The prediction is 100 degrees by 5pm today. The temperature is inching up. I’m keeping the birth baths full.
I just got off the phone with my sister, who lives in Mendocino, California. Life there borders on dystopia. Rolling blackouts are taking out power to homes for 4 hours at a time during the heat wave that that’s sitting heavy on the tinder-dry West. I’m hoping that my rural neighbors whose religion is individualism, have the sense not to burn today. The state mutters “Burning is not recommended.” Their reluctance to shout “No fires today!!!” is puzzling.
I am sitting outside as I write this, in the shade of the deck, while the husband, the mastiffs and the two cats are sensibly inside where we are running the window ACs and fans and windows are sensibly shut. At least if I want to stream all the episodes of Babylon Berlin this sunny afternoon, I have a great excuse.
One gets to the point in these plague times where only the small stuff matters. Like how the garden spider, an orb weaver, has silenced one of my wind chimes with her web. I’m hoping she gets a lot of flies. I would never think of interrupting her hunting efforts. Then there’s the large snake skin I found underneath the pond pump solar panel—our resident garter snake is getting very large. Like the incident of the bald-faced hornets, I can be gratified to know she or he is getting plenty to eat in my garden. Mrs Bullfrog and Leopard frog are still in residence, and now our pond is visited by a red dragon fly on a regular basis.
My sister and I discussed teardrop-style travel trailers. Our family owned one in the 1960’s and used it every summer in camping trips along the North Coast of California. My parents slept inside it, and my sisters and cousin and I would sleep either out in the open or in a huge green canvas tent we lugged around. We called the trailer Old Bill, after Samwise’s pony who accompanied the Fellowship of the Ring on the first leg of their journey before everything went to hell. You know. Gandalf dies, Gollum catches Frodo’s scent—or is it the scent of the Ring—and the Elves try to throw them out of Lothlorien.
(Oh crap. I just googled Lothlorien to check the spelling and found a site for Lothlorien Apartments in Seattle. Oh, crap.)
I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy one summer after my sisters and my mother did. I was a teenager, and even now, Steppenwolf’s “Pusher man” brings back memories of the Fellowship’s journey toward Moria.
To this day, my sisters and I reread the books every few years. They are never boring.
While California is falling to pieces with the plague, rolling blackouts, and fires, it’s not too bad here in Albany, Oregon. Hot, yes, but quiet, peaceful, comfortable. The nutcases are gathering in large groups, maskless, like they do all over the country. At least the schools are considering distance learning and rotating classes; the universities are going digital. On Nextdoor the Wear the Damn Mask argument pops up occasionally. While I never participate, it’s so enjoyable to follow the conflict. I’d much rather do that than watch a prize fight any day.
So, maybe I’m done now. The temperature continues to rise. Criterion Channel awaits me inside. The hot days binging will begin. I’ll keep a watch out for the wildfires.