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John’s wife called this week to let me know my old friend had died. Bruce and I had promised ourselves to visit them ever since they relocated from the Sandhills some years ago, but now her life will change and who knows when, or even if, we will meet again.

Last year we planned a trip to North Carolina to visit other friends who have moved there, but it was hurricane season, so decided to wait until spring. Now, with travel restrictions, we may never go.

We seem to break a lot of promises like that, and I’d wager most of you do too. The time just doesn’t work out to take that trip to see your elderly uncle; you’ll do it next month, or maybe in the spring. And then it’s too late.

You said you’d take the camper out one more weekend, but the kids are back in school, so it probably won’t happen. And next year they’ll be teenagers; likely have a football camp, and may not want to travel with parents instead of spending time with friends.

In June you were busy, but sure that there was plenty of summer left to wet a line at the lake and watch the sun go down. There’s still time for that, and the lake is one of the few places you can visit and still feel safe. Is that a priority or not?  You’ll know the answer in a week or two, because the calendar is drifting on toward autumn when sunsets happen a lot earlier and colder.

This morning, I’m sitting on the deck with a fresh cup of coffee and watching a deep red hollyhock wave in a barely there, breeze. It’s as still as it ever gets in this part of the world, and this is probably the last hollyhock of summer. The rest of the plants are dried up and chewed up by the ever-present grasshoppers.

There are fluffy clouds on the southern horizon but the rest of the sky is a clear baby blue. Early sunlight sparkles on dew drenched grass, and barn swallows swoop low in search of breakfast. They too, will soon be gone. A robin chirps in a nearby tree, but the only other sound is the whisper of sprinklers.

A huge gray striped spider sleeps in his web, which extends from the wind chimes to the lilac bush. I wonder if the web will hold later when the wind rises and jangles the chimes. And do spiders hear?

Cattle graze down by the lake. There’s a dot of white on the water but I’m too lazy to find the binoculars and see if it’s a swan or pelican.

The flower pots are a burst of color and I’m thinking about which plants to bring inside next month to winter over. The geraniums for sure. Maybe begonias, and that trailing blue thing that has bloomed all summer. Can’t recall what it was called, and have no idea how it would take to indoor living.

The wind is picking up, and it’s time to start breakfast. I wonder why I haven’t spent as much time on the deck this summer as I always plan to, but seldom do.

This morning I kept a promise to myself and am thankful that I wasn’t too late again.

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