Summer this year has been a study in extremes. Scorching hot sunshine one minute, black skies and pouring rain in a wild thunderstorm the next. Hail gets thrown in once in a while just to keep us interested. Last night there was yet another storm, followed by a cool overcast morning, custom-made for sleeping in.
Next door (and close to my bedroom window) the neighbors have a tin roofed storage shed. When the rain is pounding down on that it’s easy to imagine I’m safe and warm and living inside a giant steel drum. The sounds are musical.
Of all the songs written about rain, these two are my favourites. I guess deep down I will always and forever be a child of the ’60’s.
You and me and rain on the roof
Caught up in a summer shower
Drying while it soaks the flowers
Maybe we’ll be caught for hours
Waiting out the sun
You and me were gabbing away
Dreamy conversation sitting in the hay
Honey, how long was I laughing in the rain with you
‘Cause I didn’t feel a drop ’til the thunder brought us to
You and me underneath a roof of tin
Pretty comfy feeling how the rain ain’t leaking in
We can sit and dry just as long as it can pour
‘Cause the way it makes you look makes me hope it rains some more
Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I’ve been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again
The only girl I care about has gone away
Looking for a brand new start
But little does she know that when she left that day
Along with her she took my heart
Rain please tell me now does that seem fair
For her to steal my heart away when she don’t care
I can’t love another when my heart’s somewhere far away
Rain won’t you tell her that I love her so
Please ask the sun to set her heart aglow
Rain in her heart and let the love we knew start to grow
I’ve spent my morning pretending to reorganize things in an effort to make my work space more efficient. Now that the clutter has been successfully rearranged (for better or for worse remains to be seen) I thought I might work on moving pictures around. Then I decided chronological order is perfectly fine.
Here’s how the world outside my front door looked a few days ago. It’s hard to capture a downpour with the rain coming down so hard it bounces back up again. The neighbors car went from dusty to squeaky clean in two minutes flat. And look at that golf course quality green lawn! I continue to pay a lot of money for its beautification and upkeep while taking all the credit, although the rain deserves honorable mention too.
And here’s the next couple of pictures on my phone sent to me from the other side of the country. A lucky granddaughter on holiday in Nova Scotia.
She gets to go to the ocean and I get to look after her dog.
Sometimes he’s very dignified. Sometimes not so much. Today he’s happy because I’m not going anywhere. That makes two of us.
With pretty weeds all in a row? Picture number (what?) of my bucket of random plants over which I exercise no control. I promise this will be the last one. But look how interesting it’s all become! Weeds bloom!
Okay, THAT is the last one, I swear. To me it’s breathtaking, all things considered, covered in raindrops and growing tall. Also my bush in the background is now covered in strange little yellow flowers which make it look slightly less bush-ugly.
And at last the tiger lilies have started to bloom. Finally, something beautiful that I actually meant to have growing in my backyard.
The rain has been falling continuously since the storm and it’s still overcast and drizzling this morning. Temperatures inside and out are back to something much closer to normal. So now we can all stop complaining about the heat and start moaning about the rain instead.
Now are you afraid? I’m coming.
Madness in the air tonight.
Grinning fury, threatening menace,
Blinding whiteness, hot as ice.
Do you feel it? Cold descending,
Heavy heat begins to weep.
Crawling, creeping, rising, fleeing,
Off to wait, a watch to keep.
Can you see the branches dancing?
Swaying terror, frantic bliss.
Every leaf with hissing whispers
Shivers warning, blows a kiss.
Am I laughing? So perceptive.
Yes, the rumbling’s belly deep.
Hard as silk and cruelly soothing,
Temper held and then unleashed.
Are you dreaming of the burning?
Sparks in darkness feed on drought.
Smoke and rain and choking blackness;
I could put the fires out.
Am I hell-bent on destruction?
Are you cowering, weak and small?
Bolts and volts and cracks and howling,
Fierce remorseless torrents fall.
Are you nodding off? I’m going;
Wrapping up, my tantrum spent.
I’ve been harsh and you’ve been frightened.
Time for calm. I will relent.
What this night have I extinguished?
What ignited with the dawn?
You’ll remember me tomorrow.
Now I’m dying. Played out. Gone.
Look what I found in my tree this morning. I thought when I opened the back door he’d leap down and run away, but instead he just lurked there for a bit pretending to be invisible.
I expect this is what lured him up there in the first place, although I’m pretty sure it’s empty and the birds have flown.
It didn’t look this high from the ground up. When he made the final leap, again I expected him to take off running (I’m pretty scary, bare feet in the wet grass, pointing and shooting). Maybe I’d make a great wildlife photographer since nothing seems to be afraid of me.
Strange back yard adventures are exhausting and require a time out and a lie down beside the tiger lilies to catch one’s breath and decide what’s next on the morning agenda. Or maybe he was just curious to see what the crazy lady was up to now. Nothing much, I went back in the house because my coffee was getting cold. My little back yard intruder got bored and wandered off too. But not before gazing longingly up into the tree again. Maybe he’s just casing the neighborhood for bird houses and feeders and the odd squirrel hangout. He’s in for a surprise if the magpies return. I’m sure they’ll make it quite clear who was here first.
This is a perfect day to stay away from the retail world and a great day to have off. It’s the start of the Canada Day long weekend when every serious camping Canadian goes camping in a truly serious way. That means stocking up on supplies for every eventuality from tropical heat wave to freezing rain and don’t forget the bug spray and enough food to feed a small town for a month. It’s Murphy’s law that you end up getting a large percentage of these things at the last minute (yesterday and today) and fighting all the other last-minute shoppers to do it. The reason I know it’s started already is that I got a text from a co-worker from our optical center located in the middle of a madhouse zoo of a big box store. She said last night was crazy, so today will be worse.
It should be safe to go to work tomorrow once half the population has headed off all over the place in every conceivable direction to camp grounds and other nature infested areas. My next door neighbors are in the process of leaving. This process has been going on all morning. Three kids are sitting with solemn faces on the back bumper of an open and jam-packed hatch back watching dad wrestle with dirt bikes and a trailer. They are learning some new words. Mom is calmly jamming more coolers into the back seat. Probably full of dad-calming beer.
When they finally pull out of here it will be safe (and quiet) enough for me to take my thousand pound book into the backyard and finish it this afternoon.
There I am on page 199, marking my progress in sparkles.
The book is REAMDE by Neal Stephenson, and it’s not just good, it’s amazing.
Quoting from the book description on Amazon…….high-intensity, high-stakes, action-packed adventure thriller in which a tech entrepreneur gets caught in the very real crossfire of his own online war game…….Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan……created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of fans around the world.
But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe—and Richard is at ground zero.
Racing around the globe from the Pacific Northwest to China to the wilds of northern Idaho and points in between, Reamde is a swift-paced thriller that traverses worlds virtual and real. Filled with unexpected twists and turns in which unforgettable villains and unlikely heroes face off in a battle for survival, it is a brilliant refraction of the twenty-first century, from the global war on terror to social media, computer hackers to mobsters, entrepreneurs to religious fundamentalists.
It’s definitely an entertaining page turner. There are a couple of reviews that say it’s not as good as previous things he’s written, so if they’re even better, I guess I’ll be reading those next, but this time on my Kindle to give my arm muscles a break. And this is a much nicer cover than the one I’ve got, in case things like covers make a big difference in whether or not you read a book.
On a completely different note, and in keeping with my title, today I used a glue gun and DID NOT BURN MYSELF. Believe me, this is incredible news if you know anything at all about my glue gun history.
Okay, I’m off to tackle the last 600 pages, and this is the last you will hear about it. I promise. There could be more on glue guns though. They have a nasty habit of popping up and wreaking havoc in an otherwise sane and sedentary life. A life which involves less than zero amounts of camping if I have any say about it at all.
For anyone who cares, and also anyone who doesn’t with no idea what I’m talking about, I’m up to page 199 in my daunting 1000 plus page brick of a book. I wish I could say I can’t put it down, but it’s all too easy to do that with a little help from gravity and hands that have fallen asleep.
Last night the sky went ominously dark and the temperature dropped and the thunder rolled and the rain came down. And that’s the end of that story, because in spite of how threatening the weather appeared to be, it seemed to suddenly lose interest in being nasty and wandered off somewhere else. I might have stayed awake longer if it had been more entertaining. Instead I slept for ten hours straight. There’s something about the rain that induces this kind of tranquility and calm.
This morning I woke up in the middle of some inscrutably foggy dream feeling lazy, lethargic, just this side of comatose. Brought the paper in, didn’t feel like looking beyond the front page, made coffee, tuned in listlessly to Facebook. Damned exciting day so far. Checked out my astrological forecasts – note the plural there, because I’d hate to put all my trust in just one opinion. And this way I get to choose the one I like the best. Or in this case, dislike the most.
Your confidence gets a very nice boost right now, and this enables you to feel like you can do just about anything — which you can. Enjoy your extra social zip and go out and have a great time at whatever you choose to do.
You have a strong and compelling presence today, especially if you are doing any kind of political or public speaking. People are interested in learning what you have to say. But in personal relationships, your passions come across a little too strongly.
You will have a powerful idea that dramatically improves your social and career prospects. You will find a way to bring two groups together in a way that heals an old rift and makes new progress possible. Other people will notice, and you will benefit from the attention.
Who the hell are they talking about? Obviously the storm went high and rearranged the heavens last night. I’d go so far as to say it scrambled them. That is not me. Social zip, compelling presence, powerful ideas – get out of here. Even if I finish this whole pot of coffee there’s not a chance.
Right now I’m just trying to drum up the ambition to shower and get dressed and ready for work. Maybe there will be more lightning today and I’ll get struck by it and thus jump started on the development of my strong and compelling presence where people pay rapt attention to what I have to say. HAHA! I must still be dreaming.
The reason I know this is because He grows it everywhere. What I don’t know is who gets to decide what is a weed and what isn’t. We’re conditioned from childhood to abhor dandelions on the lawn, and to love roses in the flowerbed. But what child, left to his own devices, would not prefer those bright little low-to-the-ground yellow flowers that are everywhere and can be picked with ease, to something that has vicious thorns?
When my sister was last here to visit me we spent time and money putting a gigantic flower-pot where the fire pit used to be, and filling it with lovely little plants. It looked quite beautiful and very promising, until the rains came down – day after day after day. At first I thought this was a great thing, because I never remember to water anything. But it turns out the pot had no drainage holes in the bottom, and the little plants were drowning in the mud. I couldn’t save them. If she reads this she will want to shake me. This spring W tipped the pot up (that sucker is HEAVY) and drilled some holes in the bottom so that we wouldn’t have the same problem again.
The next logical step would have been for me to get some plants and put them in there, but logical steps are not my forte. It’s in the backyard, so who sees it but me? Nobody, except now that I’m posting a picture of it here there could be a couple other people rolling their eyes at it. But there’s all these green things in it growing away, voluntarily, with no input from me whatsoever. Definitely my kind of gardening. I was going to pull them all out, because that’s what a normal person would do with weeds, but then I thought – who do I think I am – some kind of all powerful plant Queen who gets to decide what grows where? Plus my hands would get dirty and then there’d be just this big pot of dirt sitting there waiting for me to get my butt to a green house and that just might never happen. So I’ve decided to leave them alone and see what happens. Perhaps I’ll grow to love them. They appear to be safely contained and unlikely to spread, so what harm can come of it? Except maybe for the lawn people having a less than ideal opinion of my horticultural prowess. And speaking of lawn, that little patch in the top left corner is where the meter moving guys dug a huge hole, filled it up and put down sod. It’s starting to look a little less dead these days, also without any effort on my part.
This one is looking pretty interesting too, guarded by a sun bleached lamb not found in nature.
All of this should give you a huge clue as to why we decided to give up our garden plot and grow grass there instead. Before the neighbors came over and torched it in the middle of the night.
Just think of all the money we could save, and what glorious things we could do with all the time we save by giving up the heartless practice of weeding. All the green houses we could collectively put out of business, if this catches on.
I don’t know if I should be trying to get away with this right under the noses of the Alberta Invasive Plants Council but it’s not like I’m growing that other kind of WEED and selling it on the street. This is purely for my own amusement. And because I’m the laziest gardener on the face of God’s green earth.