Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Filled In.

About those blanks in our previous discussion: never mind. They're breaking in on the radio saying not to drive. Here, in the house, not driving, all this rain sounds so good on the tarp that's supposed to be covering the lawn mower.

Blank Days.

Everywhere but here, apparently, though if last night's 10 pm-er and subsequent 2 am-er are any indication, just hang on. Things may change, and for the tomatoed better.

It is not, friends and fans of weather, that I have not been pining away for a rain gauge, a hygrometer, a seven-day. It is not that I haven't been keeping a close watch on the azalea I planted (not by plan) in a leach field of fist-sized gravel, thereby insuring excellent drainage but also insuring excellent drainage, good in all months but these. It is not that I've not been five-gallon-bucketing water that azalea's way, and also to the new cherry, the pots out front, the new coneflowers, the old coneflowers, the black-eyed susans. It is not that I've not been checking the radar.

But somehow this year the season has hit me too squarely, has jumped full into high summer without any real early summer, without any lingering late spring. This morning, though, in bright hot sunshine on the porch, it smelled both like brutal summer and like last night's good rain, and I thought—I remembered—that this is the sort of thing I've promised at least to record. Contradiction. Confusion. Something other than the blank page of a late-June ninety-degree day. Something other than that high blank sky. Something a little less blank. And I have been feeling blank. And the weather has for the most part been a string of blank pressing days. But not last Saturday night, up in the half-high mountains of Asheville, eating dinner outside. And not yesterday, mowing the back lawn with a dying mower out in front of what I hoped would be rain. And not overnight, in either of those good storms. And not this morning. And not even now, with these uncovered windows letting heat through the glass and into the western side of the house, and with the radar lit so hopefully. So I let rainwater into the gas can and may have wounded the walk-behind. So the Toad's upstairs refusing to take the second nap of the day. So I wait and wait for letters or phone calls from the gods of my own choosing, for better or worse, that either will or will not come regardless of the quality of my waiting. I am strung between days. Best, then, to go back to that which we know we can only guess at: the radar sure looks like it really maybe might rain, if we get lucky.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Season.

And the first night of summer goes like this: All evening the hydrangeas in the yard wilted their rainless way toward burn and damage, and we cooked a chicken, and cooked some potatoes, and ate that with a little arugula and red wine, and we tied the cherry tomatoes to their posts out back and took the dog to bed—the boy'd been down for hours—and just after midnight the sky lit itself with more lightning than we generally see around here, three or four hundred lightning strikes over the better part of an hour, no exaggeration, and a solid heavy inch of rain, or maybe two, and wind, and noise, and the dog on the bed and the cat on the bed and the boy sleeping hard through all that strobe and bang, until 1:30 or a little later—when the storm let up, not the boy; the boy slept the night, as he almost always does, knock on wood and pray to the god of your choosing—and the rain slowed and then quit altogether, and the storm rumbled on past us to the east, and we fell back into some kind of sleep. This morning we wake up to a yard that suddenly wants mowing and that hydrangea blooming blue and full and looking not so much like it wants to pack itself in as keep right on having a go at this new Carolina summer half the country doesn't believe in, like it also doesn't believe (the country, not the hydrangea, which believes it all, every part of it) in evolution or mathematics, and there is coffee, and there is a Wednesday that has somehow already spun itself halfway through, and now the days, though we won't notice right at first, get shorter, and I wish like all hell I could give you some kind of forecast for what it is that rears up next, but that, of course, is not at all what we do here. For that you'll need professionals.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Been Gone.

Been gone a long time. I've been crazy, is the short of it. The long of it can come later. For now: Tie up your tomato vines, if you have an old t-shirt and still have time. This is not the/a big one, I don't think, but the dog's off and my knee hurts and the boy fell dead asleep out of nowhere and the trees are whipped around pretty well out there, so, you know, have a look out them western windows, OK? Crack open a cold one and find a good porch to stand on. Squirrels are running for home across the roof of the outbuilding. That's something. Severe warning. That's something, too. Trees down in Winston. I could go on, but then I wouldn't be front porched or looking out windows, and then where would we be?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Same Days.

Sometimes, it cools off enough in the evenings to sit outside. Sometimes there is a breeze. Sometimes it stays hot and there is no breeze. Regardless, it does not rain. That was last week, and that is this week. Hard to say when that might change.

I'm putting the novel through its paces one last time before the next time. I have lost track of time and calendar. There are early-morning dogwalks. When I remember to stock the cooler, there is ice and beer. There's a cistern of coffee in the fridge for iced coffee. At some point I acquired a new pair of shoes. I'm wearing an old lucky hat. My dreams have gone haywire. I wake up tired.

Maybe it will never rain again.

Friday, June 3, 2011

One Year.

One wee ranting complaint and what do we get? A morning that hung onto the sixties and is still, however barely, hanging onto the seventies, and you could feel this coming even last night, late evening, just after sundown, when the humidity dropped down into the thirty percent range. There was a breeze. And then this morning: Yardwork. Dogwalk. Porch. Coffee that somehow did not require ice, though there is a pitcher now fridged for just such a purpose. If this were summer, I told the Toad on his way to prepreschool, then I'd have no concerns. Hell, it felt like that first crispish September morning out there. Or maybe it felt like what June is supposed to be, used to be, here on the Piedmont.

On the docket: cake-baking. His Honor the Toad turns one today. Last year this time: holy hell. This year this time: friends and fans of weather—of all weathers—I do not understand how we ended up with this child. And yet here he is, in this house. At times I still would have it every other way but this one, but the thing that's surprised me is that, at times, I'd have it no other way than the way it is. I did not know that would or could be me. I did not know.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gone Over.

Hot, my god, hot on top of hot, too hot to mow the lawn, and it doesn't matter, anyway, because it's too hot for the lawn to be mown, to dry, too risky, too likely that what'd be left out there would be twigs and kindling. So hot the sedum are wilting. So hot that standing or parking in the shade barely matters. I may have sunburned the Toad in five outdoor minutes in the big box plant section buying flowers, though it's far and away too hot to be potting anything up just now. Too hot to tie up the tomatoes which need tying badly, too hot even to put a beer in the freezer to drink on the porch here once it's quittin' time, because to drink on the porch in this heat would be lunacy. So hot that AMR, she of the reptilian blood, came in from reading outside to read inside. I have never seen her come in voluntarily during the heat. Not one time. It is the second day of June. It is 60ish days until we even see August. I called an HVAC company to ask about the upstairs A/C being unable to keep up and they said, yep, sounds right, and by the by it doesn't much make any difference, because the first they could see me would be at the end of the month, unless I get a full-system flameout. A bartender who lives in the neighborhood said six of his ten barstools were last night sat by persons with failed A/Cs. The gentleman who delivered our pizza Tuesday night said his window unit was crashed. I think the Toad passed out on the way home rather than falling asleep. He is upstairs in the upper seventies having a red-faced nap. This is ice-in-the-kiddie-pool weather. This is frozen margaritas. This is for god's sake do not turn the oven on. This is keep the blinds closed on the sun side of the house. I have found your global warming, you jackass politico science-phobic illiterates, and it is right here in the back yard.