My granddaughter, Madeline, and I went to a concert last weekend.
Claudia Schmidt is a former employer and a dear friend of mine, as well as a wonderful musician and singer. She used to live here on Beaver Island, and it’s always lovely when she makes it back. She performed at the Community Center last Saturday evening.
We dressed for the occasion. Madeline chose the “very similar to the styles that Taylor Swift wears” dress that she’d worn for her own recital (she plays stand up bass). The sash was a bit frayed from the wash, but was elegant nonetheless. I wore the gauzy, tie-dyed “summer of love” dress that I’d purchased when visiting Florida with my sisters. Unaccustomed to wearing dresses of any kind, I managed to briefly flash the people in seats behind me while trying to disentangle my flowing dress from the folding theater seat. Fortunately, my grandmotherly underpants and sixty-year-old fanny caused only laughter, and the evening continued shamelessly.
Claudia intersperses her concerts with anecdotes, reminiscences and commentary. A poet at heart, these bits of information are generally heartfelt, thoughtful and thought-provoking.
One thing she spoke about this time was “Busy.”
That has become the stock answer to any questions regarding how things are going or what one is up to. It’s not an answer, really, but a definition of a condition.
“Busy, busy, busy!”
It starts to sound like gibberish after a while, she noted.
She avoids that answer, on principle.
To instead answer, “Nothing,” when asked, “What have you been up to?” has value for the looks of horror it evokes.
Generally, though, when activities seem overwhelming, her answer is, “I am living a rich and very full life.”
So, as I look out from my messy desk on this Monday in July, onto a lawn that needs mowing and a garden that needs tending, trying to plan my week that involves three outside jobs, preparing for and attending an art event, finishing a commission piece for a very patient client, making some progress on housework and yard work, sending out resumes and letters of interest for possible employment, a trip to the mainland to visit the Secretary of State, paying bills that have been ignored too long, repairing my washing machine and finding time for some worthwhile and memory-making activities with my granddaughter, I say…
“This summer, I am living a rich and very full life!”