Thursday, May 31, 2012

Slight Truancy.

Trying so very hard to make it rain out here on the Piedmont. Over puppet-showward they're getting inches. Bastards. Here, in the land of the High Sabbatical and the Unreachable Summer and the Trimmed Shed Windows, we need tomato rain. Them academics—all they need is footnotes. Come on, rain. I sprinted through an 8:15 sunset pushing the mower just so I wouldn't have to mow a soaked lawn tomorrow. Make me look like I knew what I was doing. Make me look like I understand the sky. Make me look like I show up here at the Local every now and then.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Little Storms.

It's warmed. It's not been as hot as they said it would be, though it's been close—but we're not in that can't-even-sit-in-the-lawn-chairs-after-the-Toad's-in-bed place yet. We're in the opposite place, in fact: the humidity's been just low enough these past few evenings to set up shop right out back, ice in the glass, a lime, bare feet in the grass, a few deep breaths. I'm trying to enjoy it, even if it's not my season. Tomatoes in the new front planter. Fireworks from the stadium downtown. Woodwork in the shed. The tiny seed of a new story, a new something. Tragedy out on the edges of things, but that's always there. Just more distinct these days.

Soaked the tomatoes in some manner of fish and seaweed blend before I put them in the ground. Smelled like all hell. Five days in they're the greenest plants I've ever had.

And (Sub)Tropical Storm Beryl. Let's just say that out loud and let it lie.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's Over.

It's over. I've been away a while, friends and fans of weather, but it was here the last week or so as it was most places—one last breath of cool before the onslaught. On Saturday they graduated the wee ones over at the puppet show on as cool a mortarboarded morning as I can recall, though even in that seventy-some degrees you could feel the coming heat.

To the good: Tomatoes in the ground, and basil, and a little squash and okra. Marigolds to keep the bugs back. Looks like storms today and tomorrow to get all of that well watered in. But the weekend—look at it. They say 89 now. That means they know better, but don't want to crush us yet. We'll need ice in a bucket, I think, and tiny beers. Box fans on the porch. Bug spray and sunscreen. Probably ought to go on and mow the lawn this morning—better now than then. This is the new planning of the new season: How to kill things the least.

A possum walked along the top of the fenceline two feet from my office window last night late, looked in at me with a total kind of calm. Scared the hell out of me. Go ahead and start moving more slowly, was I think the point. Conserve while you can. Ready yourself. Repair the garden hose.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Coming Soon.

New grass in the dug-up and roped-off dog-pee spot; new dog-pee spot just off the eastern corner of the ropes. Something eastern in the philosophy of all that.

The weather holds cool, jeans-cool, even yet. May twelve. They want warm end of next week. Rain first. Best to start enjoying these cool nights as the last cool nights -- there can't be much of this left.

Soon tomatoes. Soon whatever it is I can't remember from last year that reseeded in the front flowers will bloom. Soon weeding. Soon a little mulch. Soon less painting and more yard. Soon none of any of that, and ass in chair out there in the shed. Soon the new novel. Soon the one after that.

The Toad's in sentences. He's brushing his teeth. Asking questions. Becky's flowers across the street are coming in for the third time this year. First a thousand daffodils. Then a thousand iris. Now daylilies and roses and zinnias. We can't keep up. All we can do is look out the front window, tell the Toad to tell the Becky Flowers moches choches, his version of buenas noches.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Baby Birds.

It was in the fifties already by the time I made it out this morning, but the airport is reporting a bottomed-out low of 48 in the five and six o'clock hours -- I am not totally sure that my behavior warrants weather this good on the eleventh of May, but I'll take it. I will for sure and certain take it. Low humidity. Wee breeze. Fledged wrens and grackles and robins everywhere. Everything green on green. Daylilies trying to bloom, though in this cool they may slow a bit. Volunteer tomato in the front flowers: for now we'll leave it, I think. Why the hell not a tomato in with the lantana and dianthus and petunias?

The morning's great crisis: a lost toy ambulance. I just tore the house apart door to door and then found it where I'd looked five times already, in the toy kitchen, of course, on the bottom back shelf, nosed just over and up against the wall. On the heels of this great victory, then, an all-windows-down trip to the big box for another try-out quart of paint for the shed, another color indistinguishable from the last, one that this time will ideally make me almost think I can sort of see an exceptionally light grey -- this instead of the one that's swathed up there now, which almost makes me think I can sort of see an exceptionally light tannish pink. It's a big decision, the color of one's built-by-hand vaulted-ceilinged writing shed. Walls and ceiling all the same color. That I've got it down to three almost-white paint chips I can't quite tell apart is a matter for another time, a time when it's not so crushingly beautiful out.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Amendment One.

The state votes today to choose slates of bankrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle to face one another in November, and also almost certainly to amend our constitution to drag us back to pre-Civil War days by codifying, with malice aforethought, the utterly stupid notion that marriage ought to be between one man and one woman. Or another way: the utterly stupid, backward, and hurtful notion that a bunch of rabid Christians-in-name-only would know better how all of us ought live our lives than we ourselves would. Or: fifteen or fifteen hundred asswipe white guys in suits terrified of what—difference? complexity? evolution? the need for thought and consideration? an ever-changing world? each other?—have had their own marriages so deeply and irrevocably scarred by reruns of Will & Grace on the goddamn Hallmark channel that they just can't take it any more, and instead of hiding from the world, or even praying about it, they do this. This. This thing. I am filled with rage, and with sorrow. This is my state. By democratic choice, we do this. All of us. We are all of us guilty of this thing, this vote, this law, this amendment. This is now the truth we hold to be self-evident.

In other news, the weather is beautiful, gray and cool and with enough up on the radar that one can hold out hope for lightning strikes and flash flood, hope for an Old Testament vengeance even as we know what's called for is a New Testament forgiveness. That it's those of us on this side of the vote who know that, and not the folks waving their bibles so hard, is a cruel irony, but there it is.

Or maybe we look to the skies and hope for miracles. Or for the bright light of a new day after this one. Or just for peace.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Heat Again.

Hot. Bang. Like that, ninety degrees. Close to, anyway. 89 in the shade of my porch yesterday and today both. I've had to water the new grass, the front flowers. The ferns went crispy. Tonight there was a little cool breeze coming off a thunderstorm riding just north of the state line, but it wasn't even close enough to hear, which is fine -- less heartbreak. Is May 3 too early to worry about total rainfall? To try to remember the last time it rained?

The writing shed: primed. White like snow blindness in there. I love it. Like all of my projects, I'm kicking myself for not having done it sooner. Still: new walls, new new novel, or the idea of one. And this old new novel due back red-inked from the editor any day, or any week, at least. And I'm reading. And less homicidal. Rewrite a novel in sixty frantic days on the heels of 150 days of misery and maybe the only place to land is better, saner. That or at the bottom of a ravine. Flip a coin. See which you get.

Baby bird season here -- in all the curved letters over at the building supply, and in those crispy front porch ferns. This year I'm watering a little bit anyway, trying to be careful, trying not to wet the nests, but trying not to lose the plants altogether. And I'd been doing fine until it turned so hot. Those first sets ought to fledge some time shortly -- they're in both ferns -- and then the birds can get at the business of going around again. Just like the rest of us. Just like everything. It's May again. It's hot again. Two nights ago the hot hung on past dark, threatened July. That's coming, too.