Our summer in southwest Virginia had more than its share of dies caniculares, dog days. And none more so than Labor Day weekend at one of my very favorite spots, Leslie and Martin’s river house.
Granddaughter Samantha and three friends, Hannah, Clare, and Bridget, were there for the long weekend with their dogs, Huckleberry, Gooseberry and Hopper. Peter, Nobby and I went for a few hours on Sunday. Peter lives in a memory care center now, so the outing was a treat for him…for both of us. When we arrived he remembered having been there before.
The day was gorgeous though bloody hot. We arrived in time for brunch and feasted on Sam’s veggie frittata, as well as mixed fruits, mimosas and coffee. All I had to do was remember to bring the champagne. The girls—to Gram they’re girls—zipped down to the river after we ate, while we four of certain ages played dominoes and cards.
The best part of the day was the laughter Sam always generates, enhanced by her friends’ asides. You’d never guess from these photos that Peter no longer knows the names of anyone pictured except Nobby’s and mine.To be fair, he’d only met Clare once, and had never met Bridget. But he plays dominos as skillfully as ever, and still offers up one-liners to make us chuckle.
The blinding storm on our return trip up the mountain turned the curvy road into a slick river strewn with rocks and branches. We dodged one monster limb that would surely have crushed a car had it landed on the roof. Peter helped drive by clutching the armrest and yelping when I punched the wrong button for the emergency blinkers, opening sunroof button instead! We were quite damp before the thing slid back in place.
But the skies cleared by the time we got to the Floyd Country Store for ice cream cones as luscious tasting as the fluffy clouds above looked.
It was a good day.
The ancient Romans called the hottest, most humid days of summer dies caniculares, dog days. Such days were associated with the dog star Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major.