Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Blooms.

All this and it is not August: We went several days last week and this where it felt like 100 even if it didn't make it there, where the upstairs A/C had all it could do to keep the upstairs below eighty in those late afternoon and early evening hours. And oh holy hell the stillness—I'd be out before nine to walk the dog and the Toad, and there'd be nothing moving but the mockingbirds, the heat in the shade different only from the heat in the sun by a degree or two. It was stiller still down in the park, impossibly, the bowl of heat and humidity pooling and bottoming there by the creek.

These last two-and-some days, though, storms. Saturday we had storms everywhere but here. Sunday we walked out back to let the Toad listen to the thunder—a noise he will make if asked—and lightning struck somewhere between here and the big road, scared us all sufficiently back indoors to cry briefly and then watch it rain hard enough to overflow the gutters. (Waves, the Toad signed, pointing at the rain. Certainly close enough, we said.) Yesterday, more rain. Which means: the upstairs can catch back up, and we can sleep chilly. Which means: mornings find us so humid you can nearly watch the grass grow. I've not mowed the lawn in two weeks or more. Last weekend it was a field of cinders. Now it's knee-high.

What's blooming is black-eyed Susan, vinca, petunia, and the cosmos reseeding in their beds. What's not: any of the tomatoes I had such medium hopes for. Our food crops have all but packed it in. Maybe we can spend August eating pretty instead of eating fruit. I hear that'll carry you through.

You want forecast? Each day the same until it's not. Mid-nineties. Chance of a storm or not. Chance of that storm actually making it here or not. High, high heat. High summer. Last week I got a flannel shirt catalog in the mail that damn near reduced me to tears. I woke up this morning fantasizing about gray winter days. We could be ninety days or more away from frost or freeze. It is not even August. It will not even be August tomorrow. Or the day after. We have a ways to go.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On Hiatus.

It has been shockingly, devastatingly, blast-furnace hot. Sometimes it has rained. Right now, though, oddly and in the dead center of July, it is cool enough to have the windows open and listen to the train. The tomatoes are dying, but there's not much to be done other than eat what yield we did see, celebrate those few good fortunes. The yard's growing tall. The mower's on the fritz. The flowers out front are mulched in and the crabgrass is attempting a comeback all the same. Speaking of comebacks: ANYLF will attempt one in this very space when we return from a half-week of taking The Toad to Florida to show him what that part of the Atlantic looks like. It's been a long hot summer, says old Robert Earl Keen. Time to go on the road and then come back again.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Five July.

Well, it stormed on the Fourth, as I believe it always does here in 2740X, though I know that in actual real Farmer's Almanac terms we're only batting about .400. Still. I remember no time before living in NC, and I remember no time that's not colored by grad school on Carr Street, and I remember no Carr Street BBQ not colored by apocalyptic rain and bourbon passed in pint bottles and god only knows what else, and so I am happy to report here in this space that though this 4th there was no Carr Street, no fast-hung tarp, no street bowling, no bourbon, even, there was still and yes rain, serious rain, even, and we grilled corn in the pre-rain and ate it in the post-rain, and, well, though this summer has been lax and even irresponsible, there was weather, a hard rain herein reported, and being that this is the forecast, we do now report the events of yesterday, and of the day before, and we say thusly: It has been bad. Very bad. Hot like an example. Concrete like another example. And yet I feel a subtle though sure slide toward something that looks like five fewer degrees, a bit more rain, and surely a better chance of same. No news from NYC. Dying tomatoes, yielding tomatoes. Corn in a cast-iron skillet. Ice in a glass here as we leak into the first week of July. Braves winning ballgames. An A/C that hangs on. A lawnmower that wants for a professional opinion. I've gone crazy. I don't know past the fact that it may rain what the week's weather may hold. That's the best I can give you. Thank god we don't run a subscription service around here. We watch the sky. We say it'll never rain. We pray for rain.