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Summer Nights

Have I told you about summer evenings in Walla Walla?
Did I tell you about the first night I was in Walla Walla with Dave, sipping icy Coronas on his parents deck, staring at a million stars dusted over a black velvet sky, the air beginning to cool, the heat still drifting up from the pavement, the wood of the deck railing still warm to the touch, the smell of the onion fields, the rhythmic ch-ch-ch of the irrigation sprinklers...and Dave...leaning back in his chair, eyes closed, a smile on his face, his cap turned backwards, his boots propped up on the chair..."It doesn't get any better than this, Shelley. It just doesn't."

As in so many things, he was right. Completely right. There isn't anything better. And I don't mean just the Walla Walla part. (Although that one evening is the single reason Dave could convince me to move here.) There is something so deeply satisfying about that feeling, when you've put in a long, hard day, working or driving or whatever, out in the hot sun, and then, when the sun goes down, feeling the coolness of the night begin to cover the day, feeling the ache across your shoulders and the iciness of a cold drink, beads of water rolling over your fingers, and seeing the one you love most, nearby, content, relaxed, happy to just be together.

I imagine that is happening in more places than Walla Walla. In Chicago and Auburn and Kelso and Long Beach and Puyallup and Seattle and New York.

Tonight, I stood in our driveway, an ache in my back from mowing the lawn, my legs stinging with a million little scratches from laying bark, my hands throbbing from wielding a shovel. I breathed deeply, feeling the tinge of cool in the still-warm air and saw a full moon, shadowy light filling our yard. It felt good. Felt good to work hard when it's 93 degrees outside. Felt good to accomplish something. And it felt good to breathe deeply of that Walla Walla summer night air.

Clink! This one's for you, Dave.


  1. Wow, how powerful!
    So many of us are glad Dave coaxed you to Walla Walla on a "summer night." If he hadn't we might never have crossed paths. It is kind of weird sometimes to think back and look at the beginning of the puzzle, then the puzzle where it is now and wonder how that puzzle will finish. The puzzle makes lots of twists and turns we just don't expect; some good, some not so good but we always make it through.

  2. Beautiful entry. Here's to that loveliness.

  3. Wow Chelle ... as the sun goes down tonight I'll hold my glass to the sky and toast to all our loved ones ... so many ... Dave, Fred, Lou, Lori, Dennis, Iris, Judy, Mom, Jill ... too many too list ...not all gone from cancer, but still ... all gone too soon.

    Cheers my friend.

  4. This is a poem I wrote for you Michelle

    Your story inspired me:

    The hot air
    Has left with the clouds
    Blowing in the warm winds
    And is replaced by a humid coolness
    With the floors still hot
    From the sun
    Beating down on them
    All day long
    The frost covered glass
    I hold loosely in my hand
    Numbs my fingers
    And my palm
    As the sunset darkens his face
    Into a silhouette
    With a smile
    He pulls me close
    And I can feel the heat from his body
    Warming me
    As the temperature drops
    And day
    Sinks into night

    I hope you liked it
    I love and miss you so much

    <3 Sonja

  5. Sonja,
    That is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. You write directly to my heart. I love you so much.

    We're planning a Seattle trip...we leave from SeaTac for Chicago on July 23...what are you and your family doing the 21st & 22nd???

    Love to you all.

  6. Michelle it is so nice to see you writting. Always so nice to hear all your memories, makes me smile.
    I have to tell you your hill out front looks so nice. When I was there and dropped off the cartridges it shows you have been busy with yard work. Hope you had a nice long weekend. Weather was great here.

  7. Ah my country mouse friend, I love this post. I can just smell, feel, taste Walla Walla. It sounds alot like the area downstate where Lou grew up, in the cornfields of Illinois.

    Now then, you don't REALLY think us city mouses do back breaking work, do you?? Well, I will admit, my new tomato plant in my window is taking alot of my time...wink wink.

    Here's to a good summer. Summer is good, even with the sweat and hard work, it's good.

    Love you my friend,


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