24. June 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, General, The Funny

I have only had to run the sprinkler to water the garden once, so far this year. A rainy spring is extremely unusual … well, at least for the whole twelve years that we have been living here. There has been a nice, deep-drenching rain about every week and a half, almost as if it has been scheduled. The only thing to equal it was four or five years ago when for some mysterious reason tropical storm systems kept stalling right over Bexar County for several weeks at a stretch. Not only was Memorial Day weekend rained out that year, but the Fourth of July weekend also. And not just plain old pitter-pat little showers, but a full bore tropical deluge that went on for hours. And days. And weeks.

Everyone went around expressing their surprise that South Texas appeared to have a monsoon season, although I think the story of kayak racing on North New Braunfels avenue between the Nacogdoches and Austin Highway intersections was an exaggeration. Not an impossibility, though. It is one of the embarrassments of our fair city that it is entirely possible to be swept away and drowned within city limits, given sufficient rainfall over certain urban locations.

The upside is that everything is green – green, green, green and ever more green; gardens, parks, highway verges and hillsides. The wildflowers have lasted for weeks longer than usual. Every tree has put out vigorous new growth as regards branches, and the crepe myrtles all have great piles of old bark shredding off their trunks, like snakes shedding their old skins for the new one underneath.

Our neighborhood was scheduled for the bulk-trash pickup during this week just past. We’re still waiting for the huge trucks with the mechanical claw that reaches down to scoop up the great piles of rotting fence palings and landscape timbers, building waste and cut tree branches. On Monday when I went out for a run with the dogs, I saw no less than three tree-trimming services at work on various streets – and an equal number of battered pickup trucks driving very slowly down the blocks, pausing to look at those piles featuring other items – mostly busted furniture.

I think my neighborhood is moving slightly upwards on the socio-economic scale. The people moving in lately have taken to throwing away a better class of stuff. Last bulk-trash pickup week, Blondie and I scored a sturdy wooden chaise-lounge very neatly constructed of two-by-fours, which gravitated to our back yard once I made an oilcloth covered mattress for it. Until it became too hot, it was pure bliss to lay out on it in the afternoon, with a cool breeze stirring the branches overhead and the scent of sweet-olive, almond verbena and jasmine teasing the olfactory senses. When Blondie bought a long extension cord so she could take her laptop out there too, blogging nirvana was achieved.

Gleanings this year were not so rich, but also garden oriented; the junkers with pickups may have beaten me to the good stuff, unlikely as that seems. I did score one very heavy terracotta garden urn in perfect shape (no cracks or damage) and a pair of shiny metal spheres the size of softballs that were the bodies for a pair of a wire-form garden ornament flamingoes. The wire had gone to rust, so I popped out the spheres, and took them home.

They’ll make very satisfactory gazing spheres – and better yet, gave me the chance to walk in the house and say to my daughter,

“So, you wanna polish a pair of big steel balls?”

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