My Yesterdays

It is damned hot. That humid kind of heat that seems to suck the life right out of you. 

So I hover over the thermostat to see if I can keep the electric bill down. I get out early and water the plants. And otherwise I rarely step out into weather that feels like heat from an oven.

The flowers are literally dying on the vine. They just seem to peter out this time of year. The cone flowers are showing their pretty faces while most of the others just give up.

So those of you who were jealous in the spring when I was showing pretty flower blooms, you can rest assured that now it's your turn and my blooms have pretty much fizzled out.

Now's when I drink iced tea, take a vacation from all variety of soups and mostly eat cold sandwiches. 

Somehow I can't remember the intense heat when I was a youngster. We didn't have any form of air conditioning either.

Those were the days when you saw people listlessly waving a paper fan in the all but futile hope of getting a slight break from the endless heat. 

I doubt most would remember those paper fans women carried around back then.  

Women fanning themselves in church as the clock ticked on, faces slick from sweat. With no way of knowing when the preacher would be done and they could finally slip out into the hope of a breeze.

I was never one to be able to sit still long. So in church my mind wandered as the preacher got more and more worked up. 

As a child, I was mostly jolted by that loud booming voice and red face, and how very angry he sounded. 

I remember thinking when I was old enough, I would no longer be sitting in church pews while some preacher worked himself into a dither. Because I didn't like the loudness. And I really didn't believe in hell fire and damnation anyway. 

I was a pragmatic sort, even as a small child. 

There is something to be said for growing up in the sixties and seventies. Life overall was just a whole lot less complicated. 

I sometimes think I remember sounds from way back then. The night sounds particularly. 

Like the almost melancholy sound of a train as it blew through town while I was trying to fall asleep. I wondered where it came from and where it might be going as it clattered down the tracks and on out of town. 

I remember the crickets. The sound of the rooster crowing at daybreak. 

I remember how warm the nest was while I gently lifted a hen to gather her eggs. How my being in the hen house stirred up little tiny feathers that floated and danced in the air. And the chickens squawked at me till I left and shut the door.

All these disjointed memories come back to me occasionally. Thin little slices of life from way back when. Strung together like beads on a necklace.

How some sounds and smells can make you feel happy. And others send you, for whatever reason, into a bit of sadness. 

And you don't remember why or from where the memory surfaces. 

Kind of like when you see a fish as it sluices through dark lake water. Shiny gills flash like diamonds before it dives down deep again. And you have to wonder if you ever really saw it at all.

Regardless, memories are what we have of yesterday. And of course tomorrow is a surprise that hasn't happened yet. 

"My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step. They are gray faces that peer over my shoulder..."  - William Golding    


  1. I love this post Brenda. Every season evokes different memories. Our air conditioner was always broken in the summer when I was growing up. I remember laying there at night listening to the locusts. That's the sound I associate with summer of my childhood.

    Yes, it is getting too hot to enjoy now. We are out at 6 in the mornings to get our fill of the great outdoors.

    Hope you can join us for the garden party tomorrow. ;)

  2. It's extremely hot here as well and I just posted a picture on FB of one of my little squirrel visitors wilting in the heat, lol!!

    I remember the fans in church when I was a kid.

    As a young adult taking MY kids to church I remember the sweat running down my nylons and SLIP...remember slips under your dress and skirt? The younger generation has forsaken that and no wonder, lol!

    Still what I love is still being HOT, and wearing a nice top with a hot sweaty sticky bra underneath and driving to the store or whatever and seeing some guy working in his yard outside with no shirt on and usually that guy needs a bra too :)

    1. I imagine that guy with no shirt needed a bra more than some women!

  3. I live in the Missouri and it has been so hot and humid here too! Just miserable! I can only stand to be outside in the early morning. Like your plants my container flowers are petering out too. Sad. But I love autumn and I find myself looking forward to the cooler temps and beautiful colors it will bring. I do remember the days of everyone living without air conditioning. Somehow we all survived, and I do miss the slower simpler days of the past too. Beautiful post, Brenda. It brought back a lot of memories for me as a little girl, especially the sounds I would hear at night in the summer with the windows open for relief from the heat. We lived near train tracks and I was regularly awakened by trains passing by at night and roosters at the crack of dawn. I miss it....

  4. Your words are beautiful my friend...I was a pragmatic sort, even as a small child..same here Brenda..I always felt so different from my parents and siblings..

  5. Memories are funny things...bit and pieces come randomly back sometimes from a song or something on tv. I never know what triggers them sometimes...thankfully I spend more time on happy memories than sad. Yes it is very hot here in OKC too! Went out and watered early this am before the heat came on and I'm just trying to get things to survive until fall. I did decorate my porch for the 4th of July but tried to stay indoors most of the day. This is the time of year I yearn for cool fall days! Stay cool..I love your patio garden!

  6. The 60's,while far from a simple time, does seem to evoke happy memories. Sometimes I think our memories always seem happier when we remember our childhood, even if our childhood wasn't particularly happy. It's the magic of childhood I suppose.

  7. Hi Brenda ~ I read a quote recently that went something like, "Childhood, like the roses, returns each summer." I think we get nostalgic even more so in summer! I think about summers when our boys were littler and my own childhood summers. The way the house smelled on those warm, sunshiny summer days in California, how our legs stuck to the leather seats of the old VW bug with no A/C, spending nights on our neighborhood friend's trampoline and how my mom would sit with a bandana around her hair pitting cherries. :) Times definitely seemed simpler... perhaps that is part of what made me want to move to a more country setting. But that booming, angry pastor you listened to was different than mine. My dad was the pastor and thankfully, I got to see him live out at home what he preached on Sundays. I've heard the angry-type too and it just doesn't resonate with me either. The Bible talks about it being God's kindness that draws us to Him. Anyway, I didn't intend to write a book, but your writing really strikes a chord. You have a gift! Hope you beat the heat and have a good week ahead! ~julie

  8. You took me completely out of myself with your descriptions of the weather and days long gone. I grew up in the fifties, so I have memories very similar. This was a beautiful post and I love it!

  9. Great post Brenda. I have wonderful memories of my youth and it was a simpler time. The heat has been brutal and my flowers (such as they were) have wilted and the deer took care of the rest. Oh well. Recovery from surgery is moving along well I think. I still tire at the drop of a hat though.

  10. I have memories of childhood that are similar to yours. My sister and I shared a bedroom, and we were lulled to sleep by the drone of a window fan. I also remember the older ladies fanning themselves during services at the tiny country church we attended. Those fans were scary to me, because they had an advertisement on them for a funeral home! It wasn't a very comforting message to me. I lived on a farm in my first marriage, and we didn't have air conditioning, so the windows stayed open all summer. We had chickens, and the rooster would start crowing at about 4 a.m. We were used to that old rooster and we slept through his noise, but he definitely interrupted the sleep of any visitors from the city who stayed overnight.

  11. I really enjoyed this post. You write with such detail that it is easy to be transported in your memories. I never liked those loud preachers either ( as a kid). They would scare me. They pounded the podium and make me think I was going to hell! That's why I'm not a baptist. They were always the one that used scare tactics like that.

  12. You took me back to growning up in the 60s and 70s. I remember the nighttime sounds also. Plus lightning bugs. So many lightning bugs. What happened to them? There used to be so many you couldn't count them. Now, I rarely even see one.

  13. Beautiful writing, Brenda. You brought back a lot of wonderful childhood memories.

  14. Brenda, this was beautifully written. Brought back memories for me. Thank you.


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