01 July 2009

Summer, Or Cindy Rambles on Regarding How Her Heart Is Split Between Several Continents

Juneau is not a summer kind of town. There are no sprinklers in lawns, no inner tubes on display at Wal Mart. The swimsuit selection at all the stores is absolutely abysmal. In fact, when I unpacked my things in May, the only "winter" clothes I put into storage were the absolute heaviest ones--I still have several sweaters and all my wool socks out and ready to be used when necessary. And trust me, sometimes it's necessary.

As much as I annually complain about the pressing heat of summer, I do miss it. I miss linen clothes and dressing in the lightest shades possible so the Sun skips me by in its hot survey of the Earth's surface, "Tree....house....oh look, a person wearing black! I'll warm them up!" ::I scamper away undetected in my white blouse and yellow skirt:: Even more than summer, I've been missing places lately...

I miss England terribly, the one place where I felt absolutely and terrifyingly at home academically, where I walked on the same cobblestones as C.S. Lewis and cried when I heard Tom bell in the quad at Christ Church College. I learned how to mimick an English accent almost without error, got used to un-air conditioned spaces, and fell in love with alternate spellings like "favourite" that make US spelling look like chicken scratch. Tessa's lovely, lovely post today about Pimm's and lemonade during a day by the sea made me even more nostalgic for my time at Oxford, where I, too, found the sweet nectar that is Pimm's and lemonade on a hot day. Honeymoon, speed up! I can't wait to see England again!
Joel was right when he called me an Anglophile at the end of the year.

In a more heart-wrenching way than I miss England, I miss Chicago. And I never thought I'd say that. Or at least, I thought I'd say it in a few years or maybe in the middle of January in Juneau when I hadn't seen the Sun in three months. But not in July! Not only two months after graduation! I miss lazy, hot afternoons on the greenspace putting off doing homework and listening to a Swede play the guitar while adoring freshmen sunned nearby, stars in their eyes because the idea of North Park being so Swedish was still exotic to them. I miss listening to Mari complain about Ibsen (notice the book in the center of the photo) and talk about how much she loves Latin America. I almost *almost* miss worrying about juries with Taryn, as we were doing in the right hand corner when this photo was taken. Almost.

But for now I have Juneau, which is admittedly not so very terrible after all. I drove the Jeep home from work this afternoon and it almost felt like home with a pile of books in the passenger seat and Dave Matthews grooving to me on the radio. Then again, the pictures of England and Chicago on my refrigerator help, too.


Becky said...

I never knew how much you loved England! I'm actually going there for a 10-day vacation on Monday with my cousin. My first big-person vacation! Any must-sees?

Cindy said...

Oh, Becky, you will come back an Anglophile for sure!
-You absolutely must catch a bus (the Oxford Espress) up to Oxford and see the town as well as any of the colleges that you can get into--I spent my time at Christ Church and am convinced that it is the most beautiful place in Europe. Go punting while you're there, it's a timeless Oxford tradition!
-Stratford-Upon-Avon is a must for any Shakespeare fan. Be sure to take the back streets; you'll avoid the tourists and see more of the true spirit of the city.
-Take a stroll in the Cotswolds, they're gorgeous!
-Go down to Dover and Brighton and think Jane Austeny thoughts
-And of course, stop at a pub anywhere and have a lager shandy (half lager, half sprite) and fish 'n chips (that green stuff is mushy peas and is actually tasty, so give it a try). Try the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub in London in honor of my future last name :)

Enjoy England! Think of me!