Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cool Nights.

My friend CK says these are the last of the cool nights, and she's probably right. We're starting to feel charmed out there, rather than seasonal. The fancies say storms tomorrow, and that may be the first of the fronts that don't (doesn't?) cool us down. The patterns shift at some point. We stop getting air barreling down from anywhere north. By mid-June, generally, we just get humidity squeezed out of the mountains and the little popcorn thunderstorms that come with that. Then a tropical storm, and then we get Florida's air for a while, or Charleston's. And then it's over.

It was a cool spring. Or perhaps it was merely spring, and we just don't recognize that any more. Once the nights warm over, says Phil every year at this time, the tomatoes will really take off. I could eat a tomato. That would do me fine.

Today's my last final of the year. Monday I get one more stack of papers in. All these suburbs kids — I've been teaching a class about the suburbs to kids expressly from the suburbs — I didn't think I'd miss them, but now it feels like I might. The last thing they did for me (other than this final, which may be a little mean-spirited, I have to say — the product of a Saturday meeting time and too much coffee this morning) was grow their own front lawns in pots and buckets and Rubbermaid containers. They really seemed to like that. I gave them grass seed, told them to go buy whatever else they wanted, told them to defend their own lawns and lawns in general. Half of them — they come from pretty privileged spots — had never planted anything before. Leave aside that growing things from seed is at/of a 2nd-ish-grade pedagogical level. Remember lima beans in cups? Regardless: I had the shiny-haired ones getting their hands dirty. That might not be collegiate, but it's something.

Basic range — this... this.

Nice to feel slightly sappy about all this. Nice, too, to look forward to the drive home this afternoon. We're sunny and perfect here in 27244, and it was that way this morning when I left 27408. Maybe time for another run to the prison farm. Maybe time for some additional plants. Maybe time to pay even more attention to my own front yard. I asked these kids this morning the following thing: if we're too far gone — if we're likely to maintain the basic structures of suburban living — then given everything that's wrong with that, what are we supposed to do? Or what else are we supposed to do?

Me? I'm going to plant flowers. I'm not going to think too hard about it for today. That's an answer that would earn somebody a C, at best. But that's still passing, and that's damn near all I can muster up for now.