One Rainy Day


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It’s fire season again, with nearly 80,000 acres burning less than a dozen miles from home ground. Drove out to see what we could the other day; the smoky sky was ominous indeed. An hour after returning, an evacuation notice was issued and mass exodus ensued – dogs, cats, horses, and humans. Yesterday afternoon the rain came down as forecast and things look a bit better.

Along with the rain, cooler temperatures have eased parched forest and tundra. Expecting a good downpour, I didn’t water the garden and was pleased to see puddles on the deck this morning when I got up at 4 a.m. The entire yard has been a weed patch this year, and taking on the appearance of a botanical garden for all the flowers suddenly in bloom and young aspen sprouting. Sooner or later we’ll have to pay attention or we’ll have a forest where the previous owners had done their best to cultivate a lawn. Heh. Not me. Something else can go where grass obviously does not dominate. A few new trees are fine with me, but the chipper’s producing park-worthy stuff to lay in a path or two and, with the addition of a few good-sized rocks, boulders and pea gravel, I’d rather have a bench or two and a backstop at the foot of the slope – something useful, which grass is not.

A twinge of autumn. I’m noticing the change in daylight. For sure, there is next-to-no darkness but 2 a.m. is definitely dimmer than it has been. We’re tumbling toward the meager 300 minutes of daylight vs 1,140 of darkness, something that doesn’t bother me. I feel suited to cooler weather and rain, the smell of wet, saturated ground. Today the corduroys came out and I’m feeling rather fall-ish for the season.

I’ve been working in wool for five years now, stuff straight from the sheep, a combination of colors from a combination of beasts selected to produce a fine result – an afghan in neutral tones, heavy and warm. It smells of lanolin, of the beast from whose back it was shorn. After months and years in the basket, it’s still a pleasure to work with. Today, however, the project is bright pumpkin orange and a stark white; something festive for the coming season. Worked in single and double-crochet, progress is swift but I don’t want to finish it yet. I’d like the work of it to last through August, a countdown toward September 1, which day puts summer in the past tense. Not wanting to wish away a portion of my good life, it is nonetheless a perfect time piece. 

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