Clouds have rolled in, thunder has boomed, the sky is dark. The rain is holding off. I am on the porch with the dogs, fans going, two couch cushions stuffed into one window so that Boscoe can't see out; he lies with his chin on the couch arm, staring at the street, and without the cushions blocking his view tends to bark at everything that passes by. His cataracts are getting worse, and he doesn't just respond to dogs anymore, but to children and power-walking moms and men on bicycles, even the one who sings opera as he pedals past. Anyone dare to pass our house, and Boscoe lets out a hollow, quavering but persistent Wooo! Woo! Wooo!
The couch cushions in the window make our house look white trashy, like we are blocking a torn screen, but it keeps things quiet.
I had so many things planned for today, a typical Saturday in the middle of summer: chores, and grocery shopping, and poking the broom into far corners of the living room and kitchen and hauling out wads of errant dog hair, and laundry, and decluttering, always on my list, and cleaning out my closet, which is overstuffed with clothes (I blame the size of the closet rather than the number of skirts), and visiting my aged mother, who I haven't seen in two weeks and can't see next week because I'll be out of town. Oh, and exercising, and riding my bike through the web of trails over by the dog park, where I always get lost, and stopping by the frame store to pick up the photograph we had reframed after the glass broke two weeks ago when it fell off the wall.
I have done none of those things.
Instead, I have been ... sitting on the porch. First admiring the gold streaks of morning sun on the grass, 70 degrees already at 7 a.m., and close; and, later, melting into the couch as the noontime sun beat down and the dew point lifted into the 70s, languidly sipping my lemonade from a tall, sweaty glass and leafing through a damp magazine, edges curled from the humidity; and then, fan aimed, sprawling on the love seat and watching the sky darken as the storm rolled in and stalled.
It is 4:30 in one of those glorious endless July days that go on and on. Time enough for chores and laundry; I am reading a good book ("Let's Take the Long Way Home") and occasionally hitting "refresh" on my Yahoo mail and trying to catch a breeze from the close air. The air has been still and thick all day, so filled with moisture that just moving from the couch to the kitchen to refill my lemonade glass leaves me perspiring and sticky, and I mop my damp upper lip and pluck at my shirt, longing for cool.
Ah---thunder! The sky is as dark as night. A few fat drops hit the pavement, raising a dusty, rainy smell. This weather must break, this close air must thin and dry, before I am doing any of my chores, before I am moving from this porch.SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE
Well, the storms blew through here at about 9 p.m. and wow, strong storms they were, too. Straight-line winds, a few tornadoes on the ground, something called a "bow echo"--tornado sirens went off in our neighborhood a couple of times, which sent the dogs a-howling and sent all four of us to the basement. Boscoe, of course, had to be carried, since he hates those narrow basement steps, and at one point he tried to make a break for it back upstairs, lumbering butt-first backwards up the stairs, and we had to scoop him up and bring him back down.
But we are none the worse for all that now--a few tree branches down, and the humidity has dissipated for now. It's a cool 65 degrees at 7 a.m. and we are about to head out and explore the park. Above is a picture of our back screen porch, after the rain. The drops on the screen shimmer like diamonds. There is beauty in nature, wherever you look.