A Catalog of Memories
I have this catalog of stories I have written but never released. They lie dormant in my folders waiting for just the right opportunity. I let them hide out with the idea that perhaps someday they will seem appropriate.
The story I am about to share was written way back in July of 2012. For some reason it popped into my head today as I was preparing to take Sadie outside. As I put on my hat, then my jacket, then my hood, then my scarf, oh and don’t forget the boots and mittens, it dawned on me that I had a story just crying to be let out. What better way was there to counteract the freezing cold temperatures I was about to step out into than to resurrect a story about blazing hot weather. So if you, like me, live in the segment of the world that is presently experiencing the final weeks of winter perhaps this will bring a little warmth to your bones.
Without our further delay let’s get this ball rolling. This is where, if I were a director, I would say, “Action!”
July 9, 2012
It’s been ten days since the outside temperature hasn’t been below 100 degrees let alone 90. Our geographical area is not usually bombarded with weather as hot as it is now. Added to the blazing hot temperatures is our severe lack of moisture. The drought we are experiencing is unlike anything I have ever seen.
Today is the first day we have had our windows open since the excessive heat streak began. In a way it almost feels like we have been hibernating. To ward off the effects of the excessive heat we put into practice the following measures:
- We kept our windows and their coverings closed.
- The air conditioner ran darn near non-stop trying to maintain a reasonable inside temperature.
- Venturing outside was kept to a minimum.
- A rigid watering schedule was followed to help our plantings survive the heat. Utilized in the timing of the schedule was one of our kitchen timers. Seldom was it sitting idle.
- To assist the birds with their survival we maintained a level of water in our bird bath. Often seen floating on the surface of the water are hornets. I’m not at all a fan of these little creatures. I am, however, entertained as I observe them partake of the liquid.
Aside from the obvious unbearable effect the heat has on us humans is the evidence we can see in our surroundings:
- Seldom do we experience a day without some sort of wind or breeze. During this dry spell the breezes have been but a whisper.
- The pops of color found lingering from the surviving flowers are like diamonds in a sea of destruction.
- The small hydrangea tree in our front yard struggles to survive. It was hit hard this year by the early warm temperatures in March, the freezing cold spell in late spring and the oppressive heat of June and July coupled with the lack of adequate moisture.
- One by one we watch the neighborhood trees fall victim to the lack of rain and their owner’s inability or disregard to maintain proper hydration.
- Directly across the street from our home is a grouping of newly planted bushes. My husband and I watch as the bushes slowly die. At times we talk about secretly dragging our hose across the street at night and turning it on to water them.
Amidst the depression we all feel over the inability to control the weather we are thankful for these things:
- We have the financial resources to maintain our own plantings. The effects of the weather have been kept to a minimum.
- We have central air conditioning and can afford to keep it in operation.
- We have not experienced wild-fires.
Now that the heat has subsided it is so wonderful to open the windows and exchange the stale inside air for the fresh aroma of the outdoors. The open windows allow the almost-forgotten melody of birds to float inside. Of course drifting in along with their songs is the distant sounds of road construction. Those sounds I choose to ignore.
With our window shades finally open we can observe the devastation created by the 100 degree days. Typically our home is surrounded by a beautiful sea of green grass. Left behind now are intermittent patches of green amongst a dessert of brown, parched earth. The grass that once was soft beneath our toes now sounds crunchy as we walk across it.
Stranded in the middle of burnt vegetation is a lonely patch of green grass. This isolated oasis is where our grand-children’s wading pool was emptied after the 4th of July celebration. Outlining the edges of our gardens are ribbons of green. In our desperate attempt to keep trees, shrubs and flowers alive we utilized our sprinklers. These small sections of surviving grass resulted from the over-spray created by the watering. Attempts to keep the grass from perishing had long since faded.
This is a summer that I would much rather forget. The thought of enduring additional sweltering days this season sours my disposition. I long for the warm days of summer all winter long. This, however, is not to my liking.
March 21, 2013
Well there you have it. A moment in time much different from the present. Did it bring back memories? Did it send waves of warmth throughout your body? The memories, now jarred from my mind were still very familiar. The summer of 2012 is one I would rather not experience again. The winter of 2012-2013 is one I look forward to ending. For now I will dream about Spring!
I heard today that my two granddaughters were excited about Spring. Their hopes were that since the calendar tells us the season has changed somehow the snow would instantly disappear. What a lovely thought that would be. If only we could will these layers and layers of frosty white precipitation to magically fade away, in but an instant. Sadly we were not given that ability. Even so, the hopes of those two little girls brings a smile to my heart. Their innocent understanding of this life we live adds a layer of lightheartedness I too often forget.
Till we visit again . . . THINK SPRING!