Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Rain.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday—and more of the same forecast for any of the other days on the near horizon you might care to name. We're in some kind of Floridian pattern here, only with Carolina breeze and gift-horse late-evening temps. Another three tenths tonight in 27401, and a reasonably good storm to go with it, if the leaves and branches in the dogwalked streets are any indication. No firsthand report at ANYLF late-summer rainfall HQ, though: we were in 27215, watching the young men throw the ball around and hit it a little. Oh, the dollar beer, the storm blowing hard just off to the north of the ballpark, the small children eating Icees and cotton candy. The American flag in center had caught on something, making it more of a sail and less of anything else, but you could still see the wind was blowing either dead out, or to left.

A pattern like this reminds me of ten years ago on Carr Street, those first summers of grad school, the last time I can remember being able to believe it would rain with any frequency: Kiddie pool under the front-yard crabapple, plastic boats big enough to float two beers and enough ice to keep them cool. Bowling in the center of the street. Up in the middles of nights to sit on one porch or another and watch storms come uphill from Tate and push past Mendenhall and towards downtown—storms, it turns out, like the one not even on the radar ten minutes ago that just opened up in full right here at 709. It's pouring. Pouring. Again. Forgive me if I love all this too transparently.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Some Rain.

Home four days, and four days of rain. Possible to take this as a sign? A check-plus from the universe? I was all the time getting Ns -- Needs Improvement -- in things like Plays Well With Others. Takes Direction. Respects Authority. Gets Out Of Bed On Time. Maybe just once I'm getting an S -- Satisfactory -- from the Powers That Be. Or maybe this is just a good shift in the weather, and not about me. But how could the rain not be about me?

Another easy tenth or so tonight around six -- and the tomatoes look like it, look like this is the weather they'd grown accustomed to in May and June. I thought for sure we'd descended into drought, that this summer would be like all other summers -- and then by god it rained again. I don't know what to think. I do not. I do not.

The gentleman who fixed our A/C yesterday was a straight-up giant. I owe the book back tomorrow for the final time until the next time. The cicadas and crickets go and go. There was a little bit of sunset. August is hanging out there like a metaphor. Or a simile? I will never learn the difference.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An Asterisk.

Oh, July. Reentry into 27401 goes like this: there is a math that attends days and days away from the garden, from the flowers, from the WeatherHeadery. Back on the radar: tomatoes, old book, new book, a busted upstairs A/C and the glory that is the home warranty—the dulcet tones, on one's home phone, of a gentleman sure to know the ins and outs of a capacitor switch in a compressor/condenser fan, and sure, too, to arrive and fix said fan forthwith. We have been away. Now we are not.

July welcomes much of the ANYLF staff back with a big Sunday evening storm, better than an inch, and a big Monday evening storm, right at one inch. Much thunder, much wind. Much dog trembling underfoot at the kitchen table. An asterisk is herewith to be appended to July's rainfall totals, but not to the year's totals, and we feel good about this, because if it's good enough for baseball, it's good enough for ANYLF—due to the fact of some watering that wanted doing Sunday evening, the rain gauge, which showed 2.7" after Sunday night's outpouring of downpouring, is believed to be not entirely accurate (for that storm). Performance-enhanced, if you will, by the hosing activities of the early evening. Having no real way to determine what's right and what's wrong other than a gauzy half-hour spent on the front porch watching it rain like all living hell, we're just cutting that number in half. It was that or have all the interns submit their best guesses on small slips of paper and then average the numbers. I actually think we might be a little low at 1.35" for Sunday night, but we'll err on the side of caution. 2.35", then, here at 709 over the last two days, and that after what was about five weeks of crispy, crispy weather. Welcome home, indeed. And, asterisk-wise, we feel good enough about those numbers to say that the official ANYLF yearly total for 709 is as accurate as it was ever going to be. This isn't rocket science, people. It's just meteorology. Also, it rained in some bowls that have been living on our back porch, and which have pretty damn flat bottoms, so I dunked a ruler in there to double-check for good measure.

ANYLF hasn't much been around the interwebs of late—things have either been very, very busy, or very, very not, depending. But, friends and fans of weather, if it's weather we're again going to have, and if last night's storm and the storm of the night before are any indication, then it seems like, yes, it is going to be weather that is going to be had by us, well, then, we're back. Fully staffed. We've called the interns back from far-flung Florida, and we've tied the tomatoes back up to the deck. The clock tower at the church just through the backyard is playing our song. The light, if you've noticed, is dragging itself piecemeal towards autumn. Time, perhaps, for a redoubling of our efforts. Or just a doubling in the first place.

Monday, July 20, 2009

South Of.

Just south of St. Augustine, of State Highway 206, of Pomar's Beer & Ice, of the place where A1A splits into beach road and something else, of the last traffic light for several miles, of that lighthouse up on the point, and of The Lawn Ranger, the A1A-based grass-cutting concern contracted to cut the grass here at ANYLF Beachside Rental HQ, the now-greeby condos where we've been coming apparently 30 years. Maybe greeby isn't quite right. Gently used. Maintenance deferred. The ceiling fans have a little rust, the cabinets are wanting to give out. When we first arrived, the A/C had given out. That kind of place.

AMR reports small rain in 27401, and the forecast looks good for the week. Down here, storms all around us each afternoon so far. Coolish. Perfect. Little breeze out of the south. Lots of attention paid to SPF. Not much attention paid to much else.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ninety Pitches.

Danville tonight, and a big kid on the mound for the bad guys who only needed ninety pitches to throw all nine innings. And it was a five-hit shutout, too, until a single and a pretty little home-team triple and a sac fly in the bottom of the ninth. Still, as nice a 4-2 complete game as you'll ever see in Rookie League ball, folks. Damn near professional.

And weather up there: quick thunderless showers, fantastic and pervasive humidity, a fog in the outfield.

God, I love a ballgame. I love Danville in particular, love how specifically Southern it is up there, how the people there look like people nowhere else. It's particular in Danville, is what it is. It's particular here, too, and in Burlington, but there was something about Martinsville, back when the Astros had a team there, and there's something about Danville. Something more particular. Martinsville used to raffle off a grandfather clock at the end of the season. Danville plays bingo, reads out letters and numbers after every home-team at-bat.

High summer. Very. Sticky. Rain on the way, I'd hope. Drink out of your lucky coffee mugs tomorrow. Look out west. Cross yourselves. Bow. Genuflect. Dance the dance that works.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Chair.

ANYLF has made a capital expenditure: a desk chair, outside, in the spideratorium. The spidiary. The as-yet-unrenovated shed. Coming soon to a fall near you: a new floor, new walls, vaulted ceiling, a bathroom, new windows, coats and coats of paint—but for now, let's us content our two-a-day writing-session selves with the ugliest captain's chair there ever was, eighteen dollars' worth of polyurethane and old basement, courtesy of Greensboro's own salvage and selvage industry. It's nearly comfy. It has a back, which improves upon the trash chair I'd been using. Here's hoping there's a few chapters in it. Here's hoping it's lucky, and it's the shit chair I sit in for the rest of my little writing life. Here's hoping it's still standing come tomorrow morning.

It rained. Not much, but it rained. Tomatoes. All-Star break. New chair.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rain. Rain.

AMR, on coming outside at 7:45 pm to see what I was up to: well, it's summer. It was 85 degrees then. And humid like the inside of a dishwasher.

It rained yesterday. That humidity hung on all night, such that we had some kind of hazefog through at least the nine am hour, but it rained, it rained, it rained. We're going with better than half an inch here, even though yours truly was in Burlington, where it did not rain, and so I can't quite vouch for our numbers. However: the official ANYLF gauge has been good enough all year, and all of last year and the year before, so we'll have to just go on and trust it.

I'm going to do something ridiculous: I'm going to say it's going to rain tomorrow. It's going to rain tomorrow.

Planted a white coneflower tonight. In mid-July. That's as ridiculous as saying it's going to rain.

Oh, dry spell. Are we about to break out of that? Cherry tomatoes starting to yield in the back yard. Pages coming like teeth being pulled. Is there another book? There may, may, may be another book. There are at least tomatoes. That much we know for sure.

That damn weird green glad is still blooming out there.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Green Glad.

We're working on fifteen or sixteen days since any kind of significant rainfall, and that third of an inch was the first of its kind for the previous ten or twelve days, so it's a tale of two summers, friends and fans of it being potato-chip dry out there: there was the biblical mudpit that was the front half of June, and there is now this, the thirty days since then.

I confess. I've seen the current radar. Something is trying to come out here and rain me out of my late-evening plan to sit fieldside, in lawn chairs, out at the Burlingtons. You know what, though? I can have me a cool beverage here on the front porch and be just as happy. If it rains, in fact, today will have been some kind of trifecta of deep and abiding joy: there will have been the new pages out in the spidering shed, there will have been the successfully-fixed window through which AMR attempted to send the ladder earlier this week, and there will have been the rain. And two out of three ain't bad, but without the third, there will be only my happily baseballed self and the dried-out gasping sad wilting front-yard full-sun petunias. So it comes to this: we have reached that point in the summer—and we always, always reach this point in the summer—where I'll see damn near anything rained out, if I can just see some rain.

Still: Last night I walked the dog, right around sunset, wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, and I was not hot or sad.

And still: There is this—a green gladiola—in our front yard.

Still: Rain, please.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rain, Please.

Back door open and the sound of cicadas coming through the screen and it's trying to rain, it is, and it has rained, in fact, but not so much that you'd want to mention it. These past two days it's rained almost everywhere but here, and rained for long enough to water in everybody else's parched tomatoes—if you watched the radar today, and I know you did, then you saw it trying, trying, building in and then edging its way northwest to southeast, raining in Winston, even, for what seemed like a good portion of the evening. And the streets are wet here, or those parts that aren't under any trees are, but that was not rain, not really, was the kind of thing where only a generous soul would call it a trace.

There's a little something still trying to slide down from Martinsville at this late hour, but I don't want to talk about that, either. Smart money—hell, even the other money—says it probably won't hold together long enough for us.

It's dry. The ground in the bare patches in the back yard is cracked. The birds are taking dust baths in the neighbor's scoured-out side yard. Everything green is starting to get that silvery July/August half-beaten look. We'd come back from it all if we could just get a rain or two. Blasphemy even to ask for this so soon, but I'm starting to check the tropics to see if we can get some tumbledown ragged tropical storm to come ashore somewhere and do minimal damage—maybe take somebody's mailbox out down on the coast, but nothing else—and then get up here and stall out and give us a couple of inches of soft breezy rain.

It's still cool, which means we've probably got the breaker flipped the wrong way there, too. Come on, baby. Give us some rain.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Crispy Weather.

We broke the hose. Or I did. Left it on, closed down at the nozzle, and the hose gave up and over sometime midafternoon. Watered the neighbor's flowerbed but good. Watered the front walk. Watered the street. Watered our water bill.

If there were even clouds today, they were few. Dry. Summer. July. Still not deadly hot, but July.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dry, Cool.

Got out of the car at the grocery on Saturday, and a gentleman in a huge blue Dodge duelie was blasting late-1950s solo Thelonius Monk on his stereo, right up at the edge of what the speakers could take.

Tonight at the cut-rate $1-dog-and-beer ballgame, sat in a long, long sunset while the temps fell down through the upper seventies and the Whoevers got locked in what turned out to be a lovely pitchers' duel with the Grasshoppers nee Bats nee I think Hornets.

Weather feels like it's been the same for two weeks. Everything feels like it's been the same for two weeks. It doesn't rain. Almost every day, something turns up on the radar, but the radar runs from Tennessee to the ocean, so etcetera. If it didn't keep getting so damn lovely in the evenings, I'd be ready to register some manner of droughty lament. As it is, I guess I'll take it. But it could rain and it would not break my heart. Even on Sunday, when it rained, it did not really rain.

Full moon tonight, or close to. Dog curled tight as a dinner plate on the sofa. Junebugs piloting themselves again and again into the back porch light. It's July. It's starting to get pretty damn dry. Water your crops as best you can.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day.

Generally, it rains. What tends to happen here on the 4th is that it's been hotter than two rats fucking in a wool sock (sorry, kids: sometimes, when mommy and daddy rats love each other very much—), and then, out of nowhere, and against all forecasts, it rains. Storms, even. Bowling-in-the-street kind of storms.

Instead, we're having September, such that the humidity has been somewhere around 50% all day long, and the temps have been low enough since July brought itself in that we've had the upstairs windows open all night long, had the fan running in the bedroom. This is not July. This is not the 4th. I wasn't even grilling corn on Carr Street. I grilled for all intents and purposes here at home, in the neighborhood, and it was not hot. It just was not. I've been home half an hour and I'm still not showered. That's not a Greensboro 4th as I remember it. But I will take it, friends and fans of independence, of fireworks public and private. I will take it.

The dog's freaked right the hell out: she's not a huge fan of celebrations of patriotism. Or any other loud and sudden noises. She'd be more a fan of a kind of thing like sun tea, which, if you're struggling through the first six or sixteen pages of what ought to be a new book, and mainly what those pages do is make you want to pull your eyelashes out and braid them into friendship bracelets, becomes precisely the kind of project that saves you from having to go back outside right away. Instead, you can research sun tea, certain bacterial catastrophe included, and then procure supplies and make said tea anyway, grinning in the leering face of death, and then and only then will you have to head out back, icy glass in hand, to face them pages. Sun tea is a nice slow quiet explosionless process, safe for dogs and boys alike. It'll save you from what ails you. It may ail you in other ways, but this afternoon's experience suggests it'll save you first.

It may, may, may rain tomorrow. The fancies give us a good shot tomorrow evening. There's even now a little rain on the radar. I know it's rained a ton, but I think it's maybe time to hope a little bit. Grind your jaws in just the right way, please. Think of well-watered crops, of soaked-in flowers.

Happy 4th of July, former Carr Streeters. Odd to be away from home. First time in easily ten years. Nice in its own way, though, too. That's the thing about all of this, I guess. It's at least one of the things.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dog Days.

Little breeze. Storms far south and far north late afternoon into evening, but they could only be seen and not heard. Big beautiful thunderheads, though, for those of you so inclined to mark such things. Also to be marked down: sprinklers were employed late evening here in the ANYLF Demonstration Gardens (for the first time this season).

July comes in looking a lot like what I remember May and June looking like in years past: summer for certain, but still cool mornings and nights. Maybe not so cool that you'd drag yourself to a place where you'd say you didn't think you needed the A/C, but cool in the shade, cool on the porch, cool enough once it's dark to come back from wherever you've been, get out of the car, and think it might be a fine idea to sit out a while.

Tiny halting forward progress on some new pages out back. We shall see. Tiny halting progress out of NYC on the old pages. We shall see there, too—which leaves one only with the weather, I guess, with watered ferns and impatiens, watered petunia beds. And if you liked today, then you'll love tomorrow: a dittoed copy, apparently. Maybe a degree or two warmer. Maybe a little slimmer chance of seeing a storm ride by on the horizon.

They call the cicadas we're hearing in these parts dog-day cicadas. I think we're all probably contractually obligated to love that. July, July. How much summer have we got left? Not enough, friends and fans of these slowed days. Not enough.