Sunny days and takeaways

Published 9:21 am Thursday, June 16, 2016

I remember there was a woman on my first job who told the story about how, as a younger woman, she laid out sunning herself and thought that moment — that particular moment — was one she would always remember. She didn’t know why, but she knew it would.

She remembered what she was wearing, what she was listening to on the radio, where her parents were and what they said to her.

It struck me as a strange story at the time. But a lot of years and a fair number of jobs later, I may finally understand her. I think it is because the warmth of the sun brings out — well, everything.

Vegetation, flowers, sunbathers, bugs — just everything, including warm memories, come from the sun.

And being able to sun yourself on a warm day, well, maybe that’s the best nourishment for memories.

I remember after I moved to Virginia, I would drive back home to North Carolina to visit. On warm days, if she was home, I would find my mother sitting on the front porch taking in the sun.

She certainly loved air-conditioning and hated being hot, but there was something she loved about sunning on the front porch.

Then she would talk about things in a way she never did at other times. She would talk about her childhood, her youth and her life. She talked about things that, as I think about it, she never talked about otherwise.

Some days I sit on the deck and watch the dogs do their dog things in the yard. Dig up moles and bark at neighbors who walk or jog by; but, ultimately, and eventually, what they really do best and most is just lie or sit there. If they aren’t happy, I wouldn’t know. They never say, but they sure look happy.

Sometimes I sit out there with them and just enjoy their serenity.

Sometimes I sit out there and think what life is and isn’t. I always decide that, no matter what is going on, it’s always a good thing to be warm and get a little sun.

Jamie C. Ruff is a staff writer for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch. He can be reached at