I made a mental note of the milkweed a while back, marked it down for rememering where it grew there between the gravel road and the irrigation ditch. I don't always know when I'll need flowers, but I always want to know where they are when I do. Sure enough, come yesterday's hot summer evening, all I wanted was a glassful of orange julius, and a bowlful of flowers on my table.
Our middle guy handled the making of the orange julius, his singular culinary contribution to the world (for which he is very proud); I handled the arranging of the flowers. His work spread across the counters and onto the kitchen table: milk rings, orange juice puddles, vanilla drips, and melty ice cubes - right next to my shears, paring knife, bucketful of blooms, milk glass vase, leaf trimmings, stem trimmings, and tiny spiders escaping across the table.
The high ninety's day wasn't giving up easily. We countered with open windows and blowing fans. Thundered bellowed under black clouds. The blender blended ice with milk and juice. I trimmed wild grass and tucked it between the blooms. Frothy orange-tinted white poured into glasses; I added final coleus tendrils snipped from my houseplant and a hydrangea bloom from my flower garden. Then they were done. The drinks, the design. We sat back and enjoyed.
Together, we made summer, or maybe we made something of a hot summer night.