100 Degrees and Counting?

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!

012 (2)

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!

How Can One Resist?

How Can One Resist A Flying Leaf?

Remember my sweet little Sadie? You know the soft and cuddly, easily distracted, mischievous, heart warming little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? She’s the one gifted with puppy dog eyes, a tail that can melt even the toughest heart and a knack for napping. When she’s awake her sense of adventure brings a smile to my heart. Every ounce of energy she can muster is poured into her activities.


The Great Outdoors

The other day we went on one of our many visits to the great outdoors. Each time we venture outside it’s as if she’s on a new adventure. My main focus is taking care of the obvious. It is my opinion that she should share the same goal. We both should be on the same page. Right? However, that’s not how Sadie sees it. She has her own agenda. She would much prefer to take things slowly. You know, “stop and smell the roses” kind of mentality. Every nook and cranny falls within her category of “needs to be explored.” We must not only smell the roses, but also the trees and bushes, and every inch of the ground.

Drifting In The Wind

One of her all-time favorite past-times is chasing leaves drifting in the wind. What exactly catches her eye I am not certain. I don’t know if it’s the leaf or the commotion it creates when it sails on past her. Either way she simply can not resist its magnetic attraction. We MUST fall into pursuit.

Watching her flit about, as she darts after the tumbling leaf, is entertaining. She draws pure joy out of this simple task. At first I find her puppy’s enthusiasm enjoyable to observe. But as time passes by and our (my) main focus gets lost, in the wind, with each leaf that takes flight, I grow more and more impatient. I attempt to reel her back to reality to regain control of our mission. Often I am successful. Yet other times it’s a fruitless endeavor.

Free-Spirit Leaf

On one of our recent visits Sadie was again distracted by a free-spirit leaf. She took up hot pursuit as soon as it passed her by. Her little legs carried her this way and that as the leaf staggered about. Eventually the leaf was captured by one of her paws. Since we have inches of snow on the ground a pounce by a puppy is most certainly bound to sink into the snow. The leaf she had so joyously pursued became trapped inside the depression her paws had made. With the movement of the leaf suddenly still Sadie stood motionless peering in at it as if to say, “Come on, get going.” She swiped one of her paws beneath the leaf in an attempt to send it back in flight. Her efforts were not successful. The leaf, now buried inside a hole, was no longer inviting. The connection between Sadie and her flying leaf had been lost.

Focus Sadie, Focus!

I was grateful for the broken connection. We had a mission to tackle and time was a wast-in. “Focus Sadie, focus!” I exclaimed.  Eventually we were successful at completing my mission. Together we walked the familiar path back to our home and brought to an end Sadie’s adventure. Encounters with flying leaves, rolling snow balls, dandelions seeds and anything else that moves will always tug at Sadie’s heart. After all she is a “free spirit.”

Keep chasing the wind Sadie!

Something’s Missing!


Notice Anything Missing?

Since way before Christmas I’ve been waiting for a new dishwasher.  On one very memorable day Sadie and I were lounging in my overstuffed easy chair.  My dishwasher was busy washing the most recent load of dirty dishes.  Typically my dishwasher goes about its business mostly in silence.  We chose this particular brand of appliance particularly because it is well-known for how quiet it is.  That is until it breaks.

Oh, Oh!

On one very unfortunate day I was instantly alerted to my dishwashers malfunction because of a very sudden and unusual noise.  Unusual noises are not something you want an appliance to make.  I set Sadie down on the floor and walked over to my dishwasher.  I listened for a bit more to see if the noise would go away.  When it did not I released the locked handle to stop the machine.  After pausing to wait for the interior water to settle I cautiously opened the dishwasher door.

What Was that Sound?

My hope was that perhaps a utensil or some other dish had somehow obstructed one of the rotating wash arms.  I slid open each of the dish racks looking for an obstruction.  Everything seemed to be in order.  Each of the dish racks were slid back in place.  I closed the appliance door and re-engaged the door lock.  I depressed the start button and listened for the machine to begin.  Unfortunately the noise that caused the commotion returned.  My expert diagnosis 🙂 confirmed something was wrong.  (If I’m an expert then we are in serious trouble.)

Call 1-800 Hubby

I released the locked handle once more then reached for my cell phone.  This called for an immediate message to my hubby.  I sent him a text message notifying him of our new issue.  When my hubby returned home at the end of the day he did his own diagnosis.  He was able to determine that the machine was able to pump water out but was unable to spin about the wash arms.  This equipment failure was not something he could repair.  A call was place to a local repair shop.

We Need Your Help!

The first available appointment that fit in our schedule wasn’t until December 27, 2012.  I was so disappointed with the prospect of hand-washing dishes.  Granted there are only two of us living here but I’m amazed at the quantity of dirty dishes we can accumulate in one day.  We seldom use toss-away dishes.  Being conscious of our environment and our resources we have chosen not to use them.  I’ve been so very spoiled with owning a dishwasher that having to wash even a few dishes seems a huge chore.

Please Fix it Mr. Repairman

We waited for the allotted time to pass with much anticipation.  Our hope was for an easy solution.  As the chips would fall the remedy was not a simple one.  The required repairs were very costly.  Rather than invest a substantial amount of money into a seven-year old appliance we opted to replace it.

The Next Step

The very same day we were given the disappointing news we made a visit to an appliance store.  From the available options we made our selection.  Unfortunately the color we desired was not in stock.  The projected delivery date was weeks in advance.  Reluctantly we agreed to the purchase.

Fast Forward

Fast forward the calendar to today.  The new dishwasher has arrived.  Tonight my youngest son-in-law and my husband will install the new dishwasher.  Having the empty spot in my cabinets once again filled with a dishwasher will be so wonderful.



What Happened to the Old Dishwasher?

Oh, I suppose you are wondering what we did with the old one.  My youngest son-in-law has it.  He’s very handy when it comes to repairing mechanical items.  Perhaps being a mechanical engineer plays a part in that.  Go figure!  Anyway he took it home and fixed it.  He replaced his old dishwasher with ours.  As of today it’s running properly.

Another happy ending to one of life’s frustrating little problems.