Thursday, June 26, 2008
Iowa feels like a jungle -- overgrown with juicy green vegetation, and air so thick with humidity I think I could reach out, grab a low-lying cloud and squeeze enough out of it to fill a bathtub.
Clothes are limp, the blacktopped roads steam in the early morning haze of moisture pregnant air that hovers over us. It is a time to rejoice if you have certain types of hair, and a time to hide if you don't. Odors further add to the density. Walk by a garbage can and you'll wish you hadn't. But the mint. Oooh, the mint. This is my first year to actually have some growing in my almost garden.
My on-again, off-again best elementary friend had parents who were a bit older than my parents, a bit more on the worldly side and a little more free-flowing with walking around money. They also owned things like cocktail glasses and ice buckets and a membership to the country club. It was like visiting an foreign locale when I hung out with my friend. In my house, I was the oldest of two younger brothers, my friend the youngest of three indulgent brothers. We didn't have dogs, they did. Her mother even talked us into a manners class so we could pick up tips on behaving like ladies.
But I digress.
One of my most powerful memories of time spent with them is mint iced tea. Really. Her mom would brew up sun tea packed with mint leaves and it tasted a little bit like heaven. Turns out my mom has always had a patch of mint in her garden, she just doesn't brew mint sun tea.
Mom sent a flowerpot of mint home with me a few weeks ago, and, well, a week later, my daughter-in-law scored some for me, too. When it rains it pours. And certain rain just tastes a little sweeter.