Friday, July 29, 2011

It’s Been Hot

It’s been a hot summer. Like it does so many years, once we hit Memorial Day, it’s like the “tap” got shut off. Our wet spring is just a memory; and the threat of the river flooding seems more and more bizarre—and remote.

It does seem strange to have the river so high, while our weather’s been so hot and dry.

Ice cream. We’ve been hitting Sparky’s a lot when we’re in Columbia. And Zesto’s here in Jeff. We’ve been staying inside.

It’s interesting how one’s appetite diminishes when it’s really hot outside. Our dinners have been like little picnics: A few pieces of bread, some pesto, olives and peperoncinis, wedges of ripe tomato, slices of sausage, some ricotta, a hard-cooked egg.

Sue said she read an interview with a Georgia peach farmer, who said that the peaches are loving the hot nights—even though it’s uncomfortable for us—the peaches love it. And yes, ripe peaches are one of the great treasures of summer, and of life itself.

Our grass has turned brown and gone dormant. C’est la vie; that happens to some extent most summers. In fact, it’s kind of nice, since we don’t have to go out and mow the yard so often. But this year, since the temperatures have been in the upper nineties so often, we’ve been running the sprinkler for a while some evenings, beneath our trees, to make sure they’re getting enough moisture.

We were lucky enough to have been in Columbia last night when a small thunderstorm went through (it didn’t even get close to Jeff City). We were at my parents’ house, and the thunder was the first sign.

“Was that thunder—?”

You know it’s been a while since it’s rained when you’re not sure you even recognize the sound of thunder.

When it started to rain, it felt like a miracle, like we’d somehow received a great boon from a power beyond imagining.

Sue said she felt like going outside and dancing around in it.

I looked at her: “I’ll do it if you do it.”

So out we went—down the back porch steps—into my folks’ backyard. We ran around and waved our arms. We jumped around in circles. Our shoes splashed in the water puddling in their yard. We lifted our faces to the sky and let the water come right at us.

It was pouring down, and it felt great. When it’s been so hot, rain like this feels just right. Our hair and shoulders got soaked. So what?

We were soon driving back home, and by the time we crossed I-70 (not even out of Columbia yet), we’d seen the last of the rain. (When will we have rain again?)

By the time we got to Ashland, it was feeling pretty good to have the air conditioner blow on our wet shoulders and hair.

And Jeff City was pretty much like we’d left it: Hot and dry.

Fortunately, we have peaches to get us through.


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Oh the feeling of being a child again. Nothing compares to that!

Julianna Schroeder said...

For sure!

Have you been watering your lawn or trees?

And why in the world does the rain always seem to bypass Jefferson City? The clouds will look like they're heading straight for us, but then veer either north or south starting at about Russellville. Do you suppose it's all the hot air from the legislators, sucking the moisture away? Holts Summit and Wardsville always seem to get the rain instead of us.