Sunday, June 28, 2009

Come Rain or Shine

It's going to rain.

Any minute now, the skies are going to open up and just dump down rain.

This is no good, because – like every Sunday summer morning, I'm on the backyard patio with the laptop and my trusty black lab Suzy laying at my feet , sitting by the pool as I try to write something of meaning to post here on Head Stuffing.

So I'm feeling the pressure to produce.

What really stinks is the fact that I spent all day yesterday busting my butt doing all the yard work I promised I would do over my week vacation last week, but – as usual – procrastinated.

I'm a great procrastinator when it comes to doing house and yard work. Just ask my lovely wife Darlene. She'll tell you it's true.

Boy will she tell you.

She sure tells me.

"You promised you were going to cut the grass and weed the flower beds and trim the edges with the weed whip, and you were going to pull those little weeds from the front yard lawn and spray that ant killer that's now illegal in Canada to kill all those little ant hills!"

So that's what I spent all day yesterday doing – in thirty degree Celsius (ninety something in Fahrenheit) heat in the bright sun, on my hands and knees crawling across the front lawn pulling these tiny little weeds and these little yellow flowered vines from the front yard with my hands.

And I'm too old for that crap.

Then I cut the grass, and trimmed the edges with my new electric weed whip I bought in early May. Its maiden voyage was successful, although I now have a three inch gash across the top of my foot.

You shouldn't weed whip while wearing flip-flops.

Then I took out the sprinkler in the early evening – coincidentally about the same time I finished doing the yard work – and soaked every corner of the yard – including the gardens at the side of the house and around the arbor.

The place looks great.

I think I just felt a drop of rain.

I was hurrying because we were expecting company to come – old friends from Amherstburg that we hadn't seen in six years. But they didn't come.

I even put the tiki-torches around the patio deck and filled them with citronella oil so they could burn as we sat out last night after we barbequed.

That was nice.

I was really hoping to enjoy the day out in the back yard, but now the weather is calling for rain. And I haven't even gotten to putting out the solar lights we bought in March - when they were on sale – around the gardens. They would look great.

I can smell the rain coming in the breeze.

But it's a nice breeze. A nice cool thread of air running through the middle of the warmer air. The kind of breeze that made me want to move to Canada from Louisiana one summer twenty four years ago. If you've ever been to Louisiana in the summer – and felt that squelching heat and humidity – the kind that hits you like a wall of water as you walk through the door to the outside – you would know why this breeze inspired me to move back home to Canada.

But I didn't factor in the fact that Canada has winter. And I'm not a winter person.

I probably should have thought that out a bit better.

But if I had done things differently, I wouldn't have met my lovely wife Darlene, and we wouldn't have had my two beautiful little girls – who I am ready to send to a military boarding school – nor would my faithful black lab Suzy be lying here at my feet.

Funny how the sunlight shone through as I was typing that last paragraph.

But now the winds are picking up, and the umbrella on the patio table is starting to blow a bit in the wind. The water on the top of the pool is starting to move in strong rippled waves.

It's a coming boy. We had better batten down the hatches.

No, it stopped. It's calm out now, and the breeze is gentle again.

I can hear the horns of the barges and freighters on the Detroit River – only a couple of blocks from the house – bellowing messages to each other like "You're in my lane – get out of the way", or "Hey, it's going to storm, you better get ready", or "hey, did you hear the Tigers got the snot kicked out of them last night by those rotten Houston Astros?"

But now the sun has come out again. The breeze has calmed. And my youngest daughter Ashley-Rae just came outside in her bathing suit with a towel asking me to spray sun-block on her.

Quite often storms miss us here. It's like they change direction to ride the Detroit river south to Lake Erie or north to Lake St. Claire. The storm systems just go around us. Maybe they will today too.

It would be great to have a job as a meteorologist – a weather man – where you can be wrong more than fifty percent of the time and keep your job.

"Hey, it's weather, who knows what it's going to do?".

Yesterday I saw on the news that they just shot up a new weather satellite into orbit. One that they claim will be able to provide more accurate data to allow meteorologists to make more accurate predictions.

But I bet they will still get it wrong at least fifty-percent of the time.

I don't have any friends that are meteorologists – but if I did, I wonder what they would say when they show up at the golf course for our 10:30 tee time and it starts to rain? "Hey, it's weather, who knows what it's going to do?".

The breeze is starting to pick up again and the leaves on the big Chinese Maple tree next door – the kind that throw those little helicopter like seeds all over my yard every May – are turned over showing their bottom sides.

They say that's a definite indicator that it will rain.

But at least I was able to get this writing done.

For what it's worth – I feel a lot better now that I got my frustrations with meteorologists off my chest.

But I still don't know if it's going to rain or not.

From my back yard patio, I can see the western sky. The wind is coming from the west, and the clouds on the horizon move over my head. But now, behind this wave of clouds is clear blue sky – clear to the horizon.

Maybe it's not going to rain after all?

"Hey, it's weather, who knows what it's going to do?".

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