Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thunder and Rainbows and the Indiana Dunes

Stealing a "westernism" from friend Katie Sherrod's recent blog: There are two ways to argue with a woman. Neither one works.

It's been one of the hottest Junes on record in Fort Worth, and we've had no appreciable rain since mid-May. But tonight, I heard thunder rumble, although in the distance, and went out on the porch to look. I didn't see any particularly promising clouds, but there was a gorgeous rainbow in the eastern sky and, later, a faint double rainbow. I came back in to get a glass of wine and a book and went out to enjoy the thunder and wonderful breeze that had blown up.
When I was a kid, we had a cabin in the Indiana Dunes, right at the foot of Lake Michigan, and I can remember watching storms roll down the lake toward us, churning up whitecaps. Dad would rush to put the windows in--they were the kind you took completely out and left the screens--but I'd sometimes sneak out to the screened porch and enjoy the wind. It was really a primitive cabin--we had to walk a mile, either through the woods or down the beach, to get there, carrying all our supplies. We always chose the woods, and I hated it when we arrived after dark, because the woods scared me. There was no running water (a cistern, which meant dishes had to be scalded after they were washed). The bathroom was an outhouse down the hill in the woods--hated that at night too. No electricity, so we read by Aladdin lamps, but Dad was always cautioning us not to turn them so high or we'd scorch the mantle; the result was little incentive to read because it was dark. Our "refrigerator" was a hole in the ground, with a box that could be raised and lowered by--I guess you'd call it a pulley. Every so often the ice man came, and we pulled up the box, so he could drop a big cube of ice--I mean really big--in the hole. Then you had to keep the milk in the bottom shelf, closest to the ice. Drinking water had to be carried up three flights of stairs from the beach, where it came clean, filtered by the sand, from a hand pump.I remember one night when we heard this strange "plop" and discovered a mouse had drowned in one of the pails of drinking water. For all its primitive aspects, I loved that cabin, and storms always make me think of it and life in the Dunes. It was there that I told my mom one night that if I woke up and said, "Ho, ho" it meant that I wanted summer sausage; she said if she said, "Ho, ho" back, it meant, "Go get it yourself." My kids somehow got hold of that story and still come up with it from time to time.
I love thunder and breezes and even rain--though tonight we so far have gotten only a sprinkle--but I have a healthy respect for lightning, and so I came in when I began to see a few streaks. My rainbow was still there. I read on Facebook that it's raining cats, dogs, and possums on the east side of the city--hope some of that comes over here, but I doubt it.
Today I spent much of the day waiting for the plumber because my bathroom commode had overflowed last night and again this morning, when I thought I'd just try it again--dumb idea. It's one that needs to be rebuilt, but right now it's flushing better than it has in a long time. Anyway, there went my trip to the grocery, and I ended spending the whole day with my own company, except for the plumber and a neighbor who asked to use my phone.
Scooby has been behaving strangely--he's afraid to come in the house and then afraid to come into my office, where he's spent evenings for the last six and a half years. I can't imagine what happened to scare him, but now I put a leash on him and "escort" him to the office. He no longer sleeps in the shower stall, which had become his special lair, but lies right by my feet. Tonight, however, he rushed into the house--thunder scares him to pieces. Poor thing--he's afraid of so many things.

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