Monday, December 10, 2007


The drought rolls on. It's 76 and headed for more and I'm starting to suspect that our chances of precip for any given day — 10%, 20% — are really more the meteorologists feeling sorry for us than any kind of accurate prediction. It's icing like hell in Wichita and Kansas City, raining in New Mexico and Arizona, raining hard all up the spine of the Appalachians... and here it might as well be late April, a little dry breeze, everybody's radar a little damaged because with weather like this, we ought to be just on the other side of the azaleas blooming. They're predicting that we'll have winter back by the weekend. I'm not as sure.

This time last year it was so warm that the daffodils were already six inches out of the ground. When I lived in Boston, it sleeted on a soccer team I was coaching — in May. My complaint then was the same as now: What I'd like, please, is to have seasonal weather in-season. Yes: A brief day or two of sixty or seventy degrees in January brings a certain kind of giddy hope, but once it starts happening with any kind of regularity, you kind of want to go see somebody, to check things out, have somebody take a look at that, maybe run a few tests. This won't hurt a bit.

Watered the pansies this morning. By hand. Had to, as per city restrictions. Smell of hose water. It is, by any independent measure, astonishingly beautiful today. But I'm wanting for sleet, for ice storms, for snow, and most of all for what Southern winter generally means or meant, which was and is low gray bone-cold rain, chili in a pot on the stove, my high school girlfriend's grandfather's beat-to-hell flannel shirt she gave me, which I still own. Though now that I think about it, I've got all that attached to watching playoff football, or New Year's bowl games. It's only December. Maybe I'm complaining too soon. I'll hold off. That lament for another time, then. It's not raining, so the daffodils probably won't or can't come up yet. For now: I've got Christmas lights on the porch, but they feel entirely out of context. For now: Like the dog this morning, who two steps out the door turned around to look at me like she might have a few questions that needed answering, I'll opt for a kind of general bemusement. 10% chance of lament, though. We'll keep that in the forecast.

Addendum: Here at 27244, with the afternoon light gone a kind of chewy yellow, the grounds crew seems to be planting a tree. A big one. In the ground. Or at least I think they are. That's faith for you. There's a giant hole with a traffic cone in it. Universal signal for 'soon there will be another oak tree, a symbol of learning, somehow, we assure you.'

1 comment:

Kathryn Frances Walker said...

yesterday I heard folks talking in the hallway about the marvelous weather we're having. "if only it would stay like this all year" somebody said. i wanted to dash into the hallway and say, "but it DOES stay like this all year, homie. that's the daggum problem." the drought & 75 degree December days are bad enough without people wishing for them. there are rain gods somewhere with big ears.

oh, and i love ANYLF. i just do.