Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hot but Green


Where I live is too far east to be considered Southwest Virginia; too far west to be Central Virginia, too far north to be Southside. While I can see the Blue Ridge Mountains in any direction, I’m not actually in them.

I must live in the middle of nowhere. And in the midst of monsoon season.

We’ve had thundershowers every afternoon or evening for the past couple of days. At 7:59 last night I saw a flash in the bedroom and heard a simultaneous loud bang. As soon as the rain stopped, I went to check the horses; I figured they’d been struck.

But my mares were fine.

The hayfields that were so parched a couple of months ago are now lush and green. The cornfield across the road that was a bare brown patch in May is crowded with corn several feet high. The lawn is no longer crispy. The pasture is growing faster than the mares can gnaw it down.

The parts of the kennel that aren’t filled with tall weeds—lambsquarters, etc.—are muddy. The dogs are the color of red clay.

And it’s hot.

The outside cats abandon their mouse-watching and seek air-conditioning. I don’t blame them. My desk is crowded with cats. They jockey for position under the overhead fan. My keyboard is covered in cat hair.

The temperature is supposed to be close to 100 tomorrow-and high 90s next week. It’s too hot and humid for me to run the weed-eater, which I badly need to do. The flower beds vanished behind the weeds a few days ago. The Johnson grass towers over the lirope and mondo grass. The Virginia creeper—which I let take over the deck so the Japanese beetles won’t eat my good plants—is growing faster than the beetles can eat.

But our well is no longer in danger of going dry, and odds are good that this fall’s hay cutting will be much better than this spring’s cutting.

But it's hot.

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