Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tiny Storm.

We did, late in the evening, pick up that tiny storm out of almost the due north. We got three tenths, which didn't quite make up for this afternoon's 27408 one-tenth sadness, but does indeed count for a wee something. A lovely little late rain. The dog is pain-killer-damaged, but is, underneath that wall-eyed haze, surely herself. Let's count July a qualified success on the whole, then, shall we? Shortfall and all? The dog couldn't get herself into the car post-op, but she can now, a few hours later, get herself up and down from the sofa. Not sure I can say much more for myself, so let's all score all that in the 'for' column. That's a wrap for July, then, here at ANYLF. See you next month, FAFOW.

Morning Glory.

The showers are setting up early out there this morning, friends and fans of weather, but in the same place and from the same direction as the last few days, wherein we continued to bake off to dust. The difference, perhaps: The other lines rolling down out of the mountains got here just as the heat of the day was giving out, and these might get here just as it's setting in, so: ANYLF is going to land in the place where we're willing to say that it is, in fact, finally going to rain, and that if we're fortunate we may see as much as half an inch. If something pretty happens, we could of course see much more than that, but the best guess is that our lucky run of months with the correct or even bonus amounts of rainfall comes to an end here in high summer. The drought abates, but continues. And here, of course, comes August. I know I keep mentioning that, but it still keeps coming.

The morning glories are in happy bloom and the dog is at the vet for anesthetized oral surgery and storms may be building in and it's hot in a kind of demonstrational sort of way and the novel some moments is ready and at other moments is surely not and school's looming out there like some kind of job I'm supposed to be able to do and the novel's looming right here in mainly the same kind of way and geese just flew over the shed at really the wrong time of both day and season and I haven't had enough coffee but already the sort of coffee half-nausea is setting in and if you catch me here this morning in one moment all is surely fine with the world and if you catch me right after that I remember the dog is in some cage waiting for them to cut her molar into three pieces and remove them each and all and so I guess what I'm saying is that really we could use a little rain.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Out Wendover.

Even though the radar says no, says it's all out east, or even just barely, barely east, like so barely east that if I got in the truck and drove ten miles down Wendover Avenue I'd be in the rain, which makes me crazy, I still say it looks like rain here, right here, like we might get a second round to build on top of us instead of out on Wendover or out anywhere else that's not here. All those other zips and zones. It did rain the other night after I begged it to, but not in any kind of way other than to wet the street up by the stop sign just enough to make the traffic sound interesting. July 30. Two inches or so under for the month. The plants look like it, too. The wind's blowing the pokeweed around out there, and it's graying over, and it's getting my hopes up—I want to eat tomatoes again—and so what we can go with here at ANYLF is that if it rains, we'll be happy, deeply so, and if it doesn't, we can be justifiably upset, which I think is next to godliness. Or: If it doesn't rain, it'll be damn near time to drag out the golden calf, see if that thing listens any better.

There's also yet another little burst of energy back towards the foothills, so even if this round of outrage doesn't net us any precip, maybe, just maybe, at some point tonight we'll get something out of all this.

La Vieja's mowing her lawn. I'm going to take that as a sign that she thinks it may soon enough rain.

It is damned hot out there, friends and fans of weather, and if it were any other thirty-day stretch I'd summon some kind of more serious lament, but as it's deep July and nearly dreaded August and and as also this heat brings the Black-eyed Susans into full bloom, I'll say only that I recommend canned beer of the very, very inexpensive variety. If you have to walk the dogs, do it early in the morning and again after dark. Hole up in the darker corners of your rooms. Find some big messy novel to read. Don't take too much advice from any one source.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sea Legs.

If and if that line back out towards Boone and parts pertaining thereunto holds together, we're in for rain. This I don't so much think was in the forecast, but they've upped by a whopping 10% our storm chances for the night, and there's green and even a little yellow and red out on that left edge of the radar, and this is all part and parcel of a kind of basketball-shaped cluster of something that rumbled its way across Kentucky and Tennessee earlier today, the kind of thing where if you close one eye, you think, That might get here, and if you close the other, you think, That will probably just clear the mountains and rain on the wineries out west of Winston but will surely peter out before it manages to carry itself all the way out here to my humble abode.

Still: Come on, basketball thing.

Here was a day spent trying to figure how to get my sea legs out from underneath me and get fixed in place my whatever they call the kind of legs you need to buckle down and draft those last thirty pages once more and then even maybe perhaps begin a new thing— whatever those legs are, I spent today not really finding them, meandering my way through lunch and what administrative tasks there were that needed to be completed so the electric company would not come and, say, remove my electricity, and purchasing ink at Ink Depot so I can hang up photographs of brown pelicans and snowy egrets and willets out here in the shed so that if I can get motivated to hit those last thirty pages another time, get that thing bundled and sent to whomever will stoop to look at it, I can then lean back in this chair and stare at my bad photos and start trying to think thoughts in another voice, a different voice, a voice that might carry me through another hundred thousand some-odd words. A voice that will produce sentences with fewer comma errors than that one we just slogged through. Do as I say, interns (those kids don't even read this any more, because now that NBC bought the Weather Channel, they're all angling for the big time), and not as I splice.

I'll give us 40% for the evening—I'll see the fancies' 10%, and raise them 10%—but I still feel like (hey, how math works) our chances are better for not getting it than getting it. A can of cold beer out here late evening in the ANYLF WeatherAnnex, and a few pictures of birds and buildings hung on the wall. String and paper clips. Tonight's projects: Figure out whether or not one ought capitalize the names of birds, and then add that to the ANYLF Manual of Style. Eat a few straggling cherry tomatoes. Look west and hope.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Could Be.

Back home and storms firing off to our east, out towards 27244 and 27215, each, no offense, friends and fans of weather, places I'm trying to keep for now far from my own radar. Home from the beach in years past meant nearly the end of summer. The beach a week early this year coupled with what seems an oddly late start to the 0809 out in 27244 leaves us now damn near another thirty days without having to think any thoughts pedagogical or political. Or animal or mineral. I am the very model of a modern meteorological.

Things look dry but alive around these parts, look like we had what we had, which was, if the internets were correct down there in 32080, a string of days in the nineties and not much rain. More of the same to come early week, though we do have a little hope looming out there in that old standby, the QPF:

That x that wants to give out two and a half inches of rain sits not too far from the WeatherDeck, and, yeah, it'll all change by Tuesday, but let a kid dream, OK? We pick up that amount and we pick up another month where we make our average, and if that keeps happening I'm going to have to recalibrate basically even the way I get out of bed in the morning, which is to say, we've been in drought so long that I don't trust anybody anymore, not the local fancies, not the national fancies, not even the ANYLF rain gauge, twice resited this summer. But if we pick up a fifth consecutive month of average or above-average rainfall, why then, friendlies, to steal from my friend KFW, I just don't know what might happen.

A week half-away from this enterprise leaves ample time to wonder about the importance of weather local to the Gate City. The storms are a little more tricked out down FL way. Lightning hits the beach and the lifeguard truck comes rolling by with advice about safety and prudence. Lightning tends not to hit so close by here, and when it does, nobody really has anything to say about it. They've got something like Barry Hannah's vista down there on the beach, with their Montana-big sky. Here we're blocked by pine trees. Still, weatherheads, I say there's something in it. Nice to vacation. Nice to come back to work. More on the forecast, local and otherwise, tomorrow in this same spot. Keep it tuned here for what cannot possibly be the very latest, but what could, to steal now from my friend Big Science, gone and moved to VA while we were away, be something.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hot, Still.

Hot as hell. No breeze. But high tide is at about 3:32, and any forecast that includes information such as that might just mitigate the warm and still. Might just.

Possibility, one more time, of an isolated thunderstorm this evening. They built directly over us last night, rained about a mile down the beach. Back home in 27408, it looks to be raining near but not on the agricultural concerns. A dry week on the Piedmont. I sniff August on the wind.

These condos look like giant interstellar shoeboxes landed in neat formation on the beach. I have sun poisoning on my kneecaps. Yesterday there was an osprey fishing right out in front of us. One more day, one more book. Time to go set up the umbrella.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

High Tide.

My mother says I grew up here, but that's not true: I grew up in the backyard at 20 Brandon Ridge, in the backyard at 2717 Goodfellows Road. I tried to undo all that at 930 and 933 Carr Street, but that's hardly the point: We've been coming here nearly thirty years now, and I can understand why she'd feel like I grew up first at the Coquina condominiums, where there was a diving board, and then here, at the Sandollar, where there is no diving board but there is a washer and dryer. Thirty years will give you a pretty good sense, though, of when a storm might slide by, and when, like yesterday, it will blow and bang and then set in a while and just safely rain such that you can hunker down on the beach post-electric portion of the storm and read while a gentle hours-long rain ticks itself all over the nylon roof of your umbrella.

In Things-You-Thought-You-Knew News, it turns out that what I thought were Sandpipers all these years are not Sandpipers at all, or, rather, that Sandpipers are a class of birds in the way that Gulls are a class of birds. Our Sandpipers are Willets.

Finally, the waves out there are smaller than yesterday, and conditions are glassy to super-glassy. Waves are shin- to maybe knee-high. High tide at 1:40 here about three miles north of the Matanzas River. The dude on the Surf Report sounds less stoked than he was earlier in the week. As for me and my kind, though, I am the same amount of stoked.

The moon makes the tides happen. We learn this early on— elementary school or so. That doesn't make it seem to me any less impossible.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In Which.

I've worn shoes for two total hours since Saturday afternoon. Those two hours were the ones just now, the 8 am to 10 am ones, wherein our hero drives the rental minivan to the St. Augustine Beach Pier Farmers Market to valiantly purchase fresh grouper. Also squash, peaches, tomatoes, and okra. Shoes off again and headed for additional sunburn. Our hero's ability to apply sunblock to himself is decidedly unheroic. Much and most of the rest of our hero's abilities: same. No swordplay, me. The big weather story down here is wind, particularly in the afternoon, with storms on or near us every evening. The big weather story up there is hot and dry, apparently, though things look better for 27408 today. Good luck, Greensboro, and hang on, Brownsville, Texas, and all the ships at sea.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Slightly Sectiony.

Good Monday morning to you out there. The surf looks just a little smaller than yesterday, with waves a foot to a foot and a half. Conditions are glassy to semi-glassy, with wind speeds at 4 to 6 knots. Wave sizes in terms of body height are knee to thigh-high, with some waist-high set waves expected as the tide comes in. High tide should be right around 11 a.m., and the swell interval out on the buoy is 10 seconds. The surf's probably on the decrease, and the form is a little bit sectiony, but should get better with the incoming tide. Surf camp starts today up at The Surf Station, friends and fans, and even if you haven't packed a lunch of peanut butter and jelly and Capri Sun, ANYLF has to recommend—strongly—that you add the morning surf report at 904.471.1122 to your speed dial.

Deeply sunburned and happy here on Anastasia Island in 32080. Halfway through Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which is about whether or not there's such a thing as art in much the way that his Yiddish Policemen's Union is about whether or not there's god. My money says there's probably at least one kind of both.

Keep an eye to the southern Gulf, by the by: Hello, Dolly.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tropical Storms.

We're enjoying the outflow of Cristobal down here in 32080. I'm not at all sure that outflow is any kind of meteorological phrase whatsoever, but there's a really lovely belt of storms lined up just inland all down the northern Florida Atlantic coast, and every now and then one of those things breaks free and swings out over the ocean. We've had three storms since we got here, and we got here at 3 pm. Y'all in NC enjoy Cristobal while he lasts, because the fancies want him in Maine or thereabouts by Tuesday. Heads up, yankees.

Two kinds of egrets, two kinds of herons, pelicans, sandpipers, kingfishers, and various other avian etcetera. This is only a partial and halfassed cocktail hour list. There is also the possibility of hatchling sea turtles: the county had somebody out raking the path from the dunes to the sea in case tonight's the night; they've got nests numbered and flagged all up and down the beach. What has to be raked: tire tracks from vehicular traffic. They drive somebody down the beach each evening to rake smooth the tire tracks from everybody who's driven the beach all day. Hey, new working understanding of metaphor.

It's beautiful here, gray, storms out over the ocean and back behind us over land. Tomorrow: the task of choosing which book to read first, where to site the chair. Looks like the wind's coming from the wrong direction in 27408. The difficulty with the tropics is that when they get into, say, Guilford County, they foul the weather for a while. Come on back up there, regular rain. We've got tomatoes that need tending.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

High Summer.

Mid-July, friends and fans of weather, means the annual pilgrimage southward to 32080, or thereabouts. The ANYLF Zipometer is struggling to find Crescent Beach, Florida, so we're settling for St. Augustine, south of which by not so much lies Crescent Beach, until you get further south to the Matanzas River, and thereafter it's something else. Marineland lies south of the Matanzas, for one thing, which as I recall from being too young to sit on the beach and read all day, which is what's done now, sells views of tame dolphins and also blue vinyl squeaky dolphin toys and dolphin-shaped I'VE BEEN TO MARINELAND bumper stickers. I have to say that their website has nothing to do with how I remember the place, which is to say, I remember a sort of metal gymnasium-style building in the middle of a crushed-shell parking lot. The website seems to be about smooth jazz, bikinis, and weddings.

Marineland got fancy.

We're dry here, and the forecast is for heat and rain next week, off and on, and even probably occasionally at the same time. There's no telling how local or even how forecasty we might be able to be here at ANYLF until give or take July 26, but if there's time between now and tomorrow, we'll set some intern to the task of managing the front of the store. If not, look for us bright and early the week of July 28, when we'll be looking back at a week of rainshowers here in 27408 and hopefully down way south in 32080. I do love a storm at the beach, and we've seen them come in from all four of your major directions down there. Keep an eye to the tropics, where Bertha seems headed eventually from Bermuda for Scotland, and something on or near Jacksonville seems like it could perhaps drop a little something Carolinaward if prevailing winds and atmospheric conditions allow. Your lettuces are probably about done out there, but if you've behaved justly, then your tomatoes should be arriving forthwith. Another draft of the novel's nearly in the bag, the product of a crazymaking week of twelve-hour days on the heels of my Virginia trip and out in front of this one. So now: A week of reading, of cocktails in red Solo cups, of single cups of coffee in the morning, of moving the chair up when the tide comes in, back out when it goes out. A week of salted evening air. A week of the last couple innings of some baseball game after everybody else has gone to bed. A week of shell-based interior decorating. A week of books.

Drink a lot of water, friends and fans of weather. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Stay in the shade if you can. It's high summer. We'll either be back next week, or we never will have left.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Tomatoes.

I'm not going to say that tomatoes are more important than constitutional democracy, baseball, icecubes, or subject-verb agreement, but I'm saying that they make that list.

I think these are Cherokee Purples. I lost the tag. Tag or no, though, it's a good way of marking high summer. More coming behind these. Cool and dry here in 27408. Cool for the season, anyway. Good thing we have other barometers.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Seller's Grass.

Oh, Virginia. Hot as hell up there Friday and Saturday and Sunday, but my brother has chosen for his little family a couple of wide fields in between tracts of new-growth hardwood forest, and so evenings and mornings gave a kind of cool half-breeze that I felt sure we weren't getting back down here on the Piedmont. It's a tall white house with a long front porch a good solid fifteen minutes from anywhere that might sell you a Coca-Cola or a roll of paper towels or a pressure-treated 2x4. There's no running out for anything up there. No errands. At my brother's new place, you Go Into Town. It's the kind of life I always thought I might want for myself: Country Mouse. All the way home yesterday, though, while I was ticking off reasons I might also have bought that house, that life, and then counterbalancing with a stout list of reasons I wouldn't have, I kept thinking City Mouse thoughts, kept wanting yes my stand of just-ripening tomatoes, but also thinking, It is not so bad to live three minutes from the Harris Teeter. I'll say this: the principal ANYLF StormChase vehicle is a 1981 Chevy pickup with no A/C and a radio that can't be heard over the roar of having the windows down at 60 oil-burning ninety-degreed mph. That gives a good long stretch of time back down through all the various zip codes to think about owning land, having babies, wiring ceiling fans.

His wife said all of us leaving them on Sunday morning gave her the same feeling she used to have when her parents would drop her off at summer camp. Since then, even though I've been pushing hard against it, I've been feeling that way off and on basically non-stop. Little hollowed-out place in the edge of your stomach where even though you're thinking, I want this, I want this, you're also thinking, My god, I do not want this, please take me back with you to whatever it was we were doing before this. Easy enough to apply that liberally, friends and fans of weather: choice of clothing, choice of dinner, choice of entire lifestyle.

We did have a fantastic line of storms come through last evening in 27408 while I was home again, trying (and failing in championship fashion) to work on the novel instead of the above. After that we picked up showers off and on through the evening, and netted about six-tenths of an inch. Very nice slow rain. This all leads to happy tomatoes, happy petunias, happy field bindweed utterly destroying our pepper garden out back. Very green around here. My brother's front yard—front field—is entirely dead. They kept talking about something called Seller's Grass, which is what their agent suggested the seller had planted when they saw the house a couple of months ago—some kind of fast-growing winter rye that greens and goes to seed and dies all in the space of a couple of months, such that if you needed to green up your yard for a quick sale but didn't give a damn what happened after that, this is what you'd use. I don't really understand metaphor and simile all that well beyond telling my students not to use it too much, and then telling myself the same thing when I sit down out here to try to put these damn characters through their paces one more time, but I feel like there's something lurking at the edges there. He's sad about it, my brother is, as anybody would be. We're already planning something better, though, something else, some mixture of grasses and clovers he could put down on or around September 1. Until then, though, he's up there, out in the center of almost nowhere, new job, new baby, new landscape, new zip code, new house, new western sky to watch the storms ride in on. New dead field. It's quiet up there. Plenty of time to think, I imagine, even absent the hot wind-roar of a battered truck.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cicada Season.

This is not the seventeen-year cycle that makes the news, which we tend not to get, anyway, each or every seventeen years. This is not even a cicada in every tree, or a chicken in every garage, but in the trash maple out back we have some excellent examples of the species, full-throated versions of what mid-July ought to sound like in the mid-south. Loud at dusk and pre-storm, loud at other times that make less sense. Loud. The cicada's courting ritual is not a subtle one, is not notes in the locker, notes under the windshield wiper, notes in the saxophone case. What I would have given to know it could work this way.

Off in the morning via un-air-conditioned Chevy pickup to 23901 to help my brother and his family move into the nine acres they've bought themselves outside of their new .edu. What he wants for help: furniture moving, bookcase painting, clothesline installation. These are things of which I'm vaguely capable. The forecast: possible storms tomorrow, sun much of the rest of the weekend. At least one familial meltdown. My parents will be there, too. Here's hoping for semi-complicated individually completable most-of-the-day tasks. Here's hoping for something that passes for quiet through the middle of the night. Here's hoping for a three-month-old child who takes to his new digs right away, no problem. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Breaking Weather.

It's getting ready to rain—again—and even though I feel like I remember when we used to have weather like this, when give or take any summer afternoon could deliver a storm, it's been years since it's been this good. The ten-day shows signs of us drying out a little. Here's hoping that's not so.

Good line of storms working its way across the ANYLF viewing area over the next hour or so, and then what looks like a second line trying to put itself together behind that. Getting dark out there. The porch light's come on. The wind's picking up. The dog's not entirely nervous yet, but if yesterday's little event gave us four tenths, then I'm going to say that what's coming looks like at least a half an inch. At least.

I love that the cicadas crank up right before a storm.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Long Days.

Looks like they picked up late rain out east of us, but nothing here. A third gray day. A nicer morning than we deserved. A semi-failure out in the writing shed mitigated by moderate evening success. These lazy days, work-ethic-wise, save me. Write in the morning half-assedly. Write again after lunch, even more half-assedly. Go back outside once more in the evening, full of self-loathing for your abiding half-assedness, and crank the six or ten or twenty paragraphs out of your sad self that you should have found the first time around, in the morning. Those evening paragraphs are enough to carry you through the rest of the night believing that you'll be better tomorrow. What people with real jobs or work ethics do, I don't know.

This week's grand happiness is a storm-felled gladiola, cut and in the vase on the dining room table. Coral-colored. Thirty inches tall. It's been in here three days and looks like it may last at least three more. The impatiens are blooming at magazine quality. Persistently green fruit on the tomato vines. The gray days have been cool, relatively. We're holding. The novel comes in fits and starts. Too easy to say so, but so does the weather.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


We're gray again, the back side of some morning fog, itself on the back side of overnight thunderstorms that were more near us than on us, but we picked up nearly a half-inch of rain here at 1303 and so I'd have to say that on balance I could not complain. It's summer, full summer, and the bathroom reno is for all intents and purposes (save for a wee sticky note affixed to the hall wall with those remaining tasks to be performed listed thereunto) finished, and I've been for a week fully back down and into the novel, long, long days of revision leaving me weird but happy, and during those days there has been a juvenile gray catbird stopping by the fence outside my studio window at about eleven each morning, give or take, singing for tenish minutes, then flying away. It's been a perfectly approximate version of a better kind of clock. The thing about full summer is that a Sunday is the same as a Thursday. I know I'm doing well when I'm not sure what day of the week it is, not sure I even care.

If the sun should break through today, I'd say we'd get more than enough heating for some good-sized storms. Screen-porch storms. Today is not the day to attempt one of the items on that wee list, which is to cut a hole in the roof for the vent for the new bathroom fan. Save that for a surer forecast, or a drier one. Today is a day to have another cup of coffee, find a pair of shoes, amble outside for an hour or three to work that shifty section where she turns back up at the door again, a little angrier now than she had been before. Ignore damn near all else besides that and the bird. Aim towards a late, quiet dinner with AMR. I really do like a lot of the aspects of my job out there in 27244— at least those that tend to take place within the walls of the classroom. That said, though, friends and fans of afternoon convection and high humidity, let July and August drag out as long as they possibly, possibly can. Let every week for the next two months have eight days, please, instead of the usual seven. Let it be Wednesday without my ever knowing it was.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Rain Check.

How it is that it's not raining right now I'm not sure, but we've all day had the low, squeezed-out gray that means it's raining somewhere and soon enough will be here. Wet and warm out there, with relative humidity levels somewhere near what they are inside of my shower, while I'm showering. Big storms down east. Little ones peppered all over the rest of the state. It'll rain. It absolutely will. If you still need to pull the morning glories out of the tomatoes, now's a good time.

The city shot off the fireworks last night, even though we picked up a nice little soaking storm right around dusk. Generally, rain will cancel the fireworks. Nice yesterday to get both.

Chance of rain every day as far out as any of the forecasts I can find cares to look. Chance of heavy rain today and tomorrow. Very gray out there. I love a gray summer day. It feels out of season, out of order. It feels like something found, like five dollars in your pocket, like the lost good keys to the car.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Grilled Corn.

Happy Fourth of July out there, friends and fans of weather, and of throwing off the yoke of taxation without representation. You'll note a few storms starting to light the radar to our west, which is only and exactly as it should be. Certain truths are self evident over there in 27403: there will be, as there has always, always been, a pretty solid chance of rain on Carr Street on the Fourth. We're upping yesterday's ANYLF storm likelihood to 65%. Caveat: likelihood of hearing thunder but seeing no actual rainfall: same number.

TLK and I will be parking the pickups tailgate to tailgate and enjoying a bit of can beer and a lawn chair or two and a baby pool up there in the beds of the trucks. As well, and as per tradition, the ANYLF contribution to the festivities is grilled corn, which works approximately as follows:

Soak, husks and all, twentyish ears of corn in water for the better part of half an hour or forty-five minutes. Cook over low coals, husks and all, for the better part of forty-five minutes to an hour. Rotate stacks top to bottom once or twice.

Y'all go on out to your own parties now, light up the grills, listen to some Lee Greenwood, some John Philip Sousa. Get a good spot picked out to watch the fireworks. Take an umbrella, just in case. Hey, representational democracy. Hey, rockets' red glare. Play ball.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tomorrow's Forecast.

The heat's back. You can see it, actually, see that we're not as clear as we have been. The air Tuesday night was like October air, like glass. The air this morning is sleepier, like things might improve if you blinked a few times, washed your face. It may seem like this is a conversation about humidity, but it's not. It's about July.

The ten-day looks good again—it looks hot, but starting Saturday it wants to give us fair shots at rain for the better part of a week. No rain's forecast for Friday, though I'll tell you this much: Every Fourth of July since I've lived in GSO, JLC has grilled ribs on Carr Street. You can see the smoke when you turn the corner at the top of the street. Twenty or thirty people turn up, drink beer all evening, eat ribs and grilled corn and greens and beans off the hoods of cars. One year we played baseball with the leftover corn ears. It seems like JLC's 4th cookout, which sometimes falls on the Fourth, and sometimes does not—he pegs it to the day the city intends to shoot fireworks off from the high school down in the park—is the day that tends to ring in the miserable summer heat, and tends also, regardless of forecast, to bring with it one of the first classic GSO pop-up afternoon summertime thunderstorms. There can be absolutely nothing in the forecast, nothing on the radar, nothing anywhere, and at about 5:30 there will be a little storm directly over the college and Carr Street and thirty drunk grad students huddled on porches and JLC cooking away under some makeshift tarp he's rigged in the side yard, eyes bloodshot from a day's worth of charcoal smoke, barbecue sauce in his eyebrows and beard and all down the front of some t-shirt he's pulled out of his menagerie of a house. More, perhaps, on this rite of summer tomorrow. All I'm saying is that there is no rain in the forecast for tomorrow, but that based on the historical precedent of the past ten years, I have to hang our chances at about 40% for about a half-inch of rain.

It should be said that there's no need at all for JLC's ribs to bring with them the stultifying heat of midsummer. We got that for the entirety, or thereabouts, of early summer. We've also seen those summer storms already, though if you're me, and today I am, you can never see enough summer storms. Not ever.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Last Last.

Ryder trucks and Hertz trucks and U-Haul trucks all out today, the first day of the month. And a good moving day: we haven't even hit 80 degrees yet. July 1st and we hold in the 70s. This on the backside of all that rain. Almost enough to make somebody want to help somebody carry a sofa. Back up in the nineties by the end of the week. Afternoon thunderstorms by the weekend. Y'all better get outside and enjoy this weather while it's here. Sit out on your porches tonight. Go to a ballgame. It's summer. It's July. It's the last last cool night.