August 22, 2011 at 3:32 AM
I walk and walk until Alaska's cold grip finally begins to wear off, and the backs of my arms heat through. Lawn grass and fertilizer saturates the air, accompanied by the sound of mowing blades. Curled june bugs and cidadas line the gutters, while overhead, a pair of scissor-tailed flycatchers stab at the ones still buzzing along. I remember, we used to catch those big yellow grasshoppers and let them spit tobacco juice on our fingers. I'm tempted, but content today just to poke one off his brief perch upon the ragweed stalk and watch him fly.
The scent of yarrow and goldenrod takes me back to bareback rides across the pasture; my legs were always stained with horse sweat. I'm sweating now--not just a dampness, but a good, honest drip; it seeps through my eyebrows, stinging my eyes. Acute. "Hot enough for you yet?" It's the neighbor, puttering past me down the gravel road on his tractor, buckets and fishing rod in tow. I give him a cool thumbs up. It's possible, maybe it's obvious to him that I'm not from here, 'cause I'll be a long time before I get tired of 104 degrees today. I'll spend the rest of the afternoon lying in the pool, talking to my mom and watching the black vultures catch thermal drafts.
I may live in Alaska, but I'll always be an Okie at heart.
Sounds like you are having a wonderful. Have a safe trip back to Alaska, and don't do to much "business."
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