Sunday, April 26, 2015

clouds move dramatically on the horizon in every direction. sometimes they seem to be coming at you from every direction. what you don't want is for them to come at you from two directions, then get caught up in an updraft or some kind of violent result. sometimes it just opens up and pours on you; that happened a day or two ago, and it happened suddenly, in the middle of the morning, and by evening all the lawns were green and i had to get back to mowing. i'm mowing two houses, the one i used to live in, and the one i live in now, and when i get behind i feel like i need a scythe instead of the pushmower i've been using. but i have to mow in between the rains.

out on my walk, i go five times around the park, and sometimes i see these cloud movements above me. they come from the north, or the west, or the south, whatever. it's late at night so i can't always tell exactly what's happening. sometimes there is lightning way out in the distance as a storm rolls across the plains outside of town. helicopters take off and land as they always do; the park is near the two hospitals. police sirens happen in the distance; it's a busy city, around ten or eleven at night.

but last night, there was a fairly clear sky, and a large group of people having some kind of party on the sheltered side of the park, where there isn't a lot of car traffic, and one can sit out in the grass and see the sky. as i walked past them the first time i tried to figure out if it was some kind of reunion. they had a table and a bunch of drinks and ice, and everyone was talking away. it was a cool, clear night, and i have to say one thing, it's been a beautiful spring - even though you have this wild cloud movement, at least it's clear and fresh. the fourth time around they were beginning to clear out and go home; it was past eleven. but the fifth time, i saw a telescope - turns out they were looking at the sky. what they were trying to see, i have no idea. the perseids? something like that was coming through.

frustrating times on the baseball field; the pirates can't catch a break. my son strikes out with the best of them, and some people get mad at either the ump or the coach, each of whom is partly responsible, i'm sure. some days i wonder if this enormous sky show is going to catch up with us before the game is over; one day, it caught up with us, right as the game was over. mostly, people play as if it wasn't going to rain, and, mostly it doesn't. in west texas you have thousands of square miles for just a few thunderstorms, and we've had more than our share already, so much so that the dust is really quite minimal this spring, and green stuff is spouting everywhere. in my own yard, i'm not sure if i know ragweed when i see it, but all kinds of stuff is growing, and most of it is not good, just in the weed kind of way, and if it is ragweed, i really want it out of there.

the band is coming down to its last days; one of the guitar players, the police chief, is retiring and moving to georgia; another is getting quite old, and having trouble tuning the guitar. he also might be having trouble with the rhythm; that's a little harder to discern. in the rhythm department, it actually could be me, though i try my best and usually get close. the banjo picker, best banjo picker this side of the panama canal, i like to say, is having surgery soon. hard times coming; i might ship out and see what else i can find. too bad, though, i love these guys like i've loved no other musical arrangement. they play hot, and fast, and harmonic, and they sing in tune. you can't get much better.

then, out on quaker avenue, my wife saved a dog the other day. it was hollowed out, scarred, starving, flea-ridden, but it was a white shepherd, quite beautiful, and it's sweet. it's settled in with our other dogs, though it's quite sensitive, and we call her snow. at first i objected; i've said from the start that two is enough, three too many, but i was outvoted, and i let it go, i can't send some beautiful white dog off to certain doom. i still advocate for finding a loving owner, namely maybe my sister, or someone who really needs a dog; we certainly don't. or maybe some of us do, i'm not sure. in any case she needs us, at least for the moment. pictures coming. she has a black lab for a sister, and a chih-weenie for a brother, but she is focused on loving us, and getting some food, for the moment, and after she eats, she'll be quite beautiful. she has something in her, besides german shepherd, something tall and thin, but she has those shepherd ears, pointing straight up. and she defends the children with a ferocity that is quite touching.

sometimes i'm out driving, and sky does its swirling thing; you can see that things are happening up there, and they are rearranging themselves and fixing to move. life as a pilot would be very interesting, and you know this because you can see many layers, just looking up at any given moment, and you can know that it would be a wild show on all of every layer, all the way up. in fact, when you come down into our airport, you come down through layers of sky that are quite dramatic and amazing. and if the sun happens to be coming up or down, even more so. it's a never-ending show, dramatic and constantly unfolding, and it's made for high drama all spring. keeps me on my feet, i might say.

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