Tuesday, April 26, 2016

today there was a dust storm when i went to pick up the kids at school; the air was a sickly red and you could feel sand in your teeth, just a little. the wind blew steadily. i took the car so we wouldn't have to walk in it, but most people did the usual; they walked their kids home, they stood around outside the school (relatively sheltered, in this case), or they let their kids walk home alone.

one of the three wanted to stay and play in the schoolyard. i'm not sure how many of her friends would be playing out there, with sand blowing in their teeth, but she gets out of school hungry to do the hanging and swinging, summersaults, pulling all her muscles on the playground equipment. i told her no, we'd get sand in our teeth, and the people who didn't want sand in their teeth had the right to go home and get out of the duststorm. she seemed to accept this explanation, at least for a while. i think, at home, the trampoline is relatively sheltered, and they might be able to do some of that stretching and jumping at home, without the sand.

coming back from new mexico, my wife ran into a little of this duststorm, yesterday afternoon. it's a fairly wide system, going right on up into kansas where there are tornadoes, and down here, there's a lot of dust that a wind can pick up if it has a mind to, dust that reduces visibility, or makes travel unpleasant. i myself had returned the day before, and now, as usual, don't really want to go anywhere, particularly not in the city.

it's not that i'm afraid of the city; actually, i've been relatively lucky. but accidents are up, pedestrians are getting run over, and you'd think that the cell phone was part of necessary driving equipment, the way everyone seems to need to use it, almost every minute of being out there. this one place, ironically out in front of a hospital, features sudden warning-less stops, and it's a place where people tend to get on their phones and tell people that they just left the university. one would think it's a place you could use your cell phone. but in fact it has maybe an accident a day out there, cars getting crumpled up like homework that got too close to a dog. lots of accidents. i could sit here at my little couch, and put on the lubbock police scanner, and keep better track, but i'm too busy. instead i express my gratitude that i can still ignore my phone much of the time when i have to drive.

the queen and i had a birthday; she turned 90, and i turned 62, both on the same day. it was the day prince died; my wife says, she thinks it was an overdose. he kind of spoiled our special day, i must say. but what happened this year was, i got tired of being mad at the queen, and i stopped. she was a kind of traitor to the birthday, always celebrating it in june, but another way of saying that is, she had her own private celebration on her birthday, and a more public splash in june. whatever, i stopped worrying about it. now she's ninety, still good-looking, still the queen, and i'm thinking, it's time to let up and let her decide the best way to celebrate. i figure, you reach ninety, you have the right to declare victory.

we've got our eye on dad. he's turning 89 on saturday. april rocks!


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