Thursday, September 30, 2010

Back, Baby.

We're back, baby.

That's 4.1 inches since yesterday at about 11 a.m., on top of an easy inch and a half previous to that, and though for most of this year we've been so slack and babified and novelwhelmed and generally scattershotted if not scatterbrained here at ANYLF Global WeatherWatch HQ, what we can report with confidence is that the newly installed rain gauge out in the front flowerpots says we've seen almost six inches of rain this week. The fancies are holding some showers in the forecast for this morning, and it's still raining out east, and I wouldn't be stunned to see a sprinkle or two, but Nicole is over and out for the most part, so if you've got bailing or mopping to do, why then, go ahead. The worst is over. We at 709 are high and dry, and the ongoing project that is the writing shed, that is 709 1/2, is also dry, or mostly dry: a building will, it turns out, leak through a window left open. It will not, though, leak through its carefully caulked and flashed seams and corners, so all's well that holds here on the Piedmont this post-tropical morning. That was some rain. That was some wind. That was a good night to sleep with the window right behind my head—no water there, though—cracked enough to hear it all.

The rest of the subfloor, providing I can get the warlock electrician (treat him nicely; otherwise he may turn the Toad into a newt) to get the city out here to say A and also OK, goes in tomorrow, when I'll be Skil-sawing instead of department meeting, if we can use those as verbs and if I can get away with such a thing. On the agenda at the puppet show: one more meeting about the same thing as all the other meetings. On the agenda here: possibly finishing the sub, possibly moving the desk back under the window, possibly getting ready one more time to possibly start up again finally finally finally possibly. You tell me, friends and fans of hating meetings more than hating trying to get the new book's sea legs back under it, which one you'd choose.

Here are some numbers to finish off this rain-cleaned Thursday: the forecast highs for the next six days. The Weather Channel says 76, 76, 71, 65, 60, 56. The NWS says 76, 73, 71, 67, 64, 65. Another number: both institutions, asked to pick a low over that span, choose 47 at least once. October. Autumn. Weather. Projects. The good clothes. We're back.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Large L.

Nicole seems to be here—or whatever this is coming up out of the Caribbean and Florida. Some storm that nearly pulled together. Tropical Depression Sixteen. A big red L. What it means for us lucky souls here on the Piedmont: rain. Probably a little more than initially forecast. And this is not even technically that. This is our cold front snagging the very top of the big red L and getting things cranked up early:

See there? The low, as I understand it, is still south of Florida proper. The low is still headed our way, even though it's already here. What else this means for us selfsame lucky souls: we are not supposed to break seventy today. An optimistic man would try a bit of flannel. An optimistic man would brew a little more coffee. An optimistic man would look at these temps and this rain and dream weekend dreams of aeration and overseeding. An optimistic man would also have been sitting at his kitchen table since quarter of eight, waiting for the city and the warlock electrician, but hey. Let's not get greedy. Or hopeful. Or inspected.

It's been drizzling all morning, and it now at nine-thirty is darker out there and raining in earnest. The truck windows have been down this whole time, it now occurs to me. The Toad has slept in this whole time. Probably now would be a good time to spend this whole time doing things like drying out the vehicle, waking up the boy, getting things fed and ready, etcetera and amen. But first, another cup of coffee. First, a little more rain.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brief Report.

I have many things to tell you. We saw almost and inch and a half of rain, is one of those things. Another: we're forecast to pick up at least that from as-yet-formed TS Nicole. Another: the fancies want to give us lows in the forties by the end of the week. My god. Hat weather looms. Could it be true? We shall see. The city turns up to inspect both the plumbing and the electric this week. Cross 'em if you got 'em, friends and fans of whatever it is that comes next.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Long Sentences.

I put on jeans and long sleeves this morning before I'd even let the dog out, even though it was sunny, even though it was already not the forecast we'd been forecast, which is and was so unbelievable that only a thing like putting on long sleeves after a string of what feels like ninety days of ninety degrees could conjure what we've actually got, which is: breeze. Cool weather. Actual rain on the actual radar off to our not-so-distant south and west, rain that the fancies want here by now or by a little before now, rain which is tardy but still seems to be coming all the same, rain which could dump two or three inches on our dead and dying yards and gardens over the next couple of days. And today's forecast: low seventies, though we're already there. Low seventies and rain. It's getting to where I trust the shed in the rain, but it had also gotten to where I was trusting that it wouldn't matter, that we'd never see real rain again.

I've finally got enough of the subfloor in that shed to where this afternoon I intend to shuffle the deck chairs around in there some, see if we can't get an arrangement whereby a sentence or two might be written on purpose at the desk or at the table or maybe if all else fails just right there on the vapor-barriered floor.

Late September. Long light in the back yard, sound of the wind in the droughted trees. I have of late been missing youth, been missing being young—not that I'm not plenty young now, and not that one can even set down a lament like that and be taken as anything other than some needlepointed-saying-spewing fool—but I have been, all the same. I see highschoolers on the streets and sidewalks here at home, and the college kids out at the puppet show, and the grad students back here again, all of them skinny and hopeful and trying like all hell to get some other of their tribe to look their way, and I think, thank god all that's over for me. Thank god I made it, survived, landed, impossibly, here. But then one of them will walk by with another of them, or I'll see a flock of them out on the dogwalk or through the windshield when I'm driving to or from wherever, some errand of some import, and it is not that I want to be with them, want to be taken in—instead, I want to be them, want to be them again, want another shot at it, just for a day or two. I want out of any life where I'm at all responsible for anything other than some foolhardy dream of where, later on, I might end up. But then soon enough, a mile or so on, or back up the hill, I don't want that as much, don't want it as acutely, and something about being sixteen or twenty or twenty-six just ends up being lodged in there like a little ache, like an old injury, like a soccer knee. What I want, somehow, and only barely, and only sometimes, is to go back to dreaming about getting—well, to dream about getting right about here. Which is, of course, luxury. But it is an ache all the damn same.

I'm afraid to say the rain's coming. What I will say is that the fancies say it is, and that it's on the radar. But it's late. And it's cool out there, but it's warming up. Fall is trying. It's trying to come in all at once. We'll see.

Monday, September 20, 2010

So Dry.

My god it will not rain. It will not even think about it. We tee fall up right here on the edge of the autumnal equinox and it has not rained, it will not rain, there is not rain to speak of in the forecast—my yard is brown. Everyone's yard is brown. I misnamed our coming equinox at some point earlier this week when it was also not raining. I can't tell if we're coming or going, if we're vernal or autumnal, though that vernal tends to rain on us. And granted, this one tends not to. We just tend not to go quite this dry right now. Right now we tend to break out of August. We tend. We do. We just don't rain any longer. At all.

The shed winds down, or winds toward the next list to be checked off. The Toad winds and unwinds himself. The book sits. The dog is alright. The Braves lose. It will not rain, it will not rain, it will not rain.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Little Prayer.

Items of note: (a) the man down in the park doing something to his yard with cinder blocks is, it finally seems, building some kind of water feature/waterfall/creek/pond, and (b) at the U-Haul place out by the puppet show, someone had very gently and with great purpose backed his U-Haul trailer fully down into a gravel drainage ditch. About each of these—salmon river, rental fiasco—there was much standing around and considering by the parties involved. I drove by each with the requisite care and radius.

ANYLF comes to you on one more criminally sunny breezy day in a string of criminally sunny breezy days, the grass in the medians and in my backyard so crisp one believes it's never rained, it'll never rain again, that rain, for the Toad, will appear only in books, if we still have books. Coke used to cost fifty cents, we'll tell him. And there was rain.

It's hot. It's ninety every day. The only thing keeping the top of my head pasted on is that it cools into each evening with a kind of deliberateness, like even the gods know this is too much, that we need a bone thrown once and again. The poplars are throwing off leaves. The walnuts are yellowing. The dogwoods are hanging on, but not in a way that gives you any hope that any of this might end well. I've had a bag of charcoal in the bed of my truck for almost a month, and I'm sure it's still good to use. I haven't mown my lawn in September, and can't remember when in August I might have done it, though I'm sure I must have. We are tinderbox dry. We are about as dry as I have known it. And still, somehow, the plague of mosquitoes hangs on. Maybe they're huddling for the night down the hill in the water feature. Who knows.

I wouldn't put a fake stream in my yard, but plenty of folks wouldn't have glued a bathroom onto their storage buildings, either, so let me not cast the first cinder block. Good luck down there, Mister Man. May your riverbed either leak or not leak—whatever those things are supposed to do, I hope yours does it. May your rented trailer land exactly where you mean for it to, each and every time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Deeply Dry.

Listen. It's been hot. It's been dry. Oppressively dry. Stunningly dry. Even though it rained, it's been dry. And the Braves have been losing. Which is not the weather, except that it is: to follow baseball is to wait for disappointment, to wait for everything, really. And here we go. We've lost ten of twelve, or eight of ten, or x of y, or something. It does not rain and the Braves do not win. And it's been hot. Except: even in the hot, even in the nineties, there's a low spot in the road on the way home from the puppet show where the air is tree-cooled, creek-cooled, a little low air conditioner, and in the evenings the light's all long, and longer still down in the dip in the road, and even as the Braves lose and lose, you think: OK. Fall. Autumn. September. Headed home. Something.

The electric goes in the writing shed tomorrow. The tile goes in the writing shed tomorrow. Dear sweet baby Jesus manning a rented router, the writing better go in the writing shed pretty soon. I can do the puppet show. I can do the Toad. I may even be able to do new drought. I cannot much longer do this no real writing thing. Enough trim. Enough white enamel paint. Enough everything but for selfish time at the selfish desk.

The cats are yowling at passing ambulances. The dog is not. I don't know that it'll ever rain again. And the fancies want nineties for the next however many days. Ninety, let's say. Randy Newman put the Toad to bed tonight. The Braves lost this afternoon. It was hot all day. And dry. It's fall. It's trying, really trying, to be fall.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Back Again.

Sunday morning. Windows open, good coffee, radio on, Toad shrieking and smiling and shrieking. We're at the checklist phase of the writing shed reno: caulk this, paint that corner. Church bells ringing back there. An idea about getting some sauce tomatoes from the big market later on. I keep falling away from the forecast. In my defense, if there is a defense, we quit having weather for three weeks. It was hot and dry. Sometimes it was less hot and still dry. Yesterday it rained, though, and last night it rained, too, and this morning arrives wiped clean and cool and so sharply and obviously Septembered that it's hard not to say so, to report live from the scene, to say that it is what it is, which seems a lot like autumn.

I had ideas about returning full-time to all this come the vernal equinox, but that's too official, runs counter to the spirit of the project. Rather, let's say this: it's been sliding towards fall. It'll be hot again, will break our hearts, and maybe soon. Today, even, isn't likely to be cool all the way through. Still. Today's a day where you want to make the same promise you've been making: that you'll be better about doing the things you want to do.