Bethany Beach, Delaware, and Environs, July 17, 2017

★★★ The air conditioning, running cold overnight due to a misunderstanding about the number of thermostats, precipitated a thick film of condensation on the outside of the windows. The swimming things on the clothesline had given up their old dampness to the air and were now acquiring new dampness from it. The morning was cloudy enough to divert the usual beach time to errands and the go-kart track instead. Inland, where the clouds had shape, the ten-year-old spotted a rectangular space among them. The midday sun cast half-weight shadows on the Jr. Stock track, and the slow fade-in continued through the afternoon. Grackles clacked at one another from the willow tree and the chimney top. The five-year-old convinced his three-year-old cousin to use the sprayer on the hose, till the saturated lawn glittered. The ever-clearer sun held off the arrival of evening, stretching out in a coda more gorgeous than the rest of the day deserved, while huge mounds of cumulus formed off to sea and the fuzzier, lower clouds in the west made their slow progression from ivory to purple.