Monday, June 20, 2011

the steam heats up, the pressure's up, the tiger lilies are blossoming all over the ditches, on every road out of town, in big clumps that reach for the sky in their intense oranges and bright survivor colors. on one curve on the road i saw a lively clump of tiger lilies, and behind them another clump of white, queen anne's lace maybe, and behind that black-eyed susans, yellow and black. intense, if nothing else. a totally june phenomenon, kind of like mulberries, turtles and the first ripe tomatoes.

sent a son off to new york city, but he forgot to take cash, and when he came into scott air force base, to get the free parking to save sixty bucks taking the metro across greater saint louis and stay out of the airport long-term parking, he accidentally went right into the base as if he were a soldier or wanted to be. and, he didn't have the dollar to get on the metro, and had to borrow it, but worse, missed his plane, because of missing the metro or whatever. all of this flustered the sister in new york city who canceled her gig in lancaster county pennsylvania and sent a substitute clarinet player out there instead. much ado about one kid going to new york. but, he made it back ok. and while he was gone the pinckneyville opera house burned down.

it was one of those places that every time you drive by, you think, if somebody doesn't rebuild that thing, inside out, in all its beauty, i'll have to do it myself. but wait a do that one would have to live in pinckneyville, who knows what that's like, it was conservative even before it became a prison town. still, it's not a bad place; i'd consider it if i didn't have to put my kids in school somewhere. sometimes i figure reviving these fine old buildings all over the place is a good way to make this world better and preserve a little piece of what used to be, and is still good in its essence. the problem is i have no idea what kind of opera they ever had in that place, not to mention other activities, who knows. it was just a fine old building, is all i remember. i told my son, on your way back from scott air force base, when you get to that courthouse, look back over your left shoulder and tell me what you see. i wanted a report. no way i'm going to drive up there to take a look tonight.

we're getting excited about going to minnesota which should happen in about eleven or twelve days; i might get off the blogger and the bog and virtually everything else except the beach by the lake where we will stay, the big wide lake superior, grandest and coldest of the great lakes, cold, clear and bringing a few stormy nights all by itself. down here, we're mired in steam and these storm systems that drift up from god knows where, and then just sit there, and you'd wonder if it's going to rain or pour or pass on through here and do its thing to some other town, when in fact, having drifted up here, it's no longer inclined to go anywhere at all, and the wind dies down to just about nothing. it's kind of like that fake weather we have from here on out where clouds come sailing through but nothing ever rains and we on the ground parch until it changes its mind right around november. my parents say that out around southern new mexico they look with dread at the wallow fire, half a million acres drifting east from arizona and catching on in the piney hills of the apache national forest, and burning down whole hills of pine and making so much smoke in the air that they can no longer see the organ mountains which are virtually right out the window. yet they say that whenever there is a dry winter, as there has been, they have this danger, and they know that these fires could catch just about anywhere, and do, and the worst thing is when they catch right under the power lines.

so they say it will be fire next time, the end of the world, but tell that to the folks in the atchafalaya, down where the mississippi has been higher than ever this year, and all its tributaries have backed up into the delta. or tell that to anyone else. i don't know if it will be fire next time; i'm just tired of this time, this moment; our grown kids are wearing us down a little, with pregnancies, financial woes, flights into laguardia, house-moving. the littlest ones at least get directly in the lake and then sleep much better, also when they learn to ride a bike or get way out in the woods as they should. it is, after all, tiger lily season, and you don't go see 'em, they just sit there 'til they fade.


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