By Robin Jovanovich
The days of crisp rosés and Knock Out roses were not long this summer. With three weeks still to go until Labor Day, I find myself laboring to remember what has always been high season for me. My lips remain as parched as my gardens. Dulled by the incessant din of road reconstruction and gas line installation, which has pretty much required my full attention when walking or driving anywhere in town this summer, and an intellectually insulting presidential campaign, my brain is incapable of contemplative escape.
While we can’t expect our elected officials to provide us with cool summer weather, we would have really appreciated advance notification regarding the dismantling of the Milton Road/Oakland Beach Avenue/Dearborn Avenue corridor. Granted, I received a Code Red alert this week informing me that a portion of Elm Place would be closed while the interior of the Smoke Shop building is being dismantled. But portions of Elm Place have been closed off on and off for months so those of us who work downtown are used to the inconvenience and the fact that more and more drivers wanting to avoid the inconvenience are turning the wrong way in and out of municipal lots #1 and #2. When the long-awaited Purchase Street/Smith Street reconstruction begins this month — any day now, according to the Chamber of Commerce — it could be the basis for a Road Reality show.
Our streets are old and what lies beneath is even older. I can relate to both of those realities. I also know from experience that the best-laid plans aren’t necessarily the ones that produce the results you hope for. Think 2008. Or more recently, the fate of Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Ben Carson, Lindsay Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, Jim Gilmore, Rick Santorum, George Pataki. Certainly there was a reasonable, truthful, moral, and maybe even an electable candidate in the bunch.
The only visitor to Rye who doesn’t seem to mind the construction is our 2-year-old grandson, who is seriously into diggers, backhoes, and smiles at every person wearing a safety helmet. I don’t bother reading “Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel” to him anymore, I just walk him from “Mimi’s House” past Dock Deli, where the construction is in full swing, new planks are being laid down every hour, and about a dozen workers are standing around at any given time.
Last weekend, my grandson and his parents came out from the city to escape the heat (little did they know that the leafy suburbs were no oasis). We all jumped in the pool and while I was giving my grandson a glide in the water, he said, “You’re cute, Mimi.” If we’re not in the pool, we stay inside and crank up our air conditioning unit to stay cool. It’s a good thing we ask a local air conditioning repair technician to come in and service our air conditioning unit regularly; we don’t worry about ac breakdowns in the summer.
For the rest of the day, the great matters that have been weighing on me — terrorism, getting through the local road reconstruction and the next four years — floated away.
“You’re cute, too,” I told the future politician in the family.