Seriously, today my yard looked like something out of a Disney cartoon. I half expected Bambi and Thumper to come peeking out from behind the shed (hope they didn't get too close, just had the damn thing fumigated, you know).
And talk about a gorgeous day! The sky was that rich, deep cerulean blue, with chubby balloons of snow-white clouds bobbing about. It wouldn't have surprised me to find Julie Andrews aka The Sound of Music twirling and spinning and singing like a crazy person out on the lawn (which would have been infinitely better than Billy Joe Bob and The Keg-ettes wafting across the trailerhood at Mach 7).
Anyway, our gladiolas are blooming, the Mr. Lincoln rose bush is full of rich-red buds, the hosta are sending out new shoots, and the stand of coneflowers has tripled in size almost overnight.
Everything is gorgeous and it's all going to go to shit any day now.
The reason for this is two-fold:
For one, I'm going to try and schedule a rummage sale for this upcoming weekend (remember all that cleaning & purging we just did?). For the last three weeks I've been trying to hold a stupid yard sale. But, our small town newspaper only comes out once a week, on Wednesday. So you have to have any ad put in by Monday afternoon. You'd be surprised how quickly the weather forecast can change in those few days. The 10-day outlook would be great until MONDAY MORNING, when it would suddenly be revised to thunderstorms and flood warnings for the following weekend. You practically need a psychic/crystal ball to know on Monday what will be happening by Friday.
For two, this is Illinois, folks. An old saying around these parts (that I've heard a billion times since I moved here in '79), goes 'if you don't like the weather, just wait around a few minutes and it'll change'. And by change we mean 'not for the better'.
For some inexplicable meteorological reason, our seasons (we have TWO: very hot & very cold) change abruptly, with the flick of a switch. I think it was comedian Jeff Foxworthy who said Illinois was the only state where you could wear shorts in the afternoon and a winter coat in the evening, all in the same day.
I hate weather. It annoys me and everyday there's just more of it. Somebody should do something, and it's not gonna be me because I'm more of an *idea* person. ;D
Which brings me round to this: my mind is trying to *kill* me. With our current hint of fall, all I can think about are things like planting mounds of brilliant mums, washing the outside windows with vinegar, sealing up any cracks & gaps with caulk, waxing the car, carving pumpkins and painting gourds, baking bread, making soup & chili, sewing a quilt or some other hideous project, hooking a rug, braiding my hair, wallpapering a room, and - time/talent permitting - writing a book.
Right. Like any of the above is going to happen. Not. Bloody. Likely.
But Autumn is around the corner and it's time to nest. Or so my traitorous brain keeps suggesting.
For one thing, I'm half-scared to get close to any green, growing thing. While the scars are slowly fading from the poison ivy debacle, I see no need to *push* my luck at the moment.
And, is it really a good idea for someone like me (read: spatially challenged) to get up on a ladder to wash, caulk, paint or wallpaper? Do I really want to celebrate Christmas this year with *Best Wishes for a Speedy Recovery* penned in green or red ink on a cast? Or, far more likely, snap another tendon in yet another finger (not lying - two Christmases in a row this happened) and have to wear a splint for 22 (!!!) weeks.
As a medical aside: I love when well-meaning friends or relatives try to dissuade me from my caffeine and nicotine addictions. They happily inform me I'm shaving years off my lifespan and I can add as many as 5 years or 10 or whatever (wasn't really paying attention) if only I'd quit. Well, in the first place it's the crappy years at the end. Like I'd want to end up at 97 all puffed up from my 29Th bout of poison-whatever, just one huge amorphous blister with a feeding tube poked somewhere in the middle of wherever the doctor thinks my mouth/stomach ought to be.
Because, see - I'm not one of those awesomely amazing people who suddenly take up sky diving, or zip lining, or whatever other dangerous activity people like my beloved sister love to indulge in the older they get. No joke. She's 60 and loves to check out lava fields and/or cruises to third world countries. I get nervous opening my mail.
Clearly, she got all the good genes and I got what was left over. But, as there were 17 of us kids, obviously not all of us could turn out to be *remarkable*. It's kinda like Twilight, except instead of Team Edward & Team Jacob, we had Team Indiana Jones and Team Prozac Nation.
What if we actually, really & truly, were to have (I don't believe this for a minute)(although my grass did come back from the dead, so it could happen maybe)(does this mean instead of burying our dead, we should be watering them?) an honest to God Zombie apocalypse/pandemic? My sister would survive, that much I know.
Hell, she'd be the first one to pack a Katana and lop off a few heads. Me, the glow from my shaking cigarette would expose my hiding place under the bed.
You know, people are always (now) speculating on the plausibility of a zombie outbreak. I still stand by my assertion that in the extreme unlikelihood of such an event, any survivors - as such - would be irreparably damaged emotionally. So the concept of *survival* is a moot one.
What I'd like to see is an alien invasion. Well, not necessarily *invasion* ... but a whole slew of motherships appearing in our skies, and disgorging highly advanced beings to the delight of ComicCon fans the world over.
And, I don't care what Drake's equation (look it up) postulates, I think our paths will cross, at some point in *time*. What I don't think is that they will arrive in big, shiny Greyhound spaceships, or creepy Lego-looking floating cyber cities.
I think the dependence on objective, physical objects is a benchmark of a developing, yet still-primitive species. In fact, I'm a real armchair science-geek** and I've got a few nerdy ideas to toss around, but that's best saved for a *future* post (get it? *future*? giggle-snort).
**Science-geeky armchair people will never go zip lining because their nerdy little minds have already calculated the probabilities of any number of horrid scenarios resultant from mass in motion X trajectory under the auspices of the first law of Thermodynamics.
***I just made that up.
****Science is a lot easier to understand if you don't let *facts* get in your way.