- “Sandwich outdoors isn’t a sandwich anymore. Tastes different than indoors, notice? Got more spice. Tastes like mint and pinesap. Does wonders for the appetite.”
- “Tom!” Then quieter. “Tom... does everyone in the world... know he’s alive?”… I mustn’t forget, I’m alive, I know I’m alive, T mustn’t forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after that...
Tom, a couple weeks ago, I found out I was alive. Boy, did I hop around. And then, just last week in the movies, I found out I’d have to die someday. I never thought of that, really...
- Dandelion wine.
The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught and stoppered. And now that Douglas knew, he really knew he was alive, and moved turning through the world to touch and see it all, it was only right and proper that some of his new knowledge, some of this special vintage day would be sealed away for opening on a January day with snow falling fast and the sun unseen for weeks or months and perhaps some of the miracle by then forgotten and in need of renewal. Since this was going to be a summer of unguessed wonders, he wanted it all salvaged and labeled so that any time he wished, he might tiptoe down in this dank twilight and reach up his fingertips Better that...
putting things in the attic you never use again. This way, you get to live the summer over for a minute or two here or there along the way through the winter, and when the bottles are empty the summer’s gone for good and no regrets and no sentimental trash lying about for you to stumble over forty years from now. Clean, smokeless, efficient, that’s dandelion wine.
- The town was, after all, only a large ship filled with constantly moving survivors, bailing out the grass, chipping away the rust… It was this then, the mystery of man seizing from the land and the land seizing back, year after year, that drew Douglas, knowing the towns never really won, they merely existed in calm peril, fully accoutered with lawn mower, bug spray and hedge shears, swimming steadily as long as civilization said to swim, but each house ready to sink in green tides, buried forever, when the last man ceased and his trowels and mowers shattered to cereal flakes of rust.
- “Tom,” he said, “you and your statistics gave me an idea. I’m going to do the same, keep track of things. For instance: you realize that every summer we do things over and over we did the whole darn summer before?.. That’s one half of summer, Tom.”
“What’s the other half?” “Things we do for the first time ever… Thinking about it, noticing it, is new. You do things and don’t watch. Then all of a sudden you look and see what you’re doing and it’s the first time, really. I’m going to divide the summer up in two parts. First part of this tablet is titled: RITES AND CEREMONIES. The first root beer pop of the year. The first time running barefoot in the grass of the year. First time almost drowning in the lake of the year. First watermelon. First mosquito. First harvest of dandelions. Those are the things we do over and over and over and never think. Now here in back, like I said, is DISCOVERIES AND REVELATIONS or maybe ILLUMINATIONS, that’s a swell word, or INTUITIONS, okay? In other words you do an old familiar thing, like bottling dandelion wine, and you put that under RITES AND CEREMONIES. And then you think about it, and what you think, crazy or not, you put under DISCOVERIES AND REVELATIONS. Here’s what I got on the wine: Every rime you bottle it, you got a whole chunk of 1928 put away, safe. How you like that, Tom?”
- God bless the lawn mower, he thought. Who was the fool who made January first New Year’s Day No, they should set a man to watch the grasses across a million Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa lawns, and on that morning when it was long enough for cutting, instead of rachets and hems and yelling, there should be a great swelling symphony of lawn mowers reaping fresh grass upon the prairie lands. Instead of confetti and serpentine, people should throw grass spray at each other on the one day each year that really represents Beginning!
- A walk on a spring morning is better than an eighty-mile ride in a hopped-up car, you know why? Because it’s full of flavors, full of a lot of things growing. You’ve time to seek and find.
- Gardening is the handiest excuse for being a philosopher.
- “Sunsets we always liked because they only happen once and go away.”
- The first thing you learn in life is you’re a fool. The last thing you learn in life is you’re the same fool.
- No matter how hard you try to be what you once were, you can only be what you are here and now. Time hypnotizes. When you’re nine, you think you’ve always been nine years old and will always be. When you’re thirty, it seems you’ve always been balanced there on that bright rim of middle life. And then when you turn seventy, you are always and forever seventy. You’re in the present, you’re trapped in a young now or an old now, but there is no other now to be seen.
- “Doug, the Terle house, upstairs, you know?”
“Sure.” “The colored windowpanes on the little round windows, have they always been there?” “Sure.” “You positive?” “Darned old windows been there since before we were born. Why?” “I never saw them before today,” said John. “On the way walking through town I looked up and there they were. Doug, what was I doing all these years I didn’t see them?”
- Because if you ran, time ran. You yelled and screamed and raced and rolled and tumbled and all of a sudden the sun was gone and the whistle was blowing and you were on your long way home to supper. When you weren’t looking, the sun got around behind you! The only way to keep things slow was to watch everything and do nothing! You could stretch a day to three days, sure, just by watching!
- When you’re seventeen you know everything. When you’re twenty-seven if you still know everything you’re still seventeen.
- Kindness and intelligence are the preoccupations of age. Being cruel and thoughtless is far more fascinating when you’re twenty.”
- You can’t kill what’s never lived, Doug.
- ...one man’s junk is another man’s luxury [что для кого-то рухлядь, для другого - сокровище]
- Next year’s going to be even bigger, days will be brighter, nights longer and darker, more people dying, more babies born, and me in the middle of it all.