This past weekend we experienced our first really hot days of summer and some blazing sunshine.  With the sun so bright that it seemed to make your eyeballs pulse, I decided to don my sunglasses and slip into ShadeWorld.

I like ShadeWorld.  I’m a recent convert, because for many years I just didn’t wear sunglasses.  I hated the kind that clipped on to my glasses, and I was too cheap to buy prescription sunglasses.  Finally I did, and I haven’t regretted it.

IMG_1228In ShadeWorld, there are no sharp edges, sharp words, or sharp practices.  It’s a copacetic place, like walking through a photo-shopped landscape where the Master Photographer used the maximum “warming” effect from one side of the frame to the other.  Everything and everyone touched by the rays of Old Sol seems to glow with an intense inner flame.

When I passed this scarlet tree on a walk on Saturday, it was so luminescent and beautiful that I had to take a picture and share it with the rest of humanity.  Of course, I was seeing it in ShadeWorld, not in reality.  Without the dark lenses and anti-glare and Blublockers and whatever the heck else has made my sunglasses the most magical pair of spectacles since Joseph Smith discovered Urim and Thummim and founded the Mormon religion, the radiant leaves just looked like ordinary leaves.  I should have realized this, but ShadeWorld clearly affects your senses.

And that’s why I couldn’t don my sunglasses and live in friendly, easygoing ShadeWorld full-time.  Sometimes, you’ve just got to deal with reality.  ShadeWorld should be reserved for those times when the blinding harshness of everyday life becomes too much, and only a physical change in the look of the world will do.

Now that I think of it, I imagine I’m going to be visiting ShadeWorld a lot until the presidential election is over.

Dog Snores In The Nighttime

Kasey is an old dog.  Because she was a rescue dog who joined the family by way of the humane society, we’re not exactly sure how old she is.  We’re guessing 14 or so.

But we do know this:  she’s a very loud sleeper.

DSC04122At night, Kasey sleeps on the chair next to Kish’s side of the bed.  It’s fitted out to be a kind of nest, with some fuzzy “throws” swirled around that Kasey can burrow into and find just the right spot that suits her temperament.  We know Kasey’s there because she snores.  Sometimes it’s a wheezy, light snore, and sometimes it’s a more guttural, almost growling snore, and sometimes it’s kind of a huff and puff — but whatever its nature, there’s constant sound emanating from Old Kase during the nighttime hours.  Sometimes she’ll stretch and move in her sleep, too, and you’ll hear the sound of her claws scratching over the fabric of her chair.

If you share the house with a canine snorer, you know that you get used to the sounds.  They become one more part of the background nighttime noise, like the click and hum of the furnace turning on or the faint whispers of the air conditioning vents.  We get used to those noises and come to expect them.  It’s one of the reasons why many of us have trouble getting a really good night’s sleep in a hotel.  We’ve traded the known, now-comforting nighttime sounds for a new, strange set of sounds, and hearing those new sounds can be unsettling.

As I sit here in the dark hours of early morning, writing this piece, I hear Kasey’s gentle snoring from the next room over, and I think:  this is home.